Parents spending €750 on children's Communions
Parents spent a little less on first Holy Communions last month, but still managed to splash the cash for the big occasion.
The average amount spent was €750, down a little from the figure for last year. In 2014 the average spent on the big day was €764.
And the average amount of cash gifts received by children was €543, down almost €50 from the amount they got in the previous year, a survey commissioned by Ulster Bank shows.
Most of the spending for the May ceremony went on a party, with food and drink costing an average of €326. This was down slightly from the amount shelled out in the previous year, according to the research carried out for the bank by Empathy on 202 parents whose children made their Communions.
Outfits for family members came in at €192, while €172 was spent on the Communion dress, or a suit for a boy.
Bouncy castles, magicians and clowns were another big expense, with an average of close to €120 spent on different forms of children's entertainers.
And some children have already spent all of the money they received. The survey shows that 15pc have used the cash they got to buy toys, computer games or clothes.
Boys got an average of €512, but girls got more, with an average of €570. Girls also appear less likely to have spent a large portion of their Communion money at this point.
More than one-third of parents with girls cited that they had only spent a portion of their Communion money to date, while parents of boys said they had spent larger amounts.
Managing director of branch banking at Ulster Bank Jim Ryan said Holy Communions present many children with their first opportunity to learn the value of money and how best to manage it.
"While the total amount that children receive has dropped somewhat in comparison to last year, at an average of €543, this is a significant sum of money for any seven or eight-year-old to receive."
He told parents that it was an ideal time to introduce children to how to manage their money while still allowing them an opportunity for a treat.
Mr Ryan said the parents of children making their Holy Communion were leading by example on the savings front.
The survey found the majority chose to save in advance of the occasion, as opposed to taking out a loan for the day.