MORE than 1m parents are so short of money this month they are prepared to raid their children's post-Christmas piggy banks, it is said.
A Yorkshire Bank survey showed that 44% of parents will face a financial struggle this month.
But their children are sitting on a festive windfall of £2.2bn - with each child on average getting £191.50 in Christmas cash.
The survey said that 12% of parents - 1.3m nationally - may have to borrow from their children to help them though to pay day.
About 300,000 will even take their children's toys back to the shop for a refund.
In addition, 20% of parents polled said they would cut out restaurant visits during January.
Also, 25% will not go to the pub or the cinema until February as they struggle to get their spending back on track.
Gary Lumby, head of retail banking for Yorkshire Bank, said: "January is possibly the hardest month of the year financially for most people.
"Many have to make their December salary last through Christmas and until the end of January."
But he added: "Raiding the children's money box must surely be the last resort, especially if parents struggle to pay back the full amount."
Mr Lumby said the survey also suggested that just one in four parents will encourage youngsters to put their Christmas cash into a savings account.