Research has shown that children in Waterford and across Munster receive most First Holy Communion money, compared with the rest of the country. On average the figure for Waterford is €436.

The research, conducted for EBS Building Society, also offers an insight into how parents feel their children are being impacted by the recession.

It is estimated that up to 60,000 children will make their First Communion in Ireland this year, most of them this month and the tradition of giving a child a cash gift shows no sign of abating. With that in mind, EBS also asked a number of questions as to what people felt was an appropriate amount to give, and explored the likely savings habits of the recipients.

Of the money received by children across Munster, 8% said they would spend all of it and a further 42% said they would probably spend most of it. On the other hand, 5% said they would save all of their money and a further 45% would save most of it, thus equally splitting the children into two groups of savers and spenders.

EBS commissioned the survey to coincide with International Family Day this Friday and the findings showed that 8 in 10 parents believe the economic climate will impact negatively on their families.

Six out of 10 said they would not be able to afford “important things” for their children, although a similar number are of the belief that the recession is good for young people as it will help them towards a better understanding of the important things in life. In line with that view, 56 pc of parents agreed the economic downturn would ensure children became more careful with their money.