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In these turbulent economic times, it’s not enough just to have a job. A steady stream of income today could soon disappear. And if an emergency arises — a medical need, a car accident, a child that suddenly needs a new pair of glasses — you could find yourself stretched agonizingly thin.

On Black Enterprise, Jennifer Streaks outlines what it takes to have a financial back-up plan that will truly sustain you if you need it. “A financial back-up plan does not include withdrawing funds from your 401k (leaves you vulnerable later in life and typically if you withdraw those funds for anything other than retirement, you may be required to pay those funds back or face tax liability on that amount),” the article says, “or credit cards (creates debt for you to repay).”

So what does this plan include? Click through to to find out.

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