Why it’s time we stop buying useless gifts

Why it’s time we stop buying useless gifts

December 9, 2021

Brits spend millions of pounds on gifts for children at special occasions.
This Christmas the UK is expected to spend £12.44bn on gifts alone (a rise of 6% - equivalent to £0.71bn - compared to 2020 £11.73bn).
Out of all the Christmas gifting categories, UK consumers will spend the most on electronics (£2.7bn), toys (£2.34bn) and clothing and footwear (£2.06bn).

By looking at the ‘Average UK spend per head on Christmas gifts: 2019 & 2020 actuals & 2021 forecast’ conducted by Voucher Codes, it seems consumer electronics are what people will spend the most on (£50.92), followed by toys (£44.07), and clothing and footwear (£38.79).

But sadly 1 in 5 presents will end up in landfill, as shown in a research by Gift Card & Voucher association. 

As parents, we also see this firsthand – it’s true that we love seeing our kids’ happy faces when they receive new toys, but there comes a time when we look at the abundance of not-so-useful things they receive (and forget about immediately) and think that there has to be a smarter (and more sustainable) way to spend that money.

We have also heard this over and over again from our customers asking us if they can start a sustainable investment account for children who aren’t their own because they were either unsure of what to buy or tired of seeing their gifts in a pile of unwanted items. Not to mention the dreaded occasion when the child says “Oh I’ve got this already”. For her birthday in January, my daughter got the same music mat from her aunt and her granddad… luckily we realised before she did and we’ve still got one wrapped to give her next Christmas (she’s still young so hopefully won’t remember).

 That’s how Nosso Gifts, our new feature, was born.

We wanted to help those who would much rather invest in a child they love than jump into a shopping spree craze every birthday or holiday. 

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A financial contribution to the child’s pot would make sense from a logical standpoint but we also understand that giving gifts is an emotional thing. This is why the gifter can  leave messages and upload pictures to mark the occasion. These will be sent to the parent but also stored in a digital “time capsule” and given to the child, along with the money, when they turn 18.

And that’s not the only good thing about switching physical presents for smart gifts. Nosso offers thematic investments as part of a user's portfolio so not only are you doing the sustainable thing by not contributing to the 227,000 miles of wrapping paper thrown away each year, you’re also contributing to environmental preservation through themes like Clean Energy, Global Water and Healthcare Innovation.

We’ve said it before.. But this is also the gift that keeps on giving. Let’s say you spend around £100 spent on presents for nieces/nephews/ etc a year for gifts on their birthday as well as  Christmas, Easter etc.. If just 50% of that went into investments, that could grow to over £1,600 by their 18th birthday. This is calculated at 6% growth although with investments, your capital is at risk and may go up as well as down. Surely the first step on the road to financial freedom is a much better present than yet another Lego set. 

Got any children you love who you’d like to surprise with an investment gift? Check out Nosso Gifts and be the face of change by choosing a gift that keeps on giving. Do you wish others would do this for your kids but don’t want to ask directly? Sign up to Nosso and we’ll do the asking for you.


All writers' opinions are their own and should not be read as personal financial advice.  Individual investors should make their own decisions or seek independent advice. As with any investment, your capital is at risk and may be going up as well as down which means you may be left with less than your initial investment.