The Simple 9 Step Plan to Financial Freedom

One thing I regret about college is that there was no class on personal finance. (Or if there was, I didn’t know about it.) Sure, I wrote papers on the philosophies of Nietzsche, Arendt, and Kirkegaard, but no one ever made me take a quiz about 401Ks. But, as an adult who is interested in retiring some day, has two kids that need to go to collegeand who likes to travel today, I’m very interested in understanding personal finance issues–like most of us are.

So, when I came across an interview with Harold Pollack, co-author of The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated, my ears perked up. Pollack, and co-author Helaine Olen detail 9 easy (in theory, not always easy in practice) things you need to do to be on top of your personal finances. Here are the 9 things:

  • Rule No. 1: Strive to save 10 to 20 percent of your income.
  • Rule No. 2: Pay your credit card balance in full every month.

To keep reading, click here: The Simple 9 Step Plan to Financial Freedom

And before you (and you know who you are) write a nasty comment about how insensitive this post is, please note, it’s written for people who are already in the middle class, and fully acknowledges that it’s not a one-size-fits-all plan.

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4 thoughts on “The Simple 9 Step Plan to Financial Freedom

  1. Those are great tips although 10 to 20 % is a little low on the savings side in my opinion. I don’t think you are insensitive, rather the opposite. The economic hot messes that most people’s lives resemble aren’t just due to a lack of education. They are due to willful, selfish and immature spending above their means. I know it is politically more correct to blame systems and not individuals but I believe this is a behavior problem more than a knowledge problem.

  2. In my case it was lack of education. As I entered the working world I thought about how much I would need in retirement and how much I would make if I saved every spare cent of my minimum wage paycheck, realized I could only save enough to live under a bridge, and just gave up and hoped there would be soup kitchens. Some years later I learned how compound interest works and began in time to save enough after all for a comfortable retirement. But I do wish I’d been taught in school how compound interest and time make a little go a very long way toward retirement. No one should enter the working world without knowing that.

  3. It’s a sad commentary on our society that people are shocked at the suggestion to support our social safety nets. Few achieve comfortable Middle-Class status without benefitting — even indirectly — from the existence of these programs. However, in the unlikely event that one never, personally, received benefits from our social safety nets, such programs make it possible for all of us to live in a society where large numbers of people aren’t dying in the streets, preventable epidemics aren’t running rampant, etc.

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