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7 tips to prepare for an uncertain future

Create your plan. And a plan B. The future gets brighter the moment you prepare for it.

The world is changing faster than most people can process. We talk about that a lot around here. “What just happened?” “What does that mean?” Every change that happens in the world has a ripple effect—it affects not just you, but your family, your loved ones, your friends, and your colleagues.

Some people though, literally seem to be able to sleep better at night. To those of us who can’t it’s often puzzling. These people seem smart! Centered! Grounded! Why doesn’t anything seem to faze them? What do they know that I don’t?

Here’s one way to look at it. The ability to remain at ease in the face of uncertainty might just be this. Knowing you have a plan. And knowing you have a plan B.

Here are seven ideas for how to think about your plan A and plan B in the age of uncertainty.

1. The difference between saving a dollar every day and losing a dollar every day is profound. It doesn’t matter the amount. But the first thing to think about in getting your finances together is getting ahead every month—even if it’s just by a very small amount. Can you find a place to cut a dollar? Earn an extra $10 a week? If that’s what’s needed, that’s what’s needed. Debt is not a bad thing on its own. You simply need a plan to manage for it. And if you do have debt, than protecting against loss in other areas might be more important than ever.

2. Instead of thinking “what’s in it for me” think “what’s in it for us.” Financial planning is a team effort. How do my plans affect not just me, but you? Whether you are sitting on opposite sides of the negotiating table or side by side on the couch with your loved one—talk things through, be clear about your financial goals, and create a vision of a future together.

3. Life events will happen! That’s why it’s called life! Don’t be caught unawares and let the big life events sneak up on you. Houses, cars, travel. Maybe you’ll have kids and they’ll have to learn to drive (gulp). Maybe there will be weddings and grandkids, jobs that disappear, or new jobs that are needed. Chances are there’s a lot that’s going to happen to you. Here’s where the “plan A and plan B” really comes in handy. Plan, prepare, and protect. Protecting the assets you have will allow you to prepare for the next major event that’s bound to come rolling around.

4. Think about insurance as part of every major financial decision you make. But sometimes, set aside time to just think about insurance. For every life event, know that insurance is going to have to be part of the decision-making process. But sometimes it is helpful to have an “insurance review” and go over all of your insurance coverage for your major life events. Here’s an example of how helpful that process can be—by switching your auto insurance to Progressive you could save $620. And bundling your insurance together at Progressive can save you even more.

5. Have “go-to” people who can help you every step of the way. Having people you can reach to in times of change can get you through even the most uncertain of times. You don’t need to know everything. You just need to know people and organizations you can trust to fill in the gaps for what you don’t know.

6. The ability to think about the unthinkable. Some people call it courage. Others call it being an adult. No one likes to think about potential catastrophic events. No one likes to review the “what if” scenarios, to make a plan for each one. Heck, few people even like to think about insurance. But knowing you have a plan for making insurance planning a part of your life, once you have a company like Progressive you know and trust to keep things affordable—it all gets easier.

7. Tomorrow just might be brighter. Tomorrow is often brighter for those people who plan today how to make it happen. Don’t let uncertainty prevent you from making the decisions that can improve your life in the future.