The Index Card Book Summary - The Index Card Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Index Card summary

Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack

Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

3.7 (61 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    The Index Card
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Saving money today is hard, but a few tips can help.

    We’ve all been there; you cash your paycheck only to see it disappear as you pay rent, cover utilities and buy groceries. And let’s not forget the ever-present threat of an unexpected car repair.

    So, how can you pull yourself out of this financial debacle and gain control over your money?

    Naturally, it starts with saving, but that’s easier said than done. After all, the median annual household income in America dropped by $3,000 between 1998 and 2013 as wages decreased or stagnated. At the same time, the cost of living has gone up.

    This perfect storm of plummeting wages and rising costs has resulted in some frightening statistics: a whopping 27 percent of US households have a net worth of just $5,000 or less, and 47 percent of Americans say they couldn’t come up with $400 in an emergency without borrowing money or selling something.

    Since so many people are struggling to get their financial houses in order, if you don’t have any savings, you shouldn’t feel bad. But you should take action. If you fail to come up with a savings plan soon, you’ll never be able to invest for the future or even pay off your debt.

    Think of it this way: if you save just 10 percent of your income every month, by the end of your first year you’ll already have a whole month’s salary put away!

    Here are a few tips to get you started:

    First, use cash instead of plastic. This may sound silly, but lots of studies have shown that people spend over 20 percent more when paying with a credit card or online than they do when they pay with physical money. Spending bills and coins is less abstract, so it’s harder for people to part with them.

    You can also set up an automatic savings account. These automatically deduct and save a portion of your paycheck every month, which means you don’t have to endure the temptation of spending it. Lots of employers can even reroute some of your salary toward a savings account for you.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Index Card?

    Key ideas in The Index Card

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Index Card about?

    The Index Card (2016) simplifies personal finance. These blinks cover everything from getting a good deal on your mortgage to securing quality life insurance, starting your own savings account and even choosing a financial advisor.

    Best quote from The Index Card

    Surveys routinely find about half of us are petrified of running out of money in retirement.

    —Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack
    example alt text

    Who should read The Index Card?

    • Students and millennials who are staring down a rocky financial future
    • People who are in debt
    • First-time homebuyers

    About the Author

    Helaine Olen is an award-winning financial journalist who’s among the top 50 Women Who Are Changing the World according to Business Insider.

    Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago.

    Categories with The Index Card

    Books like The Index Card

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial