UK Adults to Spend Nearly £1 Million on Bills in Their Lifetime, with Tech Expenses Surpassing Utilities

A recent study has revealed that the average UK adult will spend close to £1 million on bills throughout their lifetime, with technology expenses now surpassing utility costs.

The research, conducted among 2,000 UK adults, found that individuals will personally spend a total of £926,720 on bills such as gas, electricity, water, phone services, and other expenses.

On average, individuals spend £508 annually on TV packages and streaming services, while £2,042 is allocated for insurance, including life, buildings, contents, car, mobile, and travel coverage.

Interestingly, Britons are now allocating more of their budget to tech-related bills, averaging £1,555 per year, compared to the £1,491 spent annually on utilities.

Nina Bibby, representative from O2, which commissioned the survey to mark the anniversary of its custom plans tariff, highlighted the potential for significant savings by shopping around for more flexible deals tailored to individual needs.

The study also revealed that 35 percent of respondents believe they are paying for services on their bills that they don’t actually use or make the most of. Examples include paying for a landline on a broadband package or for TV channels that are rarely watched.

Despite the substantial expenditure, 70 percent of respondents do not frequently compare prices or seek better deals on the services and contracts they pay for in order to save money.

Furthermore, a quarter of respondents admitted to believing they are overpaying by an average of £170 because they remain with the same providers or fail to explore better deals with their current suppliers.

Lack of motivation was identified as a hindrance, with one in four respondents stating that they simply can’t be bothered to shop around. Another 20 percent claimed they don’t have the time to seek better deals, and 32 percent believe that the potential savings wouldn’t be significant enough to justify the effort.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found that 25 percent of respondents have never changed mobile phone providers to explore better value for money, despite spending over £200 annually on mobile phone bills. Additionally, nearly a third never compare or consider alternative options for their mobile phone contracts, with 20 percent unsure about the details of their current plan.

However, almost half of the respondents stated they would be willing to switch service providers if the process were easy. Furthermore, 19 percent would switch if they knew they were getting a product customized to their needs, while 31 percent desired more data as part of a changed smartphone plan.

These findings coincide with a recent report by Which?, which revealed that customers could potentially be overpaying by more than £400 per year as operators continue to charge the full price of contracts even after the cost of the phone has been paid off.

To address this issue, O2 has introduced customizable plans that separate handset and airtime costs, ensuring that customers do not pay for a phone they already own.

Nina Bibby emphasized the flexibility and control offered by O2’s custom plans, allowing customers to determine upfront payments and spread the remaining device costs according to their budgets.

Breakdown of the average adult’s monthly bill spend:

  • Electric: £47.03
  • Gas: £42.28
  • Water: £34.94
  • Internet/broadband: £23.03
  • TV package such as Sky: £28.29
  • Mobile phone: £17.56
  • Landline: £15.38
  • TV streaming services: £14.03
  • Music streaming: £12.27
  • Council tax: £136.61
  • Mortgage/rent: £520.61
  • Credit cards: £163.57
  • Buildings insurance: £20.36
  • Car insurance: £27.47
  • Mobile insurance: £18.99
  • Contents insurance: £18.38
  • Travel insurance: £16.76
  • Pet insurance: £21.15
  • Life insurance: £23.01
  • Health insurance: £24.10

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