Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Craker – Personal Finance Book Review – Bartering and Gifting

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Challenging economic times universally inspire people to make wise financial decisions. Whether you’re choosing to repair a vehicle over buying a new one, or invest in simple pleasures vs. opulent outlets, such behaviors are proliferating. One culture that has always lived austere but meaningful lives is the Amish. Increasingly, people are intrigued by his lifestyle; and they wonder what aspects of their lives they could comfortably imitate.

Lorilee Craker is the author of the new book, “Money Secrets Of The Amish-Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving.” She examines her lifestyle, which is extravagant in peace, closeness with family and community. For them, thrift is a muscle that is exercised regularly.

Craker interviewed Amish people in Michigan and Pennsylvania, including an Amish banker whose clientele is 95 percent Amish. During the Great Recession of 2008, his bank had the best year in its history. Financial perspectives from Amish experts and Englishmen (Amish reference to anyone who is not Amish) also punctuate the book. Two of his money-saving habits, bartering and reconsidering gifts, are discussed here.

barter Bartering was a popular social behavior from the 1880s until the Great Depression. It is common again today. The Amish, who have a long history of living outside of a cash economy, love to trade goods for goods, goods for services, or services for services. When it comes to bartering, ask yourself, “What are you good at and what could you trade for something of value?”

Unfortunately, Americans may be too proud to barter, but it is popular in foreign countries. Barter, and you:

  • Build relationships and community.
  • Commit at a deeper level when it comes to expressing your needs.
  • Think of your assets first before your needs.

If you don’t feel comfortable bartering, start with your friends and acquaintances; and look for barter opportunities. Post whatever you need to on social networking sites.

Rethink gift giving. The Amish give one gift per child for birthdays and Christmas. Gifts are often useful, need-based, and handmade, regardless of the age of the recipient. The first step in rethinking gift-giving is to scale it down. Consider giving gifts that are: has. charitable experiential gold, gold b. homegrown in some way.

Experiential gifts. Give a unique experience, shared or not, of know-how, skill and, most importantly, memorable. Examples include tickets to sporting events, museum memberships, or horseback riding lessons. Experiential gifts can be expensive or cheap, since it’s more about investing in the relationship.

  • Gifts that cannot be wrapped. They can be fun, frugal, but meaningful. Offer coupons for services including babysitting, house cleaning, or yard work.
  • Delivery of coupons. Consider giving the gift of time, allowing you to make memories, which are priceless. Coupon giveaways are also something to anticipate use.
  • Make a donation in the name of the recipient to a worthy charitable cause.

Homegrown. Examples include painted pottery, made candles, garden stones, and soap.

  • Cooking, Canning, Baking. “Somehow, there’s something about a cooking gift that includes so much more than the cost of the ingredients,” says Craker.

Second hand. Aim for 20 percent of your gifts to come from resale, consignment, or thrift stores, Craker suggests:

  • Resale stores. May include children’s jewelry.
  • Consignment stores. Browse designer clothing, baby shower and newborn gifts.

Buy your own house for gifts. One person’s trash is another man’s pleasure:

  • Re-gift. This practice gets a bad rap, but if you have something in good condition that someone else would appreciate much more than you, why not give it to them?
  • Practice re-gifting beyond Christmas. Sometimes gifts have additional meaning to both the giver and the recipient. Parents can gift special household items to their adult children. These objects are treasured, emotional connection points with their upbringing.

money secrets of the amish it illustrates that bartering and gift-giving can be both fashionable and practical. And you don’t have to wear a hat or suspenders to thrive.

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