A guide on how much to spend on Christmas gifts per child

A guide on how much to spend on Christmas gifts per child

Christmas is less than 100 days away, so never has there been a better time to look at Christmas gifting and how much money to spend on your children this year.


What does the average family spend on Christmas gifts per child?

You might be shocked to discover that a 2022 study by Finder found that the average UK spends £420 on Christmas gifts. With parents of children aged 7-12 spending the most, at £472 per child and parents of children aged 0-6 spent the least, at £368 per child. This makes the average amount spent on Christmas gifts per child coming in at £420.




Factors to consider when deciding how much to spend on Christmas gifts

While we all want to be the best parent we can be, spending huge amounts on gifting doesn’t always equate to happier kids. So while there is no right answer on how much to spend here are a few things to think about before shopping for gifts.

  • Your financial situation. Family finances change all the time, especially in this current economic climate. This, in turn, has a knock-on effect on how much you can – and are willing to – spend on gifts per child.

  • Your family values. Some families have traditions that involve giving or receiving one gift per person or non-expensive Christmas gifts. This again influences how much you might spend per child.

  • How many children you have: Children are expensive, and many parents can't afford to spend hundreds per child.

  • Your child's age: Studies show families with older children may spend more on Christmas gifts than families with younger children, as older children are often more expensive to buy for.

  • Your child's interests: Families with children who have expensive interests, such as sports or hobbies, may spend more on Christmas gifts than families with children who have less costly interests.

How to choose how many presents to get your child at Christmas

As we all know, gifting looks different for each family. Some families go all out with expensive gifts; while others stick to a budget. What's important is to judge what's right for your family. Only you know how much to spend on gifts per child based on your family's unique circumstances.


Although the average spend across all age groups is £420 per child, never  feel guilty about not buying everything on your child's wishlist as one study found that too many gifts can have a negative impact on a child's creativity and concentration.


Here are a few tips for choosing how many presents to get your child:


  • Consider your child's age. Younger children may not be able to appreciate too many presents, while older children may be more interested in a few well-chosen gifts.

  • Think about your child's interests. What does your child like to do? What are they passionate about? Get them gifts that they will enjoy and appreciate.

  • Consider what you think will be useful/still played with three months down the line.

  • Follow the "rule of three." This means getting your child three presents: something they want, something they need, and something to read/play with.

  • Get your child involved. Ask them what they want or need for Christmas. This will help you avoid getting them gifts they don't want or need.

  • Do your research. Read reviews of products before you buy them. This will help you ensure you get high-quality gifts at the best price for your child.



How to stick to a Christmas budget?

As for sticking to a Christmas budget:


  1. Start planning early. The earlier you start planning for Christmas, the more time you have to save money and find the best deals.

  2. Set a budget per child for gifts and stick to it. Start by deciding how much money you can afford on Christmas, then work out your gift budget, being sure to first factor in your Christmas expenses, including food, decorations, and travel.

  3. Make a list of all the gifts you have to buy. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.

  4. Shop around for the best deals. Don't just buy the first gift you see. Compare prices at different stores and online to find the best deals.

  5. Consider buying second-hand gifts. Second-hand gifts can be a great way to save money, especially on electronics and toys.

  6. Ask for gift ideas within price brackets. If you're unsure what to buy your child, ask for gift ideas. This will help you avoid buying them something they don't want or need.

  7. Give experiences instead of gifts. Experiences can be more meaningful and memorable than material gifts. Consider giving your loved ones tickets to a concert or sporting event or a gift certificate for a massage or spa treatment.

  8. Beware of impulse purchases. Getting caught up in the holiday spirit and making impulse purchases is easy. Take a step back and consider whether you need something before buying it.

How can GoHenry help?

GoHenry's mission is to make every kid smart with money thanks to a range of great features that help kids safely and securely learn about money, from saving to smart spending. In-app Money Missions makes learning about money fun and engaging with videos and quizzes covering everything from the value of money to budgeting. Parents can support their kids through the GoHenry app by setting flexible parental controls and receiving real-time spending alerts whenever they use their GoHenry prepaid kids debit card.



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Written by Anita Naik Published Nov 9, 2023 ● 4 min. read