Counting the cost of your child’s special day

Communion and Confirmation can be a stressful time financially for many families. Cork MABS Co-ordinator Margaret O’Neill shares some tips on how to budget for the day
Counting the cost of your child’s special day
Supermarkets like Aldi have introduced low-cost communion dresses in recent years.

SPRING is here, tulips and daffodils are ready to burst into flower, it’s a happy time of year.

Or are you too worried about your child’s big day to enjoy the season? Cork MABS can help take away your stress, so you can enjoy your child’s upcoming celebration.

Big day events such as First Communion and Confirmation are very important in your child’s life and important to you as their parent. The day itself is a day of joy and happiness, where friends and family come together to spend some time together and to celebrate. It’s an opportunity and special occasion that creates wonderful memories.

We all know that occasions such as Communions and Confirmations can turn into expensive events and as a result become a nightmare. The pressure of trying to make the day special for your family can result in a lot of stress.

Items like dresses, shoes and accessories for the girls, along with suits and accessories for the boys can make the day expensive and that’s before you dress the other members of the family!

Peer pressure even at this young age can also increase the cost of the day. Your child might want the same as their best friend. We all know children want to be like everyone else.

Below are some simple tips to make the experience an enjoyable one for you and your family and to avoid stress. Planning and thinking ahead can make all the difference.

10 Easy to follow Tips to a Stress Free Day:

1. Make a list early in the year of what you need to buy. Remember it’s not just the child making the sacrament you have to think about, but all members of the family.

2. Fill out a “budget sheet” – you can create your own or log on to the MABS website to download one. Put an estimated cost against each item. Do a walk about in the shops to compare prices.

3. Add up the total cost of what you need to buy and ask yourself — can I afford it? If not, then think again.

4. Check to see if there is any way you can reduce the costs or the items listed — you can revise your list until you have a figure you are comfortable with. Remember this is one of the most important decisions you will make. You know what you can afford — try to stick with that.

5. Avoid borrowing if at all possible — remember you will need to find the money to make the repayments.

6. Check out your local community notice boards — many families offer excellent outfits free of charge and are only too pleased to see them put to good use.

7. Check with the School Parents Association — they may have an “Open Evening” where communion/confirmation outfits are available either free of charge or at a very low cost.

8. Check shops for sales and reductions on items from your list. Significant savings can be made if you shop around. Freeing up much needed funds for other items.

9. Remember the high street stores can offer amazing value on the key items needed.

10. Entertainment for the big day — ask yourself are there ways you can reduce these costs. Do you really need to provide entertainment?

Check to see if the school is planning something following the ceremony.

How about having something at home instead of going out with a helpful hand from extended family to lighten the load?

Will a family member host the lunch and you could offer to return the favour when their time comes around.

Can you pool your resources with a family member or friend who is also celebrating on that day thereby halving the costs?

Remember, it is a special day, make sure you are left with lots of happy memories.

Cork MABS is located at 101 North Main Street.

Advisors are available free of charge Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm Tel: 0761 07 2090 MABS website:

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