More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated

More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated

by Erin Odom


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When you're trapped in a cycle of financial frustration, and you feel like you've tried everything only to end up with more month than money yet again, More Than Just Making It is your promise and pathway to thriving again.

Take it from someone who's been there. Erin Odom grew up in the private schools and neatly manicured lawns of Upper Middle Class America, but was thrown into low-income living during the economic crash. She was a stay-at-home-mom, her husband was supporting the family on a teacher's salary, and despite the fact that they had no debt to their name, they were scrambling to make ends meet. Suddenly Erin found herself standing in line for food stamps, turning down play dates because she couldn't afford the gas, and ultimately walking into bankruptcy court in the eighth month of her third pregnancy.

More Than Just Making It tells the story of their breaking point, as well as the triumph of their comeback. It took hard work, creativity, and faith in God’s provision to reset their bank account as well as their hearts, but ultimately they found a new way to thrive and freedom from financial anxiety. You can do the same. Learn how Erin and her family saved enough money to put $30,000 down on a home, buy a minivan in cash, and begin sending their daughter to private Christian school. More Than Just Making It will encourage readers to rise above their circumstances, empower them with money-saving tips, and reimagine the good life as God designed it outside the myth of the American Dream.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310348887
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 577,691
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Erin Odom is the founder of The Humbled Homemaker, a blog dedicated to grace-filled living and designed to equip and encourage mothers in the trenches. Her Southern charm and wealth of inspirational, practical content has drawn an audience of millions over the years. Erin and her husband, Will, live in the South, where they raise their four children. Follow Erin at

Table of Contents

1 When Your Economy Crumbles 13

2 And It All Comes Tumbling Down 20

3 When You Can Barely Make Ends Meet 30

4 Curbing Spending 44

5 Building your Budget 55

6 Eating Well on a Rice and Beans Budget 71

7 The Magic of Meal Planning, 86

8 From Clothing to Couches: Secondhand Shopping at Its Best 95

9 First, Shop at Home; Then Shop Sales 107

10 Persimmons and Provision 117

11 The Elephant in the Church: The Government Aid Question 134

12 Changing Our Mindsets 156

13 Creating More Income 175

14 Redefining the American Dream 194

15 Bankruptcy of the Heart 206

16 When the Tunnel's Still Dark 219

Acknowledgments 229

Notes 235

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More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Kozlof More than 1 year ago
Erin Odom, known for her blogging as “The Humbled Homemaker” has compiled some solid advice for those who are walking through financial distress. Through personal experience with the frustration of financial issues Erin walks readers through some simple and some profound ideas and ideals for finding hope and overcoming the state of “more month that money.” Delivering on topics such as “Eating well on a rice and beans budget” (my personal favourite here), “Changing our mindsets” and even some decent advice on “Creating more Income.” The downfall of this book is the fixed americanized view. With it being available in Canada, one must beware of what they will be reading. The American Dream is quite different from that of Canada, and the financial burdens on families in the US will differ greatly from those in Canada, including salaries, medical bills and housing costs. That being said, it is possible to pick up some life changing tips from each chapter, and walk through the process of changing your slant for things like credit cards, designer clothing and buying grouches from the clearance section (think last second fruit or nearly stale bread). Odom used clear and correct biblical insights and kept me interested with only the occasional thought of dragging in material. The book may not be for everyone, but if you commonly or suddenly find yourself in a bind financially, I recommend you pick this up and see how God directs you through it. **I received this book free from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review, these are my personal thoughts.
iamjoymoy More than 1 year ago
Stories help us understand. They help us learn and grow. Finding out someone’s stories can teach us to live with more grace, hope, empathy, love…I think Erin Odom’s More Than Just Making It is one of those stories where we will have to “listen” to open our eyes and hearts to where someone has been, where they are now, and where they are going, and take in the lessons they have learned to live life to the fullest. This is a book for both those who have financial challenges and those who have found financial stability.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have ever felt like you were sinking in the financial struggles, this book is a must read! Erin reminds us of things that we already know, but need reminded of often and she offers us tips on how to get our finances in order. All of this occurs while knowing that you are not alone in the struggle. Sometimes, just the solidarity is all we need to make a necessary push. This book offers all of that!
Lisa_TheMerryMomma More than 1 year ago
Note: I received a free copy of this book in advance of its release as part of a book launch team. This review, however, is purely driven by my desire to encourage everyone I know to read it. This book left a mark on my heart that has stayed with me long after I turned that last page. It is a must-read for so many different groups of people, and I have already recommended it to all my friends, family, and blog readers. There is something in it for everyone - for those struggling to get by, it offers hope and practical advice; for those who are frustrated, it offers encouragement; for those who doubt God's provision, it offers illuminating perspective; and for those who have judged, it offers humility. When I first began to read this book, I was excited about the ways it would ease my financial frustrations. I thought that would come through tips on frugality or income-generation, and this book does have those! But it turns out, the cure for my financially frustrated and discontented heart actually came by recognizing my current blessings and opening my eyes to God's constant provision in my life. And I'm even more thankful for that.
kdedeyne More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced copy of this book as part of being on the launch team. I was immediately intrigued by this book when I heard of it, because Erin has always been open about her family's financial struggles and their experience using government assistance like the WIC program and food stamps. Those are programs that, even though many people use them, it's not necessarily common to actually hear about those experiences. But Erin didn't just share her family's struggles. She also shared practical tips and encouragement for those currently trying to "just make it" to move to "more than just making it". And she also gave advice for those who have been blessed, whether with money, or with things. Amidst a world of judgment and stereotypes, she encourages readers to look beyond what they may see on the surface because you don't know someone else's story. Above all, though, Erin reminds readers that God provides. Throughout the whole book, from stories of when they had no money to when they were able to send their daughter to a school they didn't think they'd be able to afford, Erin mentions all of the "kisses from Jesus", the times God provided for them through other people just when they needed it. We've had plenty of "kisses for Jesus" moments in our lives as well, and while I'm not a fan of the phrase itself, the idea behind it is a great reminder of Who is in charge. Overall, this has been a really good read. Whether you have money, or you have none, you can get something out of this book.
Sunflower_Mom More than 1 year ago
“More Than Just Making It, Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated”, by Erin Odom is part memoir, and part advice book for those who are financially hurting. I was not sure what to expect when I first began reading this book. I knew of the author from her blog so I was interested in reading her book. The book begins with a personal story and reads almost like a fiction book, so I was initially hooked. After the first few chapters, the personal story went to a more informative, non-fiction voice. The book continues this way. The author interweaves her family’s personal struggles with finances with practical tips and advice for those who are struggling financially. The book is packed with ideas how to save money and pinch pennies. Although that isn't the season of my life right now, there are ideas for everyone. But this book isn't simply a money management book if it were it wouldn't have kept my interest. I wanted to hear more of Erin’s personal voice and her own story. The author has a captivating voice and is a great story teller. She told her personal story with great heart and makes her readers feel compassion for her. Erin tells of the embarrassment and shame of paying for her groceries with WIC checks and of applying to be on public assistance for food stamps. She describes the impatience, stares, and glares of other customers and of the store clerks. The book challenges those who have not been in this situation to examine our own preconceived notions of others and to give others grace. We are gently reminded to check our own judgment towards others. The ending is hardly a secret if you have browsed through the online world much. Erin has a successful blog Her blog has allowed her family to dig themselves out of debt and even employ herself and her husband full time. She dispenses some advice near the end of the book about how to grow a side gig into a full-time business. “More Than Just Making It” would be a comfort to read for those who feel like they are drowning in debt and do not know where to turn. The author has been there and has found a way out. The advice is practical. Perhaps, you do not know how to begin, this book does have easy ideas to implement. The tone is loving and encouraging. This book reminded me that all gifts, including financial stability, come from God. We are challenged to rely on God and see where his hidden gifts to us are each day. This is a lesson I can learn from any season of my life.
beloved569 More than 1 year ago
Insightful, practical, and easy to read all while still being an enjoyable read.
MyJoyInChaos More than 1 year ago
If you've ever felt frustrated by the state of your bank account, worried that you won't have money for groceries this month, or thankful when provision comes in the most unexpected ways then this book is for you. If you are looking for creative ways to stretch a dollar, even if you aren't counting pennies, this book is for you. If you want to learn how to be a better steward of what God has entrusted to you, this book is for you. Erin is encouraging, honest, and so easy to relate to. I can feel the pain as she shares her struggles and her joy as God meets her family's needs again and again. I received this book as part of the launch team and feel honored for the chance to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(I received a free copy of this book as part of the launch team. All opinions are my own) This book is part memoir - you'll get to hear and live the Odom's financial and life story with them. Erin shares the hard and the easy parts of their journey. If you struggle with making ends meet you'll relate to Erin's story and she'll make you feel not alone. If making ends meet is not something you struggle with, reading Erin's story will open your eyes and help you relate and respond to those around you that do. Poor often doesn't look how you'd expect. This book is also part how to. If you are new to budgeting, meal planning, finding ways to save money etc you'll find tons of inspiration and ideas. Saving money and living on a budget is a passion of mine so I loved seeing so many of my favorite ways to save listed. If you live on a tight budget and don't know how you could possibly be any more careful with your money Erin also discusses that one might have a income problem instead of a spending problem and gives some ideas there. If you are struggling to make ends meet, feel financially frustrated, or need inspiration for how to budget and ways to save - check out this book! You'll be encouraged. - Deanna
MrsFrisch More than 1 year ago
I was blessed to be a part of the launch team for this book, which allowed me to receive a copy of this book prior to its release date. While reading "More Than Just Making It...", I found myself saying, "Yes, I've been there and felt that way too", as Erin honestly shared about her financial struggles, along with the emotions she experienced during those struggles. Seeing how she learned to completely trust God to provide for her needs and those of her family was an inspiration to me. This book is filled with helpful tips and is full of encouragement and faith for those who are reading it. I highly recommend Erin's book for anyone who has struggled, or is currently struggling with their finances.
HeatherF89 More than 1 year ago
This book is a very encouraging read. Erin shares her and her families story about financial struggles and encourages readers that are going through tough times. Throughout the book, Erin shares many ways to save money and budget wisely. She also touches on the subject of government assistance programs such as WIC to encourage readers that they are not alone. If you are currently struggling financially, it would greatly benefit you to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The practical advice is SPOT ON. When I finished the book, I nearly cried. Erin’s story is so amazing, and the way she told it? So genuine, full of grace, hope, and encouragement. I’ve read plenty of books, but few are as relatable, encouraging, and real as this one. So many families will be blessed with these words.
