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You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too
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You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,302 ratings  ·  304 reviews
While the new field of happiness research makes headlines, and the 99% face austerity at every turn, blogs like The Art of Nonconformity, Zen Habits, and Miss Minimalist attract millions looking to find more happiness, community, and fulfillment in less stuff, less debt, and less wage-chasing. Tammy Strobel and her husband are living the voluntary downsizing — or smart-siz ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by New World Library (first published August 21st 2012)
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Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
I feel like the asshole I am for not liking this more...

But it was kind of a hot mess.

It was ALL over the place and the writing was...just not very good...which it pains me to say as the author talked endlessly about how writing was her passion and how she followed her dream - for which I greatly admire her.

But the sweetness and genuinely good heartedness exuded by the author does not negate the fact that this was a rough read. She jumped all over the place and became very repetitive throughou
...more
Michael
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This has to be the most incredible book that I have read this year simply because it hit home so closely. For years I have said that I want to be a minimalist and own as little as possible so that I can focus on what is important in life.....LIVING! Our stuff really and truly gets in the way of our goals, ambitions and life itself. We seem to try to buy bigger and better things to improve our lives but that seems to actually have an adverse affect on us. We acquire and hang onto stuff and surrou ...more
Jettie
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
READ THIS! Author Tammy Strobel encouraged me to (1) identify what makes me happy (what "sings" to me), (2) simplify my life to maximize my happiness, (3) Calculate how large a house I need/want, (4) list what I value and structure my life to reflect my values, (5) give time, not money, to charities.
Kathryn
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am always drawn to books about rearranging, changing and refurbishing ones life, house or both. This book was well put together with lots of references to back up here thoughts on simplifying and downsizing. I will never move into a tiny house, but I am always looking at ways to simplify.
Janet
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this brief, friendly, inspiring book. I've been getting started with downsizing/rightsizing for a couple of months, and I got an immediate dose of encouragement from reading Tammy's story and her "micro-action" tips. I've never thought of myself as being particularly materialistic or competitive in my lifestyle, but this book opened my eyes to my culturally-shaped expectations of the kind of lifestyle I'm "supposed to have" as a middle class adult.

The question is not "How aff
...more
Starr
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not going to live in a tiny house trailer anytime soon, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Tammy Strobel's metamorphosis from a materialistic, diamond-loving lady into a successful writer who lives in a home the size of some people's closets. I find that when you're surrounded by pretty excessive consumerism, it's useful to read books like these regularly so that you don't feel so alone in fighting the urge to buy everything in sight. We've spent the past couple of years purging our live ...more
Neens Bea
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough! I stumbled across Tammy Strobel's blog last week, downloaded the book to my Kindle from amazon.co.uk (I'm not sure if it's out yet in print) and devoured it in just a few days. It resonated perfectly with me; in fact, I've already completed many of the action steps suggested in the book. We've all heard the saying of how the things you own end up owning you, but in my opinion, no one has ever explained it so well and revealed the full extent of ...more
Donna Parker
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read and so terribly relevant in these times.
Lou
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It inspired me to do a social media detox for 1 month.
No Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat (the main 3 I was using) I did decide however to allow myself to use sources of social media and communication such as Goodreads, e-mail and WordPress to keep up to date with my blog and to also document my journey.

I would have never thought of this if I didn't pick up this book. I have had many thoughts of deleting Facebook altogether, however I want to experience how life woul
...more
Frank
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
...You Can Buy Happiness is a blend of the story of Tammy’s personal journey into minimalism, the stories of fellow bloggers, and suggestions about how to take a similar journey in your own life. Really, this isn’t that much different from RK itself, which may be why it works. Tammy’s strength is teaching through story and her own personal discoveries, so it makes sense that she do the same when she writes a book....

