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Summary

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 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. 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.

©2018 Cait Flanders (P)2018 Tantor

Critic reviews

"If you've ever felt there must be more to life than consumerism and its vicious cycle, you'll find inspiration to break free in The Year of Less. Cait's highly readable and personal story is encouraging, challenging, and unbelievably helpful." (Joshua Becker, author of The More of Less)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not what it says on the cover

I have listened to over an hour and a half of this and have decided to return it. It’s not about the Author’s year of not spending, it’s more an exploration of the troubles in her life and her various addictions. I’m really not interested in reading about failed relationships and battles with alcoholism, I just wanted to know about the year of not spending much money.
The book is definitely not what the title leads you to believe.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Quite a lot of moaning

If you fancy listening to someone moan about their life then this is the book for you! It kind of sucks the energy out of you but it has made me think a little bit about a few changes I’d like to make. I wouldn’t waste your time with this audiobook.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Deciving title

This is more autobiography and definity not a book about spending less or anything about living and spending only on necessities.
Do not get me wrong her story is inspirational. But book talks about her life not about year of no spend. She barely talks about it at all. I expected a book about how she came to decision to do it; how she started; what she found the hardest; how she coped; what would be her advice for other people who are thinking of doing the same; etc.
I was disappointed and had hard time getting to the end of the book.
Narrator was speaking clearly and enunciated well but I found her monotone and a bit boring. It just made it harder to listen to.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Life changing

I was so excited to hear that Cait was releasing a booking after being an avid follower of the podcast she creates with Carrie for the past 12 months. Last year I started my own shopping ban thanks to Caits story. I too was a blackout spender, I was in thousands of pounds of debt and was facing the very real possibility that I was about to lose my business. I decided to take control of my finances, listening to much of the advice given on the podcast. I gave myself to March 18 to get out of debt and I am so pleased to say thanks to all Caits (& Carries) advice, Jan 18 was the month I officially can say I got out of debt. Not only that, my home has been completely decluttered, my business is thriving and my mental and physical well being is so much healthier. The book was the icing on the cake to finish off such a successful year and I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I'm sure it will have the ability to change many more lives.

Thanks Cait!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Brave, inspiring & motivating.

Far greater than a stuffy 'self help' book, this reads more like a diary of someone desperately trying to better themselves. We feel all the motivation & each set back, forcing us to take a look at our own spending habits as Cait struggles through her self-set challenge to find greater meaning & appreciation of what she already has. Loved this book & will be taking on the life lessons as soon as I finish this review!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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big disappointment-am returning

I thought this was a book about what it says-which is a self-help manual about living with less and cutting down the shopping habit. I was quickly disappointed. Instead it turned out to be a memoir about someone who had an alcohol and eating problem. I then read other reviews which said similar, that it was dull and that it dealt with a relationship break-up etc. If I had wanted to read about someone I had never heard of and their life disasters I wold have made that choice. Yes it says memoir in the small print apparently but I found it in the self-help section of Audible. I was not impressed and stopped it after a couple of chapters. Am returning

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very disappointed with this, utterly dull .

Not as described, more like an auto biography of a normal person, with very occasional passing reference to the actual topic!!

skip straight to the last chapter when she finally sums it all up, for what it's worth.

Also I found the narrators voice really irritating.

Did not like this at all - complete waste of money!! So maybe I did learn a lesson.... 🤔 Don't believe publishers hype!!! IT was certainly not true in this case!! Awful book!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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not what I was expecting

I was expecting a book of lots of tips and processes but it was more of a full story with a chapter on tips at the end. it has helped me renew motivation though.

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  • Carole
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 05-04-18

Inspirational

Absolutely loved this book. I am in a position where I have the opportunity to change career and am planning to go back to university this year and work part time, but as a singleton with a mortgage I am going to have to tighten my belt. Cait Flanders book is very practical guide to living on less and I am so glad I came across it, I will give it a go to get some savings behind me before I become a student once again.

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really thought provoking and engaging listen.

highly recommend. engaging reader and interesting listen. very thought provoking and not preachy at all.

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  • Theglor
  • 21-01-18

I could not put this down

Would you listen to The Year of Less again? Why?

I loved this book. It was not what I expected it was a such a good story one we can all learn from. I loved the honesty it was refreshing. I felt so proud of this young lady and I am so happy she wrote this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Year of Less?

Her honesty made me feel bot sad at times at at other times happy for her.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene was when she Tod the story of how she morned her parents divorce. It really helped me look at letting go in a different way.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The part that moved me was what an amazing best friend she had and what she would do for her.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • StylishGal
  • 07-02-18

Finished it

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Spoiler alert!
The premise is great; however, I could have done without the family drama details. I was looking for more of a motivational story and tips for decluttering & stopping impulse shopping. I listened to this story and finally had to increase the speed because the narrator's voice was grating.

Would you be willing to try another book from Cait Flanders? Why or why not?

Not really

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Year of Less?

The details regarding her mother & step-father's divorce and her reaction to it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate Terrell
  • 23-06-18

Twenty-something coming of age

While I initially dove into this book with the hopes of being inspired to declutter, shop less, and simplify life all together, I soon realized this was actually a memoir of reflection and discovering how to become an adult. The author Cait has a special place in my heart now, as she put into words the challenges and blind spots living in your twenties throws at you. Being a mother and 15 years her senior, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the self-consuming thoughts and focus one has at that age. So while this book may not offer resounding help for an older adult with a family (with lots of shopping needs) I know it will help me think more about saving money and rethink some absent-minded shopping habits. This would be a good read for someone setting out on their own life so they can learn how to budget and think about their (retirement) future. She made a good point: that decluttering actually helps you learn more about who you are with the decisions you make of what to keep, and also what items you buy deliberately to last. Lastly, this story can help us remember to have more empathy for others, that some people put on a good face, but may actually suffer from depression or loneliness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Martha Aspinwall
  • 30-01-18

Loved this book!

Found this book to be honest, inspiring and bittersweet. I really related to it even though I haven't struggled with all the things the author/narrator has, or have had the same life experiences. It's a very down to earth self help book in the sense that doesn't rely on cheap gimmicks and instead reads more like a memoir. Great for anyone that wants to get better with money and is prepared to celebrate the small wins and take it as Cait says: "day by day".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan Budd
  • 21-01-18

wonderful and realistic insight

I loved reading this book. I've read a lot of minimalism stuff in the last few years, but I'd never before gotten a take from someone near my own age, dealing with some of the same life stages that I am. I really enjoyed hearing how Cait dealt with these challenges in her own journey. Thanks for sharing your story, Cait!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cara Burns
  • 06-03-18

So so so insightful!

This book is the perfect read for anyone who just made a purchase they regret or who ever made a purchase they regretted. It gives a fantastic outline to follow for anyone who wants to make more mindful decisions about consumerism. Thanks Cait!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rhonda Heryford
  • 28-02-18

Loved it!!!

Not sure I can do it, but I start trying tomorrow! I love to shop.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cristina Alfaro
  • 26-02-18

Loved it!

Would you listen to The Year of Less again? Why?

I really loved it, and I will definitely be reading it again. There is so much in it that made me think about what mattered most to me, and it really made me think of where my money goes and why. I ordered the hard copy as well, I liked it so much!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maryam
  • 23-02-18

amzing

i love it. was very easy to enjoy.it remeber me what is important in life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MLP
  • 07-02-18

Epitome of Vulnerability

Lived this book for the honesty, vulnerability, and openess. Extremely motivating. and inspiring. Highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful