We’d all be millionaires if we didn’t have bills to pay

The average Brit would be worth £1.2 million more over a lifetime if they didn’t have bills to pay, a new study has revealed.

On average families shell out an eye-watering £19,187.37 every year on mortgages or rent, insurance, gas and electric. That means over the course of the average adult lifetime of 60.3 years, they will pay out a staggering £1,156,938.41 in direct debits or written cheques.

The biggest chunk of that goes on bills – amounting to around £520.22 a month – or £6242.64 a year and £376,431.19 in total. The huge cost of living means the average person has just £220.57 left after bills have been paid to use for their own enjoyment.

However despite their huge monthly outgoings, a quarter of people admit they have at least one direct debit which they haven’t got around to cancelling, and a further one in five have put off switching gas or electricity companies.

David Winter, head of online electricity company Powershop UK which conducted the study of 2,000 adults, said: “The figures revealed in this study are astonishing, it is no wonder Brits fine it hard to stay on top of all of their bills.

“Having more control over payments and breaking that cycle of apathy like cancelling unnecessary direct debits and switching energy suppliers could free up some additional disposable income to do some of the things we actually enjoy rather than paying bills.”

Mortgages or rent set people back £4,620.68 annually, while the average Council tax bill amounts to £1,038.20. Car insurance will cost an average of £750.96 a year, or £5,282.89 over 60.3 years, while motorists will spend a total of £7,506.75 on taxing their vehicle.

Collectively, gas, water and electricity bills come to around £1288 every year, and more than £77,000 over the average adult’s lifetime. While using the mobile phone or landline will cost a further £456.72, which equates to £27,540.21.

Using the internet is another spend of £224.52 each year, while the luxury of Sky or cable is another £296.76. Other insurances, such as buildings and contents, add another £229.92 to the huge annual expenditure.

Unfortunately, more than four in 10 people regularly struggle to pay their bills – as such fifteen per cent of people have been known to cover bills with their overdraft, while 17 per cent will put them on the credit card.

A further 12 per cent have borrowed money from family or friends to cover unwanted bills and one in 20 have even taken out a loan. But savvy shoppers are trying to reduce their bills – with 85 per cent trying to shop around for the best deals.

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