Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review: Money Secrets of the Amish

Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving

About the Book:
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 archaeological 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 Comments:
Most of us realize that money can't buy happiness, but we often do try to buy our way to contentment.  The Amish do not, according to the author,  and in this book Lorilee Craker tries to find out how they manage to live well on little.  Besides the obvious savings gained from not having electricity (and therefore all the electric toys we take for granted) or automobiles, she explains how the Amish re-use, make at home or buy used from others.  She speaks of simple game nights with friends rather than nights out at the movies eating $6.00 tubs of popcorn.  She tells of children who are happy with a new coloring book for Christmas rather than the pile of presents many of our children expect.

I had a NetGalley of this book and there were obvious formatting problems with this galley that I would not expect in the finished product; namely that sometimes paragraphs were repeated.  Still, even noticing that and trying to eliminate it from consideration for this review, the book seemed repetitive; saying pretty much the same thing in different ways.  In short, Amish thrift is a matter of living within your means, not borrowing money, and not using stuff as a symbol of love.

Grade:  B-


  1. I read a book a couple of years ago written by an author who lived among the Amish for a few years. One way they'd save money is by going to the vet instead of the doctor.


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