Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Live Like the Amish in Tough Economic Times

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving, by Lorilee Craker is a delightful little book. Ms. Craker comes from a Mennonite heritage and decides to explore the frugal ways of the Amish when she runs into some tough economic times. She learns a great deal of how to live within her means as she teaches us some of the traditions of the Amish culture.

Saving money is the way of life for the Amish and we could all learn a lot from them. She translates some of what she learns into our own “English” culture. Living within means Amish style is a far cry from how the “Fancy” people live. Maybe we can’t live totally debt free but there can be a nice compromise. The Amish believe loans are considered “stealing” and tend to pay their debts not only on time but ahead of schedule. Needless to say, the Amish don’t have trouble getting credit – the lenders know full well that they will pay back well in advance.

Ms. Craker gives loads of hints of living frugally and many can be applied to our lifestyle as well. However, there are a few extremes. For instance, there’s no way I’d but a mixture of honey and vinegar in my eyes to avoid cataracts. Bring on the cataracts I say! Other than a few extremes, there is plenty one can take away from this book if they hope to change their spending habits. But the reader will also learn a great deal about these beautiful and happy people.

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving is a quick read and quite interesting. There’s a lot of humor throughout the book and I must admit I laughed out loud reading some of the stories about both the “Plain” and the “Fancy” people. My only criticism is that I wish Ms. Craker had listed all the websites she mentioned at the end of the book for easy reference. I had to go through the book a second time to find the more interesting websites I wanted to visit. Other than that, take a chance reading this book. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed even if you’re not trying to live a more frugal lifestyle.

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