Book Review: Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker
Lorilee Craker writes well. I want to say that up front, right off. I’ve long been interested in the Amish people, who forsake technology and live simpler lives in accordance with their religious beliefs. So I was pleased when a publicist contacted me offering a copy of Craker’s new book Money Secrets of the Amish, sub-titled Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving. I found Craker’s recounting of her meetings with Amish Bishop Eli King interesting and appreciated the chapter recounting the Amish philosophy of “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do Without” . I learned that the Amish do not believe in credit and live their markedly simpler lives on the basis of cash and barter.
Living here in the Pacific Northwest, I am like Craker quite fond of lattes, although I actually prefer independent “mom and pop” coffee stands to Starbucks or the other chains. Unlike Ms. Craker, however, a massage is not my idea of a special treat. I am also not a clothes horse (again unlike Ms. Craker) and in many, many ways the treats and incentives Craker repeatedly refers to as motivations for thrift moved moved me not at all. While I did appreciate learning a bit more than I already knew about the Amish people, it seemed to me that Money Secrets of the Amish was written for a very narrow audience– specifically stylish, professional women in the upper mid-western United States with very particular preferences in food and recreation.
As someone who has long been too poor to indulge in the lavish gift-giving which Craker proposes alternatives for, this advice also was quite lost on me, as I suspect it would have been on the Amish folks Craker wrote about. I suppose if you are in the rather narrow target audience identified above, you might find utility in Money Secrets of the Amish. But honestly, I suspect that even better money-saving advice would be to save the $10.87. Money Secrets of the Amish. Not Recommended.