The Year of Less

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

Book - 2018
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"In 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 her from meeting her goals--she decided to set herself a challenge:she would not shop for an entire year. The Year of Lessdocuments Cait's life from July 2014 to June 2015, during which time she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt. What started as a simple challenge quickly became a lifeline, however, as Cait found herself in a number of situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol and food--and what it had cost her, for so many years. By not being able to reach for any of her usual vices, Cait changed habits she'd spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her"--
Publisher: Carlsbad, California : Hay House, Inc., [2018]
Edition: 1st edition
ISBN: 9781401954871
Branch Call Number: Home 648 Fla


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Apr 18, 2019

I found the title of this book misleading. It isn't about how the author got by on less at all. Apparently she wrote about that in a blog and this is additional "background" for her fans. Mostly it's about her alcoholism and perception of herself as a fun drunk, and what a great writer she is (?!). A young woman's vague diary with no deep insights. I kept waiting for her to get to the point, or the program, but she never did. Plus, it's not like she owns a house or has a family or a regular job, so she gets by on black leggings and flannel shirts. Maybe her blog contains more information, if anyone really cares how many bottles of shampoo she used in a year...

LoganLib_JennyI Dec 30, 2018

If you are interested in making changes towards minimalism AND getting honest with yourself, you will enjoy this book. Cait Flanders posted a blog about a year long shopping ban and created this book to provide readers with a more in depth, soul bearing explanation of how and why she used shopping, alcohol, drugs and/or food as coping mechanisms to life's problems.
Many people use unhealthy coping strategies without realising what it costs them - financially, healthwise and personally. If you just want practical guidance on consuming less, speed read over the relationship breakdowns, stories of alcoholism and drugs and go to the tip sheets. If you also want to honestly examine yourself, relationships, happiness and coping strategies when life gives you lemons, read every word.
The best thing I got from this book is that failing is a part of the journey. We mostly don't get it right the first time when dealing with the complexities of life - and that is NORMAL. "The Year of Less" will leave you questioning what you’re really doing in your life. Will you take the challenge to fall down and get back up and fall down and get back up on your own path of less?

Nov 08, 2018

This book is actually quite depressing, mostly centering around the author's alcoholism. The personal crisis that's hinted at...isn't terribly traumatic (not that I'd hoped it'd be). There's really very little in this about the challenge or adventure of spending less, and is mostly a downer.

Oct 22, 2018

I was hopeful for this book. It fell on my radar due to various recommendations from the FIRE community and the Minimalist community. However, this book fell way short of my expectations. It felt like the rambling of a woman who struggled with issues and then found that how she was living her life wasn't how she wanted to live. So she changed. It honestly not that great.

Oct 02, 2018

I don't understand how this even got published. Terrible. Unhelpful. Uninspiring. A huge yawn. She goes on and on about her life. I feel she simply made common foolish mistakes as a young woman: hardly worth writing about.

Jul 09, 2018

Quite autobiographical, and not so interesting or inspiring although I liked the comparison of clutter to debt, once they are out of control they are hard to reign in. Beyond being motivated by spending less and decluttering there is no greater discussion regarding the implications of consumerism and environmental impact of discarding belongings, which is disappointing. It is also too bad she wasn't motivated by not wasting time shopping. She spends ooodles of time buying the perfect sweatshirt because she can only buy one. Even window shopping can be a massive time waster.

SCL_Heather Jul 03, 2018

I did not expect to really relate to this book. I read it because the author is coming to speak at our library this fall (Oct. 2018). I was surprised to find that I found quite a bit of inspiration in Cait's story and plan to implement some of the changes in my life that she made in hers.

multcolib_karene Feb 11, 2018

The author describes her book as a "self-help memoir." I found it was not helpful in terms of "self-help" and it was not interesting as a memoir. I've read much better books in both of those categories.


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Oct 02, 2018

ultimatebrenda thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and under


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