Unexpected bills add up to billions of poundsUnforeseen expenses include home repairs and gifts

19 June 2007

UK consumers were hit by almost £50 billion of unexpected bills over the last year, research indicated today.

A report by financial services provider Abbey found that four in five Britons had to fork out for an unforeseen expense not budgeted for, such as a repair to the home or a wedding gift.

The average cost to individuals was £1,375, with a combined spend of £48.7 billion overall.

Home repairs topped the list of unexpected expenditure, with 36 per cent of households spending an average £1,206 each over the past year.

Forgotten birthdays

Forgotten birthdays and weddings cost the nation £4.3 billion a year, with parking tickets adding to the annual spend by £298.2 million, research suggested.

Reza Attar-Zadeh, head of savings at Abbey, said: 'You never know what life is going to throw at you.

'However, you can prepare for the unexpected through building up a 'buffer savings fund' to help deal with these shock events.'

More than 1,000, UK adults were included in the survey.

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