As we remember the victims of the 9/11/2001 attacks, it brings home the fact that no one can know what the future holds. We must prepare for our future as best we can, knowing that we may not be able to cover every contingency. Here are a few things to consider.
Make sure you have an emergency savings account
Even if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, put a few dollars out of every pay into an emergency savings account. Even a little bit will add up and be invaluable when the unexpected occurs. If you can deduct it from your pay automatically, you'll probably never even miss it.
Review your insurance
One of the most common causes for financial difficulties is lack of health insurance. If you are injured or get sick, enormous medical bills can quickly drag you down. If you think you can't afford health insurance, the truth is you probably can't afford not to have it. Look into programs offered by the government. A good starting point is healthcare.gov or your local Department of Social Services.
Life insurance, at minimum, should cover your debt and leave enough for your family to bury you. As your circumstances change (marriage, having children, buying a home, etc.), make sure you review your insurance coverage and change your coverage as needed.
Live within your means
Credit is easy to come by but doesn't come with rules for using it responsibly. Just because you can buy something, doesn't mean you should buy it. If you rack up a mountain of debt, you are putting yourself in jeopardy. What happens if you lose your job or are injured and can't work? It's bad enough to try and figure out how to pay for the things you need (house, car) in those circumstances. Now how will you pay for the things you just "had to have" but maybe shouldn't have bought?
As the cliche goes, "Failure to plan is planning to fail." Work on your plan for the future a little at a time. Keep making improvements to your plan as you go.
Destinations Credit Union