NI families spent less on First Holy Communion this year than in 2014


On average, NI families spent £502 on First Holy Communion, Ulster Bank survey reveals

When it came to First Holy Communion this year, the amount parents spent and the amount their children received in gifts were both down on 2014, according to research released today by Ulster Bank.

On average, families with children making their First Holy Communion in Northern Ireland this year spent £502 on things like the child’s outfit, celebrations, and outfits for other family members, compared to £543 in 2014, and £587 in 2012.


There was a big variation between spending by parents of sons and daughters, with the average spent on a girl’s First Holy Communion being £562 and the average on a boy’s being £446.

Children making their First Holy Communion, on average, received £283 in gifts this year, compared to £293 in 2014.


Stephen Cruise, Head of branch banking, private and specialist financial advice NI, Ulster Bank said: “Encouragingly, on average only 17% of the money that young people have received for their First Holy Communion has been spent to date, indicating that they are perhaps being careful with their money. Indeed, First Holy Communion usually presents children with an opportunity to save or spend a significant amount of money for the first time, and is therefore an opportunity for parents to instil the importance of saving from an early age and to start to equip children with the skills to deal with financial decisions. At Ulster Bank our urfirst savings account* is available for 0-17 year olds, it pays 0.50% Gross/AER (variable) and can be opened with just £5.”


In terms of spending, Ulster Bank’s survey reveals that families’ average breakdown of spending on their child’s big day was:

  • The party, celebration, food & drink: £293
  • Child’s outfit for the day: £134
  • Outfit for other family members: £156
  • Make-up/fake tan/hairstyle: £49
  • Children’s entertainment: £83

96% of parents said that they paid for their child’s First Holy Communion outlay with their own savings, with just 2% saying that they took out a loan. Others received help from friends and family.


In terms of the money received in gifts, the most popular items bought with this to date included:

  • Toys (45%)
  • Music/DVDs (17%)
  • Clothes (15%)
  • Sports equipment (15%)
  • Computer games (9%)
  • Books (6%)


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