Today this is kind of a book review, but more just a book recommendation.
The book is Orchids on Your Budget by Marjorie Hillis and I actually bought it some time ago, but have only just got around to telling you how fabulous it is!
It’s actually a reprinted version of a book first published in 1937, but in these difficult economic times™ the advice offered is as relevant as ever it was.
The particular reason I like this book is that it gels so astonishing well with my own views on budgeting and money. I’ve spent most of my adult life (and much of my childhood for that matter) on a limited budget, struggling to make ends meet and still have the things I like. Lets face it, life’s no fun if all you do is sit home and eat dry crackers so you can pay off your credit card bill.
Orchids on your Budget actually has a subtitle, its Live Smartly on What You Have.
Marjorie Hillis, the author, worked for Vogue for 20 years, ending up as assistant editor and was one of those ground breaking professional women in the 1930s that lived alone and managed their finances independently (Like Miss Lemon!) she writes in such an acerbic, witty, matter of fact style and only the smallest details betray the books age.
An example of one of those tiny details
“An excellent economy, incidentally, is to keep thin. We regret as much as you do that every pound over your ideal weight is a strain on your clothes, but it’s true, and what’s more, it’s the thing girls who get the bargains in the first place. Those elegant little models that you see in shop windows for next to nothing always turn out to be in size fourteen or a very small sixteen.”
*cough* vanity sizing *cough*
The book contains excellent advice on choosing where, and how, to economize so that it will be barely visible to anyone else that you’re doing it. With chapters on choosing where to live and how to decorate, how to dress, eat, entertain, and, most importantly, how to buy things you can’t really afford, this is a short, but comprehensive book!
I knew me and this book were going to get on when I got to the second page and read:
“As a matter of fact most people who think they’re poor are right. For the feeling of poverty isn’t a matter of how little money you have – it’s a matter of being behind with your bills at the end of the month or not making your income stretch over the things you want. That covers just about all of us except Mr Ford and Mr Mellon and few other plutocrats who don’t have to count the cost…..
…All of the rest of us have to budget, or should, and the sensation of having to do so is pretty much the same, whether it means giving up the third limousine or giving up the butter with your meals.”
How many times have you felt bitter and twisted hearing someone you know earns twice what you earn complaining about being skint? Well that’s what this book is about. It’s about being able to get to the end of the month, have a wonderful time, look fabulous, and then offer to take Miss Earns-Twice-As-Much to the pub for drink the day before pay day and feel smug about having some money left over.
If you’ve never listened to me before, then listen to me now. This is an excellent book that you should have in your life.
It’s an entertaining read, inspiring and practical, plus it’s great fun to read interior decor, beauty and fashion tips from 1937. All that AND it’s only £6.18 on Amazon.
You can buy it in my Book Shop, or by following the links below, either way I’ll earn about 30p as I’m an Amazon affiliate. If you don’t want to give me 30p then feel free just to go to Amazon and search for it or use your own favourite literature provider, either way, I still recommend it!