Why I’m Retiring from Personal Blogging

Why I'm Retiring from Personal Blogging

It has been exactly 50 days since my last update; 127 days since I left for my adventure in the UK; 232 days since my first book came out. This year has been so different from what I expected, filled with decisions I didn’t know I would make. Yesterday, I woke up and deleted the 2,522-word post I had written for today. In it, I shared all the details that went into making this decision. I talked about the slow steps I took toward it, the mini adventures in opting out, and everything I was feeling about saying “goodbye” to this blog as a whole. Even though it’s all true, the thought of hitting publish on that post didn’t feel right. I woke up this morning knowing that the truest thing I could say is that it just feels like it’s time. I knew it when I shared my last update, and I still know it today, so that’s what I’m here to say. It’s time to let go of this blog. I’m ready to move on and start something new.

The “start something new” part of that sentence is what excites me most—and that’s why I’m moving towards it. It feels exciting. For most of this year, blogging has felt stale—and the internet, as a whole, hasn’t felt like the fun place to hangout with friends it once did. That’s not to say it doesn’t feel safe (though we could discuss that argument, and I have thoughts for both sides). It’s just not as fun anymore. I used to open up new browser tabs and visit people’s blogs like I was walking into their dorm rooms and sitting on their beds. Then we’d share life updates, what little bits of advice we had, and both walk away feeling like we’d had a great conversation with a friend. Now, it feels like every platform (blogs, social, etc.) is a place for people to shout and be heard. We have been told we need to build, grow, make money and have all the answers. We need to be experts.

I don’t want to be an expert. I just want to be a human.

I want to wake up and enjoy my slow mornings, with coffee in one hand and my journal in the other. I want to sit down and work, and not feel like it needs to be a productivity experiment that I should document. I want to go for long walks and spend time in nature, and not take pictures as proof. I want to get a good night of sleep and a bad night of sleep, and not turn it into a discussion on the internet. I want to date and celebrate milestones with the people in my life, and not share it with the world. I want to make big financial decisions and small financial decisions, and not have to justify them or worry what people will think. I want to have regular days and big days and happy days and sad days. I want to go through an experience and not wonder which parts would fit best into a blog post. I want to live and not share every detail anymore. I just want to be a human in this world.

Whether you’re a new reader who signed up after reading The Year of Less, or you’ve been with me since the beginning, you all know it’s taken a long time for me to get to this place. Eight years ago, I was 25 years old, maxed out with nearly $30,000 of debt, felt like a failure and cried myself to sleep at night. I relied on drinking, eating, and spending money to get me through most things. I wasn’t happy. I was lost. Today, I’m 33 years old, have some money in the bank, work for myself and sleep better. I’ve learned how to pay attention to what I’m doing, ask myself how I feel about it, and try new things until it feels like I’m on a better path. I’ve made so many changes and done so much hard work that I now trust myself to do what’s right for me. That comes with a certain level of confidence I didn’t have before. I’m not the same person I was 2,896 days ago. I have changed.

So, it makes sense that a different person would want to work on different things.

At the beginning of the year, I shared an idea that felt crazy at the time with my good friend J$: “I want to burn everything to the ground and start fresh.” We had just wrapped up three years of working together on Rockstar Finance, and he asked what I was going to do next. That was my response. I didn’t know what “everything” included or how I would burn it all down. I just had this feeling that it was time to let things go. Similar to the way you outgrow a job, because you are no longer being challenged or learning, I was ready for a new position. And ever so slowly, I have burned it all down and moved in that direction: my role at Rockstar, the blog’s Facebook page, my involvement with Simple Year, my podcast with Carrie, my Twitter profile. It’s all gone—and so far, none of my fears about letting each one go have actualized.

The blog is the final piece of the puzzle. It’s the biggest piece and the scariest one to remove, because it’s the first one I laid down and eventually built everything else around. When I first started writing anonymously as “blonde on a budget,” I never could’ve imagined my last post would read like this one. Thanks to this blog, and to all of you for reading, I have received opportunities I never could’ve dreamed of: freelance writing gigs, a full-time job, a chance to work for myself; fun collaborations with friends and mentors, ways to make money on the internet, opportunities to speak to people in-person—and a book deal. Every other publisher wanted TYOL to be a how-to book, but Hay House let me write it exactly how I wanted to. And then my old weekly spending reports somehow evolved into a deeply personal memoir that quickly became a bestseller—that still blows my mind.

This blog was an outlet that ultimately changed my career and my entire life. I don’t know if I will ever be able to find words to express my gratitude other than a simple “thank you”. Thank you to everyone who read the blog. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write a comment or email. Thank you to everyone who replied to other people’s comments, started conversations and built this community. Thank you to all my friends who wrote guest posts for me when I needed time off. And thank you to the friends who have collaborated with me during these past eight years. You have all helped me in more ways than I can list here, and I am so grateful for your time, energy, and attention. Now, I believe that the best thing I can do is continue to model what it means to live an intentional life. In this case, that means trusting my gut and letting go of my blog, even if it feels scary.

Because make no mistake: the idea of walking away from this blog does scare me. I’ve “lived here” for 2,896 days. That’s 2,896 days of checking blog stats, working on new posts and replying to comments. And 2,896 days of having at least one task related to maintaining this website. I spent the summer checking in with my fears and realized they weren’t much different than what comes up when we decide to let go of anything. Similar to the way we have to detach ourselves from our belongings in order to declutter, I’ve had to let go of whatever attachment my ego had to being a long-time blogger. I’ve had to remind myself that this blog doesn’t define me. I am not my pageviews or other stats. I am a human first, and a writer second. And it’s ok for the ways in which I share my words to change—that’s what we’ve been working on for the past eight years, right? Change. :)

Letting go isn’t easy. It’s a continual practice. Fortunately, when we intentionally create space in our lives, we can intentionally decide what to fill it with. I haven’t decided what I will fill all of my time with, because I want to remain open. But here’s what you can expect from me in 2018:

  • a new newsletter that will not be about my life! I’ll be writing in seasons and taking chunks of time off, to honour myself + also to model what it means to listen to yourself and create boundaries in your life.
  • the release of the Mindful Budgeting evergreen planner that will live on the site year-round and be available when you need it most. :)
  • and then I’ll finish my proposal for book #2. After all that, I ended up telling my agent I needed time (and pressure) off from that too. Another decision that felt more “right” than scary.

