A fifth of households said they have no emergency cash while another 12 per cent said they have less than £250 for a rainy day.
It is generally recommended to build up a minimum of three months take-home pay as a "salary cushion", typically £5,756.
Some 28 per cent of those who took part in the survey said they would be unable to cover rent or mortgage payments if they unexpectedly lost their income.
One in 10 said they would be forced to rely on a credit card, personal loan or an overdraft.
More top news
Turning cooler and more unsettled this week, as a low pressure system dominates our weather
ITV News Central has obtained exclusive footage of the moment a building collapsed in Nepal causing chaos in the streets surrounding it.
A Liberal Democrat election candidate has been suspended by the party over allegations that he falsified his council nomination papers.