Today I will be writing about saving and paying our debts. The Amish do get loans as the rest of us do from banks, but not nearly as many!
They do not have charge cards. They pay cash and (checks) for everything.
Most of these thoughts are not just Amish, but good old common sense for all of us.
The Amish believe that you NEVER under any circumstance pay a bill late. They say that the right thing to do is "honor your debts". Wise advice.
Late fees will eat you up, if you do not pay on time. Late fees can be any where from $15 a month to $50 a month. That can add up to between $170 to $600 a year!!!! Oh my goodness - what you could do with money, other than just throw it away!
NEVER pay a yearly fee for a charge card. That is just crazy. Why should you pay them for the pleasure of going into debt??
Do not bounce a check. That is another thing that can add up so quickly it is not funny. I am sure it has happened to everyone at least once - by honest mistake or by bank error. (We had a bank cash a check from our account for $1,200 once instead of $120). Let's just say I was more than infuriated, and I told them I wasn't leaving the bank till they got it fixed!!! Funny how it only took about an hour versus the 3 days they originally said.
You get NSF fees, for every check bounced (one could mean several), plus incurring late fees. This could add up to a significant amount of dollars.
Pay OFF your charge cards each month to keep from incurring finance charges. The banks truly appreciate you NOT paying them off - but you don't need to make them richer.
ALWAYS pay yourself first. Sounds easy - huh? Well it really is. It doesn't have to start out as a big amount, maybe $5 or $10 a week, then gradually increase it. Now before you say I don't ever have any extra money - just stop and think!
Do you smoke? Do you drink pop? Do you stop and buy coffee each day? Do you shop daily? Do you buy snacks and goodies from the store? I could go on and on and on..........................
If you said YES to any of those questions - YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO SAVE!
Whether you have small or lofty goals, it is positively necessary to give up immediate self gratification till you meet you goal! I know that sounds harsh - but if you goal is important - you will do whatever it takes to get there.
Whether saving to pay off debt, buy a house, buy a car, pay off student loans, or just to have a nest egg for a rainy day - do what is necessary. Sometimes we have all had "down pours" versus just a rainy day. Emergencies happen and we all need to be prepared. You never know when the car will break down, the cat needs to go to the vet, you break a tooth.........................
IF you can do automatic transfer from your paycheck to the bank - DO IT. It is so true that if you don't see it, you won't miss it.
Living on the edge all of your life (even for a short while) can be so stressful and scary. Stress can make you sick as well. It's all a big huge cycle. Work at what you have to, work as much as you have to, work at more than one job if you have to - and get your partner on board too.
Amish families work together to reach their goals. The husband works, many of the wives work at making money as well, while raising MANY children. They may sell eggs, veggies, home canned goods, bakery goods, quilts, etc. - and they only spend what is absolutely necessary to survive.
I recently read the story of a man named Amos who is a 45 year old farmer, married with 14 children. For 20 years he and his wife 'rented' a farm, till he saved enough to buy the farm! While renting and raising that huge family, he and his wife managed to save $400,000 in 20 years! I think that is just totally remarkable! He saw nothing impressive or unusual about that - according to him "It's just what you do".
Thrift, common sense, wise money practices, and delayed gratification are all important to the Amish (they are taught these values from childhood), and they are important for the English as well.
Do you have peace of mind? Are you prepared for an economic downturn? Are you paying off debt and trying to save for a rainy day? I SURE HOPE SO.
Start small and build your way upward.
REMEMBER: A dollar saved is BETTER than a dollar earned! Think about that!
My daddy always told me that if "something is worth having - it's worth working for." Truer words were never spoken.
Let's all work and support one another in this venture in this coming year.