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Book Review: Dollars and Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money by Steven Repak CFP

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Dollars and Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money by Steven Repak CFP is an excellent book on how to save money on virtually every item in the household budget. Steven Repak points out the areas of excess; such as, spending too much money on rent, eating too frequently in restaurants and living on credit cards. Debt is like a drug.

There are six key traits to wealth building. People who have these traits do the following:

  1. They spend less money than they make.
  2. They have little or no debt.
  3. They save.
  4. They have long term plans for their money.
  5. They do not let emotions cloud their judgment.
  6. They start saving early in their careers.

Steven Repak explains that spending more than you make leads to going broke. In addition, most people confuse the things they want with those that they need. If you are spending over 40% of the monthly income on housing, that is a huge red flag screaming that you are in a house that you cannot afford.

If you want a bigger house, then you need to have a smaller car payment. If you would rather have a nicer car, you need to have a smaller house. Allocate most of the monthly debt payment toward the debt with the highest interest rate. Pay the minimums on all the rest.

Steven Repak explains that workers should pay themselves first before spending money on anything else. Susan Orman provides similar advice in her seminars. The only debts that can be considered beneficial are home mortgages, student loans and business loans. At bottom, the less debt you have- the more money you will have.

Dollars and Uncommon Sense is a practical resource on how to keep more of your hard earned money. Steven Repak provides standardized worksheets to track spending methodically. Numerous useful websites are provided to facilitate this process at the end of the book. The top useful websites cited include bankrate, choosetosave, crestmontresearch, floodsmart and powerpay. Dollars and Uncommon Sense is easy to read. The content is substantial and the price is affordable.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.