The longer I live on a budget, the more I realize how difficult it can be. I’ve had some very open and honest conversations with different friends over the past couple months. It’s amazing how quiet we keep about our finances and at first, I was surprised by some of these revelations. But then, these conversations caused me to really think.
Please note, I believe there is a lot of good in privacy with our finances. I’m traditional in that regard and believe it is also good stewardship. I don’t share a lot of specific numbers on my blog because I don’t want to cause others to struggle with envy or comparison. I struggle enough with that myself, at times. However, I do believe there is a place for sharing our finances when they can encourage another.
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Recently, I’ve learned of one friend’s struggle with a large college debt payment, another friend’s use of WIC to help their extremely tight budget, and another friend who feels like they are never going to get ahead. These are just a handful of the stories I know, with so many more stories yet unknown to me.
The more I talk with people, the more I learn you should never assume anything about someone else’s life.
This isn’t just true about finances but also about life in general. We don’t know the issues others are dealing with as a single or married person, in parenting their children, with their finances or in so many areas of life. What may appear picture perfect (to us) may be a facade that protects a struggling individual.
This post contains affiliate links. You can read more in my disclosure policy. I received an advance copy of this book for free as part of The More than Making It launch team. All opinions expressed are my own.
I recently read a new book, More than Just Making It: Hope for the Financially Frustrated by Erin Odom, founder of the Humbled Homemaker. I knew a bit of Erin’s story before I read the book but I was touched by the honest way in which she shared her family’s story.
As a writer married to a teacher, with three young children, the Odoms struggled financially in the recent, early years of their marriage. Even though they had no consumer debt (other than a mortgage on a house they could not sell), the Odoms were struggling to make ends meet. As Christians, it tested their faith, even as they hid their reality from others, unsure of the response they would receive. Eventually, Erin found herself applying for food stamps and walking into bankruptcy court while pregnant.
This book tells the Odom’s story and the hard work, creativity and faith in God’s provision that they used to recreate their finances and family. Not only does this book tell their story but it is interspersed with many tips and habits that the family has used in the financially lean as well as the thriving years.
This book touched my heart in so many ways and challenged my preconceived notions. It reminded me that sometimes financial struggles are due to a spending problem but other times they are due to an income problem. It’s easy to assume that the people who struggle just spend too much but that isn’t always true. Sometimes but not always. Each family is different.
I walked away from this book with opened eyes and a thankful heart. We have definitely experienced some tough financial times but nothing like the road Erin has walked with her family. I don’t say that as a matter of pride, as in look at what we’ve done, but with a truly thankful heart that even when our income was cut in half, we’ve continued to thrive, by God’s grace. It has definitely taken some hard work and creativity but that is what Erin shared was true for them as well.
If you are someone who feels frustrated financially, I encourage you to read More Than Just Making It. Hearing someone else’s story will remind you that you are not alone and that God is with you every step of the way. Erin provides a lot of encouragement and money saving tips that might be exactly what your family needs.
If you are someone who feels strong financially, I still encourage you to read More Than Just Making It. Hearing someone else’s story will remind you that we all have different stories and God is calling us to be compassionate to those around us – whether we know their finances or not.
I pray that Erin’s story will touch many people’s hearts and lives, just as it has mine! May you be reminded that God is faithful, and He will never leave you alone.