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

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Solid Advice for Stupid Times

    A great read for folks trying to be smart with their money. Proof that good financial habits are built on common sense. A necessary read in our current economic state, especially for younger people trying to get started in life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Money Secrets of the Amish

    In a world so focused on consumerism and debt the basic things are labelled as "secrets", when I think of the title "Money secrets of..." I can't help but thinking "how sad that we now regard it as secrets", definitely some years ago it would have been regarded as just simple common sense.

    There is no "money secrets" in Lorilee Craker's book, just some basic common sense that from time to time we should be reminded of. Nowadays we seem to have our priorities in the wrong place and in these economic times is now, more important than ever to have well set our priorities. In the Amish world this seems to be simplicity, family, and among "their secrets", avoid debt, live with less, shop second hand, buy what you really need, be self-sufficient in whatever you can, trade for goods and services, save more and be as resourceful as you can. I have to say, that most of all the "tips and tricks" were already known and practised in my household, however the book left me completely inspired to continue the same lifestyle and even try a couple of new things.

    The narrative style with nice touches of humour make this book a page turner. If you are on the frugal side of life and you value the simple and basic things in life this book will not disappoint you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Money Secrets of the Amish

    While the stories and characters mentioned in this book are unique, the tips most certainly are not. Frugal advice such as recycling, saving, avoiding debt, and thrifting are not new concepts. Still, Craker writes with a unmistakable voice. Her work as an editor makes the words flow across the pages; and her work as a journalist makes you feel as if you are getting some sort of inside scoop. All that being said, this book is best as a reference book but reads lightning fast as if it were a letter from a parsimonious friend. The Amish values are told with much respect, and readers get a taste of the culture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    thrifty advice...

    Money has become harder to come by in recent years and a book that promises to teach us ways to make ends meet somehow is definitely a must read. And who better to lecture us than the Amish people who uphold the simplicity of life in everything they do.

    Instead of delineating tips and tricks to help us save more, this book actually challenges us to examine our own spending habits and what we can change about it to make it work for us during this time of crisis. It helps us choose what we really need and what can be put off for later, or put off for good. It's all about re-discovering the bare essentials of life and sticking to what matters, instead of what looks good to our eyes.

    It also shows the contrast between Amish children and the more worldly ones we encounter everyday, perpetually glued to the television and listing down fancy stuffs they want to have. More than anything, this book will teach us the value of returning to a much simpler way of life, where the simplest of things can turn us into the happiest lot. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

    I got an ARC of this book through Booksneeze.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    A 'rich' alternative in good and bad times ...

    The last week I studied on an economical issue. Now economical issues are so 'not me', don't ask for my report marks ... so this was quite a step for me. I read Lorilee Craker's book: Money secrets of the Amish - finding true abundance in simplicity, sharing and saving. The title sounded promising and my curiosity was aroused when spotting this book.

    I think it's good to tell you here that I am a Dutch woman, happily married and mother of three teen-agers, housewife but also working 3 days p/w. We don't sit on heaps of money and that's quite an understatement. I bet you can understand why I was attracted to this book, apart from my interest for the Amish in general.

    Now this book really was a good read. As a Dutch woman I must confess I had to skip the American names of shops, supermarkets, things like garage sales etc. There is a difference in culture and shopping system, that's for sure. The main search of the author however was something I completely recognize. Add the humour of the author's comments from time to time and I bet you will be hooked too. It's nice to have a laugh at yourself and to face the mirror the Amish are so kind to hold up for us ...

    The big lesson the Amish teach us is to be VERY much aware of your lifestyle, in all its aspects. In daily life, whatever you do, money is quickly involved ... how to deal with this in a good way? How do you cope with the coins and credit cards in your hand, what about eventual debts, how do you spend your money and why like this? Can you step back and live more soberly if needed?

    The Amish show us a 'rich' alternative, I'm convinced of that. On money but on much more. There are many 'inside views' of that in the book. Like UWMW: Use it Up, Wear It Out, Make Do or Do Without. Be frugal with the gifts of Mother Nature, don't throw everything 'just' away because it's out of fashion or whatever. Recycle, reuse.
    Another good one: think about the distinction between I want and I need. When you really face this, your way of spending money may change. Your whole lifestyle may change.

    In short: this book is a nice challenge to see your own lifestyle compared to that of the Amish way of living. It's worthwhile to reflect on that. And for me it was a big relief to see this way of life articulated. To be able to share the value of what is called 'common sense'. Because that's what it is all about.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Great Money Saving Tips!

