The Importance of Having a Backup Plan

Backup plans are your lifeline when things don’t go right. Without a backup plan, you risk digging yourself into a costly hole.

Backup plans help us figure out what to do when things don’t go according to plan.

For instance, you don’t get the job that you were hoping for. Or your roof springs a leak and needs an immediate repair. Your car started sounding funny, and your “Check Engine” light just came on.

In life, so many things can (and will) go wrong. However, our backup plans will ensure that we push through and become stronger than ever.

It’s essential to plan for the unexpected.

How Can We Backup Our Lives?

First, let’s break down our lives into three discrete areas, then explore different ways you can protect yourself in case something goes wrong.

We will discuss backing up our careers, personal documents, and financial health.

How to Back Up Your Career

For most of us, our careers are our lifeblood. It’s what we do most of the time, and our careers are how we fund our lifestyle. However, leaving our careers to chance is a mistake, and we hope nothing goes wrong.

First, update your resume by regularly adding new experiences, education, and achievements. When your resume is current, you can start applying for jobs tomorrow if you unexpectedly lose your job today.

Keep a second copy of your updated resume off your computer. For instance, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive are two excellent cloud storage options to back up your resume. If your computer crashes or you need to access your resume at a moment’s notice, having another copy of it online will be a huge convenience.

Second, stay close with successful people in your network. Imagine this: You lose your job tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be nice to call Judy or Michael, whom you had lunch with last week, and take them up on that job opportunity they mentioned? You didn’t need it then, but it is nice now.

Far too many of us don’t utilize our networks well. Coworkers come and go. Most of us lose contact with them. That’s a mistake. Our networks connect us to opportunities that we never knew existed. Make it a priority to reach out to a few people in your network to keep those lines of communication open.

How to Back Up Personal Documents and Photos

Most of us have documents that we cannot lose. These documents might include our birth certificate, a passport, and a social security card. It’s important not to lose these documents.

A great way to protect essential documents is with a fire-proof safe. A safe is a strong (and often heavy) piece of equipment that is difficult to break into — it protects its contents from natural disasters like fires or floods.

Instead of a safe, many people use safe deposit boxes available at banks and credit unions.

A safe deposit box is a small secured compartment built inside a large, secure vault that only a limited number of people can access. You can rent them to store valuables and highly-sensitive or essential documents. However, because safe deposit boxes are only available at banks and credit unions, they may be more inconvenient than a high-quality safe in your home.

Use Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to backup documents from your computer’s hard drive that you don’t want to lose. Documents stored “in the cloud” are available from anywhere with an internet connection and provide a quick and easy method to backup your files and photos.

If you have a lot of print photographs that you want to backup, consider sending them away to get scanned and put onto a CD. Note that you can purchase a photo scanner to do this yourself. Still, if you have a lot of photographs, it might be faster to use a reputable service such as ScanCafe.

How to Back Up Your Finances

Emergencies are expensive. Sudden home repairs or a car accident can quickly saddle you with thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses. Going into debt might be your only option if you don’t have a backup plan.

The best way to backup your finances is by keeping an emergency fund. Emergency funds are separated pots of money used in the case of an unexpected expense. For instance, how long could you live without a job if you lost yours tomorrow? The bigger your emergency fund, the less stress you’ll feel if something goes wrong.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one today. Open a savings account (not checking). Next, log into your primary bank’s online system – where your paycheck gets deposited. Set up automated transfers from your primary bank account to the savings account you just opened. If you can only transfer $100 a month, that’s fine. The point is to get started. Then, if something happens, you’ll have that money sitting in your savings account, ready to be used.

Remember: Don’t steal from your emergency savings, even if that top-of-the-line television just went on sale, and you must have it. This money is only to cover an actual emergency.

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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock.


Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.