• The Year of Less

  • How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
  • Written by: Cait Flanders
  • Narrated by: Cait Flanders
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 2018-01-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

Regular price: CDN$ 32.92

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Publisher's 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

What the critics say

"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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

This book is truly beautiful. An entire year narrated by the author of her experiences of living with less truly impacted my life and encouraged me and showed me that it is possible for me to do the same. Cait really sets the bar at an achievable level by not only helping you set goals but by also providing the transparency of how challenging living with less can actually be in a world where we are told to have so much. An absolute pleasure to read.

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So very inspiring

This book has literally stopped my habitual shopping in it’s tracks. Starting to mindfully make only necessary purchases and really ask those important questions when it comes to holding on to things.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Must Read!

Life changing. Cannot wait to begin my shopping ban starting April 1st. Listening for a second time before I begin on the 1st. Thank you for your vulnerability and truth in this book !!! 🙌🏻

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Easy to listen to & thought provoking...

makes you think about many different areas of your life and what you might be turning to as a vice...
helpful and thought provoking.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Increase speed for improved experience

I really enjoyed the content of Cait’s book. I like the notion of decluttering, spending less and being a more mindful consumer. This was my very first audiobook on audible... and I decided to buy it, rather than the hard copy - as I thought it would be interesting to hear the story in her voice. While I enjoyed the story, the pace in which she read was so frustratingly slow, and her delivery lacked enthusiasm or personality. Once I learned you could increase the audio speed, my enjoyment improved (I changed it to x1.25).

I think the hard copy book would have eliminated my issues. But for that reason, I’ve reduced my overall rating.

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  • Theglor
  • 2018-01-21

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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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • StylishGal
  • 2018-02-07

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kate Terrell
  • 2018-06-23

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martha Aspinwall
  • 2018-01-30

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan Budd
  • 2018-01-21

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cara Burns
  • 2018-03-06

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
  • 2018-02-28

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cristina Alfaro
  • 2018-02-26

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
  • 2018-02-23

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MLP
  • 2018-02-07

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