Times are hard for many people right now, and it can be hard to put cash aside for a rainy day.
But housing experts agree that sensible homeowners should budget 1% of the value of their property every year to pay for maintenance and property repair.
See also: Ten home maintenance myths
And with the average house price in the UK being £215,847, that means we should have a home improvement and repair account to the tune of £2,158.47 per year.
However, a survey from rubber roofing specialists Rubber4Roofs has revealed that Brits aren't putting aside anywhere near enough.
On average, we're budgeting £1,438.98: a shortfall of £719. And it means that a fifth of us are forced to turn to a credit card when repairs are needed.
Some regions are doing even worse - particularly Greater London, with an average budget shortfall of £3,288. Close behind is the south-east of England, with a gap of £1,947.
The money-savviest region, in contrast, is the North East.
"It looks like Brits might have to start putting a little bit more away each month to ensure they're covered for unforeseen repairs," says Tom Cullingford, owner ofRubber4Roofs.
It's for just this reason, says the firm, that more than half of home buyers prefer the security of a new build.
As for the repairs that give us the most grief, roofing tops the list, with over a quarter of people aware that it's usually a substantial cost.
This was closely followed by plumbing issues, with fixing foundations and removing mould also causing concern.
However, most people don't worry too much about electrical issues, and almost none worry about drain pipe repair.
It's worth keeping on top of repairs, though, says Adam Joseph, chief executive of The Happy Tenant Company.
"It is a false economy to leave a dripping tap or a loose roof tile. Six months later, these things can turn into much larger problems at much greater cost to repair," he says.