My husband and I live a frugal life. We try to keep to our budget and carefully track how we spend our money. We’ve gone through seasons of having an “income problem” and my husband was even unemployed for the first few months after our second son was born. He now has a great job and I’ve been just staying at home without earning too much myself. Earlier this year we bought our first house and because of it are living on a tight budget again. We once again feel the pressure to bring more income into our home so we can build up our savings again.
Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you are financially frustrated, even to the point of struggling to make ends meet? Have you ever heard the term the “working poor” before and do you know what that means? Are you struggling to find a budget that works for you? I want to share my thoughts on a book I recently read – More Than Just Making It. It’s one I think you should definitely read.
I’ve been following Erin the Humble Homemaker off and on for several years. I have always loved when she has shared from her heart, whether it be through her articles or on live video. When I heard that she was writing a book about her experiences going through financial hardship as a frugal stay at home mom I knew I HAD to read it. I knew it would be both encouraging and insightful.
I jumped at the chance to be on the launch team and therefore received a copy of the book for free. However, this review is honest. I LOVED the book and it’s going to be something I turn to again and again. It’s well worth the money. It reads more like a memoir at first, and I was immediately drawn into the story. This book is such a great blend of storytelling/ practical tips and advice. Erin takes you through their financial struggles and their realization of having an income problem and not a spending problem. And yet this book also offers readers tools and resources to set a budget or re-evaluate a budget.
I can definitely see myself referencing this book over and over again – to evaluate true needs versus wants in our budget, to remind myself ways to save money on groceries, and smart second-hand shopping tips. I grew up in a home in which my parents were frugal and spent their money wisely. So, since the beginning of my marriage, I’ve been menu planning and creating my grocery list based on what is on sale. Reading this book was a great reminder of ways I can use to save money on groceries. But even more than that it changed my mindset from miserly to stewardship-driven. Instead of holding onto the money I have tightly, I’m reminded that God continues to provide what we need.
If you are struggling to think of numerous ways God has consistently provided for you, you need to read this book!! Erin lays out different forms of provision from God and gives tangible examples that are likely to make you think of some in your own life. I can easily see myself going back to this book over and over again when I need to remind myself of how God is providing in my life. I tend to stress about money and financial things, so reading this book can help me be reminded and change my mindset so that I’m no longer stressed, but instead feeling grateful for how God has provided. And, as Erin said, “Practicing gratitude in each small gesture will help you go from a mental and emotional state of ‘just barely making it’ to more than just making it – if you let it.”
This book reframed in my mind of how God is the Great Provider. I loved reading Erin’s first-hand experience of how she learned to trust God as she and her family walked through a long season of need. She started looking at and crediting every incident as God’s provision for their family. Yes, the Lord provides again and again and again. I’ve seen this in my own life. As much as we would all like for God to provide a huge lump sum of money, he works in everyday small ways. And it’s through this process we see and are pushed to continue to trust in His timing and provision.
As Erin said in her book, “God doesn’t promise us a life of health, wealth, and prosperity, but He does promise to provide exactly what we need, when we need it. With the right attitude and perspective, we can look back on a season of economic challenge as some of the most faith-building days of our lives.” I want to live this truth out in my life and share with others so that I’m bringing glory to God.
The amazing part about Erin’s story is that despite living on a low income, she and her husband did not use credit cards or any consumer debt to help make ends meet. Instead, they turned to help inside their church, through seeking out the financial counsel of someone in their church, through community organizations and federal programs (like WIC), and learned to rely on God to provide what they truly needed.
Erin writes, “Many of the families I interviewed [for writing this book] entered their season of financial struggle feeling ashamed to ask for help, but once they did, they experienced the blessing of God’s provision in a way they might not have experienced if they remained quiet.” I agree. And not only are you experiencing the blessing of God’s provision but if you allow other believers to help you, you are also opening the door to let them obey God as they give of what they have.
I would say that even if you are not currently struggling financially, this book is an important read if you want to learn how to better assist struggling families in the US today. There are many stigmas in our culture against asking for financial help when you need it, and the book More Than Just Making It reminds us that a little kindness can be so impactful for someone in need. This book will be released in stores and online on September 5! If you pre-order the book, you can receive $222 worth of pre-order bonuses to help you plan meals, work out a budget, save money on groceries, and encourage you! Just go to morethanjustmakingit.com to find out more information!!
Also, if you wanted to get started reading the book while you wait, or to get a taste of what the book is like, click on the link below!