What The Amish Teach Their Kids About Money
Summer has officially begun. And that means that a whole slew of high school grads are on the loose. Some kids will head to college, many will be seeking employment of some type, but as parents, all of us send them out of the nest, hoping that we have instilled basic financial skills needed for them to succeed on their own.
That got us thinking about our friends in Amish country—more than 70 families who produce amazing pieces of custom-made furniture for our customers. For most of these folks, traditional, school-based education ends at 8th grade, yet their children enter adulthood with far better money management skills than any of us.
So what can we learn from our friends in Holmes County (and beyond!)?
Value experience over “stuff”
The Amish are always looking to the long-term. That means they make purchases that will last, rather than succumbing to the latest trends or fads.
Save, Save, Save
On average, the Amish save up to 20% of their income. Typical Americans only save 6%.
Stay debt free
Anyone who listens to Dave Ramsey knows this is a not a novel concept, but the Amish really live up to this ideal. When things gets tight in a household, Amish families are more likely to pick up another job or find another source of income rather than rely on credit to make ends meet.
Believe in hard work and scalable entrepreneurship
The average five-year survival rate for small businesses in the US is 50%. In Amish communities, where many own and operate cottage industries, the survival rate is 95%. Hard work, old school ethics and positive relationships with employees can account for much of this success.
Be a super recycler
The Amish maximize the use of literally every item they consume. That means repurposing in creative ways, shopping second-hand and generally making the most out of every dollar, every garden and every piece of clothing. And with many Amish families supporting six or eight children per household, the mantra of “recycle, reduce, reuse” is more than just a catchy phrase, it’s a way of life.
So as we send our recent grads out to meet the wide world of opportunity that lies before them, it’s a good reminder that lots can be learned from our friends in Amish country.
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