Average cost of First Holy Communion up 8% to €900
Benefit to children for the first time now over €600, with girls getting more than boys
Children have spent an average of 28% of their Communion money, compared with 39% this time last year. Photograph: Getty Images
The average cost of an Irish First Communion climbed 8 per cent to more than €900 this year, reaching a level not seen in almost a decade.
However, the cost to parents is not the only thing climbing, and the financial benefit to children for the first time is now more than €600, with one in four seven- and eight-year-olds receiving more than €800 from friends and family.
According to a spending survey published by Ulster Bank on Monday, the average cost of a Communion this year was €929.
The amount parents appeared willing to spend on clothes for their children jumped 35 per cent, from €162 to €218 year on year, while spending on outfits for other family members was up 27 per cent, from €153 to €195.
The outlay on party food and drink was up by a more modest 2 per cent from €349 to €357 while the cost of make-up and hair for girls also increased marginally from €35 to €41.
By contrast, parents spent less on children’s entertainment this year than last, with that figure falling 26 per cent from €161 to €119.
On the other side of the ledger, the average sum of money taken in by children making their Communion this year was put at €617, a 10 per cent increase on the €558 children got last year. Of the cohort who made their Communion, 23 per cent were given more than €800.
On average, girls received more than boys, at €646, compared with €587. However, both genders saw a marked increase on 2018’s figures, up €69 and €46 respectively.
Parents are concerned about the scale of the cash gifts, with 62 per cent expressing the view that their child received too much money.
Nine out of 10 respondents said they spoke to their children about the money and how they might spend it, either in the run-up to Communion day or shortly afterwards.
The survey suggests that 81 per cent of parents polled said at least some of the money would be put into a savings account.
It also indicates that children have spent less of their Communion money compared with 2018, with the average spend to date put at 28 per cent of the total, compared with 39 per cent this time last year.
Toys are the most likely purchases, followed by clothes, computer games and books, which suggests that spending habits have changed little from generation to generation.