Unexpected payments will cost Brits more than £175 BILLION, according to a new study.
Research of 2,000 adults found that over the course of a lifetime, they will shell out £3,146 each on unanticipated bills.
And on average, their most recent unexpected bill or payment set them back £485.
The research was carried out by leading online lender MYJAR, whose spokesman said: “We’ve seen studies carried out in the past about how much money people have in their bank accounts, and how much they’ve set aside for rainy days or emergencies.
“However, our research has revealed how much these emergencies will actually cost over a lifetime – and the figure is incredibly high.
“For many, there’s a very real fear of being landed with unexpected bills or payments, as many households budget their regular financial commitments very well, but don’t have a financial buffer to cover anything out-of-the-blue.”
Half of respondents said they are anxious about the possibility of receiving an unforeseen expense, with one in 10 rating themselves “extremely” worried.
Many of the top 30 most common unexpected payments are for absolute necessities. The most common unexpected payment in the country, according to the study, is a washing machine or dishwasher breaking down, followed by being landed with a parking ticket.
A computer packing-up, damage to a car and boilers breaking also appeared on the list of most common out-of-the-blue bills.
And more than a quarter of British consumers have had to pay out for unanticipated overdraft fees or a pet getting injured or becoming unwell.
One respondent said that on one occasion, they needed to quickly fund the purchase of a mini-digger they unexpectedly won on an eBay bid.
And another needed cash to pay for an emergency course of hypnotherapy to deal with a troubling case of OCD.
On average, respondents think that they encounter three unexpected payments per year, and six in 10 reported that money they’d had to use to cover them had already been earmarked for something else.
And 25 per cent said that if an unexpected bill of up to £500 came in, they would struggle to pay it.
To dig themselves out of an unexpected financial hole, Brits are most likely to dip into savings, borrow from family members or sell something of value.
And sometimes, we’re in the position of lending, rather than borrowing. Respondents reckon that in total, they’ve lent £1,800 to friends and family, with 50 per cent saying they’ve been asked in the past.
Four in 10 respondents also admit that an unexpected bill or payment has left them struggling to pay for other necessities like medical care, electricity and gas.
MYJAR’s spokesman said: “Here at MYJAR, we are proud to be an award-winning responsible lender.
“Many people have very few options open to them – Nearly 30% of respondents would have no option other than to borrow from friends, however not everyone has a friend or family member with hundreds of pounds in disposable income.”
“We lend flexibly up to £3,600 over loan durations between 3 and 12 months. With a 9.3/10 score on Trustpilot, it’s clear our service is appreciated by thousands of customers in the UK.”
THE TOP 30 MOST COMMON UNEXPECTED PAYMENTS
1. Washing machine/dishwasher dying
2. Parking ticket
3. Computer packing up
4. Boiler packing up
5. Damaged car
6. Dental surgery
7. Overdraft fees
8. Pet getting injured/unwell
9. TV breaking
10. Speeding ticket
11. Fridge breaking
12. Leak in bathroom
13. Accidentally signing a subscription and not cancelling before renewal
14. Leak in the roof
15. Having to pay for your kids to go on a school trip
16. Having to buy a new car because yours is past it
17. Phone screen smashed
18. Smashed window
19. An unexpected tax bill
20. Having to buy clothes for the kids out of the blue (because they’ve grown or ruined clothing)
21. Huge phone bill (landline)
22. Needing to buy a suit for a special occasion
23. Property stolen
24. Mobile phone bill after a trip abroad
25. Emergency anniversary/birthday/valentines gift after forgetting the date
26. Having to travel long distance out of the blue
27. Luggage too heavy at airport
28. Paying for medical procedures
29. Needing to buy school equipment for your kids (e.g.: a laptop or iPad)
30. Dropping mobile phone in the toilet