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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Craker - Book Review

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.

Lorilee Craker is the author of eleven books, including the NewYork Times best seller Through the Storm with Lynne Spears. When not shuttling her three children to hockey, gymnastics, and everywhere in between, Lorilee moonlights as an entertainment and features writer for the Grand Rapids Press in  Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has written for magazines such as Parents and Parent and Child.

My review: The subtitle, Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving sums up the message of this book. I enjoyed Lorilee's stories and examples gleaned from conversations with members of the Amish community. These "Plain" people are certainly an inspiration for all of us. The Amish model delayed gratification as they admonish us to use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without. They also share their philosophy on bartering, keeping it simple when it comes to gift-giving, paying on time and keeping out of debt, second-hand shopping and recycling, to name a few. And perhaps most importantly, the best things in life are free.
Although we can't all live as Amish, we can learn the value of family, and although we probably don't have a cow to barter, we can share with friends and neighbours our goods and expertise. It is win-win when everyone takes home something useful. Many of the ideas in this book were already familiar to me, but what I took from it was encouragement to implement the things I already know. Challenging indeed in our affluent society.

This book was provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson,  and C. Grant & Co.in return for an honest review.


  1. This book sounds really interesting. I don't know much about the Amish, but was completely fascinated with them when my husband and I took a trip to the East Coast. I was completely blown away by seeing lanterns in the window and real horse and buggy's going down the road. Not to mention when I was a kid I loved passing around "Amish Friendship Bread" to my friends and family.

  2. Hi Lynn,
    These are my roots, so I am curious to know if I would learn any new financial habits. It sounds quite familiar apart from the horse and buggies, lanterns and barn-raisings!