Podcast Episode 181: Could You Give Away 70% of Your Stuff? Confronting consumerism with Cait Flanders

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 181 of The New Family Podcast where we explore our relationship with consumerism, materialism and how we can be better.

Could you go a year buying only consumables? You know, just the food, medicine and toiletries your family needed, replacing items like, say, outgrown snow pants, but otherwise opting out of those routine purchases many of us make without really thinking? Here’s another question: Could you give away 70 per cent of your belongings, and if you could, how would it make you feel?

My guest for this episode can answer those questions with a resounding yes. Cait Flanders is a freelance writer and personal finance blogger who has written a really compelling memoir that confronts routine consumerism. It’s called The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store. This ended up being a profound exercise for Cait that dramatically change the way she lived. She shares advice on how we can shift our relationship with consuming in this fascinating chat.

Here are some resources related to this episode.

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

Cait’s website

Related Episode: Raising Kids With Gratitude

Related Episode: Why We Should Spend Less Money on Our Kids

Related Episode: A Simpler and More Meaningful Holiday Season

Cait’s advice for parents looking looking to cut their consumption:

“The first step is to actually start by just changing the shopping habit. I know a lot of families do this but a lot of us don’t, specially in this ‘Pinterest Generation.’ I grew up wearing pretty much all-thrift clothes; everything was second hand until I was in high school and finally started to get more stuff that wasn’t. I think that would be a big place for me; it starts by just being really mindful about how much you’re spending and where it’s coming from. As for decluttering, if there’s one person who is feeling it more than the other, don’t pressure everyone to jump on board right away, and start on your own stuff.”

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by