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Four in five Britons suffer financial shock

19 June 2007
Financial planning is the key to financial health, yet the expenditures you can't plan for hit Britons hard, a study from Abbey has found.

Almost four in five people in the UK bore the brunt of a burden on their finances they hadn't anticipated last year, costing them an average of £1,375.

Consumers found themselves facing £48.7 billion in unexpected bills over the last 12 months, the survey revealed, on items ranging from home repairs to parking tickets.

Over a third of Britons paid to fix unexpected flaws in their home while 42 per cent of people paid for unexpected bills, taxes, or fees.

Moreover, more than a third of people admitted they had plundered their savings to cover the unanticipated expense.

Another 37 per cent of people used their credit card, while 13 per cent put their overdraft to task to cover the cost.

A better way to plan ahead for precisely these unanticipated but seemingly inescapable surprises could be "through building up a 'buffer savings fund' to help deal with these shock events", suggested Reza Attar-Zadeh, head of savings at Abbey.

Abbey recommends savers to put three months' salary at a minimum into their buffer account.

Find out more about the best savings accounts

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