Are You Ready? Five Tips for Preparing for Unexpected Circumstances

Life can be overwhelming: between getting at least eight hours of sleep a day, eating a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables, and balancing your job and home life, it can feel like too much to accomplish in one day. So, when something unexpected occurs, it can be highly detrimental to your entire life – financially, physically, and mentally.

There are a few simple ways you can be more prepared for unexpected circumstances without adding too much to your daily to-do list. With careful planning ahead of time, you can be ready for the unexpected, and in the process, alleviate any anxiety or worry connected to being unprepared.

In order to protect your mental, physical and financial health, here are five simple tips for protecting your future self against unexpected circumstances.

Start an Emergency Fund

The first step of preparation is always having a set amount of funds available in case of emergency. If someone you love has an accident or your car breaks down, you want to be sure you have enough saved to cover expenses for a time. Being unprepared for an emergency event can be terrifying in many ways – but it doesn’t have to change your life financially. Many financial experts recommend saving enough to cover at least six months to a year of your regular expenses (, 20191).

Understand Your Insurance Options

Insurance seems complicated and overwhelming at first glance, but it’s very important to understand your current policies and coverage. Carefully read your health, life, car, and other policies you may have to ensure you have the right amount of coverage to protect against the unexpected. Find resources, ask questions and add additional coverage as needed (The Balance, 20193). If you’re not sure what to do first, Manulife has many resources available that can help you to figure out where to start.

Invest in Professional Development Opportunities

While you may enjoy your current role, it never hurts to continue learning and advancing your skill sets. In order to be competitive in your current (and future) job roles, invest in ways to acquire new skills and advance your learning so you are a highly desirable (and well compensated) individual (Forbes, 20132). This doesn’t just mean to seek higher education – you can also to cross-train with other employees and ask to be on new projects or committees in order to try your hand at something new. Also, online classes offer an affordable and convenient way to upgrade your skills and expertise!

Budget and Plan for Known Events

You’ve already created an emergency fund, but now it’s time to budget and plan for events you do know are coming up in the future. Put aside additional funds, allocate your paid time off, and reduce your spending leading up to these life events. If you prepare for the events you are ready for without compromising your finances or time off, you will save those emergency funds and situations for when you really need them.

Confide in Trusted Loved Ones

Although it may be difficult, it’s important to discuss “what if” scenarios with friends and family members so you can create a plan of action in case of emergency. These can range from small situations to more extreme cases, but the more prepared each of your loved one are the better. It may also be helpful to create a will or a legal document that conveys your final wishes in the event of death. Having these pieces updated and ready will save everyone a lot of anxiety atop the grief in the end.

Unexpected events aren’t something we consider until they happen – and by then, it’s often too late. There are ways, however, to make small changes in order to protect yourself and the ones you love against being unprepared in a terrible situation. By making the changes necessary in your day-to-day life and putting safety precautions in place, you can enjoy life without worrying about what will happen next.

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Content Sources
1 - Thomas, Marina (February 2019), How Can You Prepare Yourself Financially for the Unexpected Events?, retrieved from
2 - Barrington, Richard (July 2013), 6 Ways To Prepare For Unexpected Financial Events, retrieved from Forbes
3 - Caldwell, Miriam (August 2019), Tips for Financially Preparing for Unexpected Events, retrieved from The Balance