Money, food, childcare and activities are serious anxieties for low-income working families, MPs have been told.
Four mothers came to Westminster on Wednesday to tell a panel of MPs about their struggles to make ends meet over the long summer holidays.
They said holidays, even days out, were out of the question on a tight budget.
"Your mind is constantly thinking about money - money for the children, money for this, money for that," one of the four, Karen, told the MPs.
"You have to manage your money.
"Some weeks are worse than others.
"You've got bills coming out and other things and you are literally looking to see if you've got to add more money to a food bill.
"So, it becomes quite stressful, very stressful."
Dawn said: "In the holidays, you're spending more because your child's not in school and you're entitled to the school meals, so you're doing a bigger shop.
"And children need activities - you're spending more that way."