Taking time off this summer created space for a growing list of ideas to enter my mind. Some of them include: a solo podcast, a collab with a group of women, and anything where I can make sure all contributors are paid equally. I don’t know which ideas I’ll work on yet, but I would be excited about any of them! The one thing I do know is that my personal life will no longer be at the centre of what I’m sharing. Now, I want to show up for all of you and help the best way I can. Also, aside from the newsletter, I’ll continue to spend a little time on Instagram. That’s the one online space I’ve really been enjoying in 2018, and I have a few ideas for ways we can connect more and build some community there. If you haven’t already, please say hi. :)

As for this website, it will always be my home base. But consider the blog to be nothing more than a place you can find simple updates, like product releases, book tour info, other events, etc. And with that, I think we’re done here, friends! My final post. Before I sign off, there are two messages I want to leave you with.

The first is a call for mindful creators. I’ve spent most of this year thinking about how we consume information, and believe more of us could stand to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. A shift is coming. If it hasn’t happened already, we are getting close to reaching what feels like a critical mass. There are too many blogs, websites, podcasts, videos, streaming services, etc. to keep up with. We, as consumers, are starting to feel overwhelmed by the amount of options out there. When it gets to be too much, I think we’re going to see people opt out altogether. They’ll unsubscribe, hit delete, and walk away. I say this because I’ve been doing it all year. As a collective, we are beginning to realize how limited our time, energy, and attention are—and creators need to respect that. If you don’t believe me, liken it to how much physical stuff we used to accumulate, and now how big the movement to declutter/simplify is. I truly believe a shift is coming. People want less but better.

What does this mean for creators? I obviously can’t predict the future, but I do think it’s time to start asking big questions and setting intentions for the work we do. For me, that starts with reminding myself that having an audience is both a gift and a responsibility. It’s incredible that people want to read/watch/listen to what you have to say. But don’t let the number of followers or pageviews or comments fool you. Your audience/platform is not your self-worth; it is a gift and a responsibility. Always remember that people are human beings first, and the content you share has the power to shift the way they think/feel. Be helpful. Be hopeful. Create the content you would want to consume. And really think about the messaging you’re putting out into the world. (Also, if you’re a new blogger, I still stand by all the tips I shared about how I slowly grew mine my own way.)

For that last point, I’ve found myself experiencing a growing frustration with some content in the minimalism/simple living space. In short: the solutions we are offering are way too simple. We can’t keep telling people that simplifying is going to solve all of their problems. The real work comes next and it is hard. Let’s have more conversations about that. And finally, the last thing I want to do is challenge creators in this space to see one huge disconnect in the work we do. We encourage people to do things like log off social media, yet we force ourselves to actively maintain profiles on every single platform. It’s like we’re offering “you don’t have to keep up” as good advice for others, but we can’t seem to give it to ourselves. Talk about mixed messaging. If you need someone to write you a permission slip to take a step back, I’ll do it and offer you something to think about: How do you consume content? What would your life/your work look like if you only created content in those spaces, instead?

Finally, a note for all the mindful consumers (which is basically a note to all humans). If you read those last three paragraphs in full, I would love to hear your thoughts on the overload of information out there. But more importantly, I just want to say this: you don’t have to keep up with it all. It is exhausting and anxiety-inducing—and it is physically impossible. You literally cannot read, watch and do everything. And also, remember that what consumes your mind controls your life and finances. So don’t buy into any of the messages that dig at your insecurities and make you feel less than. You are more than a consumer. If you feel overwhelmed but don’t know what to consume less of, start by paying attention to the content you consume, the way you consume it, and how it makes you feel. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to make a change. Play around. Experiment. Create boundaries. Do what feels good to you. You have more control over this than you might think.

Ok, that’s it. For real this time—a new 2,500-word post, haha. I love you all. Thank you, forever.

I’ll see you on the next adventure.

xx Cait

  • You have to do what you feel in your heart, so you’re making the right decision. And it’s a brave decision given the longevity and success of your blog and what it’s done for you and others.

    Kudos to you, and best wishes in your new endeavors!

  • I’m happy…scared..uplifted…& in AWE of this…& VERY selfishly wish this wasn’t true…BUT I also applaud your will…your gut & your need to change what does not work for you!! I will miss your words.. I LOVE your words…& I hope to see whatever you DO put online again…whenever you put it out there!

  • Oh my, where do I start… The first few sentences of this blog post made me feel like we were breaking up. I think that goes to show how much of an impact you have made on people’s lives Cait Flanders. I have a feeling I could ramble on here but I just want to say I am glad to be able to read all of your beautiful words and you are one of the bravest, most amazing people I have ever encountered and I hope that one day we can meet in person.
    I can definitely relate to there being an overload of information out there in the world. I have been gradually replacing my internet intake with books over the past couple of years and I feel better for it. I even feel though that in the book world, all the latest and shiny new books are pushed at you and it has certainly felt overwhelming at times. But there are only so many books I can read, and so I will only read the ones that truly interest me (like yours 😉). Even though many things interest me. Haha!
    Looking forward to seeing more adventure Tuesdays!

  • Wow, Cait. What a sign-off! I too have been pondering about the critical mass of information on the internet. There’s so much noise that people are going to opt-out entirely because they’re overwhelmed.

    At the same time, I think consumers of information are increasingly aware of the on-the-surface content, pop-ups, and hollow words. People are gravitating to content that feels real, honest and useful.

    As a blogger in the simple living niche, the motivation to write a why-to book was because of how much hacky how-to content existed in the world.

    It’s ironic. I recently emailed you to tell you how much I love your blog, and then I received your newsletter today about shutting this down. In any case, I’m so glad to of discovered you, and I look forward to receiving your new updates.

    Kudos for staying to your what you want.

  • Kudos to you! And thank you. In the last 3 years your blog and podcast helped me A LOT to manage my finance (I’m 48 and have never been able to budget properly before!). And I also often found your experiments, and changes thorugh the years very inspiring. Like we say here in Italy, In bocca al lupo for this new chapter of your life.

  • Brava! Really. Kudos to you for being so genuine, following your heart, and making a brave move. You’ve built what many of us aspire to build, yet you find that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. And you have the courage to let it go. I, for one, will continue to read WHATEVER you write. Wishing you all the best!

  • Cait, I’ve been a reader since Blonde on a Budget days. Your writing has always been a joy and an inspiration to read. I understand your reasons for change, and hope it provides you with happiness. I’m not a huge fan of newsletters, but I’ve subscribed to yours with hopes of reading continued good content. I feel like I’ve been on a similar journey as you over the years, and even without your life as the center point I’m still interested in hearing more from you.

  • Love it Cait. Looking forward to what you have planned. Your authenticity and say it like you mean it are what I strive for as well.

  • Wow, best of luck in your future endeavors! I’m sure you will find success in whatever direction you go down. It has to be comforting knowing you’re doing this your own way, on your own terms, and exciting to start something new!

    Looking forward to following along in your new adventures!

    Don’t forget to hire Tanja as your introducer/hype person wherever you go! 😂

  • I am not going to lie… By the end of the post, I became very emotional. Bless your heart! You’re an inspiring human being, and I’m so grateful I stumbled across to blog some 5 years ago. Yours is one of 5 blogs I’ve 100% consistently followed in that time. It feels like when a good neighbor/friend moves away and you don’t know how or when you might see each other again! Thank you for you! You’re wise beyond your years and have taught me so much! Take care and do what is best for you!

  • Great words – thanks Cait. I look forward to continuing to follow and support your adventures via your newsletter and Instagram. Thanks for being an inspiration to all of us looking to find the *right* balance between working online, living offline, sharing our stories with community, and preserving our private lives. (and p.s. thanks for the introduction to Fiona Barrows – loving her podcast & newsletter!)

  • You do you, girl! I’m a little sad because I want to keep up with what you’re doing, but I’ll be there on Instagram and will sign up for your newsletter. Heck, I might even go crazy and swap phone numbers so I can hear about all these adventures you’re going to go on.

    If you ever feel like coming back, we’ll be here. Like Motel 6 we’ll keep the lights on, but in a way more classy manner than a cheap hotel :)

  • Best of luck in your new adventures! While I’m sad that you’re leaving the blog behind, you have to do what is right for you and follow your heart.

  • What can I say, I’ll miss your blog Cait, but I’m so happy for your new adventure. As someone else said, it does feel like I’m losing a friend, your voice is so authentically you.
    Reading your post has made me think about my own life, and how true I am to myself in both my online and offline world, so thank you as it has made me realise I need to reassess my own life and see what fits for now and the future not what was the past.
    The online world has become crazy, I hope I’m not the only one that spends hours reading blogs looking for that one post that will ‘fix’ whatever craziness is going on in my life at that time. It is time to reel it in and look inward, not outward.
    Good luck with your new adventures, whatever they may be and I hope, like any true friend, when you pop back into our lives we’ll just pick up where we left off, no matter how long it’s been.
    Vivienne x

  • I’m 36 years old, so I grew up without the Internet. I’ve recently started thinking about how I used to spend my leisure time back then without the Internet to distract me all the time. I used to play outside, talk to my friends on the phone, visit family more often, read, watch movies, listen to music tapes and CDs from beginning to end, etc. I miss all of those activities and I’ve started to really pay attention to the amount of time I spend online now. I’ve gotten rid of Facebook and Instagram and culled the Twitter accounts I was following. I’ve started making a huge effort to actively ignore the internet and so far it’s been great! I have so much time for other things now and it’s making me feel like a young kid again :)

  • Best of luck with your next career move, Cait! I loved your blog but all good things must come to an end. It sounds like it’s time for a new direction.
    I agree with you, there is simply way too much content out there and it is overwhelming. It’s ironic that we preach about downsizing, simplifying, and decluttering at the same time we’re bombarding social media with evermore content via blogs, articles, podcasts, and the like. It’s easy to forget that digital clutter is still clutter and can have just as many negative effects as physical clutter. I agree with you that a shift is coming and hopefully we start to see more emphasis on slowing down our digital lives, too.

  • I’m really interested to see what you do with the information you glean from the requests in your last few paragraphs. I’ve been seeing this shift lately, too; and this week I unfollowed every single Instagram account that was not owned by someone I personally knew. Maybe we are getting back to the roots of social networking as a way to stay in contact with people we know? I started getting very uneasy with other people determining what I looked at and read. The few blogs I still follow are personal, and as they have moved into sponsored content and blogging about every small project they do, I’ve stopped keeping up.

    I am sort of rambling but I think we are experiencing a backward swing. I know that people have evolved their livelihoods around blogs and feeds, but there has got to be another way. I’m not saying that we should go back to a place where people are not paid for producing the content that they do, but I’m hoping that there can be some collective strategic thinking about how those business models can evolve.

  • Hey Cait! Although I’m a more recent follower, your blog (and The Year of Less) has been a great source of encouragement for me. I’m currently re-reading TYOL with my husband, because I knew your story would resonate with him, too. We’re in the process of paying down our debt, while also trying to become more conscious consumers (of everything).

    Selfishly, I’m sad to hear that you’re retiring from personal blogging, because you are so genuine. Too many blogs these days claim to just be “sharing their story”, but really it comes across as selling their story. If that makes any sense.

