Think managing your finances has to be complicated? Wonkblog contributor (and UC Chicago social scientist) Harold Pollack doesn’t.

After a talk with personal finance expert Helaine Olen, Pollack managed to write down pretty much everything you need to know on a 4x6 index card. And it would probably fit on a 3x5 index card if you really crammed (that last point, for instance, is probably not strictly necessary for managing your money).

He explains:
The card came out of an RBC chat I had with Helaine Olen regarding what I view as the financial industry’s basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter, Alex M, asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter’s note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

Pollack’s right. Follow these principles and you’ll be in much, much, much better shape than most Americans — or most anyone. And all it will cost you is $2.20 for a pack of index cards — and you’ll have 99 of them left over.

It’s really hard to be poor (see Pollack’s amazing interview on how being poor changes the way people think for more on that). But the lesson here is that once you have an income that you can live off of and save a little bit besides, managing your finances shouldn’t be all that hard.

The people making it complicated are often trying to make money off of you. This 4×6 index card has all the financial advice you’ll ever need

(via hodgman)


Rainbow - “Since You Been Gone” (1979)

Just a prettttttty perfect pop song.

Funny, I was just looking this up on the YouTubes yesterday.


This is Anxiety

"Here’s what’s worked: nothing." Scott Stossel writes with resignation in the cover article for the current issue of The Atlantic, “Surviving Anxiety.” (Inside the magazine it’s titled “My Anxious, Twitchy, Phobic (Somehow Successful) Life”.) The story, adapted from Stossel’s forthcoming book, tells of his life with anxiety disorder; how he remains high-functioning despite it, and maybe in ways because of it.

The Atlantic editors invited readers to send in stories of their own experiences with anxiety. We said that “several” stories would be selected for publication on As you’ll see by the length of this post, I failed handsomely at paring it down to several.

We got so many interesting submissions, and there was even more that I wanted to share than is here. Rather than run three or four people’s stories in full, we decided to run parts of many. 43. I also pulled salient quotes from most of the excerpts along the left margin. People interpreted the writing prompt very broadly, so some of it is lighthearted, and some of it is tragic. There is some advice on what works, how to keep perspective, and what makes things worse. In aggregate I hope it reads like a mixtape that reflects how widespread all of this is and how deeply it resonates.

I’d like these to mostly speak for themselves, but I will call out a couple recurring points. Anxiety is not a choice. Don’t tell people with anxiety to “stop worrying.” Do reassure them. Don’t leave them alone. Talk about your anxiety with friends and family. Be attuned and empathetic to it in others. Own your own.

Unlike Stossel, many people have found that certain treatments, behaviors, and ways of thinking about their anxiety can be helpful. Okay, here are your stories.

Read more. [Image: Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP]

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