Book, Review

The Year of Less ~ Cait Flanders

216 pages ~ ★★★☆☆ ~ Audiobook

When Cait announces to her friends that she’s thinking of stopping shopping the announcement isn’t too out of character, having previously put efforts into getting out of debt and improving her health they’re used to her self-improvement experiments; she tracked her progress on her blog and later wrote this book to tell more of what she went through that year.  The book contains a lot of information about the author’s life in general; her family, her job as well as just her shopping challenge; if you’re focused on or just after methods for decluttering/minimising then I’d recommend you look at someone like Marie Condo first.

Cait chooses to start her challenge on her 29th birthday in July 2014 by setting herself the ‘rules’ she’s going to live by; giving up takeaway coffee, only replacing toiletries once she’s used up what she’s got etc. She also decides that while she’s limited her spending she’ll also declutter her life, minimise her belongings and organise her home space, something she does throughout, continually questioning what she actually needs.  The main aims of this are to combat her impulse to shop, having previously gotten herself out of debt the focus isn’t necessarily saving money, but spending it more wisely; Cait still allows herself to do this things she loves, mainly travelling and I was a little surprised at how much she actually did travel over the year she tracked.

I found Cait to be really easy to listen to and am planning on using some of her suggestions, firstly keeping track of what you do use. During the year Cait was surprised at how little she actually used, always ‘stock piling’ shampoo, shower gel etc when she saw them on offer when she stopped buying more and wrote down what she used it was much less than she thought so I’m going to give that a go. I live with my husband and we share some toiletries like shower gel so I’m not strictly measuring my own consumption but its worth a go.  There are a few other great ones, filtering out your inbox, having dedicated savings accounts to make it easier to track progress and blocking out social media from brands which encourage you to spend.  The author was a similar age when she did her challenge to where I am now so I found her to be quite relatable in terms of not yet having children etc and it was a great audiobook to listen to over the new year period when messages of saving money and improving your self are everywhere.

I listened to the audiobook from my library using the Libby app, it was around 5.5 hours long so quite a quick listen, perfect for my commutes to work; you can pick up a copy from Book Depository here.  Cait also ran a blog which she mentions frequently in throughout the book, she stopped updating her blog in September 2018 but you can see past posts here.

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