Rlynch More than 1 year ago
A book about so much more than just the practical. Erin Odom opens her heart and her past to walk through the rough times her family went through. Having been one to worry about juggling a few bills as we figured it all out, I felt it all. I loved the balance within the book between her story and general advice on certain situations. I know I have picked up quite a few tips as well as feel better about where I am today and how to keep moving forward. For anyone that is, was or knows someone working through tough financial situations this is a must read. There will be tears but smiles too! I was blessed to receive an advanced reader copy of this book, but all opinions are my own.
DawnAldridge11 More than 1 year ago
If you are feeling financially frustrated, this book offers encouragement and practical tips. Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book as a part of the book's launch team, and I have found it to be inspiring. I also paid to pre-order the published book. In this book, Erin tells her family's story of being on public aid. She offers tips for budgeting, cutting spending, and meal planning with examples of how she has applied those tips in her own life. That is where I found the most value in this book. I recommend taking notes as you read and picking out the things you can apply to your own life. I love how Erin included a list of her own budget categories to give readers an idea of things they may not think to include in a budget. She also identifies what expenses her family has decided are wants and which ones are needs. Erin's insecurities about her family's financial situation show through strongly in this book. She talks about what it was like for her to apply for Medicaid, WIC, and food stamps, and the shame she felt, all very candidly. Through her story, she encourages us all to cast no judgment on others and to make no assumptions because we don't know what situations others are facing.
thisgalsjourney More than 1 year ago
I really wasnt sure what to expect when I cracked open this book. However, I didnt expect to find such moving story telling in the middle of a "finance" book. Erin Odom masterfully weaves the story of her family's financial struggles with examples of God's faithfulness and practical tips for those who might be struggling financially. This book isn't just for thtose who are struggling, though. If someone you know or love is struggling, or you just want to read about how God really works in these situations, More Than Just Making It will not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Erin’s story provides a unique and thought-provoking perspective on poverty and government assistance in the U.S. Her sweet, gentle, and down-to-earth personality come out in her writing style and you know you could be fast friends with this author. She vulnerably shares how during the recent economic crisis, a series of unfortunate events left her well-educated, middle-class family unable to provide for some of their most basic needs. This was even though they had no consumer or student debt and were living a very frugal lifestyle already. Erin challenges her readers to avoid judgment of others as they often don’t know the full story and to not take for granted privileges they may have but haven't considered. As well as sharing her story from poverty to becoming an entrepreneur with a thriving blog, she shares many practical tips with her readers on how to be financially savvy and live a frugal life as well as ways to increase income. No matter your background, you will be able to relate to Erin and glean some wisdom from her book!
Elizabeth-U More than 1 year ago
"More than Just Making It" is an honest look at the financial struggles Erin and her family experienced in the past ten years. The book is a great blend of memoir and practical advice. My own family went through similar financial difficulty after my husband unexpectedly lost his job shortly after our first child was born. I sincerely wish I had Erin's encouragement and advice during that time period. While I was embarrassed that my husband and I, two college-educated adults, were struggling to make ends meet, I realized we needed help. Much of Erin's advice echos what I read in financial advice books at the time, but the difference in "More Than Just Making It" is that Erin speaks to the heart of those struggling financially. She encourages readers saying, "whatever the cause of our financial challenges, we all need grace to get through them." While our family no long struggles the way we once did, I am still occasionally guilty of spending more than I need to or coveting what we can't reasonably afford. I needed to hear Erin's words now as much as ever. She reminded me that "much of what we see as needs, the rest of the world lives without." She challenges readers to rethink financial goals and redefine success asking convicting questions. "What if our generation could live with less than the Joneses while reaching for a new American Dream that leaves us less stressed, and reimagining 'the good life'?" Another surprise in the book was Erin's honest assessment of people's perception of the poor, especially the church's perspective of the poor. Many of Erin's experiencing with judgement and shame were similar to my own. The chapter entitled "The Elephant in the Church" makes this a must-read for all Christians. Whether you are struggling financially, looking for practical ways to improve your financial situation (regardless of your current income), or seeking to have heart more open to those whose economic realities do not match your own, this books is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"More Than Just Making It" truly touched me. Erin's heartwarming story has so many echoes of my own - tight finances and the stress that comes with living on a low income. As Erin shares her story, she gently reverses preconceived notions about asking for help and accepting government assistance, and she does so all with support from Scripture. I appreciated the variety of tips and ideas that Erin shares, many of which I've not seen suggested in other similar financial books I've read. Most of all, I appreciate Erin's reminders that everything we have comes from God and that no matter what our situation in life is, we need to keep our eyes on Him.
