There’s still money to be made in Ireland – if you’re making your first Holy Communion that is.
But parents are struggling to pay for the big day with many resorting to credit cards to finance the festivities.

A survey for the Irish Credit Union movement has discovered that kids are earning an average of $750 on their white dress day.

Despite the recession, family, friends and neighbors continue to shower money on children on the landmark Catholic date.

Those making their Confirmation in Ireland can expect an average of $650 according to the report commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

The figures for both Communion and Confirmation payments are largely unchanged from the height of the Celtic Tiger boom.

Parents may struggle to finance the big day but they are encouraging their kids to save the money collected, mostly in the Credit Unions present in every Irish parish.

Clothes account for the biggest outlay on Communion day with food and drink the biggest expense for those families hosting confirmations.

One in five families are using credit card facilities to pay for Communions with one in eight households forced to borrow from moneylenders.

Irish parents believe it is important to educate their children about money in the current economic climate but just one in four said they received any such advice when they were younger.

More than half of those questioned give their kids pocket money – at an average of $10 for those between five and eight years of age rising to $20 for teenagers.

“A healthy attitude to money is crucial to ensure that children don’t develop bad habits when it comes to money management,” said Kieron Brennan of the Irish League of Credit Unions.

“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.”

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