A staggering 1.3 million parents are so short of money this January that they are prepared to raid their children's bulging post-Christmas piggy banks just to get them through the month.
New Yorkshire Bank research has found that nearly one in two (44%) parents in the UK say they will find January a serious financial struggle. However, their children are sitting pretty on a cumulative festive windfall of £2.2 billion*.
With each child receiving, on average, £191.50 in Christmas booty, their cash can often provide a quick fix for short-of-money parents. One in eight (12%) parents - equivalent to 1.3 million nationwide - admit they may have to borrow money from their children this January in an effort to see them through to pay day. Around 300,000 will even take some of their children's toys back to the shop just to get some extra money.
Parents are finding others solutions to January's financial hardship. One in five (20%) are planning to cut out restaurant visits and one in four (25%) will not go to the pub or cinema until February.
Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank's head of retail, said: "January is possibly the hardest month of the year financially for most Brits. Many have to make their December salary last through Christmas and until the end of January.
"Cutting out pub visits or meals out to save money may be alright for some as they may coincide with a New Year diet! Raiding the children's money box must surely be the last resort though, especially if the parents struggle despite their best intentions to pay back the full amount.
"Our advice to parents is to invest the Christmas money given to your children into one of our savings accounts or our market leading five year Child's Savings Bond. This will ensure that their money grows as they do and also reduces the temptations to borrow your kids' cash."
According to Yorkshire Bank's research, just one in four (27%) parents will encourage their children to save the money they received at Christmas.
Gary Lumby said: "It's good to see that at least some parents are encouraging their children to save money. Worryingly, though, they seem to be a minority. Three in every four could be spending the money they've received on toys that are here today, gone tomorrow."
In fact Yorkshire Bank found that one in three (35%) parents think their children will have stopped playing with toys bought with Christmas cash by mid-January.
Gary Lumby added: "The sooner children start saving the better. Hopefully by learning to put money aside now, kids won't have to raid their own children's piggy bank just to survive the January financial struggle when they are older."