Giveaway: “Money Secrets of the Amish.”

9781595553416-2The 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.

To enter:

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.Β 

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.

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  1. I very much like the subtitle of this book — what a wonderful state to achieve. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  2. “We’re too wedded to niceties like cell phones, slow cookers and indoor plumbing.”

    Not to mention, things like adequate education for our children and treating girls and women as equals.

    No thanks – the old order Amish/Mennonites/Hutterites might have knowledge that is useful, but they aren’t the only ones with that knowledge, and I personally won’t countenance their treatment of children and women by emulating them in any way, shape or form.

    Not to mention – google “Amish puppy mills”. Yeah, what a fantastic way to make money.

    • Donna Freedman

      @K.B.: Not every Amish person runs a puppy mill. If an Amish kid wants to remain within the order, he or she doesn’t usually pursue higher education because the other ways of making money — sewing, carpentry, furniture-making et al. — don’t require it.
      As for being treated as an “equal,” if you mean the “husband is the head of the family” thing — well, not my cup of tea, either, but plenty of other religions operate this way, too (and so do some non-religious folks).

      • I DO know not every Amish farm is a puppy mill – but a lot in certain regions are.

        And what if the child doesn’t remain within the order?

        A grade 8 education doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s NOT the child’s choice not to pursue “higher” education (and please note: we’re talking high school here, not college/university). Children in these communities are not given the tools they need to become anything other than what the community wants – to break away means getting shunned.

        Think about that – a girl wants to become a doctor, her choice is to do so, or keep her family.

        That’s not a valid “choice”. It’s leaving everything you know, in order to become your own person.

        And it’s not just “head of household”. It’s not being treated as equal at all, in any aspect.

        If we read about a household that kept the children segregated, limited their education after eighth grade, limited the girls’ options to “traditional” roles of wife & mother (not that there is anything wrong with that – but it should be a choice, not an inevitability) – we’d call it abuse. But slap “religious freedom” on it, and suddenly it’s acceptable?

        Once again – no thanks.

  3. Thanks for the chance to win; sounds like a very interesting read.

  4. Sounds like an interesting book. If I don’t win, I think I’ll try to find it at the library.

  5. Thanks for the chance to win. Sounds like an interesting book.

  6. Cindy Williamson

    WOW! Lorilee lives in our town….I do NOT have this book, but would love to have it. πŸ˜‰

  7. Cindy Williamson

    i have been a facebook fan for a very longgggggggggggg time! πŸ™‚

  8. Cindy Williamson

    I also subscribe via e-mail. Love your practical approach to life and sound $$$ advice! πŸ™‚

  9. Karen Abshire

    I’ve been trying to figure out how I can live a more simple and plain lifestyle while still remaining modern. It’s a challenge but one I’d like to know more about. This book may help unravel a mystery or two. I’d be much appreciative to have my name selected to win this book.

  10. I’d like to read this book.

  11. Facebook too.

  12. I would be interested in reading the book…and then sharing it with the rest of my group.

  13. I love books this sounds wonderful.

  14. maryegankirk

    this book sounds AWESOME! my sister married into a Mennonite family many years ago, but she appears to struggle with some of her husband’s financial tenets ~~ would love to share this book and, hopefully, brighten the next year.

    as always, an excellent and useful post. enjoy your family time over the holidays!

  15. This book sounds interesting. I hope I win.

  16. I follow you on Facebook.

  17. I would love to win this book, Donna!

  18. I think the books sounds like it would be very interesting to read and filled with some practical advice that I could use.

  19. I follow you on Facebook, too.

  20. This sounds interesting!

  21. I follow you on twitter.

  22. I’d have to borrow this book at the library, it seems fitting that in this overstressed era of ours, we look for inspiration for simplicity.

  23. I would love to win this. Thank you for the opportunity.

  24. I also follow you by email /

  25. alexandra martinez

    Sounds fascinating.

  26. John Gray

    I once lived near an Amish community and have a worderful friend named Jimmie Schumker. I would love to have this book!
    Thanks for the consideration,
    John Gray

  27. would love to win this book! happy holidays…

  28. Sounds like a good read…. Thanks

  29. I get your emails

  30. FB fan

  31. Gosh, I’m not on facebook, maybe I’m part Amish??? πŸ˜‰

    Okay, bad joke, but I would like to win the book.

  32. I would be interested in reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity to do so. I also follow you via email.

  33. This would be a great read ~ thanks for the chance

  34. I get your emails

  35. I follow you on twitter-grandmasreading

  36. vickie Jean

    I like you on FB

  37. Would enjoy the book. And as for the bus ride to NJ….last year’s adventure did make for an entertaining story to share with your readers. Best wishes for the Holidays.

  38. Kimberly Pickering

    That sounds like a very interesting book! I admit I have some concerns about some of their practices but it is hard to argue with their ability to thrive with very little.

  39. We had a large Amish community near where I went to school. Very interesting folks. Sounds like a good book.

  40. rosarugosa

    Sounds like fascinating read!

  41. I’m a frugal gal who is always interested in reads in that vein.

  42. I follow via email blast.

  43. And I like ya on FB too. Have a great trip!

  44. Pick me!! Pick me!!!

    I get you on Facebook, and email.

    Have a wonderful time on the East Coast trip, and hopefully it will be drama free.

  45. I often get my best insights into how I can live better by learning from people from cultures other than the one I grew up in. Please enter me in the drawing!

  46. Rebecca Mc

    Sounds like a fun interesting book. If I don’t win I may have to just buy it!

  47. I love a giveaway! Thanks!

  48. I subscribe by email.

  49. i follow on twitter.

