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Beat austerity by staying generous, say Christian financial experts

With the promise of more belt-tightening ahead, it's possible to fight the financial gloom with a dose of generosity, suggest the Association of Christian Financial Advisers ...

Fight the financial gloom with a dose of generosity, suggest the Association of Christian Financial Advisers. ACFA’s New Year’s financial resolutions include avoiding payday loans and investing in yourself – by developing your skills.

With the promise of more belt-tightening ahead from Chancellor George Osborne, ACFA’s Aidan Vaughan urges Christians to combine both faith and common sense in the new year.

In 2012 the UK saw a ‘double dip’ recession, declining standards of living and a warning from the Chancellor that Britain’s debts will stay high until 2016-2017.

“But as Christians, we can view the world from a different perspective,” says Aidan Vaughan. “And for those who carefully watch the signs of the times there are some useful opportunities ahead. So here are a few faith-based financial resolutions for the New Year, that are practical, too.”

1      Overcome austerity by remaining generous! Giving could be your best investment, as your gifts have a ‘multiplier’ effect – and not just financially. They bless you too.

2      Unemployment is set to peak in 2013, so this should be a year of being flexible in the jobs market. This year could be just the time to improve your skills and be willing to take a pay cut to get wider experience.

3      Avoid debts of desperation, such as payday loans, at outrageous rates of interest. If you find yourself in debt trouble, seek urgent help from Christians Against Poverty or the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Ditch the debt.

4     2013 is the perfect time to plan your budget. An honest list of what you spend and what you actually need will help you really make your life goals more acheivable.

5      Don’t be afraid to ‘step on the gas’ and make a real difference in 2013. Start a new business, make an investment, spend some money wisely. Remember, Jesus commended the two servants who invested wisely and was furious with the one who just buried his talent. Have faith, be wise – and go for it.


ACFA’s other top tips are:

·        Bring your investment portfolio up to date

·        Make the most of your tax breaks

·        Don’t overlook your pension, and

·        Seek sound financial advice from reliable sources.

From 1 January 2013 all financial advisers have to separate advice costs from product costs. Good advice can make the difference between success and failure. 

“Above all,’ says Aidan Vaughan, "Keep an eternal perspective. Remember God owns it all – the earth and all that is in it. This makes us stewards of creation and the resources at our disposal. And one day, we have to account for our lives.”


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