The Year of Less: How This Book Inspired Me


In the month of June I read the book The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. This book follows Cait’s journey into what started off a year long no spend that she documented on her blog. Each chaptered followed her life in a different month of her no spend. She shared stories of her complicated past with alcohol and abusive realtionships and the correlations she found between conquering her spending.

This was not Cait’s first challenge. Prior to this no spend she paid off $30,000 worth of debt in 2 years. She said in her book that having a rigid budget and set of rules helped her to stay focused and hit her goal. The no spend was to help her to figure out why she wasn’t saving any money now that she was out of debt. Through her experience with her year long no spend she gained insights in to her triggers, skills to be a more mindful shopper and overall from my vantage point make peace with herself and explore new goals she didn’t even think were possible.

This book changed me. I read this book in awe. The idea of doing a year long no spend to me was insane before I read this book. Cait’s rules were simple. She had an approved shopping list she could shop from. She allowed herself to replace things that needed to be replaced with the caviat that the old item be disguarded. She was allowed travel experiences, and she was allowed to go out to eat every now and then. She was also allowed to change the rules as her goals were met and evolved. She also had to document the process on her blog. Her no spend items included books, notebooks, clothes, technology related items, and several other items.

Reading her book made me see that a no spend is not only possible, but something that I really want to do. She outlined her struggles and made it quite clear that she STRUGGLED. She even had a setback at one point, but she still did it. She still completed the no spend. With that in mind not only do I know that a no spend is going to be life changing for me, but I am preparing for one in 2020 myself. I am giving myself the rest of 2019 to prepare for the no spend.

Cait suggested that to start with you take full inventory of all the things you have, and basically kon mari your things. That is where I am in the process right now. I’ve been deep in my minimalism journey all year and while I haven’t decluttered in a while, I realized that I haven’t actually taken true inventory of all my items. Over the 4th of July weekend I will be doing just that. I’m pulling all my items in my home together and moving them into my bedroom (I live with my parents right now so my things are kind of spread out in different closets from when I moved home from Orlando). Once I figure out everything I have, I am really going to do a big declutter.

I have a notebook dedicated to this part of the process so I will be journaling the next 6 months. I have a rough outline of the rules I want to follow and if I’m being honest I’m already finding myself challenged in giving up some items that I spend on. But I am DETERMINED. I have debt I want to pay off. I want to move into my own home next year and many other things. I think this no spend is going to challenge me so much, but I think I’ll come out better for it.

Like Cait Flanders I will be blogging my experience with this as well. I haven’t decided my writing schedule for this just yet but by January 1, 2020 I will have it all figured out. So here’s to the next 6 months of getting ready for this no spend I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me :)