Book Review: The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
I rarely review nonfiction books, but when I do, please know they are the books I have absorbed and made a part of who I am.
The Year of Less by Cait Flanders is one of my all-time favourite financial health books. Bursting at the seems with humanity, vulnerability, and hope, this authentic story of a young woman who took control of her spending and her life is not to be missed.
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.
This might come as a complete shock to anyone who has read my books, or my other book reviews, but I love, love, LOVE talking about finances.
Yes - I just said that.
I can have layers.
This practical guide to recovering your financial roots may appear drastic or downright insane to some - but the telling of it, tied with Cait’s vulnerability to share her whole story is so engaging, that you might start giving up all kinds of spending after reading it.
Here’s the short and sweet: This amazing woman - from BC Canada - decides to take a hard look at how she spends money and goes on a hardcore spending freeze - for an entire year!
Now, at first blush, that might sound simply impossible, but Cait shares how she set clear boundaries around what she would and would not buy, and how those choices impacted not only how she spent, but when she spent - and how much she enjoyed what she bought.
This book was a fresh, unique, and eye-opening perspective into one of the most terrifying and frustrating parts of adulting - managing your money.
Whether you decide to go “whole hog” and cut your spending for a full year, or if you just take a tiny bit more interest in where your money is going after reading this book, I am sure you will indeed get something special out of reading The Year of Less.
Regina Grimm is the author of erotic fairytales, written for the uninhibited readers 18+. Check out her books - Snow White and the Wicked Curse: Chapter 1, Snow White and the Vicious Curse: Chapter 2, Snow White and the Seven Thieves: Chapter 3, and the final chapter, Snow White and the Poisoned Apple. Prefer to read the whole story at once? Grab your copy of Snow: The Complete Erotic Series now!