Mary Beth Writes

A while back I posted an article about my friend Franc; I talked about how he has created a good life for himself even though he has rarely earned more than $15,000 in a year. (Right here)

This article was satisfying to write. I enjoyed spending time with Franc and asking nosy questions. Yes, it’s a challenge to interview folks and then write about their lives, but I did this often in my 12 years as a newspaper columnist and I like the adventure of it.

Here in the “Less Is More Gazette” part of my website I would like to interview more folks about how they find a balance between what they want and the limitations of their income.

Are you interested in being interviewed? Would you be willing to explore how you live your best values on a possibly wonky income? Do you know interesting people who might be interested in this? People you are related to, work with through your volunteer activities, who are your neighbors and friends?

I care about ordinary people who build good lives while living on ordinary (or inadequate) incomes.  People who had to re-figure how to live when a job was lost, or someone became ill, or a career dried up and blew away.  I’d like to talk with people who grew up in poverty and have had to figure out financial stability as an adult.  Families who are documented and undocumented immigrants.  Older couples and older single people who are figuring out how to have the good adventures on a constrained budget.  Artists and social workers, stay-at-home parents and passionate activists.

Please know that I ask way too many questions but I don’t/won’t publish ANYTHING until the person/people being interviewed are okay with it.  We will probably talk about the specific numbers of your income, budget items, and more – but specific private information doesn’t need to be in this public place.  I will want to tell people approximately where you live and post some photos (that you will take with your phone) from inside or outside your home – but we don’t have to be precise and you can choose what identifying information we will or won’t use.

As adults living in a complicated place and time - I think many of us are curious to learn how others are living the best they can manage, while upholding their values.

Some of you have your own blogs and will want to use this as a way to get more readers – that’s cool with me!  I can give you an idea of my modest readership if you contact me.

Interviews and conversation will happen face-to-face when possible. More likely, much of this will happen by phone.  In some instances we will Skype. 

Please be aware this website is created by just Len and me. We have no ads (someday I hope to sell some of those sidebar ads – but we are not there yet).  I will not pay you for this interview.

Are you interested?

Write to me via the contact page. I will not post your inquiry.

FYI: I will be mostly away from my computer until May 10th. Don’t expect a reply until after that.

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Too Much Stuff

Last week I drove a bag of clothes to Goodwill. Then I went into their store.

I do live a wild life, don’t I?

I came back out a half hour later with an All Clad 9” fry pan in perfect condition (they cost $80 new) and an antique rocking chair. The total was – wait for it - $10.

The rocker is small, has no arms, and is the kind of chair one sees in the boudoirs of the ladies who live in Impressionist paintings

"Learning to Live Authentically" - Interview with Lee Lee McKnight

Lee Lee McKnight’s magazine is called The Perpetual You and it is going to make my life richer, deeper, and more interesting; I bet it will do the same for quite a few of us. 

People who figure out how to go to give into the world what they need and want to receive; these are people I want to know. People who are creative and generous instead of critical and belittling; these people have something for us.  It has been an honor and a delight to meet Lee Lee via several long and wonderful phone conversations!

Franc's Extravagantly Frugal Garden

I have some great pictures!  Please click "Read More," then click on the pdf icon to open the story and photos of Franc's front yard. 

Mindful Chickens- Xpensive Milk & Cheap Capri's 7/11/2018

Mindful Chickens are (for people who don’t know why I call them this) about TWO things.

  1. Being Cheap (cheep, cheep).
  2. Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.

ONE – I’ve mentioned this before but in light of the news that Walmart is squeezing out MORE American dairy farmers, I am going to say it again.

What's in Vanilla?

I just read a flurry of emails on a frugal website about the rising cost of vanilla and how people are working around that while continuing to live their frugal lives.

Not one of the letters asked these logical questions.

Why has the price of vanilla risen so steeply?

What is happening to the people who grow and process it? 

"One must have sunshine..." Living Life Forward

This is another interview with a person who lives frugally and thoughtfully by design and by default. 

Thanks, Helle.


How I met Helle Koustrup Berry tells you a lot about how she arranges her life.

Ad Promotion