Avert your eyes if your kids are aged between nine and 13 years old.
According to a study of 5,000 parents, commissioned by comparethemarket.com, parents of children aged between nine and 13 face the most expensive Christmas. Those with kids in this age bracket can expect to shell out... wait for it... £929 on presents, food and drink and Christmas-related days out.
My eyes watered just typing that. But there's good news, too – the results show that festive spending doesn’t increase as the kids get older, with parents who have youngsters aged 14-18 looking at a bill of £927. Yes, that's two quid less. *Cries*
Those with children aged between 0–4 were the thriftiest, with an average spend of £760 overall, and the average spend by parents of children in the 5–8 age group was £870.
It’s not just toys which are becoming more expensive but the costs associated with these toys which parents aren’t taking into account, according to the pollsters.
The research, conducted via OnePoll.com, revealed British parents are underestimating the hidden costs of Christmas, with a new games console, sports equipment, or a mobile phone potentially costing parents hundreds of additional pounds every year.
Four in ten parents admitted they don’t consider the ongoing costs associated with gifts such as games consoles and mobile phones, forking out an average of £100 in additional costs since last Christmas.
But (unsurprisingly, some might say...) mums are better at budgeting for these hidden costs, with six in 10 saying they accounted for extra money they might need.
And the majority of parents agree it is the number of electronic gift options that are the cause of a costly Christmas.
Half of parents put expense down to more choice, with one in five blaming it on increased competition with other mums and dads.
And one third attribute it to increased competition amongst children.
Shakila Hashmi, Head of Money at comparethemarket.com, said:
“Parents are under no illusion at the growing cost of Christmas, but it would seem the hidden costs of gifts for their children are still catching some out. Positively, a number of parents are taking the necessary steps to prepare themselves for the ongoing costs some presents create. However, it’s worrying that a significant number are still failing to do so, meaning that they are often faced with surprising bills as a result. I would encourage all parents to think ahead to ensure that they are not caught out in the long run and - more broadly – to think of other ways in which they can keep Christmas costs down, such as shopping around earlier in the season, or looking online to ensure that they get the best deals. Not only will this lighten the financial load, but it should also allow parents to enjoy their family Christmas more as a result!”
Speaking of which, don't forget to bookmark our Black Friday page so you can snap up some Christmas gifts at a fraction of the normal price!
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. Do you spend more or less on the kids at Christmas than the figures cited in this research?