    Having said that, I completely understand the feeling that blogging/the internet isn’t as fun anymore, and the desire to do things without needing to document them for the internet. I’m happy you’re trusting your gut.

    Years ago I blogged about our house, but I stopped for similar reasons. I also completely agree that you cannot read/watch everything. I want to consume content on my schedule, so if not being tethered to my phone means not seeing something that is only up for a limited amount of time (like an Instagram story), that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. I could go on and on about this subject (actually I did, but I deleted most of it).

    To wrap this novella up, I’m very excited for you, and wish you the best of luck in whatever comes next! I will continue to follow along with Instagram and your newsletter, although probably at my own pace. I also plan to revisit TYOL as needed, and hopefully this blog will continue to exist as a resource to look back on, although I completely understand if it falls under “burning everything to the ground”.

  • I am so sad to see you go as you were one of a small handful of bloggers I followed. It has been a privilege to read your blog and your book. Based on your last post, I was fairly certain that this was where you would end up, and I commend you for doing the hard work to contemplate what’s next for you that is good for you and you alone.

    Your loyal readership will be here and we’ll look forward to all the ways that you will still contribute to the world. May you continue to lead an adventurous life – in private 😀

  • Congrats on making the decision that is right for you! It’s so hard, and I truly believe that the general masses will not change their status quo because they are ‘too’ comfortable and yet unhappy. A lot of what you talk about is exactly how I feel, especially regarding social media. I wish you the best in your future endeavors/adventures! And may we all be so in tune with ourselves that when the time comes for us to make a change, we do.

  • “I just want to be a human.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially after our conversations at camp two weekends ago, and I’m currently struggling to write a post that’s based off of those conversations, as well. Congrats on the new direction, friend, and I’m really looking forward to adventure Tuesdays!

  • It’s been wonderful seeing your growth through this platform, and I appreciate everything I’ve learned from you. I wish you all the best with this next chapter of your life! I know you’ll do great things.

  • Hi Cait! I am so glad you are doing what feels right to you. I will miss your posts but I look forward to what the future holds for you! Will you still be releasing Mindful Budgeting planners in 2018? I certainly hope so! I use mine daily and have for years. If not, do you have any similar recommendations? Good luck on your next adventure!

  • We can read all the how to change books and blogs in the world but, as you know, change is something you actually DO. I’m glad to see you deciding to make the change that is right for you. Please, know that we’ll miss you but we’ll all be just fine.

  • I’ve enjoyed your writing these past 4 years, but it’s the right decision you’re making, when it’s no longer fun, it’s time to move on.

    Wish you all the very best for the future – you have the world at your feet and so many new adventures to be had!

  • I felt exactly the same but I did not know what I wanted. It came to me in February. I wanted to live in the real world with real people and real experiences. So I unsubscribed from everything but you. Now I can let you go as well. I also started trying all sorts of new real life experiences. Now everything I do brings me great joy. Good luck in the future. Thanks for being you and sharing that with the world.

  • Thank you so much for writing inspiring blog posts. I respect your intention to create better content with a sense of boundary. Looking forward to read your newsletters and your next book!

  • Cait, I am so happy for you that you have listened to your gut and made this decision. To your point on consuming information ((and everything else), I imagine what it must be like not having social media, the internet, the ads, the noise, the distractions… I have had several dreams of just letting go of all of it, completely surrendering to the virtual world and just living. Not checking in on so-and-so’s blog, or looking at what you-know-who got up to on the weekend, and instead focusing on me and my life. Some days I feel so close to making that a reality and other days it feels like it has always just been a dream. I admire you for leading by example Cait. Wishing you the absolute best, from one human to another <3

  • We’ll miss you as a blogger, Cait, but I understand 100%. Glad to hear about the new direction you’re taking your business and life, and I’m excited for you.

    I’m not quite 1,000 days into blogging, and it’s tough to imagine triple that. I don’t think I could keep it up at the current pace I’ve been on, but I could imagine carrying on at a slower pace to give myself some breathing room when I’m ready to do less.


  • Congratulations on listening to your heart. I think there is a conflict within minimalism that requires adjustment. Buy this, get rid of everything, log off your phone but read my post everyday.

    That being said, I would sign up for a weekend retreat event with you right now!

    Good luck and I can’t wait to see what’s to come.

  • Wow beautifully written. Good.for.you!
    As a new 2 year blogger on Education I see how this can overwhelm. You constantly look for a new post in every thing. I have been learning to let go.
    Thank you for your honesty!
    Alana Stanton

  • Lady, You are a beacon of light. This is a fantastic read. So glad to have read this and I cannot wait to see the magnificence you create in this world. Xx

  • Well done! I’ve loved reading your blog the last few years, but if it doesn’t feel right anymore, you do what does feel right. It shines through blog posts anyway, when the person behind them doesn’t have their heart there anymore.
    With regards to overload, I really dislike those blogs about minimalism and spending less, and then at the bottom you have a “sign up for our new course” costing such and such and taking even more of my time. I even read one the other day to sign up for something or other that would “only” take an hour of your time per week, reading an e-mail, watching a video and taking part in a facebook group. And this was a course on being less busy! That hour per week is precious. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to give that time to a course which I doubt will teach me anything new. And you’re right, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs on minimalism and living intentionally and they all say the same thing in the end. I’m reading them thinking: what’s new? this isn’t telling me anything I don’t already know! Why am I wasting my time reading this? So if you can go beyond that and get to the nitty gritty and the hard bits, sign me up!
    Having said that, I will miss your blog. Yours was one of the genuine blogs I really enjoyed reading and follow you along on your hourney.
    All the best for your future!

  • I am more on the consumer than on the creator side and I agree with what you say about overconsumption (which in my case also results in overachievement). My partner has summed it up like this: “You do too many things well.”

