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14 Weeks to a New Financial You

I would venture to say that most people struggle with finances—striking that balance between spending and saving. When you factor in credit cards, or actually the wrong use of credit cards, it’s easy to see how this balance can get way out of whack. Of those households with credit cards, the average debt on them was at $15,352—the average, according to an analysis of federal statistics by NerdWallet.com.

I would add to this the fact that most people who would like tackle debt or find the right financial balance are discouraged because they just don’t know where to start or where to find the right information.

SoF

Enter the book “Soldier of Finance,” written by certified financial planner Jeff Rose, founder of goodfinancialcents.com, and a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report, MarketWatch and this blog, among others. It gives an easy-to-understand 14-week “boot camp” to help you overcome your fear, break bad habits and get on the right track.

He weaves in his personal experience of being in the military—he’s an Iraq combat veteran, but it’s really about life lessons, not guns and combat. As he says, “By approaching my own finances with the mindset I learned in the military, I found the resources and the attitude that I needed to get myself out of debt and begin a successful program of investment.”

Yes, to get out of debt and to a point that you have money to invest in your future takes discipline—military discipline, but this book makes it manageable by breaking it up into weekly tasks, from discovering where you are, to paying off debt, to getting started in investing. In the “Your Body Armor” chapter, he also gives great advice on the importance of insurance, including life insurance. Plus, each chapter has a “Go/No Go” checklist (love!) and a summary for those who are “reading or attention challenged.”

It’s a new year, so why not take a 14-week stab at a new financial life with “Soldier of Finance”? As the book states, “Ask yourself a simple question: ‘Am I serious about gaining control of my financial life?’ If the answer is yes, then the time for commitment is now.” … and the book gives you the know-how.

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