The Amish community has become well known for living frugally and surviving on what they have.
They don’t require electricity, cars or any other modern convenience, but they do possess some high-quality tricks of the financial trade.
In fact, the Amish people look at debt as a shame on the family name. It’s no wonder why the Amish can teach us so much about personal finance and saving money because they are obviously doing everything right – even if the face of recession.
Below, we have outlined some wise money secrets from the Amish that can help you get your financial buggy in order (figuratively speaking, of course).
1. They Avoid Debt and Credit Cards
According to many sources, the Amish folks avoid credit card debt and debt in general like the plague.
While the average American has at least three or four credit cards, the Amish people loathe the use of them. Those in less traditional Amish communities may use credit cards for their various rewards, but they pay them off on time.
If a debt is due on the 1st and you pay it on the 10th, it is viewed as stealing another person’s money for that nine day period of time.
They also learn these values at a young age and raise their children to know the difference between wants and needs.
2. Amish People Grow Their Own Food
In order to save money and serve their family the healthiest of meals, people in Amish communities grow their own vegetables and raise their animals for their meat products.
While you may not have space for pigs, chickens, and a cow, you can certainly grow a small garden even if space proves to be a constraint.
3. They Value Experiences Over Material Goods
Amish people aren’t suckers for gimmicks or flashy ads and mostly, will only spend their hard-earned cash on items of value.
They place little value on material possessions and emphasize their experiences in life over everything else.
To replicate this, consider spending your money on a weekend at a water park versus a giant television.
Family experiences bring you closer together and give all of you memories that can never be replaced.
4. They Set Aside 20% of Their Income
The average American sets aside 6% of their income, but those in Amish communities save roughly 20%. They value not having any debt and are proud to have interest accruing on their savings.
If you can, set a little more aside than usual for your savings. If you need to, download a calendar for the purpose of saving money.
Each day, set aside a dollar or whatever change you have in your pocket. These small amounts add up! In addition, save all of the change from your purchases made with cash. At the end of each month, roll up your change and take it to the bank.
Always avoid those Coinstar machines – they take part of the money you saved and they’re usually situated near banks rendering themselves useless.
5. When Money is Tight, They Prefer to Get a Side Job
When things get tight financially, we usually run to a credit card to save us from trouble. When money is tight for the Amish, they prefer to buckle down and get a second job to help out their financial situations.
They use all of their skills in order to make a situation work and will resort to working other jobs to help with financial woes.
6. The Amish Value Recycling
The Amish don’t like to waste anything and place a high value on recycling everything. For example, if clothing items are too worn for use, they will cut them into pieces to create a quilt or rags.
They go the extreme when it comes to finding a second or third use for everything they come across. The Amish are highly resourceful when it comes to recycling and avoid waste whenever possible.
7. They Purchase Goods in Bulk
Those in Amish communities have many mouths to feed, so it only makes sense for them to buy in bulk.
This helps them not only save money but to get valuable discounts on goods bought.
Oats are bought in 50-pound bags and sugar in 200-pound bags, yielding higher savings as opposed to purchasing lower quantities.
While this may not seem feasible to the average spender, you can save money by buying in bulk at places like BJ’s, Sam’s Club or any other wholesale outlet.
8. Goods Are Bought Secondhand When Possible
Shopping at garage sales and thrift stores is a common occurrence among the Amish since they usually have larger families. This helps them to stock up on household items, clothing, and tools.
They see the value in buying used items at a discount as opposed to buying something new and paying full price.
In addition, Amish workers value repairing items as opposed to throwing them out and buying new. This also goes along with their lack of waste and resourcefulness in finding second uses for things.
9. They Funnel Money Back Into the Community
Amish community members often have low-interest loan programs to help those new to the business community in funding farmland purchases.
They want to help their young people get into the business and get established without having to reach out to the outside world for help.
Many cultures do this with family members, but the Amish take it to a whole new level.
If you have children, set aside money for their futures, but also teach them the responsibility of what having a low-interest loan means.
If they are taught at young ages to respect their finances, they will take that knowledge with them into adulthood.
The Amish are great business people and have a knack for saving money even in the face of a recession.
Given that they avoid debt at all costs, grow their own food, save money like a boss and help others in need of loans in the community, it’s no wonder that they’re so great at retaining their financial independence.
The gist is to save more, spend less money and prioritize things based on importance to family versus material wealth.