Basic Training For Your Money

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Author: Steve Repak, CFP

Steve Repak authors this easy to read financial guide from the perspective that most people really are stuck in a spending mode with a mindless system getting them into credit card dept, living from month to month and wondering how anyone ever really saves any money.  This was very hard to not be turned off by since I don’t struggle with those things and so you may feel the same reading this if you already know how to safely manage your money.  If you struggle with those things however, then Repak does a great job at empathizing with you, giving good tips for methods to break from your patterns and helps you get a plan in place to overcome that dept you may have, and spending more than you make tenancy.

This is the first financial book I’ve reviewed here and while it may be the first in hand book I’ve read on the subject, I am certainly no stranger to learning about managing money and knowing how to save. I learned this at a very young age thanks to my parents and have been careful with my money my whole life in order to have security, safety and plans for early retirement (which I can confirm are all very doable despite any skepticism). Anyway, I was offered a review copy of this book by the Cadence Group and was happy to enter the genre here since I felt I could read through it easily and understand it, since I have already developed such a foundation of knowledge around money, saving and investments.

Repak covers the foundations of wealth and refers to what he calls the six key traits to building wealth:

  1. Spend less money than is made
  2. Debt relief program
  3. Give and Save first
  4. Have long term plans for money
  5. Do not let emotions cloud  judgment
  6. Start saving early in life
The book is a guide with practical tips to help you change your habits, change your priorities and start thinking about and planning how you manage your money.  It will help you reduce and eliminate your credit card dept and it will help teach some discipline to build some savings.  Repak also covers basic investments towards the end of the book and it will give those new to the subject a base understanding but he covers a fair bit, very quickly so if this is new to you, you may not find it explained well enough.  Also, there was one area that Repak makes some surprising suggestions in how to payoff your credit cards, balancing the payments and ignoring the highest interest cards since he feels the discipline to keep paying them ALL down is more important than eliminating the highest cost ones first, which he feels is important for the discipline of paying them down.  I have to disagree with this since any short term payoffs are financially better and will help a person see savings earlier on, which I believe will be far more motivating than gaining some discipline.  Learning the discipline has to last a lot longer than getting credit cards paid off as well, otherwise a person will find themselves right back into dept a few months later.  So, I do believe its better to see some short term gains and get motivated and trained by seeing that!  However, I’ve never had personal experience with credit card dept and the author has, so this is only from my own saving experiences.
Since I already have a strong knowledge and experience in investment and wisely managing money, I can’t say that I learned anything directly in this book.  However, I can certainly agree that the keys to wealth are accurate, Repak’s advise is sound and his plan looks like one that should be simple for anyone with dept problems and new to saving money can follow and learn from.  He keeps things simple and puts very practical steps in place to help you change your habits, which is crucial for saving money and getting out of dept.  So, if you need some help paying off credit cards and find yourself struggling to ever save any money on the month by month paycheck, then this book will certainly help you and I definitely recommend it.  Commit to his guidance and I’ve confident it will get you moving quickly to accumulating money, instead of overspending it.

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