Last Thursday was my 10th Year Wedding Anniversary with Mrs Credit Card. We went away to Strausburg, Lancaster County (where the Armish live) for a Spa get away. Aside from the wonderful spa treatments, we visited an Amish Village where we were given a quick tour and education about how the Amish people lived. To say it was an eye opener was an understatement.
After giving us a history of how the Amish people came to America from Europe, the tour guide then showed us how the Amish lived. Man, was this extreme frugality in action. Here are a few rules and points about their lifestyle.
1. They do not use electricity – just gas. Hence, you can see huge gas tanks by an Amish home.
2. No electricity means no televisions, no cable TVs, no internet connections.
3. They travel around in buggys (little carriages and horses). They can catch a ride in cars, but not own one!
4. They do not own any life or medical insurance. If they have an accident and the medical bills are too high, the church and community will hold fundraisers.
5. Most Amish study until a middle school equivalent and then move on to their “chosen profession”. (No worries about funding college education!)
6. We were also given a “tour” of a typical family house. One of the things that struck me was that everything in the house has to have a purpose or function. That means no decorative stuff or no ing stuff on impulse.
7. They dress simply and although there are different sets of outfits for married and single folks. No spending on extravagent clothes.
(Above left and right pictures) – These are pictures of an Amish kitchen. The kitchen is the only heated place during winter and is where most family activities are. Note the gas stoves and gas lights.
(Above Left) – blanket to keep warm during winter. (Above right) – Typical clothes of the Amish
(Above Left) – An old gas washing machine. Nobody makes them anymore. But apparantly, there are people who know where to get spare parts! (Above Right) – Transportation – No worries and debate about ing new car or used! No wasting time over getting the lowest rate for your auto loan!
Look, most of us are not simply going to live a life like that. But for those who are finding it difficult to reduce your spending and your credit card debts, there are lessons to be learnt from the Amish. Firstly, we can actually do without what many of us would consider “must have items”. Or at least, we can do without them for a short period of time. Cancelling your cable or magazine subsription is one way to cut some fat from our budget.
Another interesting thing about their house is that every thing in it has to have a purpose. How many of us simply something because of impulse purchase? Or simply to decorate the house. Look, if you have lots of cash or cash inflow, what you spend on is never an issue. But if you are looking to reduce debt, getting into the habit of not ing stuff for ing sake will go a long away to better your finances.
I hope this post is an inspiration for those looking to trim some fat from their budgets. And Oh! I forgot to ask if Armish poeple carry credit cards!