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My most recent Audible listen was “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders, who apparently also has a popular personal finance blog I was not familiar with. This book was in my Audible recommendations after listening to “Girl, Wash Your Face,” which was also written by a blogger, Rachel Hollis. If you’re new around here, I am really into self-development books. I was intrigued by the idea of learning how a yearlong spending ban changed the author’s life. And while I wasn’t exactly moved by the stories of her life, nor did I follow the chronology of her story, I am now inspired by “The Year of Less” to try a spending ban again.
What I learned from “The Year of Less”
I can relate to feeling good about having some freedom to spend money lately after I restricted myself before our baby was born and during maternity leave. I knew I wouldn’t be bringing in my editing paychecks for three months and that my only income would be from blogging, so I cut back on spending unless it was necessary for the baby or Victoria. But now I want to be more mindful of how I am spending money again, because we have home-related expenses I want to save for, and I also want to save more in general. While it sounds so simple and obvious, I have been forgetting to save first and then spend, with the exception of my 401(k), HSA and childcare savings accounts. I want to stash more away in a separate savings for travel, and I want to save more for our children’s future.
While I haven’t set my specific rules for a new spending ban, I will be putting that together soon. I also want to declutter yet again. Cait’s advice for embarking on your own spending ban is to declutter first. She also took an inventory of all her belongings, but I don’t think I’ll go that in depth. I am always looking for items to declutter, but moving this summer opened my eyes to how much I didn’t know we had in storage because it was out of sight. While I can’t get rid of all of it because some of it belongs to Graham, I will be looking for what is mine and assessing whether I truly want to hang onto it.
One thing I realized I have been doing with my wardrobe for so long is buying items for the person I want to be vs. the person I am. This is a habit “The Year of Less” reminded me I was doing. When I look at the clothes in my closet, I don’t have much, but I don’t have much to wear on a daily basis because I own dresses and then lounging clothes, but nothing in between. I realized I need casual everyday clothes that I will actually wear during the week while working from home and running errands. Lately I have been wearing the same three pairs of shorts and same four tanks and tees, but when the weather changes I will be left with nothing to wear other than leggings. I will be purchasing some pants and attempting to create a sort of capsule wardrobe for the fall of items that I actually wear and will hopefully make excellent purchases that last. Wish me luck!
Have you read “The Year of Less”? Have you ever done a spending ban? What did you learn from either?
Read “The Year of Less”**
Consider donating it when you’re done!