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 Review

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 Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which 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.

The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in 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. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.

Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life—and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.

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

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • 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 lifestyl...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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 anti...

  • 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 wantin...

  • Denise Logeot

    This book is a courageous and bold memoir. Cait shares honestly her experiences on a shopping ban, but it becomes an illustration of how people can be pulled into believing they are not enough. I can...

  • Maria

    I thought this was a good memoir of a year cutting back and being intentional. It’s the process I’m going through currently (month 4) so I concur with the lessons learned and the process chosen. T...

  • Caitlin

    A beautifully written memoir and a very inspiring challenge--to clean out clutter and stop shopping for an entire year. Cait is unflinchingly honest and I am humbled by how much she shared about her s...

  • Kevin ?

    An inherently less indulgent link: Julie & Julia. 😉 Warning: this is NOT a self-help book! It is a memoir and should be reviewed as such. I had to check how Cait Flanders categorized her book after...

  • Kathryn

    This book was so well written, I felt she and I were talking and she was baring her soul. She does not make any excuses for her behavior (I still am shocked she drank her first drink at TWELVE!) and h...

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