A new survey suggests a third of middle-class families would need to borrow to pay an unexpected bill of £500.

The YouGov poll for the Times found 31{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} of ABC1 workers, including junior managers and professionals, would find it difficult to pay a sum of that size.

The figure rises to 46{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} for manual workers and the unemployed.

Many workers have not had pay rises for years even though although inflation is currently low.

The Bank of England reported last month that it expected inflation to rise in the second half of the year and this could put more pressure on some households.

The survey of 1,648 adults across the UK was carried out by YouGov on 16 and 17 May. It discovered that 14{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} of those questioned could not pay a bill of just £100 without borrowing.

Women were less likely to have spare cash than men, while almost half of those aged 18 to 24 would not be able to find £500, compared with 23{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} of those aged 65 and over.

This year 47{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} of respondents said they would have to either borrow, or sell something they owned to be able to find that much cash.

The Money Advice Service has discovered that four in 10 UK adults have no more than £500 in savings, while a survey by ING bank suggested that 28{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} had nothing at all in their bank account.

Family debt stood at an average of £13,520 at the start of the year due to the availability of cheap credit, this is according to Aviva.

The insurer reported that the figure had risen by £4,000 in just six months to the highest since the summer of 2013.

The Aviva report also suggested that the typical family had a savings pot worth £3,150.

Martin Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert.com founder, recommended that families put aside enough cash to pay their bills for “at least six months”. However, he admitted that would be difficult for many on low incomes.

Source: BBC News