Thursday, May 26, 2011

Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker

New York Times Best-Selling author Lorilee Craker's Money Secrets of the Amish was an interesting read. Subtitled Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving, I expected a well-organized book of frugal tips and tricks. While the book was relatable to me as person who grew up in a frugal household, this book left me wanting much more. It left out the application of just how to simplify, share and save.

In the Introduction the author shared her Amish roots. Her explanation of her ties to the Amish was more of a connection with tradition in the way of dress, eating and verbiage. I don't recall mention of Amish theology. I did appreciate the logo on the back of the book with the website as I am intrigued with the simple lifestyle of the Amish in this country.

Secular cultural references (Oprah, Nate Berkus, NPR, etc.) as well as websites and retail stores for hard to find items were threaded throughout the book. Unfortunately I found the topics in each chapter to be randomly scattered. While I did enjoy the author's conversational (and sometimes humorous) writing style, if I had purchased this book to save money, I would have been disappointed. After reading this book I cannot recall one money-saving tip that I would implement into my own lifestyle.

While the author's testimony of repairing her dented car with white tape (dents became almost invisible!) saved her money, I have to say that this technique is not something I would personally attempt. Many accounts the author shared of situations in which she wanted to buy something but did not (almost a WWAD - What Would Amish Do? as opposed to WWJD - What Would Jesus Do?) "because after all the Amish wouldn't" was not a mantra I would adopt.  The subtitle Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving was a promise not kept.

For an offering in the Business & Economics/Personal Finance/General category this book needed more practical how-to save money tips, tricks and practical secret sharing. Personally, I do not believe driving a nice car, wearing nice clothes and jewelry is bad. I work hard, play hard and strive to look nice. Everything in moderation is my mantra. If I can pay my bills, tithe my ten percent, and meet all other financial obligations, I can rejoice in the blessings that God has given me. If you've got it, wear it!

The Amish  lifestyle is to be applauded. I would have liked to hear more about the Average Joe Amish and less about how to save a dime by living the American lifestyle while trying to "be Amish.". The cover of the book hooked me as it depicted four Ball jars. I would have enjoyed hearing how the Amish live from the land and put away for the future. Practical tips and tricks to save money was my goal in reading this book. However, if I had paid the $15.99 cover price I would have asked for a refund. Sorry to say but that would not have been very Amish of me....

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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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