    For example, I try to do several spiritual exercises everyday (because online recommendation). But I think doing too many of them is counteractive. So I am definitely one of those people who want less but better spiritual advice.

    Maybe we need to talk more about tools, techniques or systems which can alert us when we have reached the “point of too much”?

  • Cait, I started reading your book last week and I found your blog through it. At first when I saw this post I was disappointed because I had been looking forward to reading your blog. But as I continued to read, I became excited for all of the new projects you will have time for. When I made it to the last section of the post I realized that this was probably the most fitting post of yours that I could read at the moment. In the past month, I have become increasingly selective about the media that I consume. I went as far as deleting my old Instagram account and my Quora account because I felt that I was getting no value out of them. I created a new Instagram account that I use to follow Instagram pages that matter to me, such as The Financial Diet and yours ; ) . I still have a very far way to go. I haven’t deleted my Pinterest account when I should have months ago and I have a bad habit of filling my browser up with articles from self-help blogs that don’t really matter to me. Thank you for this post. I wish you well on whatever you choose to do next and I look forward to any other content you produce.

  • I’ll miss your posts but I understand and fully support your need to evolve and pursue what’s right for you. Good luck!
    As for all the content out there, I was thinking the same thing myself a few days ago. I was initially gung-ho to read and follow almost everything I came across but soon realized that was a mistake, it was too much pressure to keep up and stressed me out. Now I carefully consider each blog before I bookmark them or subscribe. It has to be content that serves a purpose and enhances my life in some way on a regular basis. Once a year, (usually just after New Year’s Day), I review the ones I do bookmark/subscribe to to make sure they are still relevant to me.

  • Dear Cait,

    As someone who has read your blog for a long time but never really commented on it, I just want to wish you all the best on your new journey and thank you for your contribution.

  • Those last 3 (4?) paragraphs were absolutely. spot. on. Seriously fantastic advice for bloggers (and podcasters like myself!)

    I wish you luck Cait! Congrats on the fresh starts :) :)

  • Your words have touched my life. Thank you for your thoughtful inspiration. You are a light that this world needs. I know you will shine in all you choose to do. I wish you the best always.

  • Cait,
    I have followed you since Blonde on a Budget. I have your book as well. Good for you for doing what’s right for you! I don’t blame you for just wanting to be human. You deserve it and so much more! I’ll look forward to receiving your newsletters!


  • Incredible post, Cait. The most real thing I’ve read on the internet since Mad Fientists’s post “Hierarchy of Financial Needs (and the Meaning of Life)”: https://www.madfientist.com/hierarchy-of-financial-needs/

    I hope to be one of the few that tells the real side of the slow/simple living story. If you ever check out my writing, please hold me accountable to the real real!

    PS: I’ve decluttered almost all my email subscriptions. But, I guess I’ll subscribe to this one. :)

  • Well I am a little slow on the uptake. I am looking at your blog for the first time today and it’s your last post! I’m currently reading your book and although I have been getting rid of things for over a year, thanks to Marie Kondo, I just rushed home to part with another load of stuff. thank you Cait!

  • This is beautiful, Cait, and I really enjoyed reading it.

    Lately, I have been trying to spend less time online and more time being present in life. At times it is difficult, but working on a better work-life balance is something that I will always be striving for.

    Wish you the best of luck. I’m sure you’ll do well!

  • Kinda ironic that the first time I am reading your blog is your goodbye post. Have to agree about change coming. I’ve found myself opting out of a lot of emails I’d signed up for. Have also stopped reading multiple blogs, not really posting on Facebook and find myself picking up the phone to call people instead of texting. I’m veering back to less but more quality, simple but more real, etc.

  • Thanks for this post and all your posts over the years. I’ve been reading for several years … since near the beginning of your blog I believe. BRAVO on your powerful journey! And thank you for sharing so many thoughtful reflections and helpful ideas.

  • Enjoy your new adventures, and thank you for everything that you have done here! Change is good.

  • Thank you cait for your inspiration,truth about yourself and your invaluable wisdom. I will miss your posts. I have read almost everyone of them having been bitten by the bug following reading your book. I wish you every success with your new path and look forward to reading more from and about you and listening to your podcasts. I follow you on instagram so will be somewhat kept abreast of your comings and goings. Good luck ☘️☘️

  • Great post, Cait! And congratulations for choosing you.

    I agree with your observation that there is way too much media for consumers. The amount of choices has become overwhelming. I believe the increase in mental health issues, especially in America, is a result of this over production and over consumption. Too much stimulus, too much comparing to others, too much fear of missing out, too much future thinking.

    I do think people are looking for quality over quantity. However, I think there is just as much overwhelming quality content as there is click-bait, etc.

    As a result, I believe the wave of change you are referring to will be a blackout. Everyone will be so overwhelmed, they will just stop consuming unlimited content. It won’t happen overnight, but I think we are already seeing this mindset with no-phone hours and technology free days. I don’t see content being completely eliminated, but I do see tools that cultivate mindful consumption becoming huge. Which could be great or horrible if you consider the implications of algorithms controlling the information provided to us. But I’m getting too complicated…

    Congratulations and I know you will find what you are looking for.

  • cait, you are so so SO amazing. i agree with literally everything you wrote, and i’m so excited for this new chapter in your life! you are one of a kind. CHEERS, my friend!

  • Thanks for your honesty! Sounds like an exciting time in your life, and it’s great that you’re taking some time to figure out what works best for you.

  • Cait, I’m a longtime reader, but first commenter. Congratulations on making this huge decision! And thank you for sharing all you did over these years. Your budgeting posts made me look at how I spend money. Your honesty about anxiety issues made me grateful for the various ways we can center ourselves. Your adventures played a part in my finding the courage to quit my job at 47 and return to graduate school full time. And, because I was watching my spending habits, I accumulated enough to cover almost all of my tuition for this three year program! Thank you for sharing as much of yourself as you did. I look forward to seeing where you go from here.

