More Than Just Making It


Hi everyone. I have another book review for today. More Than Just Making It by Erin Odom.

Being that I stole Penny’s day, I thought I would let her pose with the book.

*Disclosure: I received this book for free as part of The Book Look Bloggers book review program. I am not required to write a positive review, all opinions are my own.

The author writes a blog, The Humbled Homemaker. She grew up middle class with frugal parents, but she always had enough. Her dream was actually to be missionary which she did do after college.with her husband. They thought they were making a wise financial choice when they purchased a home. Unfortunately, the recession hit  in 2009 when they both lost their jobs. They ended up owing more than the value of the house. They also had a little girl to provide for.

The family ended up moving in with the author’s parents temporarily. Her husband found a job teaching in North Carolina, but the pay was very low. She worked for the newspaper, but her salary varied monthly. She ended up having to apply for Food Stamps which she was embarrassed to do, but had no choice. She eventually realized that she didn’t have to feel ashamed because those services were there to help. It made her rethink everything she believed about government services. She always thought those on them were lazy, but she discovered that is not the case. Many are working poor that just can’t make ends meet.

Part of this book is her personal account of her family’ s continued financial struggles. These also led to marital problems, yet they somehow ended up having three more children since 2010 which made it even harder to make ends meet.Once she started making money on her blog in addition to her husband’s salary, they were able to get off of public assistance.

They have more money now, but still live frugally. They purchase all their furniture used and their vehicles too. Much of the book is about how anyone can live on less money. She writes about planning meals and saving money on them. She also explains that some have spending problems and others have income problems. They had an income problem because they did not earn enough to cover the basic needs. The only debt they had was their house.

I think this is a great book for anyone that has financial trouble, especially young couples. I did have one major problem with it though because for me personally, it was useless. My financial troubles are always around veterinary care for my 13 cats. They did not have a pet or write about anyone having one. I know it is my choice to have so many cats, but what would someone in their situation do if they had a dog or cat and it was sick? So many end up returning them to shelters or abandoning them when they can’t afford them. It would have been nice to read some solutions to these issues so people would not resort to that. Because of that , I am only rating it 3 out of 5 stars.

We are joining Comedy Plus’ Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

I review for BookLook Bloggers


  1. Yes it would have been interesting to find out their thoughts on such things as pets. The rescue that Dalton came from states that for any reason we could not have him anymore, he has to be returned to that shelter. So its part of the rescue to make sure there is future provision for in case of need.

    1. All the shelters I’ve ever had dealings with have that as part of their adoption contracts.

    2. That is good the shelter does that, but I am sure it breaks hearts when one has to resort to that. I wish there were more resources for people with pets in financial need. XO

  2. Too bad that situation wasn’t addressed….but one thing that struck me is that in spite of all the financial problems and marital issues they had going on, they had more children which would have put even more strain on them. They got through it though so there’s the element of “not giving up” and that I suppose applies to any adversity people face. I imagine it was inspiring to read the story even if it didn’t “ring” with those of us who are pet peeps!!!

    Hugs, Pam

  3. Great review. I too don’t understand, if they didn’t have any money, why have more children. I think it is a good thing they didn’t have any pets. Anyway great review. Have a good day.

  4. Penny, you do not look happy about losing your day. Though you do look beautiful as always.

    Vet care is enormously expensive. And there are only two of us here. Pet insurance is a necessity now, which will only drive up the cash price. Mom says we’ve aged out of it though.

    1. Penny thanks you. Vet care is very expensive, I can’t afford insurance for all so I would feel guilty just picking some to be insured.

  5. Three more children leaves me scratching my head. But they kept working and got themselves financially secure again. Not easy, so many people never pull it together after something that they went through. Thank heavens they didn’t have pets. I agree it would have been beneficial to read some solutions related to pet care and finances associated with owning pets.
    Penny, I will be looking forward to your next tip day!

    1. I wondered about more kids too, but I decided I can’t judge because I don’t want to be judged on my choices in life. Penny will have a tip next week. XO

  6. It’s a very difficult and broad topic, and since i only have limited reading time i appreciate your review.

  7. Ellen,

    Good review. We all can live on less if we have to or choose to. We’ve been there plenty of times. The hardest period was when our three were younger and we had a mountain of debt. DH was became unemployed due to no fault of his own but just was one of the casualties of downsizing. Unfortunately, we could never get government assistance like food stamps because we had a home mortgage. What were we do live on the street? Geez, that’s the government for you! Anywho, as a kid my parents had to go on food stamps because daddy was forced to retire from the coal mines because of black lung. We didn’t have a lot but we got by and it made us better for it. I’m glad this family managed to get out from under government help. I think for some it’s too hard to give up that crutch. They are a number of well-bodied individuals who can work but choose to not because minimum wage isn’t enough. I keep thinking, yeah it’s a struggle but the only way to get ahead is to beat the path until you find a lucrative income stream. I will take a peek the author’s blog site and book. Thanks for sharing!

  8. While I agree that many people can live on less money (we too buy most of our things used or at thrift stores), I too think that there are other expenses that can’t be controlled. Even if you don’t have a pet, in the US medical bills or prescription medication can be extremely expensive for humans.

  9. I’m glad they are doing well now. It’s hard when you think you’re on the right path and you find out you aren’t.

    Have a fabulous day and week, Ellen. Scritches to all the kitties. ♥

  10. I do like that the author addresses spending versus income problems, because sometimes a person can be in financial trouble simply because they don’t keep their purchases within their means. But, I do agree that it would be great for her to address what to do if someone has adopted furbabies, but is also struggling financially. There are options out there, and they certainly don’t have to include surrendering or abandoning furbabies. Thank you for sharing your review and thoughts with us! This always helps me tweak my to-read list.

  11. Watched a program about the homeless, and learned that people with jobs can find themselves with no place to live. Our definition of ‘what’s enough’ changes when our circumstances do, and the shame or pride of asking for assistance can be a block in itself.
    And you are right, there are pet food banks and groups that can help with veterinary care costs and day-to-day upkeep of our four-footed family members.

  12. Great review. I would feel the same way about pet expenses. It can be quite costly, but it’s an expense we have no choice but to pay.

  13. Sounds like a great book. I’ll have to check out that blog, too. And I agree about pet expenses. I’d really like to see how people struggling can handle that.

  14. I’d prefer there were pets in it too, but I should probably read this book. Since hubby and I lost our old jobs, our finances have been reduced greatly, and it’s tough to figure things out now. We have new jobs (though I need more) but we’re making a lot less money. It’s tough to be facing this, especially at our ages (late 50’s and early 60’s).

    1. My hubby had the same problem 9 years ago, he never could find a job that paid decently so he basically retired early at 55.

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