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Most people know the importance of having the right amount of coverage for their cars and homes. Unfortunately, the same cannot necessarily be said for making sure that their family is prepared for the financial unknown. No one can say for sure what will happen in the future, but being prepared for anything that comes your way is the best way to make sure your family prospers no matter what situation they find themselves in. Here are seven ways to ensure that you are prepared for the financial unknown.
Create an Emergency Fund
Having money set aside in case of a financial emergency is very important. If you are faced with unexpected medical bills or a job loss then having money in the bank can save your family from financial ruin. It is recommended that you put aside 10% of your income each month into a rainy day fund; however this can be unrealistic for some families. Simply putting away as much money as you can is a good start to build the foundation of a rainy day account.
Supplement Your Income
You should always strive to pad you income as much as possible, since you never know what is in store for your financial health in the future. If you are ever given the opportunity to supplement your income, it is highly recommended that you take it on. Even if you are subject to a heavier workload, buckling down now may mean you don’t have to later on. Depending on your expertise, there are often people who are willing to pay for a consultation. Otherwise, you may want to consider creating something you can sell or taking on a second job.
Have a Backup Plan
Knowing what you would do if you were ever laid off from your current job is a very important step in preparing for the financial unknown. Although no one wants to think that they would ever be thrown out of their occupation, in the current job market it can happen at any time even if you have excellent job performance. The key is to know what you would do in this situation. Try researching job opportunities every couple of months in order to stay on top of current market trends. Also know what you would do if a job loss happens to you. Would you go back to school? Switch fields? Move cities? Knowing the answers to these questions is a very good idea.
Be Up-to-date on Medical Exams
If you have health insurance now then it’s advised that you keep up to date on all of your dental and medical exams as well as any procedures or surgeries that you’ve been putting off. Keep in mind that if you lose your job at any point in the future then your insurance can go out the window as well. Ensuring that you are healthy and that all your exams are up to date while you have insurance will ensure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket if something unexpected were to occur.
Pay Off Your Debt
It’s crucial that you stay on top of your debt payments and never get behind on paying a bill. In fact, if you are able to get ahead on repaying your credit card debt, student loans, mortgage etc. then it is recommended that you do so, as the sooner that you are debt free, the safer your financial future will be. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you not only have to deal with financial insecurity but mounting debt as well.
Although you may want to go on that vacation to the Bahamas or buy that 3D television, you should not do so unless you can absolutely afford it, you are completely debt-free and you have a nice cushion of money in case of emergencies. Spending money on unnecessary purchases may seem worthwhile at the time, but if you find yourself in a financial hole in the future, you will probably regret the big splurge and wish you had the cash instead.