Thursday, March 21 16:17:29
The days when little tikes were helicoptered to the church for their First Holy Communion may be gone, but the cost of the big day just keeps going up.
The average total cost of a First Holy Communion celebration now stands at E573 compared to E479 three years ago, according to research from EBS on Communion and Confirmation trends today.
The estimated total cost to parents of the First Holy Communion event appears to be increasing with the proportion spending more than E450 increasing from 46pc to 57pc.
At E408, the average cost of a Confirmation is over 25pc less than a Communion (E573).
On average, last year children receiving their First Holy Communion received gifts to the value of E323 and estimates for this year now stand at E455. The amount received by a child being confirmed was E376 last year, with estimates for this year at E342.
Two thirds of parents expect their children to save all or three-quarters of this gifted money while slightly fewer actually do this (55pc).
Six in ten adults believe that giving children money for their First Holy Communion or Confirmation is a good idea and an opinion that remained consistent from last year. Interestingly, those who think that saving gift money is a good idea are slightly more likely to be non parents and to be younger.
One in four adults in the country gifted a child money for their Communion within the past year. This is down from three in ten last year, with one in seven providing a gift to a child at Confirmation time (also a little lower than last year).
The average amount gifted to a child for a First Holy Communion and Confirmation hasn't altered significantly in the past year with the average person gifting around E30. Of those surveyed, 55pc gifted E20 or less to a child receiving their First Holy Communion and 46pc gifted E20 or less to a child making their Confirmation.
The large majority of parents (76pc) believe that the current economic climate will teach children to be more careful with their own money. They believe they should encourage their children to save, but that the different economic climate we are now facing will teach children to be more careful with their own money.
Head of Savings at EBS, Richard Kissane said: "First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies are an important milestone for children and their families. It is also a time for giving to children. In many cases it is the first time they are introduced to the responsibility of managing their own money. Is encouraging that the survey findings suggest young people are saving a large proportion of the money they receive."