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Cash under the Christmas tree

Britons are collectively set to receive more than £500m in cash and gift vouchers this Christmas, according to a recent survey. Around 19% of people expect to receive a financial present – with an average of £61 each, this is an estimated £587m will change hands this Christmas, according to internet bank First Direct.

Nearly 66% of these will receive cash, with 20% getting a cheque; 9% will be given a gift card or voucher and 7% will have the money paid directly into their account. A further 2% will receive a pre-paid card.

From these survey resulsts it would appear that cash is the perfect Christmas gift in these difficult economic times. It removes the stress of hunting for presents that may prove unsuitable or unwanted, comes with "no strings" and can be used by the recipient to buy something they really need or would like.

Four out of ten people said they would use the money to treat themselves to a luxury item such as a holiday or jewellery but, 36% admitted that they would use it to pay for everyday items such as groceries, 25% will pay it into a savings account and 10% will use it to pay off debt.

Read the full blog post at the Guardian website

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