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

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Overview

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 that's ore conscious and connected, ...

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You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap)

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Overview

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 that's ore conscious and connected, sustainable and sustaining, heartfelt and happy.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.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.)
From the Publisher
“What do you need to be happy? It’s a lot less than you might expect. Read this book and prepare for change!”
Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup

“One of the most important books you’ll read. If put into action, it will change lives.”
Leo Babauta, author of The Power of Less

“This inspirational guide to creating a life of simple contentment is packed with real-life stories and practical tips for finding happiness. It’s thoughtful and engaging, a road map to a postconsumer world. I loved it.”
J. D. Roth, editor of the blog Get Rich Slowly

“You will immediately connect with Tammy Strobel’s transparent and vulnerable storytelling. As a result, you will be challenged deeply by her discoveries about money, possessions, and happiness.”
Joshua Becker, writer of the blog Becoming Minimalist

“Tammy Strobel’s new book should resonate with millions of Americans. She has articulated what has become a movement in these changing times: simplification of our lives, less stuff, smaller living spaces.”
Lloyd Kahn, author of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

“This powerful book reminds all of us that happiness is a choice and that when you choose time over money and people over stuff, happiness awaits.”
Courtney Carver, blogger and author of Simple Ways to Be More with Less

“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....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.”
Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608680832
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 9/11/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 363,215
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet 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.
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Table of Contents

Gratitude ix

Introduction: Rethinking Normal 1

Part 1 The Paradox of Stuff

Chapter 1 Buying Things Will Not Make You Happy 9

Chapter 2 The Stuff You Own Owns You 19

Part 2 Finding Happiness through Simple Living

Chapter 3 Changing Your Relationship with Stuff 37

Chapter 4 The Power of Debt 47

Chapter 5 Sell What You Can, Give the Rest Away 59

Chapter 6 The Joy of the Small House 81

Chapter 7 Reclaiming Work 99

Part 3 Buying Happiness

Chapter 8 Time Is the Only Real Wealth 117

Chapter 9 Money vs. Experiences 131

Chapter 10 Relationships Matter, Not Things 141

Chapter 11 The Art of Community Building 153

Chapter 12 The Power of Tiny Pleasures 165

Epilogue: Love Life, Not Stuff 179

Endnotes 183

Resources and Further Reading 193

Index 199

About the Author 209

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 13, 2012

    I'd heard of Tammy Stroebel and have dipped my toes into her Row

    I'd heard of Tammy Stroebel and have dipped my toes into her Rowdy Kittens blog over the last couple years so was super excited to find her new book on the shelf as I was browsing for the perfect trans-atlantic reading companion for my flight home. Before we left for our holiday my husband and I had started to feel weighted down by all our stuff; a physical abundance and most of it schmutter.

    I read Tammy's book continously throughout the entire flight and returned home with fresh zeal to simplify my home and other areas of my life where things are feeling a little crowded.

    If you're starting to feel that life is getting on top of you, your possession are overcrowding you, and you're trapped in a overspending spiral this book is for you. Peppered with the author's personal narratives and sprinkled with interesting stats that will open your eyes, this book is an easy but oh so insightful and inspiring read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    This book should be called "My Ironic Life: How I became a

    This book should be called "My Ironic Life: How I became a Hipster before it was cool". I have to say I am sorely disappointed that I paid $14.95 for this book. This book is poorly written and contains NO new thoughts or concepts. After the first few chapters, I felt like I'd read it all before... then I remembered watching a Netflix movie called "Happyness" which contained many of the same studies and quotes found in this book (it came out before the book). Her writing style is that of a high school graduate narrating an autobiography, except that its not in chronological order and jumps all over the map with dates. One paragraph its 2007, the next its 2010, then we find ourselves back in 2005 discussing rings... its not organized, its not unique, there is nothing thought provoking or revolutionary in this collection of web articles.

    I expected to at least have some useful information, based on the title "and how you can too". Her micro-actions again were nothing new, actions I've been doing all my life. Some of them even contradict others, for example: take public transportation or bike when possible. Um... how exactly does that save me time, stress, and hassle? That would make the commute exceptionally longer. Her evidence that this can be done by parents too- a story by her friend "Dusti Arab" about biking with kids in the trailer.. I'm sorry, but I'm not putting my son in a bike trailer and riding along the highway to get hit by a texting driver to "simplify".

    This woman is no expert on simplifying life. My take on this book- a story about a couple who jumped from one bandwagon to another. From the rat race and materialistic Californian lifestyle to the bicycling, carless, coffee shop addict, whole foods shopping, iphone using Portland hipster. She spoke nothing of saving for retirement, or what they plan to do with the debt free but hardly income producing lifestyle becomes unsustainable due to health or inability to find a place to park the "tiny home". So she doesn't pay rent for a large apartment or mortgage on a big house- great, but they're still paying rent for a place to park the trailer - I mean, tiny home. I'm all for simplying, reducing debt/being debt free, being less cosumeristic, but this was very disappointing. I was so disappointed I went back to Barnes and Noble and returned it. And I NEVER return books. Take her advice about wasting time.... save your money, save your time, and don't bother reading this book. I'm sure her blog has the same dry, bland writing available for free.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    a guide to simple living

    I have been following Tammy Strobel's journey towards simplicity on her blog, Rowdy Kittens, for about a year and a half. I find her story to be one of reality and inspiration. Her book has a personal, friendly feel. It takes you into her relationship with her husband and partner in the simplifying process, Logan. It gives the reader a look at their "downsizing pains". How they help each other understand what their real goals are and how to set small actionable tasks to achieve them. Tammy encourages the reader to define their own individual version of happiness and simplicity. To facilitate this process Tammy includes micro-actions at the end of each chapter.
    Also included are stories and different perspectives from interviews that she has conducted. Factual data from scientific studies broadens the scope.
    I enjoyed her book and it helped me realize that simplifying ones life is a process which entails excavating your true feelings, values and actions. It encourages and leads the way for others who are looking to live a more honest and simple lifestyle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2013

    Hats off to Tammy Strobel for writing such an honest, revealing,

    Hats off to Tammy Strobel for writing such an honest, revealing, and informative book! I loved reading about her journey to simplify, reduce her consumption, and create a life that she loves. Her friendly, straightforward style is a pleasure to read. I applaud Strobel for being willing to be vulnerable by sharing all her mistakes, misfortunes, and faulty ways of thinking. Also, all of her research, factoids, and interviews with all kinds of interesting and independent people made this not only an inspiring book, but one with tons of resources.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    I've given away all my other self help books because of this one!!!

    First book in a very long time that I took to heart. My house is becoming clutter free. My mind is in a better place. Toxic people and things are being let go of. Its all very liberating. And now my 10 year old son has decided to do the same. Someday I would love to buy Tammy Strobel a beer and give her a hug. Thank You Mrs.Strobel for helping me change so much in my world!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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