While no one plans to go overboard with their spending, debt must be paid when it accumulates. Tony Amaradio, president of Select Portfolio Management, explores this issue and how people could take a faith based approach to budgeting. By implementing diligent fund management and dedicated stewardship, unwanted debts can be resolved through a spiritually fulfilling process that benefits the entire family.
Those overburdened by debt are often forced to turn to consolidators and creditors for assistance. In doing so, only the symptoms are treated, not the formed habits that caused the financial shortcomings. Amaradio suggests that individuals should instead turn to their churches, a surprisingly exceptional source of consultation for responsible and faithful wealth management. With non-mortgage debt eclipsing $2.4 trillion nationwide, religious establishments, Christian radio stations and community outreach groups have begun supplementing financial counsel into their spiritual messages. The senior pastor of Southeast, one of the largest nondenominational churches in the country with over 18,000 worshippers each weekend, believes it is his obligation to do so, “For a church not to provide a service for people who are suffocating from too much debt would be equivalent to burying our head in the sand.” More than 39,000 churches currently offer a mix of basic budget planning, household cost cutting, and deficit management techniques.
Faith based debt reduction provides rules to force changes in spending and saving, and turns to the Bible for context and motivation. In order to be a good steward, God requires the responsible management of capital, as it is all his, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” Psalm 24:1. Amaradio notes that the largest difference between Christian and secular financial planning is the importance placed on tithing and generous giving. Even in times of economic hardship, one-tenth of all household income should be given to the Lord. Philanthropy is also seen as a way to show devotion, and if at all possible, should be incorporated into any budget as a priority. Debt consolidation, however, is not recommended, because it benefits the lender more than the borrower, and statistics show that over three quarters of credit card debt grows back after being consolidated. By committing to a faith based, written plan, overspending habits can be successfully changed and debt can be successfully paid off.
Tony Amaradio is a financial expert, philanthropist, and the founder of two innovative firms, Select Portfolio Management, Inc. and Select Money Management, Inc. After years of assisting clients in establishing, planning, and managing assets, Amaradio recognized the need for a comprehensive, integrated wealth management system. As a result, his handpicked team is responsible for the development and implementation of the most advanced financial and tax strategies available today. In 2009, he and his wife co-authored, “Faithful with Much: Breaking Down the Barriers to Generous Giving.” The inspirational book received exceptional reviews, and shares the couple’s compelling journey to understanding God’s will about money and possessions.
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