  50. Ro in San Diego

    I follow you on Facebook

  51. Ro in San Diego

    I also subscribe by email and would love to win this books.

  52. This looks so interesting–I’d love to win it! Thanks for the opportunity!:):)

  53. I would love to have this book. Honestly! Five kids, endless expenses…..I could stand to learn a few new things! πŸ™‚

  54. Safe travels to the East Coast! I always enjoy your articles via email and am very interested by this book. πŸ™‚

  55. teinegurl

    Enter me I’m subscribed via email

  56. I get your emails.

  57. I also follow you on FB..

  58. Sounds like an interesting read. I think the current economy downturn is a permanent correction and I’d like to learn all I can now regarding simple living and going back to the basics, to still have the best life possible, regardless.

  59. I subscribe via email.

  60. Christine Martin

    Hi Donna. Love your finds. I can never have too many examples of how to live better. Thanks for the offer.

  61. As I am currently unemployed, I would love to have this information. Maybe there is something else I can learn to scale back more than I already have, until our financial situation improves. I already get Wise Bread emails–but there is no such thing as too much knowledge!
    Merry Christmas!

  62. KB made some valid points, however Donna is correct that these things exist throughout our society and are not only present in the Amish. My family has lived among the Amish in Ohio for more than 35 years, and I find much of their life and beliefs to be very interesting. In my interactions they have always been very nice and kind. Each Amish community operates under specific rules, and some of those rules differ from one community to another (i.e. one may allow bicycles, one may not). Do I agree with everything the Amish believe or do? No. Do I agree with everything within non-Amish society? No. I fully respect KB’s opinion and stance. KB has every right to it, to voice it, and to follow the beliefs and code she/he (?) lives by. Of note, regarding the 8th grade education: this used to be what was generally followed by all but the most wealthy in our own country until the early 1900’s, especially when we were a more rural and agrarian society. All children in the U.S. weren’t even required to receive an education until 1918. (Please note this is from memory and my dates may be off a little bit, sorry). Many countries still do not require schooling through 12th grade, allowing students who do not wish to enter a field requiring advanced education to leave early. Some countries we consider to be comparable to the U.S. (such as Australia) allow students to leave at age 16, after completing what we would consider the 10th grade, to pursue trades or other work.
    Good and bad exist. I like to glean what I find to be good from things. Those things I do not agree with, I either move on from or if it is something I feel important for me to try to do something about, I do. I’d love to read this book and see what it has to say.

  63. Katherine

    I subscribe via RSS

  64. Sounds like it would be a good read. I’m interested.

  65. Thanks for finding an interesting book.

  66. This sounds like such an interesting book.

  67. This sounds like a great book! I love reading examples of frugal principles put into practice (I also like alliteration).

  68. Would love to read this one! Thanks!!

  69. Suzanne Carino

    Love your blog and would love to win this book.

  70. Suzanne Carino

    I subscribe via email.

  71. April Durrett

    Donna! Donna! Donna! Donna! Donna! Donna!

    I would love to win the book.


  72. Tracy Stone

    I really, really need to work on this. Reading the book would be a good place to start.

  73. I have a bookcase full of frugal books. (When are you going to write one, by the way?) Would love to add this one.

  74. I subscribe via e-mail, by the way.

  75. Would LOVE to win this book!! Any hints I can glean on living in “simple abundance” I will appreciate!

  76. I would absolutely love to win this!

  77. email subscriber

  78. facebook fan

  79. Sounds like an interesting read.

  80. I follow you on zee twitter!

  81. I am an RSS Subscriber!

  82. I follow you on e-mail and FB. Sounds like an interesting book!

  83. This sounds like a fascinating read. Thaanks for the opportunity!

  84. Follow you on email. Sounds like a good book. SS

  85. It sounds really interesting!

  86. Hootieman

    We’ve always done some of these things. If you can’t repair something to use for it’s original purpose, find another use for it. Make do. Save money. Simplify, and be happy.

  87. Would love to win the book.. Thank you!

  88. I am a RSS subscriber also. Thanks!

  89. I subscribe via email.

  90. always looking to learn more about managing money — thanks for the giveaway

  91. I get your posts via email

  92. I follow on twitter (moeyshay)

  93. I love the simple life (although a lot of hard work)the Amish live. I’d love to read this.
    Thank you!

  94. I subscribe via email

  95. I follow on facebook

  96. I love your blog! Been reading you since “Surviving (and thriving) on $12,000 a year!”

  97. I also subscribe via e-mail.

  98. Bobbe Simpson

    I would love to win the book.

  99. Sounds like an interesting book.

  100. Sounds like a good read, so long as it keeps its place; nobody gets between me & my slowcookers – or else.

  101. I really want this book!

  102. What a unique book.I would love to win it. I follow on facebook.Thanks.

  103. I follow you on Facebook.

    (Frances Perkins)

  104. I THINK I am following you on Twitter. It is messed up for me right now, but I am sure I am.


  105. I subscribe to your RSS feed.

  106. Paul Janda

    This would make a great Christmas present!

  107. I’d love to win!

  108. I also follow you on facebook :o)

  109. I’m certainly curious enough to give it a read, but also a bit dubious about some of their lifestyle choices.

  110. ah crap! I would have wanted to enter had I just read your blog on Tuesday instead of Mondays and Thursdays like I normally do!

    Now I will have to add the book to my half.com list in the hopes someone will list it for $1

  111. ImJuniperNow

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but considering that the Amish are supposedly the biggest puppymill runners, I couldn’t read this book.

  112. Thanks for posting about this book. I’m putting it on my reading list since obviously I’m way too late for the giveaway.