    I've never considered myself to have much in common with the Amish. In fact, I didn't quite understand how they lived, other than something reminiscent to "Little House on the Prairie".
    But I must say, I was a bit intrigued by the opportunity to review a book called Money Secrets of The Amish, by Lorilee Craker. And since
    Lorilee Craker decide to find out how the Amish were not only surviving but thriving in this economic downturn. She set out to pick the mind of an Amish man named Bishop Jake, and here's what she found.
    The Amish people scrape from the bottom of the barrel more than others. Their mentality is this. Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without. Let's say you brake something or your refrigerator stops running. When others would simply just go buy another one, the Amish will get it fixed saving hundreds of dollars. They basically will use what they have and continue to fix it.
    Another point is to rethink your gift giving. The book stated that one of his children got a coloring book for her birthday. Now I must say, this one is a bit hard to digest. I get the point, but my kids would NEVER go for a coloring book! However, it does make a little sense. Keep gifts small and simply. Don't go into foreclosure behind the latest and greatest gadget or game system. Kids don't always need that stuff anyway.
    Lorilee mentioned how she did some thrift shopping for some one's birthday. She was able to find brand named items that her niece loved for a fraction of the price. Now that's a tip that I'm willing to try, as long as the items are like new.
    Here's another tip from the Amish. Pay everything on time. they feel that when you don't pay on time, your are steeling from that man, or business for how ever many days it takes to pay them back. I know that sounds extreme. The Amish also:

    Enjoy delayed gratification
    Are habitual recyclers
    Shop second hand
    Buy bulk
    Barter, barter, barter
    Grown their own food and shop at Farmer's Markets
    Realize that the best things in life are free!

    I really liked this book. There are a lot of common sense, easy to do tips inside. Some are a bit extreme because of the Amish religious beliefs, but you can still learn a thing or two. In fact, you may already being doing some of these things to save money.
    I would recommend this book to anyone who is tired of being broke and is open to a whole new approach to being frugal.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    Highly recommended- very interesting book

    I just finished reading "Money Secrets of the Amish". This is another book I received free from "BookSneeze" just for writing this review. This book was really out of my circle for normal reading material. I have never read a book on money and how to be smart with it. I found that it drew me in with the little tips and quirks about the Amish and how they live. All the information is easy is understand and almost obvious. I gained a hole new respect for the Amish people and there way of life. Don't get me wrong I 'm not going to stop using buttons and start riding in a horse and buggy. I will however be using quite a few of the tips and ideas that I found it this book. This book really made me look closely at the money problems in our house hold. It even sparked a three hour conversation between my husband and I about where we could be cutting corners. Overall I found this book to be four stars out of five. If I knew a friend that was looking for books on money then I would definitely recommend this book to them.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Money Saving Secrets

    Book Review

    Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving, Craker, Lorilee, Thomas Nelson, 2011

    I live in the most densely-populated portion of the United States. One hour east of Philadelphia, two hours south of New York City, and three hours north of our Capital. Less than two hours west is Lancaster County, PA, homestead of one of our nation's largest Amish communities. If ever one was trapped in between irrational exhuberance and old-world abundance, that would be me. You can read the same thrifty tips in the stuffy Wall Street Journal as Craker wrote in her humorous book. But Craker's take is personal. And that's what makes the difference. You can live nearby, read all about it, and truly believe these are great ideas - for someone else. Or, like Craker, you can take the time to become a true doer by taking a short drive across the river and spending some time with the Amish, getting to know them personally, blending into their community, and thereby coming away with a trans-cultural union that will yield the simplicity, sharing, and saving that Craker knows and writes about. It's not just about the money and Craker gets the point across in fun, personal, and enticing ways. Enticing enough to make this densely populated reader encourage his family and other readers to give up and give in to a lifestyle not driven by driving, bugged by plodding buggies, or longing for good schmeck instead of show.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    How to Live with less stress and debt

    Money Secrets of the Amish
    Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving
    Lorilee Craker © 2011
    Thomas Nelson Publishers
    ISBN 978-1-59555-341-6
    220 pp. (alk. paper)

    A typical Amish farmer in twenty years, while raising fourteen children on a rented farm, saved forty thousand dollars to buy his own farm. That's one thing Lorilee Craker learned when she investigated how these people could do so well during the present recession. Her many discoveries can help anyone better manage finances.
    She learned the Amish money policies not only allow them to save and spend wisely, but also to find peace and contentment in their lives. They understand delayed gratification (no impulse buying!) for one thing, and always pay on time, or preferably never borrow or use credit cards. The Amish, exceptionally hard workers, also know that the best things in life are free.
    Craker's writing style is delightful, breezy and conversational, which contributes to a good read.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Makes you rethink your own life

    I enjoyed reading Money Secrets of the Amish as it reminded me of how I used to think. Before I got married, I had great credit, I was very frugal and didn't spend as frivolous and think about wanting things as I do now. In the last few years, I have really had to rethink my purchases and hold back on the impulse buys. Being unemployed, married, and having a spouse that is also unemployed, we have really had to cut back and not buy the things we want. This book made me realize that it's time to stop wanting and start saving and being frugal again! I really should stop listening to my husband teasing me about being frugal considering our financial situation.

    Lately, we were talking about getting expensive electronic toys, but in reality, we didn't absolutely need them. Thankfully we didn't follow our impulse and buy them on a whim, we instead waiting and thought about it.

