Found browsing. I liked this one, even though I notice quite a few other reviews complain about the personal stories and repetitive, scattered storytelling. I didn’t mind that too much. The subtitle in full: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store. It’s based on her blog (which I never read) and tells all the personal stories behind things, that she had not shared with her followers earlier. She started the blog to make herself accountable for following a year-long shopping ban: outlining rules for herself, keeping track of progress, sharing the struggles and so on. Her main goal was to only buy essentials, so she could save money to do more worthwhile things she really wanted to (travel with friends family). The book relates how she decluttered her apartment, outlined what she decided could do without, and learned to fix or make some things (with some failed attempts). But really it’s an introspective look at all the things she struggled with that also affected her finances: alcoholism (in the past), buying too many things because they were convenient or on sale, overeating to deal with emotional stress. Breakups, moves for a new job, finding out her parents were getting divorced (and how deeply that affected her even as an adult), and then testing the waters for ditching the job and working for herself. I noticed the repetitiveness but let it slide, I didn’t mind the meandering style, and I tried to let the lessons she learned from this experience sink into me. Some parts I could relate to, others not at all. Note that she didn’t consider herself a shopaholic, always had a rationale for what she bought, but the amount of items that weren’t really useful or necessary just kind of crept up on her. She aimed to be far more thoughtful about her consumerism, and I think the book reflects that really well. I did wish for more stories about the payoff- how she enjoyed the travel, the hikes, the family moments- rather than just notes about what percentage of her belongings she gave away in a month, or numbers on money saved. It seems to be more focused on the overcoming and changing habit parts. That’s okay. Still inspirational.
Borrowed from the public library as an audiobook, 5 and a half hours listening time, read aloud by the author.