The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLERIn her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realized that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy—only keeping...

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Title:The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
Author:Cait Flanders
Rating:

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store Reviews

  • Jenny (adultishbooks)

    I have been a big fan of Cait Flanders for over two years now. Her story of debt repayment and subsequent shopping ban inspired me to pay off my own debt between 2015-2016. This book was the most anticipated release for 2017 for me. I rarely buy books anymore but I pre-ordered the Kindle version since I wanted to support Cait and give back a snippet of what she’s given me.

    I am very familiar with the ins and outs of Cait’s shopping ban and I was worried that this book was be repetitive to her blo

    I have been a big fan of Cait Flanders for over two years now. Her story of debt repayment and subsequent shopping ban inspired me to pay off my own debt between 2015-2016. This book was the most anticipated release for 2017 for me. I rarely buy books anymore but I pre-ordered the Kindle version since I wanted to support Cait and give back a snippet of what she’s given me.

    I am very familiar with the ins and outs of Cait’s shopping ban and I was worried that this book was be repetitive to her blog or the stories she’s told on several podcasts. This goes deeper and provides new content which I am relieved by. I blew through this in two days so it’s definitely a fast read I will revisit in the future (hence why I purchased a digital copy). I wish it was longer and more fleshed out since I am so fascinated by her shopping ban. Still, this is one of the better minimalism books on the market and a good, gentle easing into stopping or curbing mindless consumption. I also appreciated the candor regarding her struggles with drinking and how that weaved into her story of simply not shopping. Her voice is strong and consistent with the Cait Flanders I know from her podcast and blog so it doesn’t feel edited or written by the editor.

    Overall, I highly recommend this and since her story overall means so much to me, I couldn’t give her any less than five stars.

  • Ali Edwards

    Super quick read on a topic I’m interested in - how less can mean more. This book is more memoir than how-to and I was interested in her story and all the ways in which she cake to having and wanting less. Glad I read it. It’s so much more than just a story of not shopping for a year.

  • 7jane

    This is not just a 'unclutter your stuff' kind of a book, but also about saving money and getting only things that matter, not just what you think others expect, or what you want to be in your 'ideal self' future. Yeah, it's a 'one-year of __' (doing something, living in another place/country etc.) book, but it's a good one of that kind, and you can trust that all information you can gather to apply on yourself will be there at the end of the book, and you don't have to pick anything as you read

    This is not just a 'unclutter your stuff' kind of a book, but also about saving money and getting only things that matter, not just what you think others expect, or what you want to be in your 'ideal self' future. Yeah, it's a 'one-year of __' (doing something, living in another place/country etc.) book, but it's a good one of that kind, and you can trust that all information you can gather to apply on yourself will be there at the end of the book, and you don't have to pick anything as you read. There is a also a small number of resources the personal guide.

    So: the author - who has already recently conquered her debts, alcoholism, bad eating habits, and ended one destructive relationship (with connection to the alcoholism point) - gets an idea of taking a year off her usual way of consumerism, with some rules on what is allowable to buy and what is not allowed (with some soon-to-be-needing-replacement items listed separately - which she can buy when the time comes). Seems a bit hard at first, but as she keeps going, it gets easier, and she discovers so much more, things that change her life for the better.

    A year of discoveries: how to fix things, watch less tv/Netflix, change habits, starting new traditions, finding good friends, dealing with things instead of relapse/hiding, realising what she wants to do for living.

    And a crisis or two: another broken relationship (but less toxic), losing some friends, parents' divorce, increasing frustration with current job... which leads her to find the type of job she likes eventually.

    She starts with decluttering most of what she owns, and experiences some shopping cravings, similar to what she had with some older habits. She realises she needs to break some behavior habits to become a better person, like speaking up, and what to do when you feel down. She does have one shopping relapse, but she now knows how to react to it, both in action and in how she talks about it to herself. She learns to appreciate her parents' skills (though she can't learn them all, fe. she has no green thumb skills with plants). She realises she needs to keep an emergency fund, not just save for good things like travel or a restaurant dinner. She decides to not just quit a bad job, but move to a smaller city as she prefers a slower pace place more.

    It's a really fruitful year for her, and she really deoes become a better person in a better place in life. The story flows really well, and I could tell it was a good book in how I wanted to keep reading it beyond the usual daily amount, and finished it quick. I might not do it in the same way, but it has got me thinking about my own use of money, and what I should do with things I have (I might use some decluttering-centred book for the latter, though, besides what is here...)

    A good book to add to your collection, and very nice to see this be: decluttering + saving book! One really enjoyable reading experience.

