Bubbly on Your Budget, by Marjorie Hillis

For a book written in 1937, Marjorie Hillis's Bubbly on Your Budget has some surprisingly timely advice. Sure, the details might need to be adjusted for a 21st century lifestyle, but her basic message—that you should spend your money on what you actually value—is just as valid today as it was 80 years ago.

Bubbly on Your Budget was originally released under the title Orchids on Your Budget: Live Smartly on What You Have, and serves as a practical follow-up to Hillis's best-known work, 1936's Live Alone and Like It. Hillis's books focus on a particular demographic: working, urban, usually single women of limited means. Hillis argues that a small income is no reason to be miserable; with style, wit, and determination, one can achieve a lifestyle that others will envy. (She's pretty up-front about the joys of making other people jealous, too. This was not a woman who disdained pettiness.)

Admittedly, there are moments when Bubbly on Your Budget shows its age. Hillis's idea of straightened circumstances involves just having an occasional maid, instead of a full-time one, and there's some pretty dated comments about weight and appearance. Still, most of her suggestions are easily translatable into modern terms, and Hillis's wit, dry charm, and brisk common sense makes her advice far more palatable than than the vast majority of self-help.
Posted by: Julianka


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