Children still cashing in on Communion despite slump
FIRST Communions remain a 'nice little earner' for children, with relatives and neighbours continuing to shower children with money despite the recession.
Children making their Communion are receiving an average of almost €500 in gifts of money, a survey commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions shows.
And when it comes to those making their Confirmation, the average amount of money received is €455.
The amount of money given to children to mark the two ceremonies is largely unchanged from before the economy went into recession, money experts said.
The survey was conducted by iReach for the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).
Most parents encourage their children to save the money they get for their Communion and Confirmation, with credit unions emerging as the most popular place for this money to be saved.
Parents said that clothes are the biggest cost associated with Communions, while food and drink is the big expense for Confirmations.
The research found that most parents are using their income to finance celebrations to mark the ceremonies.
But one in five have to resort to using a credit card to fund the day.
And one in eight families were so cash-strapped that they were forced to finance at least part of the expense of a Communion day from moneylenders.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that parents said it was important for children to be educated about money.
However, just four out of 10 parents said they received an education about money when they were young.
More than half of parents give their children pocket money.
Those between the ages of five and eight get an average of €6.
For teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18, the average amount of pocket money is €15.
Most of the money is spent, with just less than a third of children who get pocket money save most of the money.
ILCU chief executive Kieron Brennan said the survey was undertaken to stress the importance of savings for parents and their children.
"A healthy attitude to money is crucial to ensure that children don't develop bad habits when it comes to money management. Studies have shown that the development of a savings habit at a young age results in that healthy attitude to money staying with the person through to adult life."
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said it was important to teach children to make smart purchases and teach them why they can't immediately get everything they want.