I listened to a book on Minimalism by Cait Flanders called, The Year of Less. I did it because it was short and lightweight. Before I started I thought, here is another rich person getting rid of more stuff than I’ve ever owned. I was correct. Okay, she wasn’t exactly rich but there was something about her expenses that didn’t add up. During her 2 year “No shopping challenge” she was able to live on less than 50% of her income some months. If I lived on 50% of my income I would be homeless. Before she did the no shopping challenge, she challenged herself to pay off her credit card debt. She managed to pay of 30K in 2 years. That is 15K of cash she just had lying around each year. I don’t know how she managed to get into debt in the first place. She also did a weight loss challenge but she is vague about how that worked out.
I did like the book because instead of setting goals for herself she defined them as challenges. It may be semantics but I think it is a good way to keep yourself more motivated if you are competitive. She set specific lengths of time to accomplish each feat. Her first challenge was to quit drinking which she managed with no problem. I think her second challenge was to pay off her debt in 2 years but the main theme of the book was her no shopping for 1 year challenge. During which time she could only purchase items to replace other items that had broken or worn out, such as an old pair of shoes, etc…
She began the challenge Marie Kondo style by getting rid of everything she owned but didn’t need. This is where my assumption was partially correct. She said she got rid of 70% of things she owned. When she went through the list it turned out to be a lot more things than I even own and I need almost everything in my apartment to live a somewhat normal life.
I did like that she learned to spend her money on experiences rather than things. That is what I have done with any extra money I’ve had throughout my life. I’ve never owned anything extravagant. It brings me back to my first question. How could she afford all that travel and still manage to save 30 -50% of her income each month.
Some of you being bloggers may have heard of her before because she dedicated a blog to paying off her debt and the no shopping challenge. I visited her blog but all there was only a page saying she is not blogging anymore. Maybe if I had read her blog before she wrote the book I would understand what her expenses were.
Part of what bothered me about the book was I can’t do the same thing. Any money I have goes to replace clothes I can’t wear anymore. Another thing that irked me was her saying the worst thing to happen in her life was her parents divorce. She was 28 years old when they got divorced for fuck’s sake! I mean, they did more than only stay together for the sake of the kids. The kids were grown ass people. By her age didn’t she realize that most couples do get divorced. I don’t see how it could be as traumatic as she said it was.
I don’t know if I would recommend this book. It’s not like anyone who wants to can’t figure out how to spend less money. You just buy less shit. I guess it could inspire you if you wanted to pose a similar challenge to yourself.
I googled her and found her blog and also she is really pushing her second book so I guess she doesn’t need to worry about spending money now.