So, last week our dishwasher packed up. The next day, our minibus failed its MOT. It’s Sod’s Law – two big unwanted expenses, just at the time we’re saving up for an Easter family holiday. But if there’s one consolation in all this, at least I know I’m not alone. New research from Barclays has found that the average Brit spends £760 on unexpected costs, with families being affected too.
From an average £94 buying birthday presents for the kids’ friends, to £126 to cover a school trip and £104 on school uniform additions, the cost of Sod’s Law adds up quickly!
More generally, the Barclays study found that the priciest unexpected bill was a boiler repair – costing the nation a collective £2.6 billion to fix last year! Like mine, MOT repairs came pretty high up the list, costing an average £638 a year, and (as I know too well!), replacements for broken white goods at home cost an average £812.
It’s not all bad news though. Independent psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall and the Barclays Savings team have been working hard to come up with ways that you and I can stay one step ahead of Sod’s Law. Here are their top tips:
- Don’t be unprepared for the unexpected – put some savings aside in a flexible ISA, so you’re protected for when Sod’s Law strikes.
- Plan to save – put a small amount of money aside each month to create a buffer. This can be a basic, but essential way to protect you and your family.
- Look ahead – take some time to think about risk and possible future challenges. Being aware of potential problems helps take away the surprise element of Sod’s Law and puts you back in control.
What’s been your latest unexpected expense? It happens to everyone, so share your stories below or tweet @largerfamily. Together we’ll feel a bit better about it!