Most common household problems that can put you in the red

Household repairs and replacements happen when you least expect it—and usually when it’s been a particularly tight month money wise, life does enjoy testing us sometimes. When these occur, we may find ourselves slipping into our overdraft or taking out a new credit card to foot the bill. So what common household problems should you always have a contingency plan for and which ones can cause your account to move from the black into the red?

Damp in your home

In older properties, damp can become a problem as it seeps in through cracks in the brickwork or gaps in the window frames, causing mould to grow in corners and on textiles and leading to health issues such as asthma and eczema if left untreated.

Keeping damp under control can cost a little money; a dehumidifier may set you back around £100 but can keep the issue at bay for a small amount of time. However, if the damp is not a condensation issue but is caused by water penetrating the external brick or has risen through flooring, more expensive measures may be required, such as repointing or sealing walls, or the use of industrial dehumidifiers.


Boiler breakdown

According to research by EDF Energy, a quarter of Brits have had to deal with boiler breakdowns between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, a notoriously expensive time of year that could cause serious debt for those without a savings safety blanket. A broken boiler could easily tip the balance, pushing you into debt after call-out fees and the expense of having it replaced mount up.

Washing machine packing up

Washing machines are essential white goods in any home, so if yours decides to give up then it needs replacing instantly. Buying a budget machine is a risk—it could easily break again—so many of us have had to take on extra credit to fund this necessary expense, which could perhaps be the tipping point when it comes to serious debt issues.


A leaky pipe or one that bursts can cause irreparable damage to your ceiling or flooring and your belongings. If your home insurance does not cover the costs of having this fixed you could find yourself taking on credit to pay for repair bills. Fixing the leak itself isn’t a costly job, it’s the damage the water has caused that could set you back.


Pest problems

Rats, fleas, dust mites—all of these pests can quickly set up shop in your home, through no fault of your own, and the price of eradicating them can be costly. Treatment for the most common problems can cost from £75 to £205, depending on the size of your home.

If you suddenly discover dust mites are crawling over everything due to a high level of damp in your home or rats are eating their way into the kitchen through the floor, hiring out pest control can see you requiring credit for the job to be done correctly, which could cause debt problems later down the line if you are unable to make repayments.

If you have experienced one of these common household problems and have found yourself in the red, it’s a good idea to seek out expert financial advice about your next steps. A debt management service such as PayPlan can discuss the benefits of solutions such as IVAs and debt management plans that could help you move back into the black.

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