Some estimates place the average spend on your child’s communion at around €700 – that includes a new dress/suit, hair and beauty, parties, entertainment, gifts and photos. It’s an awful lot for just one day, which has become less about the religious aspect and more about the social, and many families are feeling the strain as they attempt to keep up with their friends and neighbours.
So how can you save money?
Develop a concrete budget. Ensuring you know how much you have to work with is half the battle. The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) has a great template to get you going. All you have to do is stick with it!
Shop around. As with any large purchase, compare prices both online and offline in your hunt for the best deals. Instead of forking out north of €150 on a dress your child will likely only wear once in their life, head down to Mr Price and pick up a communion dress for €39.99, communion bags for €6.99 and a head piece for €7.99.
Something borrowed. Why buy at all if you can borrow? Keep the cost down by asking friends or neighbours whose children went through the process last year if you can borrow their communion finery.
Band together. Instead of hiring out a venue or throwing a party solo, band together with one or more families to share the cost – one person could provide the food and drink, another the entertainment and so on.
Lessons learned. The kids are the big winners come communion time – raking in an average €600. Tempting as it might be to head to Smyths Toys for a spending spree, this is a great opportunity to teach them the value of saving and delayed gratification. AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS and Permanent TSB all offer children’s savings accounts.