Job cuts at AT&T raise the question: Is your financial house in order?

This seems to be the week for corporations to announce job cuts. Today it's AT&T announcing that 3,600 U.S. jobs will be lost. Merrill Lynch announced 3,000 cuts yesterday. Washington Mutual is slicing 3,000. AMD is cutting 18,600 worldwide. And there are many companies with smaller numbers announced recently.

These job cuts are the reason why consumers need to have their financial houses in order even better than ever before. Gone are the days in which you'd find an employer and stay there for 30 loyal years. Business has changed, and while the transition is difficult, I'll suggest it's for the better in the long run. While workers can't count on the same job security and stability that they used to, there are many, many more opportunities available to them in this global economy.

But the key to being successful in securing your financial future is by planning for the worst case scenario. I don't want to live my life planning for the worst, but it's something that we must at least keep in mind regularly. The first key to surviving changing economic times is having money in savings.