Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving by Lorilee Cracker
~ Blurb ~
Author and journalist 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 the Amish and how they emerged from the economic crisis unscathed, she realized it was time to 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.
~ My Thoughts ~
I have to admit, I was only half serious when I requested Money Secrets of the Amish from Netgalley, I am not one to read self-help or advice books but as a huge Amish Fiction fan I figured it would be a bit of a fun read with a few “Jahs” and “Denki’s” thrown in. What surprised me was that I found an incredible amount of useful information in this book. Perhaps it was the time of year that I was reading this book, but it truly helped me to keep a handle on holiday spending and return the focus back to the reason for the season.
As much as Money Secrets of the Amish talks about giving yourself a financial makeover it is not a dry, accounting based book. It more accurately speaks about making lifestyle changes that will not only greatly benefit your financial situation but will also have a positive impact on your stress levels, family life, and health. The author offers suggestions of how a modern family can incorporate simple changes adopted from the Amish way of life. My absolutely favorite chapter is called “Rethinking Gifts” and the advice given in this chapter went hand in hand with the handmade holidays that my family was planning to have. And speaking of chapters, I have to mention some of the chapter titles because they so perfectly reflected the author’s humor. A few of my favorites were “Operation De-spoil the kids”, “Dead Horses Smell Bad, but Debt Smells Even Worse”, and “Bartering: I’ll Trade You This Cow for a Bunch of Rugs”.
In terms of advice I don't know that the author brought anything terribly innovative or unique to the table but the ideas she did offer were presented in an easy to understand and highly relatable way. I loved how the author not only included her own voice, and experiences but also included quotes from some of the Amish men and women she interviewed. Their tips were down to earth, practical and surprisingly useful. While you might have next to nothing in common with the Amish and their way of life, in this economy most everyone, including myself, could use a few tips on living more simply.
In Money Secrets of the Amish Lorilee Cracker illustrates how a few small changes in both spending habits and attitudes towards everyday life can help even the most modern families lead simpler and more financially unburdened lives. Even if you have never had an interest in the Amish, and have no intentions on modeling your lifestyle after theirs, I think that you will still find some wisdom within these pages.
I received an e-ARC of Money Secrets of the Amish from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.