In tough economic times, it is still possible to cope financially. It requires a major paradigm shift: to understand that an abundant life does not consist of spending a lot of money on a bunch of stuff that you donâ??t REALLY need
In fact, itâ??s just the opposite: having less stuff, and saving a lot of money.
Put so starkly, most of us could agree that this sounds like a grand idea. If only we had the self-control to do it. However, we might need to take some tips from the Amish people of North America who have proved to be recession proof in hard economic times.
Here are the six main reasons why the Amish can cope better than most of us in hard economic times.
1.  Pay your bills on time and get rid of your debts first
This is probably one of the most important points when trying to cope financially in hard economic times. When you pay bills late, you are wasting money on exorbitant late payment charges. Credit card debt is draining on your budget and the interest you pay is money straight down the drain.
2.  Visit thrift or second-hand stores, both to buy and to sell
Look out for good quality second-hand or thrift stores in your neighbourhood.  Great bargains in nearly new or even designer clothing, household goods, books or magazines can be found. These items can cost a fraction of the price and really help to stretch your budget. Watch out also for garage or car-boot sales in your area or have one yourself.
3.  Learn to delay gratification
Think twice before buying something you want instead of something you need. Learn to put off shopping for non-essentials during hard economic times. Always prioritise the essential needs of yourself and your family.  This is no time for self indulgence.
4.  Pay yourself first
Whether youâ??re earning money in the traditional work place or are self-employed, set some goals and plans for saving.
It helps to plan ahead for a trip, a house, furthering your education or improving your skills.  Saving money doesnâ??t mean youâ??re not supposed to spend it.  But work out how and on what youâ??re going to save for and spend.
5.  Recycle, repair, restore and reuse as much as you can
This goes beyond just putting out your recycling bin at the curb. The Amish (and lots of other thrifty people) wash and reuse plastic containers or glass jars, hand down, remake or redesign clothes. Use both sides of your office paper – this will save you money and youâ??ll be helping the environment.
6.  Remember that the best things in life are not things

The Amish know that by investing time and effort in togetherness and relationships with friends and family is far more valuable than the unnecessary material possessions on which you spend and even waste your money.
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