The search for the perfect Christmas present is over…
It’s just over a week to Christmas, and present panic-buying starts to set in. What will you do if you can’t find that Frozen Minecraft Lego Barbie your child so desperately needs. But never fear, it seems what they really want for Christmas is cool hard cash.
Of course, unless you wrap every fiver like a pass the parcel, money under the tree isn’t going to look quite the same, but according to a Halifax survey of over 1000 people with under 18s, a third thought their children would prefer cash to an actual present.
But, of course, everyone will still drive themselves mad trying to find that perfect present which ends up gathering dust, or in the next box for the charity shop. The Money Advice Service polled over 3,000 people and almost 40% said they had received presents they hadn’t used, with an average value of £54. So why not just wang your kid £50 instead?
Even better, why not give them a cash gift they can’t even use. Invest it in a Junior Isa or even a pension for a child and you can force them to invest for their future in this time of peace and goodwill.
“It’s nice to have presents that you can unwrap at Christmas but it’s a very sensible approach to give money and it is a nice way of teaching children about the value of money and putting money aside,” says Anna Bowes, who despite commenting on behalf of savingschampion.co.uk, had absolutely no vested interest in saying that.
Although the benefits of investing in a pension as early as possible are well documented, the most obvious options when investing money for children are Junior ISAs and standard children’s savings accounts. Junior ISAs are available to children under the age of 18, who don’t already have a Child Trust Fund. Importantly, children cannot get to their ISA cash until they are 16, whereas a savings account gives them access to the money from as early as eight years old. When they’d only spend it on Freddos and Tizer.
So now you’ve got your presents sorted. No need to thank us.