Goodreads rating: 3.64/5
Originally published: January 2, 2018
Author: Cait Flanders
Genre: Self-help, memoir, non-fiction
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.
The above taken from Goodreads.
Basically, it's a book about acknowledging your weaknesses, overcoming it and live mindfully. It somehow jives for me between this and KonMari method so I'm pondering whether to start it soon. I'm a little jittery as a shopping ban is not easy especially since it's a hard-coded habit LOL! Also I'm not 100% minimalist but I believed it helps to curb the unnecessary "wants" and allow me to save more.
Back to the book, it explored Cait's methods on how to save more money and to curb shopping unnecessary. She also talked about other stuffs in her life that happened and contributed to her year of less, which was quite a lot. At times a little lengthy but thankfully it was well written and inspiring at some point. I've summed up some of her important points below...
Rules for the shopping ban:-
- The Essentials List: What I'm allowed to shop for
- The Non-essentials List: What I'm not allowed to shop for
- The Approved Shopping List
Your guide to less:-
-Better to set goals plus stretch goals always.
-The reason you want to take on a challenge such as this in the first place:
Who was I? What was I already good at? What did I care about? What did I really want in this life?
1. Declutter your home
2. Take inventory
3. Write three lists
4. Unsubscribe from all store / coupon newsletters
5. Set up a shopping ban savings account
6.Tell everyone you know
7. Replace costly habits with free / cheap alternatives
8. Pay attention to your triggers
9. Learn to live without / become more resourceful
10. Appreciate what you have
Some notable quotes:-
It was enough. I had enough. I was enough.
The best gift the ban had given me was the tools to take control of my life and get a fresh start as my real self. It challenged me. It turned my life upside down. It helped me save $17,000 in a single year. And then it saved me.
It turned out I had never been someone who valued material objects. I valued the people in my life and the experiences we shared together. None of that could be found in the belongings in my home. It had always been in my heart.
All I needed was to make enough money to live, save, and occasionally travel, and the shopping ban showed me exactly how much that would cost.