But just how much of our take home pay is going on getting us into work and looking after our kids? Well, quite a bit, according to figures from the Campaign for Better Transport.
The research shows that families with two working parents and two children in nursery are spending more than a third (35%) of their monthly wages on rail fares and childcare.
However, for families living in London and the South East that average shoots up to 40%, compared to slightly more than a quarter for those outside the South East.
Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaign for Better Transport's public transport campaigner, said: "We now have both the highest rail fares in Europe and the highest childcare costs.
"With fares set to rise 28% over the next four years, these combined costs will become increasingly unbearable. For many families it means that work simply doesn't pay."
Campaign for Better Transport launched a national Fair Fares Now campaign earlier in the year. It calls on the Government to reverse its decision to raise fares 3% above inflation for the next three years and instead provide more affordable, straightforward tickets that provide good value for money and encourage people to choose the train.