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The Year of Less

A personal memoir of a young woman’s struggle with various addictions and how she streamlined her life to find happiness.



Cain Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, repeat. After she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt her old habits took hold again. When she realize that nothing she was buying was making her happy—only making things worse—she decided to set a challenge for herself. She would not buy anything for herself for one year. She also decluttered her apartment and got rid of seventy percent of her belongings, learned how to fix things rather than throw them away and completed a television ban. She soon found that the less she consumed the more fulfilled she felt. Her challenge served as a lifeline when various situations during the year turned her life upside down. Her changed habits helped her realize what truly matters.

“One lesson I’ve learned countless times over the years is that whenever you let go of something negative in your life, you make room for something positive.”


I felt very much like I was listening to Cait tell me her life story. It was very conversational and much more than I was expecting. She shares not only about the habits she was trying to change, but also goes deep into her struggle with alcoholism and her weight, her unhappiness with her career, her troubled relationships and the huge impact of her parents divorce.

I’m a firm believer in the benefits of retail therapy and a shopping ban sounded like... well, I can’t even imagine. That’s precisely why I wanted to read it. Is it even doable? What are the rules? She provided some great guidelines that would serve as a good starting point for those who might be interested in starting a shopping ban. Anyone interested in streamlining and simplifying their life might enjoy this very personal self-help story. Cait was able to live on less, save more, and do more of what she loved. Isn’t that what we all want?

Publisher Hay House

Published January 16, 2018

Narrator Cait Flanders

“The ban uncovered the truth, which was when you decide to want less, you can buy less and, ultimately need less money.”
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