Books

The Year of Less

Cait Flanders' memoir, The Year of Less, is a compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance about the benefits of scaling back.

Cait Flanders

In her late 20s, 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 12 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 per cent 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. (From Hay House

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