  • So many feelings, Cait. It feels like I’ve known you forever and watched you grow so much and now you’re leaving us! But not really :)

    I miss those living room blog days with the whole pf world. I kept my living room warm and open but there are fewer friends coming by and staying for a chat than we used to have so I cherish our oldies all the more.

    I’ve long admired your bravery in facing your truths, and making your own path. I hope we’ll still be able to catch up over the coming years, you’re the keeper of the best bear hugs around ♥️

  • Although i’ll miss your posts, good for you being true to yourself! A note on blog consumption. I’m right there with you on this. There is a fine line between reading up on an idea that’s new and inspiring and evoking overwhelmed with other people’s “shoulds.” I love thought-provoking content but consuming too much of it can spill over into a distraction from my true north if i’m not careful. Content that encourages exploration and provides ideas is great. The how-to genre….not so much. Many blessings in your future Cait!

  • I like the connection you made to the way people used to collect material possessions and now we collect content. Except that I still know a ton of people who collect material possessions! Especially when I was home this summer to visit America, it was so absurdly easy to collect useless things. And I did it! I fell into the culture and came back to the UAE with like fifty books and sugary candy and all the new clothes I could fit in my carry-on. It was brimming… and I could get all those things here, but I just never would think to. On the other hand, each of those items has genuinely given me pleasure, so I suppose I’m fine with it. And I suppose that’s growing up, that prioritizing part of it, because when I was a teen I owned so much makeup that it was absurd. I didn’t even know how to use makeup, I just collected it or something. Like fifty billion eyeshadows and lip balms I never wore. And now I don’t even own a Chapstick. (Although I totally judged all the Americans putting on lip balm twenty times a day, which is not a healthy way for me to be about our differences. Like, judge much?)

    Anyways, I think it’s great to give up the blog! You do you, girl!

  • This is the first post I’ve read of yours, and I’m sad it’s your last but grateful for this message. As someone who has felt overwhelmed by all the content out there recently, I’ve taken a step back from consuming. It’s funny because I’ve been hesitant to restart my blog for the same reasons, and I feel validated knowing someone else feels the same way. So thank you and best of luck!

  • Thank you for demonstrating the importance of following your gut and the beauty of letting go (including those things which have been good in our lives). Even good things can turn stale over time. I wish you all the best on your journey.

    The critical mass of information consumption has been on my mind of late, so thank you for articulating my thoughts so well. Although having so much knowledge at our finger tips is truly amazing, we can’t know and read it all and to try is to burn out. Quality over quantity and refining your interests to those that really do speak to you is so important. I have been asking myself all of these things since moving cities recently. It’s amazing how an upheaval of routine makes you question all of your habits and how you spend your time right down to what you read on the Internet. I am certainly in the process of realigning my reading with my passions.

  • Wow. So much of it resonates with me. All of it. I so agree with you about reaching the critical mass. I began to feel it at the end of last year and in 2018 I cancelled, got rid off, closed, stopped 2 of my blogs and social media associated with them, stopped writing there, paused on my novel writing and found myself reading less and less of blogs and listening to less podcasts. Over and over caught myself thinking: “When the people will get sick of all the info we put out, what will happen?” Also found myself getting back to creating with my hands, and less with my mind, connecting my mind with my body again and getting our of my head. Very therapeutic I must say. :) I signed up for your new newsletter, looking forward reading about your new adventures. Thank you for everything.


    I support your decision. But I selfishly wish you would keep writing on this blog. I really, really enjoy reading it and I’ve been following you since the Blonde on a Budget beginnings.
    All the best to you! I look forward to reading book number 2.

  • Hi Cait, thank you for sharing your story, your experience with your approach to mindful budgeting. I first heard of you way back in the blonde on a budget days and i consider it to be a privilege that you shared your personal journey over the last couple of years. Sometimes it has been raw but you have a talent to focus in on the important issue and provide practical ways forward. Really looking forward to your approach on information consumption. We joke at work that none of us can read a newspaper or book without defaulting to skim reading! Huge congrats on what you all have acheived, in the knowledge you will smash the next project out of the park.

  • Holy Shit
    This nailed me and what I am doing straight on and it nags and calls out at me everyday.
    We encourage people to do things like log off social media, yet we force ourselves to actively maintain profiles on every single platform. It’s like we’re offering “you don’t have to keep up” as good advice for others, but we can’t seem to give it to ourselves. Talk about mixed messaging

  • I hate that I just ‘found’ this and its OVER! I’ll be happy to get the newsletter and look forward to your next book though. I just read TYOL and thought it was wonderful. Best wishes!

  • This is beautiful! I’m so glad you are allowing yourself to change, grow, and have new priorities. Enjoy the space you’ve created for yourself.

  • I will miss reading your blog posts, but I look forward to your next book! The timing is interesting since I am in the process of starting my own website. If you ever want to do a book tour that includes Anchorage, AK let me know!

  • Cait – you never cease to amaze me. There’s so much power in what you’re doing here. I’m really excited to hear about your decision – to stand by what’s right for you and make a change that many would be afraid to do.

    Kudos on your decision and excited to see where things go from here, friend!

  • Well shoot. I just finished your book (which I loved) and wanted to stay in touch and learn more about life after the “lessening”. All the best to you!

  • I have so much to thank you for. I met you months ago at your book signing in Victoria, I bought and read your book. I purged/decluttered my house and had a garage sale and made some money. Having been retired for a year I wanted to find some purpose so I am doing some traveling (India, Sri Lanka and Thailand in December/January) and when I’m home I am dog sitting. Even though it’s not a huge money maker, it pays for my hobbies! I have a decent pension so the dog sitting is for fun and companionship. And now I feel like I have a purpose again! Thanks, Cait, and enjoy your future.

  • My first introduction to you was through your tributes to your girls, just a few minutes ago. You are an exceptional writer. Whatever phenomenal adventures you have ahead, I wish you well. I know those two naughty rascals will be cavorting beside you, every step of the way, with every breath you take. Thank you for enriching my life.

