Thinking about Communion costs

March 20, 2015

Preparing for a First Holy Communion is an exciting time but with so many things to consider, the costs can add up quickly. To keep track of your spending:

Start with a budget

  • First step is to work out how much you can afford to spend. Work out a realistic budget and keep track of all your spending in the lead up to the day to make sure you don’t overspend. Make a list of everything that you have to buy such as the outfit, accessories and shoes. Then decide how much you are going to spend on each item and stick to it.
  • If you are using your credit card to pay for some of the costs, have a plan as to how you will repay the money. You can check out our credit card Money Tool – the interest on credit card purchases currently ranges from 13.6% to 22.7%, so it really pays to know how much interest you are paying. You can also use our clearing your credit card ready reckoner to see how long it will take you to pay off the balance on your current card, compared to switching the debt to another card, based on your current repayments or repaying a higher amount if you can afford to.
  • Remember, if you do need to borrow money, different lenders charge different interest rates. For example, rates of moneylenders’ loans are typically higher than a bank or credit union. Never borrow from an illegal moneylender and make sure any moneylender you deal with is licensed by the Central Bank of Ireland. If you’re not sure, look up the Central Bank’s Register of Moneylenders.
  • Start saving – it’s never too late. Even if you have not started saving for a First Communion this year, it’s not too late to start putting even a small amount of money aside. And if you have one coming up next year, now is a perfect time to start planning how much you could save every month.
  • Try to avoid borrowing money or using your credit card for any of the expenses, if you can. Remember, you will have other expenses such as back to school costs that you will also need to budget for later in the year, so try not to get into debt for just one day.

Planning your day

  • Check to see if a family member or friend who is celebrating on the same day would be interested in sharing the cost of a party or event with you. If money is tight consider something simple – maybe a nice picnic in one of our many public parks or woodland areas. Another option might be to ask your child what they might like to do with just the immediate family – maybe a trip to the Zoo.
  • On booking a venue, remember if you pay a deposit for something and the shop or seller goes out of business, it may be very difficult to get the goods or your money back. It’s a good idea to research the company online to make sure it’s reputable before you hand over any money. If you need to pay a deposit, only pay a small amount if possible and use your debit or credit card rather than paying cash. This may allow you to request a chargeback on your card if the company goes out of business
  • Most deposits are usually non-refundable so if you pay a deposit and then change your mind about the product or service, the supplier does not have to return your deposit.
  • Maybe you have decided to hold a party at home. If you are cohosting the event with other families whose children are also having a Communion agree to bring something to the party like a starter, main or dessert option. Agreeing in advance what people bring will help share the cost and the work.
  • Use the money savings tips to help you save on your grocery shop. Being organised will save you money.
  • Now is a good time to watch out for deals, whether it is for food, drink, clothes or restaurants.
  • If you are looking to buy a communion outfit, keep an eye out on second-hand clothes shops/charity shops, buy and sell websites and social media groups. Some supermarket chains may also start stocking good value communion outfits in the coming weeks.
  • Offer your friends, family, neighbours an outfit or accessories that you might have used for your child’s communion if they are in good condition.
  • Now is the perfect time to teach your child about money and the importance of saving. A good starting point is to get your child to open a savings account with their communion money. Banks, credit unions and the Post Office offer kids’ savings accounts. Encourage your child to put a little aside regularly by setting them a goal to save for.
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