Nearly two-thirds of families with children need both parents to work just to make ends meet, research showed today.
Around 60 per cent of households with children are reliant on having two salaries in order to pay their bills, according to insurer Scottish Widows.
The figure is nearly twice the 36 per cent of families that do not have dependent children that are reliant on two salaries.
Families with children are also accruing increasing levels of debt as they struggle to make ends meet.
The average household with dependent children owes £8,653 in short-term debt, such as credit cards and loans, compared with £7,003 for households without children.
Families with children also typically have higher mortgages, with an average of £91,648 still outstanding on their home loan, £3,000 more than when the same research was carried out a year earlier.
By contrast, families without children had paid down their mortgage by around £4,000 during the previous 12 months, to leave them owing an average of £77,500.
Clive Allison, protection director at Scottish Widows, said: "The days of one parent going out to work while the other takes care of the family is just not an option for many people.
"More than half of families with dependent children now rely on two incomes to maintain a decent standard of living, and as our statistics show, this isn't likely to ease off any time soon.
"For many families, sacrificing half their income when they have children is a luxury they just can't afford."Reuse content