Parents spend an average of €845 on First Communion

Bank survey shows 1% rise in money spent on day, with make-up/hair for girls costing €41 per child

First Communion: an average of €185 was spent on the child’s outfit this year

First Communion: an average of €185 was spent on the child’s outfit this year


Parents spent an average of €845 on First Communions this year, up 1 per cent on 2016. As much as 92 per cent of the money came from parents’ savings, up 5 per cent on last year.

The figures are contained in the 2017 Ulster Bank Communion survey of 189 parents. The survey shows the average amount collected by children receiving their First Communion in 2017 was €570, compared with € 546 in 2016, a 4 per cent increase on last year.

Almost one in four children (23 per cent) received over €800 this year and 13 per cent received more than €1,000.

In general boys collected more than girls, an average of €591 compared to €550 for girls, up by 11 per cent for boys this year but a drop of 2.3 per cent for girls compared to last year. The great majority (85 per cent) of parents said that some of the money received would be put into a savings account in the child’s name.

Online survey

Of the € 845 spent on average by parents, €388 (up 5 per cent on 2016) was spent on celebrations; €185 (up 5 per cent on 2016) on the child’s outfit; €153 (down 27 per cent on 2016) on outfits for other family members; €78 (down 48 per cent on 2016) on entertainment for the children; and €41 (down 27 per cent on 2016) on make-up/ hair for girls.

The survey was carried out online among members of Empathy Research’s Ideas panel who are parents of children who made their First Holy Communion this year. Of 189 parents surveyed, there was a 51:49 ratio split between parents of girls and boys who had made their First Holy Communion. The survey fieldwork was carried out from May 15th to June 6th last.

Toys were the most common things bought by childen with their First Communion money, accounting for 42 per cent of their spending. Clothes, at 31 per cent, were next.

This year has seen a significant drop in children buying computer games (15 per cent) and sports equipment (16 per cent), down 19 per cent and 12 per cent respectively on 2016. Spending on books, at 14 per cent, was down 2 per cent on last year.

Spending on music/DVDs was up 2 per cent to 6 per cent; on phone credit was 5 per cent (down 2 per cent), on Tablets 3 per cent (down 5 per cent), sweets 3 per cent and “other” 14 per cent.