When it comes to family finances, mothers have a firm grip on the purse strings.

Eighty-four per cent say they make the biggest monetary decisions, while just 49 per cent of fathers have a role, a study shows.

A poll by retail analyst Mintel reveals that mums wield enormous power over decision-making - but 85 per cent put the needs of the family before themselves.

Some 86 per cent said they influence where to go on holiday, compared to 53 per cent of dads. And 71 per cent take the lead in buying major purchases such as phones, laptops and TVs compared to 59 per cent of men.

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The study also said almost half - 45 per cent - of mothers thought they were doing a better job at parenting than their friends and family. But just one per cent said their partner "does most of the parenting or household tasks."

Richard Cope of Mintel said: "Quite simply mums are queens of the household, not only taking the lead in parenting and household tasks, but as consumers and decision-makers.

"Mums - more than partners, more than children - are influencing every facet of modern consumer life.' Their role in deciding which technological items to buy is thought to result from the time they spend playing on devices with their children.

The research also shows how mothers are willing to turn to technology to help with family health or safety. More than one in ten said they would use a wearable device to chart their children's fitness - with three in ten using it to track their whereabouts.

- Daily Mail