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• Be grateful for what you have.

• Give generously to those who struggle.

The solution to America’s money troubles lies with you. Live a financially sound life, and insist that the government exercise the same control over its spending as you must do in your own life.

Need help on the personal front? Visit Dave Ramsey is a down-to-earth, common-sense voice for financial responsibility. He offers free tools on his website and sage advice in his courses.

On his website, for example, an easy budget calculator figures how much of your monthly income should be spent on housing, utilities, medical needs, charity and other categories. Up to your ears in debt? Dave’s been there and knows how to get you out of it. His “debt snowball” tool can show you how to pay off thousands of dollars of debt in a year, progressing steadily toward the goal of a debt-free life.

Don’t wait, however, to have your personal financial house in order before you insist that our government begin to do the same.

The first step? Vote.

Vote for fiscal sanity, for reduced spending, a realistic budget and a sound debt-repayment plan. Vote for new leadership to take these tough steps — elect a businessman with the real-world experience to make sound financial choices.

Mitt Romney knows how to rescue a financial ship that’s begun to capsize. He knows how to steer it out of turbulent waters and back to smooth sailing. He’s generated jobs and financial growth in the business world, and he can do it for our economy. America needs him to take the helm.

Begin today. Takes steps to find personal financial peace. And choose wisely for our country.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at