Full review available here: http://shelfofwonders.wordpress.com/2...
...more
Diana Baur
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is not a preachy, you-should-be-simplifying bible, but rather a clear, succinct explanation of how simplifying and de-cluttering is a step-by-step life choice process that can lead to so many positive outcomes. Well written and edited, I look forward to more of Tammy's books in the future.
Wendy Phraner
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. Tammy is so inspiring! I admire her for all that she has done (and continues to do) to lead a grateful, simplistic, happy life. It's not often that I give out 5 stars, but I that's how much I enjoyed this book!
Helen
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tiny-home
Lots of practical, not preachy, information. I even enjoyed reading the endnotes for goodness sake!
Kate
It seems like every 10 years or so, a book comes along that nudges us toward what really matters in life. This is that book for the younger generation. Tammy Strobel, the blogster for Rowdy Kittens, explains how she and her husband let go of their comparatively lavish lifestyle and went tiny. As someone considerably older than her, I'm amazed that she packed so much into the relatively short period of time between college graduation and her current simplified life. Amusing when someone so young ...more
Dori
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a thought provoking book on "simple living." I appreciated the interviews she did with people who are simplifying their lives in creative ways. Makes you realize there are a lot of different ways to approach the idea of "simplicity" in your own life! Although the author takes simplicity to a level that I would perhaps find uncomfortable (selling both her and her husband's two cars, living in a custom built 128 square foot mini house, etc.), I found her example inspiring nonetheless. It m ...more
Tawni
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Turns out this is a get rid of everything and live in a 20 foot square house on wheels with your Husband and Bike everywhere with no car. Not really my cup of tea but did make me get rid of some stuff.
Lucy
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Amazing. Good stuff. Loved it!
Logan Downs
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great tips for living simply and downsizing
Jorge Rodighiero
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Too much self-biography, some snippets of other people biographies, too little "how you can too"
Sarah
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book embodies the mantra that I could never put into words. It inspired me to refocus on enjoying more of the simple things. How easy it is to get caught up in the fast paced life! While I may not be the future owner of a tiny house like the author is, I will certainly adopt some of her life's principles and wisdom. Fun, quick read!
Jennifer Fong
Jun 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
It basically felt like the author wrote this book so she can put all her friends and family in it. Would only recommend for a beginner minimalist.
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Happiness. Oh that elusive, fleeting sensation that we constantly yearn for, wonder about, discuss ad nauseam, search and find only to lose again. In the end, there is one thing we may all be able to agree on when it comes to the state of happiness:

Happiness, or being happy, is always much simpler, purer, and easier in reality than we make it in our complex minds and tired imagination.

The pursuit of happiness through the simpler, purer and easier ways is what pulled me in to Tammy Strobel's book
...more
Robin
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Accepting and living by sufficiency rather than excess offers a return to what is, culturally speaking, the human home: to the ancient order of family, community, good work, and the good life; to a reverence for skill, creativity, and creation; to a daily cadence slow enough to let us watch the sunset and stroll by the water's edge; to communities worth spending a lifetime in; and to local places pregnant with the memories of generations.

Researches from Yale University and the University of New
...more
Kalani Brown
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Her style of writing flows well and sharing her insights on minimizing, moving, and making life changes to create a less stressful life was inspiring.
Natalie
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tammy Strobel, author of the widely-loved Rowdy Kittens blog, opens up about what it means to simplify. For every person, she admits, the process of simplification is unique. I loved this book because it really hit home for me in a lot of ways. Moving into a tiny house isn't really an option for me right now, but this book absolutely motivated me to gather up things I don't use and give them away or sell them, as well as think about the role that 'stuff' plays in my life. Additionally, this book ...more
Michael S. Mesnard
Good book. I enjoyed it. I am downsizing.

I like the book concept overall and the author does a great job with the storyline. The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of five is because of the preachy giving everything to charity, climate change, liberal slant. it simply comes off as phony. its great to give to charity, but you dont have to give every spare nickel and I dont believe anyone does. You have to take care of yourself and your family first before you can help anyone else.

as for the enviro
...more
Caren
Aug 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
As incomes have declined since the recession, it seems logical to look for ways to lead a less consumer-oriented life, even though our culture screams 'buy, buy, buy' at every turn. The author and her husband made a very conscious decision to scale back their lifestyles in order to buy more freedom to live their ideals. The author tells of having had huge student loan debts, a well-paid but unsatisfying job, and of her method of calming frustrations by simply buying more stuff, always with an ey ...more
Beth
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good book. The author did a nice job of making a case for choosing a simpler lifestyle. She and her husband decided to start simplifying after they found themselves in debt and unhappy with jobs in which they began to feel trapped. Over a few years, they downsized their stuff and moved to a smaller apartment then eventually into a tiny house on wheels, moving again to Portland. The author gave up her corporate job for a writing career and she and her husband got rid of their ca ...more
Emmy
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading Tammy's blog for a while now so I was very excited to read her newest book. When I was first looking into the idea of simplifying my life I wanted a "how-to" book. I needed someone to tell me exactly what to do and how to do it. The truth is, no one can tell you how to do it. You have to find what works for your individual situation. But this book shares Tammy and her husband Logan's story as well as the stories of others in different situations that have found their own simpli ...more
Anne M.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The main idea of this book is that life's most precious gifts for lasting happiness are time, freedom, and community. Working too much, buying too much, and commuting are counter to these ideals. There are dozens of little gems in this book, so I will be hanging onto it indefinitely. It's not a book to just read and give away. On the other hand, it was quite redundant at times, and could have been shorter. I felt like she kept driving home the same points in slightly different ways.

Worth a read
...more
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Hi! I’m Tammy Strobel. I'm a writer, photographer, and cat lover.

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“I held on to stuff I didn't need or use because I wanted to hold on to that part of my identity, or my perceived identity. I am writer, a knitter, a doodler, a skier, a hiker, and more. Cool belongings, like fancy skis, seem to represent my personality. But in truth, I hardly ski anymore, so why keep skis? If I accumulate stuff just to prove who I am, or was, it prevents me from doing meaningful things with my life right now, like focusing on health, happiness, and my relationships.” 7 likes
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