The subtitle of Lorilee Craker’s book kind of gives the secret away: “Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving.”
Sure, we already know we should throttle back, give to others and sock away some dollars. But sometimes we need an example of how that works in real life.
True, the Amish way of living isn’t “real life” for most of us. We’re too wedded to niceties like cell phones, slow cookers and indoor plumbing. But it’s plenty real to them, and a very satisfying way of life.
Herself a Mennonite (albeit a “worldly” one), the author was intrigued by the group’s ability to thrive no matter how the rest of the world is doing.
She admits she hoped for “pearls of wisdom,” i.e., quick fixes. What she got was a series of timeless, common-sense tips that might feel easier said than done. Glimpsed up close, she saw how maxims like “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” can translate into a creative and, yes, abundant lifestyle.
For example: One man she interviewed managed to save up $400,000 over a 20-year period while renting a farm and raising a family of 14 kids. Wow.
It’s all in the attitude. “As far as our ‘money secrets,’ these are values handed down for generations — we can’t take credit,” he told her.
Each chapter has an “Amish Money Makeover” suggestion at the end — a way to turn what you’ve just read into a plan for your own way of living. Seriously: You can keep the slow cooker.
- Leave a comment below
- Subscribe via e-mail or RSS
- Sign up to follow Surviving and Thriving on Twitter or Facebook
If you do any (or all!) of these things, please leave separate, additional comments to get credit for each entry.
The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Note: I won’t be mailing the prize out until late December, because for the next two weeks I’ll be on the East Coast visiting family and hobnobbing with bidness acquaintances. Here’s hoping that this year’s Philly-to-Manhattan bus doesn’t break down like the last one did.