Family spend and children's takings on the decline

FIRST COMMUNION: THE AMOUNT parents here splashed out on First Communions this year fell by 25 per cent while the levels of …

FIRST COMMUNION:THE AMOUNT parents here splashed out on First Communions this year fell by 25 per cent while the levels of cash children made on their first big religious occasion has also taken a hit, according to a survey published yesterday.

The survey of 1,070 adults, by Milward Brown Lansdowne on behalf of Ulster Bank, found the average Irish family spent €744 on the big day out, down from the €1,000 spent in 2011.

The average amount collected by communicants – who numbered about 60,000 this year – fell from €468 in 2011 to €432 this year.

The survey also found the average family spent €179 on the Communion outfit and accessories, with €176 going on clothes for the rest of the family.

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A further €303 was spent on food and drink and the cost of entertainment was put at €86.

The survey shows that post-boom children are becoming increasingly careful with their cash.

The vast majority of the money collected was put aside for a rainy day.

All told, an average €325 of the children’s Communion money remains squirrelled away, which means an average of €107 was spent – mostly on video games, clothes and toys.

The least popular things for children to spend their money on were books and music, with just 12 per cent opting for this category.

The research shows that 80 per cent of parents used savings to cover the cost of the Communion. Ten per cent said they needed help from friends or family to pay for the event. A further 9 per cent said they borrowed Communion money.

The average loan to such families was €343.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast