£733M Wasted On Unwanted Christmas Gifts For Children

New research published today by online investment service Wealthify, has found that an estimated £733 million is wasted on unwanted gifts for children.


A Wasted Fortune

The average value of these ‘wasted’ gifts equates to £264.80 per child each Christmas, while around one in three parents (34%) say an average gift lasts one month or less. Only a fifth (19%) say an average present lasts longer than one year.


From Lounge to Landfill

Of those with unwanted gifts, less than a third (26%) recycle them and 11% say some are simply put in general waste. Typically, more than half (52%) of those whose children receive unwanted gifts donate them to charity, with a third (33%) regifting to friends or family, and 32% who keep some around the house.

The findings show that each child receives an average of twelve presents every Christmas, with more than a quarter (26%) having between six and ten. Many parents who think their children receive too many presents stated that they consider the amount of presents their children receives as overindulgent (28%).


Missed Opportunity

The independent research, conducted for Wealthify amongst 1,000 UK adults with children under 18, found that over a third (37%) of parents would rather save for their child’s future than buy them gifts for Christmas. And it’s not just parents – 39% of grandparents, 12% of Godparents and even 13% of family friends choose to give money.

Despite this, parents are reluctant to ask family or friends to give money towards their children’s future as an alternative to gifts, with two in five (40%) saying that their friends and family do not give money as a gift.

But the missed opportunity could be huge. Based on the average amount spent on gifts per child each year, Wealthify has calculated:

  • If £264 was invested every year in a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA after 18 years it could be worth £6,5892
  • If even half the amount spent on unwanted gifts (£132) was invested in a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA, after 18 years, it could be worth £3,294



Wealthify Launches JISA Friends and Family Feature

Just in time for Christmas, Wealthify has launched a ‘Friends and Family’ feature for its Junior ISA, which allows parents to invite a wider circle of people to contribute to a child’s savings. This will provide a meaningful and eco-friendly alternative to present buying, with a gift that will keep on giving until the child turns 18. What’s more, friends and family are able to add heartfelt messages that the child will see when they access the account on their 18th birthday.

It is hoped the new feature will help encourage a more open dialogue between families and friends about the opportunities for them to help build a child’s future via an alternative, sustainable gifting option that also helps reduce waste from unwanted toys.


Andy Russell, CEO, Wealthify said: “Christmas is a time for giving. But with our research revealing just how many presents go to waste every year, it’s obvious that some of us will be looking for an ethical alternative to present buying.

“Investing in a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA means you can help a child to achieve their dreams –  much more meaningful than a toy that will be tossed aside after a month of use.

“At Wealthify, our aim is to inspire anyone, regardless of their background, age or experience, to build their wealth and the future they want. Our new Friends and Family feature on our multi-award-winning Junior ISA is a hassle-free way to invite friends and family to contribute and a means of opening up conversations about money with your loved ones, which will benefit everyone. Sharing the load has never been so simple. Just think of it as a gift towards your child’s future, not just for Christmas!