All I want for Christmas... is the money

Britons are collectively set to receive more than £500m in cash and gift vouchers this Christmas.

Around 19 per cent expect to receive money as a present, getting around 61 each, meaning an estimated 587m will change hands this Christmas, according to internet bank First Direct.

Nearly two-thirds of people will receive cash, with 20 per cent getting a cheque, 9 per cent will be given a gift card or voucher and 7 per cent will have the money paid directly into their account. A further 2 per cent will receive a pre-paid card.

Four out of 10 said they would use the money to treat themselves to a luxury item, such as putting the cash towards a holiday or spending it on jewellery.

But 36 per cent said they would use it to pay for everyday items such as groceries, 25 per cent will pay it into a savings account and 10 per cent will use it to pay off debt.

Around 3 per cent of those questioned also said they would donate some of the money they received to charity.

The cash is likely to be gratefully received, as 35 per cent of people go overdrawn during December, while 24 per cent take money from a savings account to subsidise their spending during the month.