  • Hi Cait,

    It’s Kailee here from Open School circa 2008. Since your Blonde on a Budget days I’ve been infrequently dropping in to see what you’ve been up to and discover your most recent posts/tips/successes. I was very excited to learn you had a book deal (with Hay House of all publishers!) and have to share that the book was one of my favourite reads of the year – vulnerable, inspiring, educational, relatable. Couldn’t stop talking about it, re-reading certain passages that hit home, and bringing its messages to my everyday life. Thank you for being you. Best wishes on your next journey!

  • Hi Cait,
    What a BEAUTIFUL GOODBYE. Been a follower since Blonde on a Budget days. You’re improvement (writing) shows greatly on this post. Good luck on your next adventure,

  • This is my first time here….and sad to see it is your last! I am happy for you though and wish you the best of luck. I’m sure you’ll do great in whatever you decide to do! I just finished reading your book last night. I loved it! I’ve never been much of a reader, but I am trying to change that. Your book was just what I needed at this very moment in my life. I came across it at the library, which I have just started visiting. I wasn’t sure where to start or what to read, but I am glad that I found your book. It has given me the next little push that I needed to get through what has been the hardest year of my life. I’m starting to see the light, Thank you!

  • Perfect. This is the first time I’ve stumbled onto your blog and you’re leaving. I feel in love with you already. I’d definitely wander into your dorm room for chats (with coffee, in avoidance of homework…). I love that you’re caring for yourself and for your space. Lead on, girl.

  • I guess you could say, today I binged your book. Ironically, I put it on while cleaning! It made me so happy how things worked out for you and I was inspired to leave a comment- I’ve never even left a blog post comment before- And then I come here to find you signing off! However, I am so happy for you. All of your plans sound like freedom to me, something many can’t even imagine making happen for themselves, and many that don’t even know they need it. I strive for in my own life. I’m a minimalist by nature and got off social media several years ago so I understand the huge relief that comes with not knowing everything everyone was doing everyday or taking time out from an experience to snap a picture to share with others- and for what? Your book was so enjoyable, so practical and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  • Just read your book. THANK YOU!! Your writing is inspirational. Loved every word.
    That you are so Young gives me hope for our community,
    Am an old lady who wishes she had, had your courage years ago.
    Am going to make an attempt so that “ my music doesn’t die with me”, as Wayne Dyer always said.

    I took out a notebook and started writing.
    Have taught for 40+ years. It’s time to speak,,,

  • Cait, I hope you will continue to write (non personal stuff is fine!) and share with the world. You are a great writer, which seems to be getting rarer and rarer in the online world. :-(. Take care!

  • Thank you for your thoughtful farewell post. Certainly after 8 years, you deserve time offline! As a blogger about minimalism, I have appreciated your blog and more recently, your book. I especially took note of your frustration about how too many minimalism/simple living advocates present a “happily ever after” vibe. Perhaps it’s because I’m in my 50s, but I’ve never believed there is one lifestyle, one philosophy, or one anything that can solve all our problems or make us all happy. There is no one-size-fits-all. I quickly looked over some of my blog posts to be sure that I hadn’t fallen into that trap, and thankfully, I see that I had not. Your point is well taken. Too often we hope for a simple solution, but life is often hard and messy. In fact, I’ve written about this problem as it has manifest itself in my own life (see excerpt below). I look forward to your future work! Shoshanah aka Mid-life Minimalist

    Fairy Tale: Once upon a time, a woman of “a certain age” discovered minimalism. She had always leaned towards simple living, but after reading blogs and books and listening to podcasts by a new generation of minimalists, her love for simplicity was re-energized. She decluttered and decluttered and decluttered. She worked hard to simplify and streamline her life. She moved to a smaller, less expensive house. She quit the job she disliked and began a new job that was more meaningful to her. Then she lived a minimalist life happily ever after.

    Reality: In truth, change is often hard and transitions rarely occur seamlessly. It takes time, sometimes a lot of time, to implement the changes we hope to see in our lives. Life often does not progress in a linear fashion. This is hard to accept if you have an impatient nature (guilty). I’ve made some significant changes in the last year. Some have gone quite well, but some have not.

  • Today is the first day that I found your blog. I believe this will be a treasure trove to explore – thank you for leaving this legacy.

  • First, I’d like to say thank you. I am currently listening to your book on Audible and I know it’s time to do something with all of this debt and my compulsive shopping habit. Drinking is not my thing but shopping is (would one day like this to be past tense), not that I don’t want to EVER shop again. I just don’t want to do it to make me feel better.
    Secondly, I honor your commitment to do what is best for your life. As a social worker, that is always my advice to clients as long as what you’re doing isn’t harmful to yourself or anyone else.
    Lastly, oh boy…the amount of information consumed is beyond what I ever thought I would be taking in. For me, it has created this thing that almost feels like what I believe ADD would feel like in an adult. I struggle to give my attention fully to anything without thinking about the next thing. There are ads everywhere for everything. It feel like they are reading your thoughts. It is so overwhelming. With social media separating fact from opinion is almost impossible. I am so over it all. One of my sisterfriends and I just had this conversation about the overwhelming junk that consumes us through social media. We individually have to do something about it, for ourselves.
    Again, thank you for giving selflessly and for your transparency.