    I do need to be less selfish and start thinking about our future. I prefer living a simple life, just not as simple as the Amish.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Good Practical advice for tough times

    Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving by Lorilee Craker takes a look into living a simpler, "greener" (as in saving money) lifestyle.
    Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving offers 14 chapters of practical hints and tips on managing money that reminds one of our grandparents' principles. Each chapter not only lays out the thoughts of the Amish but also has several "English" friends who are willing to share their own tips. It was also inspiring to read the author's own experiences relating to each principle learned.
    While Lorilee writes about the steps many of us are already taking of being thrifty and saving some green, it is good to pick up some extra ideas. I think everyone could benefit from the principle found in chapter 2- "UWMW" (Use it up, Wear it out, Make Do or Do Without.) That, along with other suggestions for recycling, reusing and thrift store shopping helps to get the creative juices flowing on how to build the savings account. The To Do section following each chapter is a good place to start putting those lessons to good use. I found this book to not only be educational but entertaining too.
    I would recommend Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, to anyone looking to improve their financial thinking.
    I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Do Yourself a Favor and Get This Book.. It's a Keeper !

    I am reviewing the Money Secrets of the Amish- Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving by Lorilee Craker. This book is so not what you think. It does not ask you to give up electricity. What it does do is put into perspective how to be frugal. I learned what the Amish children grow up only know. They NEVER have credit cards it goes against what they believe. The Amish base their treatment of money on the Bible this is true but they believe that money is the biggest danger too much of it will lead to foolish spending. They believe that you should work with their hand to help the poor. They really live the frugal life. I love the chapter on gift giving it makes you stop and think about birthdays and Christmas. It made me reevaluate what I do for Christmas. What I do is spend too much and stress too much so I will be incorporating the ideas of the Amish. This book teaches frugalness. At the end of some of the chapters there is an Amish Money Make Over. There is a question to help you get on track for saving. I also loved that the Amish people really live the green lifestyle. They use things until they wear out completely. I LOVED this book. I give it 4 stars. To me it's a different approach to reading about saving money. I did not find this to be a boring read at all. I highly recommend this book! I received this book complementary from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com. The opinions are my own .I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    You can be resourceful too!

    Lately I have become interested in the Amish people therefore was very interested in reading this e-book. The author spent time interviewing families in an Amish community to try to learn why the Amish prosper, even during a down economy. Throughout the book the author compares her lack of budgeting, not enough savings, and high consumerism ethic to that of the Amish - who recycle, use an item to the hilt, and make do or do without. The author touches on topics including waiting for something you want, paying on time, making your own gifts, saving (10-20% of your monthly income), recycling, living debt free, and making your food from scratch (along with buying in bulk and organic at local farms or farmers markets). I thought is was really neat that within the e-book I was able to click on the web resources and was taken directly to the websites mentioned. I also really enjoyed how candid the author was in her admissions of her (lack of) budgeting skills and her enthusiasm for change toward the Amish model (to a point). I especially liked how reflective she was in how her children were being trained to always want more and in excess, instead of being content with what they had. I was personally encouraged by all of the suggestions because our family already does most if not all of the tidbits, or "secrets" she learned from the Amish people - although I don't think they are necessarily secrets, just common sense practical ways to thrive with the money you have earned and want to save. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs to change their way of thinking less toward consumerism. After all, because of the U.S. Recession, saving money and being frugal and resourceful is cool - FINALLY! I received this e-book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Guaranteed to Learn Something New

    This text delves into the world of money from an Amish perspective. Craker discusses everything from the basics-spending, thrifting, and reusing-to thrifty gifting, swap parties, bulking up on food, and even entertainment on a dime. While there are many stories from Amish people and their perspective on money, there are also relevant examples of how to implement changes in your own life at the end of each chapter. I approached this book with a skeptical attitude regarding two things. First, how would Craker treat the Amish culture? As someone who has always been interested in the Amish culture, I wanted them to be treated fairly and not taken advantage of through this book. I didn't have to worry about that at all-Craker doesn't over-glorify them, but she doesn't poke fun at their way of life. Rather, she praises them for their industrious ways and gives the reader real-life examples that we can relate to. The second thing I was worried about was, "Would I actually learn anything from this book"? As a regular thrifter, swapper, and all-around cheapskate, I figured I didn't have much else to learn. I was wrong-Craker not only teaches the basis to saving money, she talks about attitude changes (be happier with what you have, and teach contentment to your kids) and even how reusing items instead of buying a new one can help the environment. As someone who goes stir-crazy at sales, this point especially stuck out to me-just because something is on sale or cheap doesn't mean that I need it. Another chapter I especially liked was the chapter on food. Craker gave specific tips and tricks from the Amish culture that can be easily implemented and applied to a modern situation. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in saving money. While I had hoped I would learn a bit more about Amish culture, it was understandable to have a book focused more on implementing gradual changes in our modern lives. I definitely learned something from this book and will start the recommendations (particularly in the food department) starting now. Disclosure of Material Connection: While I was not required to write a positive review, I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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