Grandparents spend almost £7 billion on Christmas

Article date: 19 December 2005

When it comes to festive spending, move over Father Christmas,it is Britain’s grandparents who are splashing out onpresents and entertaining, spending an average of almost £600 eachon Christmas every year.

Almost six and a half million grandparents will be hostingChristmas lunch and more for their family and friends thisDecember, according to Norwich Union*.

Generous grandparents are digging deep into their pockets thisChristmas with grandchildren being the main benefactors, and itseems the more grandchildren there are, the merrier. Those witheight grandchildren spend £65 a head on the latest must-have toysand games at Christmas, as well as going well above the averageoverall spend, splurging an average total of just under £720treating friends and family to all the trimmings.

And it’s not just at Christmas that grandparents spoil theirgrandchildren: four out of 10 (39%) admit to spoiling them all yearround. On average they spend £200 on each one over the course ofthe year. One in 10 (9%) also regularly send their grandchildrenmoney throughout the year. But it’s the middle generation wholose out with 41% of grandparents admitting spending more on theirgrandchildren than on their children.

Daren Carter, sales and marketing director at Norwich UnionPersonal Finance, said: “They say that Christmas is a timefor giving and our grandparents seem to have embraced thatsentiment. The festive season is a great time to get family andfriends together and our research shows that it is the oldergeneration who are maintaining this tradition with less than aquarter (24%) being entertained by other people over the Christmasperiod.”

However, all this generosity does come at a cost. A third ofgrandparents (34%) confess to buying things for their grandchildreneven when they can’t afford to do so. Those grandparents whodo this more often are spending more than the average on theirgrandkids at Christmas - £72 per head compared to £58. Consideringthat the average weekly income of almost a third (31%) ofgrandparents is less than £300 a week per household, it may be thatthis kindness isn’t sustainable.

Daren Carter added: “Despite the older generation admittingthey splash out on their grandchildren it isn’t all fritteredaway on expensive gifts. Over one in eight (13%) finance savvygrandparents prefer to help towards long-term investment for theirgrandchildren and 600,000 (5%) help pay for theireducation.”


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Notes to editors:
*Source: Research conductedby YouGov, 29 November – 1 December 2005 with a sample sizeof 932 UK grandparents.

Norwich Union is the market leading equity release provider with amarket share of 34% (source Safe Home Income Plans Q3 2005). Fullwritten terms and conditions are available on request. NorwichUnion is the UK's largest insurer. It is the UK's largest providerof life, pensions and investment products and one of the leadingFinancial Advisers (FA) providers. FAs provide around 75% of thecompany's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societies andother leading UK brand names including CIS and The Royal Bank ofScotland Group.

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Norwich Union Equity Release Limited No 3286484. Registered at 2Rougier Street, York, YO90 1UU. Authorised and regulated by theFinancial Services Authority.

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