Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Discover the money-saving and wealth-building secrets of America’s thriftiest people, the Amish.
Author, journalist, and descendant of the Amish, Lorilee Craker, was just like the rest of us, feeling the pinch from the financial fallout of 2008. As a freelancer, her income was going the way of the dodo—family dollars seemed like an extinct myth, the bank account some archeological evidence of past prosperity.
Then, inspired by a news segment covering her people, the Amish, and how they emerged from the economic crisis unscathed, she realized it was time to get back to her roots and learn a thing or two about their time-tested approach to personal finances. While the middle-class was wringing its hands over the family budget and the wealthy were weeping over their slashed portfolios, the Amish were content as always, spared from the cares of the world and worldliness. They not only had financial health to support their lives, they exuded a wholeness that eludes so many when the financial bottom drops out.
In Money Secrets of the Amish, readers go on an “Amish money makeover,” learning the choices, secrets, and disciplines that safeguarded the contentment and the coffers of America’s favorite plain folk by spending less, saving more, and getting happier doing it.
I have always been intrigued by how the Amish live so when I was given the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance. In today's economy I need to learn, not only for myself, but for my family, how to live within my means and be happy about it.
Growing up, every year my family always traveled to Pennsylvania, so I knew a bit about the Amish and their culture. Whenever we we there I always thought, wow, these people live minimal and seem so very happy. I guess when you do not have something, you do not miss it.
Anyhoot, this book was amazing. The Amish do not believe in electricity in their homes, so right there they are saving a ton of money. I could never live without power. That means no lights whenever necessary, no tv, no radio. However, I can learn, from this book, how to be more responsible when using them and to minimize its use (now, to teach my kids that).
Another huge aspect of this book is how the Amish do not live with debt. That is a huge NO to them! They will rent out a farm for years to save money to buy their own. In one aspect it is odd, though to think of how hard they work to get something that is their own, it is an accomplishment bigger than anything else! This past year, my husband and I have paid off all of our credit cards - no more! I never actually realized how much we counted on them until not actually using them. It is a blessing and has taught us the value of the dollar.
Something I need to teach my children is to appreciate what they do have. The Amish, at holiday times, only give 1 gift to their kids. Now yes, they do have a "football" team of kids and with all those kids, I too could not afford to get more than 1 or 2 gifts for each. This is another way they save money. Also, by making gifts, and reusing what they have, i.e., a big man's shirt, they may cut up and make 2 small boy shirts out of the material. They never ever get rid of anything - everything has a purpose to be reused again.
This was an eye opener of a book. I enjoyed this book and have passed it on to my friends to continue to pass on to whomever is open to reading it. It is a book I would highly recommend. And, I would also recommend going to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit and actually see how these amazing people live.
I have given this book 5 stars out of 5 - amazing learning!
Disclosure: Through my membership with Booksneeze, I received a copy of the above book with only having to provide my honest opinion. I read the book and truly loved it and have passed it on for more to read.