How Can First Communions Teach Kids About Money?
Financial planning is an important life skill; which many parents will understand all too well .... according to a recent survey conducted by Ulster Bank; parents spend an average of €845 for their child's First Communion; a 1% rise on the amount spent in 2016. Results also show that 92% of parents financed the day through their own savings, an increase of 5% on last year.
Over the years, First Communions have developed from being a simple right of passage, to a larger celebration (and big business,) often involving huge financial commitment for parents, and wellwishers. In fact, children received an average of €570 in gifts on the occasion of their First Communion this year, and almost one in four children (23%) received more than €800.
Intriguingly, boys were more likely to receive a larger amount of money: The average received by boys was €591 this year, compared to €550 for girls. Furthermore, the amount of money received by boys increased by 11% this year, while the amount received by girls decreased by 2.3%.
But how much do our kids understand about money, and how to manage it?
The First Communion is one of those central moments for children. But as they admire the money and gifts they have received (possibly holding money that belongs solely to them for the first time,) this can be an excellent opportunity to open their first bank account if they don't already hold one, and to educate them about the value of money.
This year, 85% of parents reported that at least some of the money received, will be put into a savings account in the child’s own name: And for over one in four of these children, it will be their first ever account.But what did they spend money on? The most common purchases with Communion money are toys (42%) and clothes (31%), while books made up 14% of spending, and sweets made up 3%.
The full breakdown of purchases with Communion money is as follows:
- Toys: 42% (+2% on 2016)
- Clothes: 31% (-12% on 2016)
- Sports equipment: 16% (-12% on 2016)
- Computer games: 15% (-19% on 2016)
- Books: 14% (-2% on 2016)
- Music/DVDs: 6% (+2% on 2016)
- Mobile phone credit: 5% (-2% on 2016)
- Tablet: 3% (-5% on 2016)
- Sweets: 3% (N/A in 2016)
- Other: 14% (-2% on 2016)
By using this opportunity to help children to understand the value of money; it can encourage a healthy relationship with spending, and better appreciation of the things they (and you) buy.
As Chris Wilson, Managing Director of Retail Banking at Ulster Bank explains: “Children pick up financial habits from a really young age, so we’re delighted to see that 85% of children making their Communion this year will put some of their money into a savings account ... Financial planning is an important life skill."
Read Next: 6 Tips For Teaching Kids About Money
To help support this education, Ulster Bank has products tailored to children; making saving accessible to young minds. Ulster Bank also have a great 'MoneySense' programme available online, and in schools across the country; helping parents and teachers to make savings and spending more relatable to children. Using games, quizzes, videos and vox pops; it uses key money moments (such as starting to save pocket money, or opening your first account) to make learning about money fun, and relevant.
And if your child is one of the 13% who received more than €1,000; they could certainly do with the guidance!