I recently stumbled across a lovely blog entitled “small things good: beauty+happiness+frugality”. It has awesome information on everything from frugal traveling to beauty tips. Everything that the lovely blog owner (Mona B) writes has a thread of frugality running through it. On her blog, you can learn how to entertain on the cheap, how to live well in a small home or apartment, how to create a budget and how to prep cheap and quick meals. Please visit “small things good” at https://smallthingsgood.com/. I recently had an email interview with the talented and lovely blogger. You can learn how Mona beat depression and self loathing and how to “purge” items to keep clutter from overwhelming small spaces. Check it out below and learn some new perspectives that can help you get more out of life!
Krystal: I see that you are an optimist. Have you ever been more pessimistic? If so, how did you change?
Mona: I used to be a very negative person. Many of the outspoken optimists I know started as pretty negative people, which is interesting! I was bitter about my lot in life, I felt that day to day life was a grind, that most people were selfish and unkind, and that the world in general was a horrendous place to be. I didn’t look forward to the future, because I felt like my whole life would be more of the same, I was depressed and had panic attacks all the time. For me, I sort of hit an emotional “rock bottom” in college, and I started searching for a better way to live and look at the world. I knew I couldn’t keep feeling the way I felt, and that I had to change before something really bad happened.
I tried therapy, which I didn’t find helpful at all, and then I found support groups that spoke to my past experiences, and those helped a lot! I strongly recommend support groups! I also started reading Buddhist texts and studying modern interpretations of Buddhist philosophy, and those really resonated with me. From there it was a lot of tough introspection, taking responsibility for the way I felt, deconstructing my ego, and forgiving a lot of past events. Building love for myself was also a huge part of it, I genuinely hated myself, and I felt like I was a bad person for a long time, I believed everything was my fault, and my heart goes out to anyone who feels like that today, because I know how awful it is, but you absolutely can change! I no longer feel any of those things, and it was a tough road to get here, but it was so worth it. I think that’s why I’m such an outspoken optimist, I want to help people and show them that a drastic change in outlook IS possible and within their control. Taking control of your life is a beautiful thing.
Krystal: RV living/mobile home living is a subject that comes up sometimes in the frugal world. Would you ever live in an RV or a mobile home?
Mona: I have never lived in an RV or mobile home, just lots of small apartments! My husband and I are actually planning a 2-week road trip around Iceland for this fall, and during that trip we will be renting and living in a small RV-style van, so that will be our first foray into that type of small living. We are super excited about it! I can’t wait to cook in the itty bitty kitchen! We would definitely consider living in a mobile home in the future, to save space and money, especially if we were in a warm climate. Right now we live in the middle of New York City, and mobile homes and RVs aren’t really a thing here, so it’s not an option at the moment.
Krystal: I know that you currently live in a small space. Whenever you live in a small space and/or are a minimalist, you have to “purge” things on a regular basis. Do you find Craigslist useful for selling these items? Or, is there another (better) method frugal people can use to sell their stuff?
Mona: We definitely purge multiple times a year, and I think we weirdly both find it kind of relaxing. Unfortunately, we don’t have a great system for getting rid of stuff. Again, because we don’t have a car and because we live in NYC, our options are somewhat unique. We can’t have a yard sale (no yard), and posting on Craigslist would be far more work than it is worth.
Our method is: if it’s something large like furniture or electronics, we just leave it on the sidewalk. The longest we’ve had anything sit out there is a day, someone always takes it. Sure, we could get a few dollars for it, but in our more broke days we took tons of free stuff off the street, so I kind of like paying it forward. If we have smaller things like clothing, shoes, dishes, or books, we take them to a donation center like a salvation army or goodwill. If we lived in a traditional house with a front yard we would probably just do a big yard sale once a year, but for now this is the easiest option for us!
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of “small things good”, head over to the site and subscribe at https://smallthingsgood.com/.