Amish Finances

An Amish Person Taught Me the Greatest Benefit to Paring Down Spending

March 12, 2014

I used to drive Amish for a living (well, if you can call working summers and holidays in-between college semesters ‘a living’). Ah, memories. Like that time I took an Amish family on the metro in D.C., or the group of young Amish couples I drove up to their cabin for the night with their cassette tape of “Beautiful Body” and hours of unsolicited karaoke (the Devil, my friend, is in those lyrics). I even saw Amish in bathing suits on a New Jersey beach. Driving Amish is sort of a family affair. My father drives Amish for a living, my stepmother does as well, and each of my siblings has had their share of runs in Amish Paradise for errands, market runs, doctor appointments, “visiting”, etc. You can make good money driving Amish. And if you can get past some of the “quirks” of driving around people who are generally not used to being in a vehicle {you don’t want to know what a ‘whip’ container is…trust me}, then it can truly be an eye-opening experience. Especially after allowing the cultural divide to shrink and having genuine conversations with them. Here’s one of my favorite lessons learned from one […]

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The Amish Next Door: How they Manage their Children’s Money

May 1, 2013

As some of you may know, my father is a full-time Amish taxi driver in Lancaster County, PA*. One of my father’s main employers is a man named Leroy. Leroy owns a construction company and hires my father to drive him around to his in-state and out-of-state construction sites once a week to check up on his crews. On my past trip home I was lucky enough to be invited to tag along on one of their weekly business routes. Not only was I lucky enough to be invited, but Leroy was more than happy to answer some of my financial questions about the Amish. Over the course of six hours we traveled on dirt roads and highways, through Amish country and into commercial zones, and also shared a lunch together at a diner my father and Leroy both enjoy. I got the chance to entertain some rumors I had heard many years ago, as well as further debunk Discovery Channel’s Amish Mafia show (does anyone really think that show is real?). Rumor has it… I had heard many years ago that when an Amish teenager gets a job outside of the home, they must give their paycheck to their […]

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Bridling Lifestyle Inflation the Amish Way

August 27, 2012

There is a truth in life that I thought I could get past: when you make more money, you spend more money. I first heard this bit of wisdom when I was a teenager and shrugged it off as a problem for people who are not good stewards of their resources, who want too much out of life, and who consistently overextend themselves. None of this described me—a 14 or 15 year old girl who made $98 a week mucking horse stalls for two years to save for a study abroad trip to Spain—and I was not going to become like them. What I didn’t know at that tender age is that a person is not in control of their lives all of the time, that in order to pursue some of a person’s dreams (travel, college, creating a home and life with someone else) money will need to be spent, or that at some point, a person may want more comforts than their 14-year old farm girl self could understand. But this life truth seems to have caught up with me. I have felt over the last year or so that there is some needless spending going on in […]

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Do the Amish Pay Taxes?

April 11, 2011

The tax deadline is upon us, and I wanted to take this opportunity to shed some light on a very controversial topic to attempt to answer the question: do Amish pay taxes? There are several reasons why this topic is so controversial, and two that I would like to address. Taxes are charged by many levels of governments in order to carry out many different functions. Some of these functions include maintaining and building roads, public transportation, public works, enforcement of law, protection of property, welfare, education, etc. Whether or not you agree with these functions is another topic all together. However, several of these government functions benefit everyone—Amish included—even though the Amish may not actually contribute to these benefits financially. The most obvious example is the building and maintaining of roads. The cost of this is paid for mainly through gas taxes, revenue from driver’s licenses, and money collected through tolls. While the Amish do not pay these consumption taxes, they do use roads and bridges to drive their horse and buggies on. The second reason why this topic is so controversial is because of the lack of information that has led to the assumption that the Amish do not […]

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