cwilli7 More than 1 year ago
The tag line of this book is what caught my attention- hope for the financially frustrated- I was frustrated at simply making it, or not, each month instead of feeling like we were making progress toward our financial goals. I expected this book to be similar to other financial advice books- providing plenty of directions on how to get out of debt form the "tighten-your-belt, pull-yourself-up" mentality. I was sweetly surprised to find Erin Odom's testimony included within the pages with vulnerability and a humbleness that soothed my hurting heart and had me questioning my prejudices. Not only was I comforted to know someone else had similar financial dilemmas, but felt the same questions and doubts of the Spirit as well. Since reading the book, I have attempted to attack my family's spending and income problems with suggestions from Erin such as menu planning, and buying gently used items rather than new. I am hopeful that what I've learned from Erin will help change the direction of our family's finances.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. If I had to describe Erin Odom in one word, it would be gracious. I don’t do everything exactly the same way that she does, but I never feel demeaned by her writing. In the present climate of the internet, that can be a rare quality! When I discovered that Erin was writing a book, I knew I would enjoy reading it. More Than Just Making It is part memoir and part practical tips for learning how to do more than just scrape by. Those who are struggling with their finances will be encouraged by the Odom family’s story of making it out of low income living. However, even those who are currently doing just fine financially will benefit from reading this book. Erin addresses common misconceptions about people who are low income and challenges the idea that “only bad or irresponsible people need assistance.”
EllieLynne More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually a fan of fiction books, but this one is amazing! It touched on so many personal levels that I felt like the author was a kindred spirit! She talks about so many personal stories that one wouldn't even share with their personal friends. If you have ever been right on money, this is a book for you. She even gives ideas on how to save money in a creative way! I highly recommend this to anyone who doesn't feel any hope with their financial situation. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Kishona More than 1 year ago
No matter where your family is financially, this book has something to offer you. Part memoir of her family's most hopeless financial season and part mentoring to help those still facing a struggle, Erin's desire is to bring hope and allow God to bless others through their story. As she says, "We walked there so God could use us here." In "More Than Just Making It," Erin shares her heart and her experiences with a transparency and vulnerability that let you know you are not alone, and she reminds us that we can trust in God’s provision and His plan in every situation. Her book offers encouragement and inspiration as well as a plethora of simple, actionable strategies and habits for saving money and provides readers with a stocked arsenal of resources to help you go from financial stress to financial success. This is definitely a book that I am highly recommending to all my family and friends. Note: I was privileged to receive an advance copy of the book from Zondervan in exchange for my honest opinion. My positive review is based solely upon on how much I enjoyed this book.
Jholp More than 1 year ago
chose to read More Than Just Making it because who doesn't want to learn more ways to save money? I know I am always looking to save a buck! The author does give us many ways to save money, spend less, and earn more, but the book is about more than just that. The author takes us through her journey of trusting God through the financially-difficult time in her life and shows us how to do the same. She surprised me by educating us on government assistance and specifically as Christians how we may need to check our attitudes on making assumptions regarding that topic. After reading this book, I am trying harder to actually stick to a budget and follow the authors suggestions for making money. This book is such an easy read and keeps the readers attention throughout the whole thing! Reading Erin's story will help you see that God is always watching out for you! He is always on our side if we just follow and trust in him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not your typical financial advice book. Erin shares her personal journey through the roughest financial years of her family's life. Throughout the book she shares her guilt, relief and sorrow. It is a journey of how God provides in ways we don't expect but also how we are charged to pull ourselves out of the oppression of barely making it. She shares great tips and encouragement for her readers. This book is a fantastic read, even if you are not in a desperate financial crisis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous book by Erin on financial struggles. She's very honest, gracious and up front about her families struggles. If you're looking for encouragement in the midst of trials, ideas for squeezing more out of your paycheck, or how to walk alongside others who are struggling this is the book for you. Practical tips coupled with convicting charges on how the church often fails the poor/struggling make this a great read. Easy, conversational, style to read but don't let that fool you on the depth of the book! ( I was privileged to be on the Launch Team for this book but am thinking of ordering it for several friends!)