How to Create a Harold Pollack Index Card
This post draws from Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack, The Index Card
(Copyright 2016, reprinted by permission of the author.)
It’s late at night and your house is dark.
You need a drink of water but that means a trek through the house while keeping the lights off. You’re afraid if you turn the lights on you may wake someone else in the house.
You’re not sure you should attempt the task blinded by the lack of light. Then you think once you reach the fridge all will be good.
You can use the light in the fridge to navigate around the kitchen ensuring you won’t run into any unaccounted for objects. The last thing you need is to send something crashing to the floor.
Your mind is made up. You are going to go for that desperately needed drink of water.
You step out of bed and start making your way across the house.
Everything is going great until you reach the end of the hallway. Your toe hits the leg of the beautiful side table with the precision of a professional soccer player.
With it goes any chance the other members of the house are still sleeping as the 4-letter words start pouring out of your mouth.
And this is probably how your financial journey has been going as well.
You start life with little to no understanding how money works. You find yourself traveling blindly in the darkness of the financial world.
You know where you want to end up, retired and comfortable before you are too old, but you aren’t sure how to get there.
That is the purpose behind Harold Pollack’s index card. It will shed light on your financial journey and help you navigate your journey to avoid dreaded pitfalls.
Below you will find the rules to make your own index card.
Create Your Own Index Card
Rule 1. Save 10-20% of Your Income
Not sure how you can save this much, especially if you are already living paycheck to paycheck? Well, you could apply any raises you earn to your savings. You could also cut back on an unhealthy habit and apply the money to your retirement.
Rule 2. Pay Credit Card Balance in Full Each Month
Do you find yourself making ends meet each month with your credit card? Well, don’t be doing this if you cannot pay the balance off each month. Carrying a balance costs you a lot of interest. Instead cut back and only spend money on things you absolutely need.
Rule 3. Max Out Your 401K
Maxing our you 401k and other tax-advantaged savings accounts is a no-brainer. Especially if the company you work for is matching your contribution. Contact your HR department or financial advisor for the details and determine if you are taking full advantage of this savings option.
Rule 4. Never Buy or Sell Individual Stocks
We all here stories of those people making it big in the stock market but in reality, only about 1% actually outperform the market and win big. Stay away from these stocks to protect your money.
Rule 5. Buy Inexpensive Mutual Funds
Investing your money here and holding will ensure you get your entire piece of the pie. You will avoid high fees.
Rule 6. Make Your Financial Professional Commit to a Fiduciary Standard
This will ensure you are put 1st and not the suitability standard. You want to make sure your interests are in the forefront of your investing strategy.
Rule 7. Buy a Home When You Are Financially Ready
Are you still spending an insane amount on coffee each week at Starbucks while renting? Save your coffee money and buy a house sooner but only when you are ready. Some of those excessive spending habits will postpone those bigger but important life purchases.
Rule 8. Insurance – Make Sure You Are Protected
Have you thought that a low deductible would save you money? Well, the opposite seems to be true. Your insurance should be to protect you from those high-priced accidents. Choose the largest deductible available to save the most amount of money.
Rule 9. Do What You Can to Support the Social Safety Net
Ever found yourself in need of assistance from family or friends? Well, we have all been there a time or two. Make sure to support the social safety net to ensure those that need help are getting it.
Rule 10. Remember the Index Card
Don’t go through all the effort of creating this card just to file it away and forget about it. Take the steps and start acting on them right now. They could save you a lot of financial headaches down the road. Something you are sure to be thankful for.
If you were afraid to travel the road of finances in the dark let the Harold Pollack index card be your guiding light.
This 3x5 card stock can take the guesswork out of your financial future.
Got through the steps to create the card and don’t forget to act on the steps.
Your finances depend on it.
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