While others took it easy, you worked and saved like you might be fired at any moment. Now there is a corporate takeover and you're glad you took the pessimistic path.

Unlike Cassandra or the ant and the grasshopper, you didn't know hard times were coming; you were more like one of those people who lived through the Great Depression and never adjusted to the return of prosperity. How can you say you're glad you did, without sounding like you're criticizing people who took more risks, like buying a house?

Edit: might also cover actions that aren't money-related, like having worked unpaid overtime to learn skills for your resume.

  • Cassandra was cursed to have prophetic visions that would always be true but never believed, so she did know what was coming and the fact that she could never avert it eventually drove her insane.
    – Perkins
    Jun 8 '18 at 1:05
  • 1
    Not posting as an answer but a recent mishap here caused us to coin "last line of paranoia" -- our last line of defense, which even we regarded as paranoid, saved the mishap from become an expensive disaster.
    – Chris H
    Jun 8 '18 at 8:38

I was prepared for the worst case scenario.

A worst-case scenario is a concept in risk management wherein the planner, in planning for potential disasters, considers the most severe possible outcome that can reasonably be projected to occur in a given situation.


Government planning for ‘worst-case scenario’ on extradition with UK

Irish Times - 8 June 2018

Training for the worst case scenario

Springfield Times - 6 June 2018


Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. (and Hope for the best but expect the worst) TFD

Proverb. You should have a positive attitude, but make sure you are ready for disaster.

  • 1
    Always heard and said it with a ~ but ~, which makes more sense logically. Looks like you're not wrong that proverbs don't need to make sense, though.
    – lly
    Jun 8 '18 at 3:48
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    @lly I read a piece of advice many years ago that stated you should replace "but" with "and" wherever possible to avoid sounding overly negative. I'm not saying that "but" can always be replaced with "and", and (!) in this case it works just as well.
    – CJ Dennis
    Jun 8 '18 at 7:38

I'm fortunate that I've been saving for a rainy day


"I am prepared for a rough road ahead"


"I have room to tighten my belt"

are common expressions about being prepared for worse times.


I know there is already an accepted answer. But this question made me think of the "10th man" story told in the movie "World War Z". This link points to a fairly serious discussion of the story and how it can motivate real-world actions.

In a nutshell, the "10th man" means in any decision-making group, if everyone agrees on what action to take about a certain item under discussion, it is the duty and responsibility of the last person called to take the opposite position and prepare to implement that opposite just in case the thing nobody expected would happen actually happens.

So if you wanted to use more of a coined phrased you could say something like, "I listened to my 10th man" or "I guess I was the 10th man" as an explanation. Meaning against overwhelming pressure to do otherwise (like everyone else), you did something that left you better prepared for the current situation. (such as preparing for a very unlikely event like a zombie invasion)

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