(Disclosure: The Amazon links to books in this post are Amazon affiliate links. You can read more about this on my Disclosures page)
I’d been meaning to check out The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated for quite some time. I’d heard about it awhile back from a bunch of different sources (most likely a Marketplace podcast). I really enjoyed Helaine Olen’s book, Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, about the personal finance industry, so I wanted to check out this book she co-wrote with Harold Pollack.
I really liked the way the book walked you through steps to get your finances in order and on the right track. The book was inspired by the realization that most money advice could fit all on one index card. You can see the original photo of the index card here.
If the entire premise is that all you need to do is follow everything on the index card, how is there an entire book?
Each chapter goes into detail about each piece of advice. There are anecdotes from the authors about why each step is so important (or what happens if you don’t follow the advice!) Each new chapter builds on what you (hopefully) started in your own life from the previous chapter.
They cite lots of references and provide some good resources where you can find even more information.
I read this as an ebook I got from the library. Which made me realize that ebooks should have a way to share updates alongside the original text. Besides urls that might change or disappear, there are facts and recommendations that change. For example, they mention the myRA as an option for saving for retirement. But the government decided to phase out this option.
I highly recommend reading this book! Whether you’re just starting out and trying to figure out how to get a handle on your personal finances, or if you have been focusing on your finances for a while and just want a refresher (and to make sure you’re not forgetting something!), you should check out this book! As someone who has been thinking about personal finance for over a decade, I found this book really helpful for reminding me why I started on this path in the first place.
Now I’m looking for a good follow-up book to read: what do you do after you’ve gotten your finances started on the right track? Share your suggestions in the comments!
This book is one of many personal finance books that were recommended recently on Marketplace. Definitely check those out, too!