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Author suggests military mindset to improve personal finances

PHOENIX — A person’s financial problems could be solved by something taught by the military.

During his 12-year military career, Steve Repak racked up $32,000 in credit-card debt. He then used what he learned in the military to climb out of that debt. He said three military terms helped him.

“If I want to have more money, I’ve got to sit there and sacrifice,” said the Army veteran. “I’ve got to be accountable for the money that I spend, and I’ve got to show more discipline.”

Repak is the author of the book “Dollars and Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money.” He said if a person uses self-discipline, that can change the way to think about personal finances.

“You have to make sacrifices,” Repak said. “You have to sit there and say ‘I’m willing to not go out to eat every single night. I’m willing to give up my lattes everyday at the local coffee shop Monday through Friday in order to have more money.’ ”

Now a certified financial planner, Repak suggested following what he calls the 10-10-80 rule.

“You give away the first 10 percent [to charity], you save the next 10 percent, and you live off of the rest,” said Repak.