  • The mass of information online is something I have given a lot of thought to recently. It really does seem so noisy and overcrowded and horribly saturated and people will do anything to get an audience. However, an alternative view is that this is a permanent change in the way people consume. When corner shops came along, they were an amazing convenience and suddenly there was one on every single corner of every street in every town. Everyone wanted to open a corner shop. People probably felt like corner shops were taking over and you couldn’t get away from them and they all used dubious enticement tactics like “Two Mars for 20p!”. But we adjusted and we learnt to frequent the corner shops that we liked and were convenient for us and even made friends with the owners. Retail has moved on now and big stores have taken most of that market away (change is always happening), but the point I’m trying to make is that lots of online information is the digital equivalent of the 100s of stores in every town. Yes, there are so many blogs, but most of them don’t last more than a year – I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Screen real-estate comes and gos. The ones that stick around are the ones that a) have a real purpose they want to share and b) people like, so they visit them. I think, more than ever, quality writing and a genuine desire to help people is needed online. Readers will adjust and content will evolve and we will all jostle around to fit into this new way of shopping, reading and learning. We need the strong voices to help keep the standards high. I stumbled upon this blog today because a blogger I follow mentioned your book. I read this post with fascination and some disappointment – mainly in myself for finding you so late! I wish you lots of luck in your future plans and I do hope that you leave this writing up for others to find, even if you aren’t updating it. If you get this far through the comments and manage to read this one, thanks for your time :-)

  • I applaud you Cait for your decision and thankyou for everything you’ve shared of yourself.
    I feel what you feel and I really hope there is a universal change back to more real life living. I am so grateful for my childhood without online extras and I believe it feels too good to miss out on a life like that.

  • Thank you Cait, for your wisdom and insight thru the years. I found you about 4 years ago and binge read you from the start! I have implemented some of your ways and have found them very useful and look forward to your newsletters on Tuesday. All the very best in your future endeavors. Take care of yourself.

  • You inspire me.

    I wanted to leave a comment just to let you know that especially now that you’ve made this important decision. I don’t have my life figured out yet but I’m trying to be more mindful of my decisions and I want you to know that you made a positive impact on my life.

    I’m sure you’ll continue to influence people in the new adventures you’ll choose to take.

  • I read and loved your book Cait and somehow missed the fact you had a blog – dense of me huh?
    I agree there is a shift in the air when it comes to social media and blogging. Instagram seems to be the place to be which is ok, but it feels less…personal?….something. Certainly faster. Is it that we the reader want to consume more by expending less energy? Everything neatly bundled in one place, a short paragraph? a quick moment of inspiration? I dunno.

    I have been blogging for a while now, for the love of it. To record our families simple living journey, it has had periods of a pretty decent readership and then lulls as I stepped back to focus on life. Currently we have bought a farm and are in the process of moving off grid into yurts. I have been spending a lot of time reading current advice on blog building, Instagram building and what not. It seems all about “value adding” and beautiful pictures…..But I’m kinda into the ordinary so Im not sure where that leaves me, I’m trying to work it out……..Like I get people need a reason to read a blog, there has to me something in it for them. But I’m not an expert on any of this stuff we do in the thing called life. I’m simply a woman, a mother finding her way.. I cannot pretend I am. Its not me.

    But long term fixes aren’t quick. They are slow and continuous. Life isn’t all beautiful moments. Life is lived in the ordinary moments….Life isn’t polished. Its messy, complex and beautiful….We need to be showing this. It seems to be getting lost in shiny “how to” posts. I’m not about to present my life as anything other then it is simply to gain followers.

    Anyway I appreciate your words, your perspective. It is one that resonates with me. I agree with the multiple platform thing. I’m currently doing it with the aim to launch a farm business next year….But it doesn’t feel authentic. Blogging is my thing, Its the “place” I love the most online. It’s also the place which is least dictated by outside algorithms and structures which appeals to me.

    Anyway my mind is currently a jumble of thoughts about all of this and stumbling upon this post and your blog is perfect timing as I work it all out and work out how to move forward.

    – Emma

  • Dear Cait – It’s a pleasure to leave a reply! I discovered your book this August from a local library after searching for books with the topic, “Budgeting.” I read the reviews, which, I am someone who typically does not ever read reviews, but read them anyway and decided to place a hold on it.What can I say; I have commitment issues with books, and typically after the 2nd chapter, I give up due to lack of interest. Cait, you touched my soul in so many ways. I have never connected with any writer as yourself. So many stories you shared were unbelieving relatable. Its a shame that I discovered your blog during the end coming, but your final posting and reading your book was good enough for me. I wish we could talk more. I hope to hear you one day on The Moth Radio. I believe you’ll make it to that stage and share your story live. Fingers-crossed. Cait, thank you for being you, I hope to hear from you soon!

    With Greatest Hopes,
    Marlina, Lucille (My 11yr old), and Fred the Cat

  • I am late to the (reading) party. I usually am. I come when something in me says, “Go read Cait today,” rather than another email in my inbox. I slowly read your entire blog over the past couple of years this way. I’ve never commented before but I guess this is the last chance to say a big Thank-You… for all the posts and especially this one. Your writing is so inspirational, yet showing you are following your heart even when the mind is scared is absolutely the most inspirational thing you can put out into the world.

    As someone who is just trying to get into content creation and blogging, I found myself very quickly frustrated and disgruntled that there was a set of rules and templates out there for what is meant to be a creative endeavour. I was even more disheartened to start consistently recognising that templated hollowness in so much of what I was finding online. Coming to your blog was entirely different. You built this blog on truth, openness, and creativity. I am so grateful to you for doing that.

    I wish you all the best in your next steps and every step beyond those.

  • Good luck with whatever you do. Live life fully and don’t be afraid to not share it with the public at all!
    I am listening to your book, its good. I’m not a huge fan of reading blogs at all actually, just checked yours out because of your book, but to me this first post I see about you leaving, is the perfect finish after listening to your book.

  • Aaahh, such wise words~ I have a very small blog but am not on social media, because I like what you called the dorm room visit. I’ve stepped away for the past couple months and am due back, but struggling a bit. This post is thought provoking for me. I thank you for that.

  • You tend to speak what I feel and mirror what I’m going through…and say it so articulately! I’m happy for you and the new insights you have. I, too, am changing things up (even if it’s as simple as choosing tea vs coffee after decades of always drinking coffee), to get uncomfortable and make space for something new. Looking forward to what you create next, Cait!

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