  • Kelli

    I got this audio on Hoopla and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. Cait Flanders delivers more of a memoir than a how-to guide and the result is a very honest look at some self-assigned lifestyle changes that brought about deep introspection, which led to healing, self-acceptance and deliberate decision making. 3.5 stars

  • Emma

    Interesting concept... a whole year of not buying unnecessary items and clearing your home so it's not cluttered with the things you don't use regularly. It must have had some impact on me as I cleaned the cupboard under the sink half way through reading it! It's made me think hard about all the "stuff" I buy or stockpile that is unnecessary. I don't think I could do a year of this, but it's a fascinating book. There's a lot of stuff in it about the author's own life and I'd question if it all w

    Interesting concept... a whole year of not buying unnecessary items and clearing your home so it's not cluttered with the things you don't use regularly. It must have had some impact on me as I cleaned the cupboard under the sink half way through reading it! It's made me think hard about all the "stuff" I buy or stockpile that is unnecessary. I don't think I could do a year of this, but it's a fascinating book. There's a lot of stuff in it about the author's own life and I'd question if it all was relevant but a positive read and definitely one for the hoarders out there!

  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    I love reading these "do something for a period of time" memoirs. However, this one had very little focus on the actual project of spending less money. Instead, the narrative discussed the author's recovery from binge eating and drinking as well as her relationships with family, friends and ex-boyfriends. Given the synopsis for this book, I was disappointed that the narrative was not more focused on her spending habits.

  • Rhonda

    The title leads one to believe that this is a book about living with less. It is, however, a memoir about a twenty-something who struggles with overindulging in a variety of areas in her life. We hear about her alcoholism, her weight loss journey, her career moves, her romantic relationships, and her family. The information about the shopping ban is minimal. There are 8 pages at the end which outline some practical steps to declutter and live with less.

    Unfortunately, the title is misleading. I w

    The title leads one to believe that this is a book about living with less. It is, however, a memoir about a twenty-something who struggles with overindulging in a variety of areas in her life. We hear about her alcoholism, her weight loss journey, her career moves, her romantic relationships, and her family. The information about the shopping ban is minimal. There are 8 pages at the end which outline some practical steps to declutter and live with less.

    Unfortunately, the title is misleading. I was disappointed in the book as I wanted to hear about living with less rather than the ups and downs of a millennial’s twenties.

  • Tanya

    I really needed to stop and take a moment before I said what I thought of this book. I listened to the audiobook (a first for me - never made it through an entire audiobook before).

    I don't want to make negative comments about the author's personal life or what she went through. It's her journey. But I did not know this would be a memoir, like many readers I thought it would be more of a guide to, well, living with less.

    Being that I do not have an addictive personality, though I have family membe

    I really needed to stop and take a moment before I said what I thought of this book. I listened to the audiobook (a first for me - never made it through an entire audiobook before).

    I don't want to make negative comments about the author's personal life or what she went through. It's her journey. But I did not know this would be a memoir, like many readers I thought it would be more of a guide to, well, living with less.

    Being that I do not have an addictive personality, though I have family members who do, I see where she was coming from and what her struggle was. However, if I had wanted to read a self-help guide on being sober, I would...have not, as I don't drink.

    Very minimal info towards the end, AFTER the epilogue, yes I said AFTER the epilogue on what I came for. Many repetitious phrases throughout that may have been stylistic but ended up as padding.

    I also felt a lot of reverse snobbery, i.e.. I don't need designer purses and pretty dresses and makeup but if you like it I guess that's okay for YOU. But not for me, never for ME! I only spent my money before I stopped spending my money on books and travel! UGH. It got a little didactic. Honey, if you don't want to wear a little mascara and lipstick, fine. But don't guilt me because I do!

    Thank god this was a library lend.

  • Brandy

    This was awful. You can start by not spending money on this book. 99 percent of it is self indulgent millennial whining.

    I picked it up because I had read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and while parts of that book were kooky, it did help me declutter my house and think about what I wanted to keep. So I thought this book might help me tackle the front end of the problem. How do I learn to buy less stuff in the first place, such that I have less crud to tidy. For me it was less about savin

    This was awful. You can start by not spending money on this book. 99 percent of it is self indulgent millennial whining.

    I picked it up because I had read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and while parts of that book were kooky, it did help me declutter my house and think about what I wanted to keep. So I thought this book might help me tackle the front end of the problem. How do I learn to buy less stuff in the first place, such that I have less crud to tidy. For me it was less about saving money and more about being a thoughtful consumer. I wanted to think about what I bought and why, what gets treasured as a meaningful purchase versus stuffed in a closet, and perhaps a few thoughts and stats on consumerism generally. Nope. What I got was endless whining about boyfriend breakups, binge eating, alcoholism, mommy and daddy's divorce, and work complaints. And lots and lots of lots of stories about buying expensive coffee and candles. The only even slightly useful bit of the book is in the last 6 or so pages. I suggest you go read On Walden Pond again instead.

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