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Grandparents typically shell out £81 on each child at Christmas and many feel under pressure to find the best gifts

  • Grandparents typically have four grandchildren, so that tots up to £324
  • People fork out £2,697 for their grandchildren over the whole year
  • They babysit for 14 and a half hours a month, saving their children an estimated £1,500 a year

Grandparents typically have four grandchildren and spend an average of £81 on each at Christmas, new research shows.

That tots up to £324 for presents, out of the £2,697 people shell out annually for their grandchildren – although an overwhelming 94 per cent say they do not resent any expense on them.

One in three grandparents admit they feel under huge pressure to get the best possible presents for their grandchildren, according to the survey by over-50s insurance specialist Sunlife.

And although more than half love to watch grandchildren opening their Christmas gifts, some admit to disappointment.

One in 20 feel the children are ungrateful for what they are given and one in ten that they never seem to get presents right.

Sunlife surveyed some 2,000 grandparents across the UK, and found Glaswegians spend £139 per grandchild at Christmas, while Bristolians spend £60.

It was unclear whether those responding were estimating what they spent on grandchildren individually, or on a shared basis as a couple.

But the firm, which surveyed grandparents aged from their 40s to over 75, did discover they planned to spend £95 on average on a gift for their partner.

Sunlife also found grandparents babysit for 14 and a half hours a month, saving families an estimated £1,500 a year in childcare.

When it came to other expenditure during the rest of the year, the research found grandparents fork out £452 on food and drink, £361 on entertainment like outings, £532 on cash gifts and contributions to savings accounts, £386 on clothes, £514 on educational extras like music lessons, and £128 on travel costs.

However, 98 per cent said they appreciated the time they spent with the children, and two thirds that they loved this involvement in their lives.

Some 49 per cent felt that modern life meant grandparents had to play a big role in their grandchildren’s lives, and 65 per cent said that they were essential.

One in 10 admitted to having family rows about the amount of effort they go to, and 16 per cent that childcare was more work than they had expected.