Having a stash of money in case you need to pay for something unforeseen is important, but it's much easier said that done.

According to a new survey of 1,000 adults by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, "two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency."

Lest you think that figure comes at the expense of those on the lower socio-economic strata, think again. A look at the breakdown shows paying a $1,000 would be tough for people across different income levels.

  • 75% of households earning less than $50,000 a year
  • 67% of households earning between $50,000-$100,000 a year
  • 38% of households earning more than $100,000 a year

So, what should happen if people suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves needing to pay for something that costs $1,000? One-third said they would have to borrow from a bank, friends or relatives or charge it to a credit card. Thirteen percent would pay the bill, but not their other bills, while 11% would just not pay the bill at all.

Those numbers may raise some eyebrows, but, despite the data, two-thirds of respondents claim they feel good about their monetary situation.