Synopses & Reviews
"This cheerful handbook offers the emotional and practical lessons Strobel learned while radically downsizing her living space, disposing of most of her possessions, and simplifying her lifestyle. Through her RowdyKittens blog, Strobel and her husband have shared their transition from a generous two-bedroom apartment in 2004 to the TV-free, refrigerator-free, 128-square-foot house-on-wheels parked in a corner of a friend's Portland, Ore., yard. She makes a persuasive argument for simplification and is careful to offer advice not only to Small Living movement radicals but to anyone looking to 'right-size' their life. Social relationships, she argues, should be both the core of personal satisfaction and a way to share resources. Additionally, Strobel urges budgeting for experiences rather than objects and finding ways to spend less time commuting and working just to pay for unnecessary goods.Â A list of 'micro-actions' that anyone can do like the '100 Thing Challenge' or the 'one in, one out rule' is offered to aid in re-evaluating one's relationship with space and ownership. Although her personal choices may seem extreme, the environmental politics and magnitude of change Strobel asks of her reader is distinctly moderate, making this a practical book even for those who only want to live a little bit lighter. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Over the past decade, a growing body of research has focused on figuring out what makes us happy. Most people try to build their happiness through short-term fixes and pleasures, like buying the latest phone or working longer hours to make more money. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. Yet, it ranks near the bottom of countries measured on the Happy Planet Index. Clearly Americans are going about it the wrong way.
Seven years ago, Tammy Strobel and her husband, Logan, were living a normal middle class lifestyle. They were newlyweds with flashy rings, living in a two-bedroom apartment, driving two cars, commuting long distances to work, and living well beyond their means. They were living a life with too much stuff and $30,000 of debt.
They decided something needed to change once they realized that debt was causing them so much stress. Initially, they resisted the idea of downsizing into a smaller one-bedroom apartment because they were more concerned about appearances and space for guests than for their financial well-being. But after creating many long pro/con lists, the downsizing process began. They sold one car and moved into a one-bedroom apartment near downtown. Although they still drove everywhere, with lower rent and only one car they began chipping away at their debt. Around this time, they stumbled across the Small House Movement and the concept of simple living.
Today, Tammy has escaped the cubicle to start her own business as a writer and simple living advocate. She and Logan live in a tiny house and she blogs about how to simplify your own life. In You Can Buy Happiness (and Its Cheap), Tammy combines her own simplifying story of exactly how she changed her life with the latest psychological research on happiness, as well as the stories of people she has interviewed about their own experiments in decluttering and simplifying. With each chapter she offers readers microactions for starting the process of simplifying and sticking with it.
The recession has hurt many individuals and families, but the upside of the economic downturn is that people are starting to rethink old assumptions about what makes them happy. This book will give readers the tools and strategies to find happiness by rethinking their lifestyle and life goals.
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-sizing dream and here she combines research on well-being with numerous real world examples to offer practical inspiration. Her fresh take on our things, our work, and our relationships spell out micro-actions that anyone can take to step off the getting-and-spending treadmill and into a life thats more conscious and connected, sustainable and sustaining, heartfelt and happy.
Once, Tammy Strobel and her husband were living a normal middle-class lifestyle: driving two cars, commuting long distances, and living well beyond their means. Now they are living the voluntary downsizing — or smart-sizing — dream. In this book Strobel combines research on well-being with numerous real-world examples to offer practical inspiration. Her fresh take on our things, our work, and our relationships spells out micro-actions that anyone can take to step into a life thats more conscious and connected, sustainable and sustaining, heartfelt and happy.
About the Author
Simple living blogger Tammy Strobel is the author of the self-published Smalltopia: A Practical Guide to Working for Yourself. She lives (in a tiny house) in Portland, Oregon.