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k HE orchids on your budget are
the “little extras” which give
you real. pleasure. They might
not please anyone else, but if
they make you happy, then they are
your orchids. And budgets ought to be
planned with the orchids, as well as
the necessities, right down in black and
The lack of this point of view, ac
cording to Marjorie Hillis, author of
“Orchids on Your Budget (or Live
omartly on What Have You),” is what’s
wrong with the majority of budgets
and why people hate to figure them out
in the first place.
“The point, nowadays, is not merely
to know the cost of a thing and whether
or not you have the money to pay for
it, but to know whether it’s worth the
price to you,” she says. “An expensive
coat may be a paying investment be
cause of its chic and its wearing quali
ties, and an inexpensive one may be an
extravagance you shouldn’t indulge in
for the same reasons reversed. It is
even possible that you’ll be wise to get
the expensive coat, just for the kick
you’d get out of it.”
“Can you afford a husband?” asks
the smart young author whose “Live
Alohe and Like It” created such a
furore last summer.
“Well, can you?” she prods.
“A lot of women do, and support
them nicely on a small salary at that.
And why not, if they want to? It may
be an extravagance, but even periods
of strict economy should include some
extravagances if possible. The best
planned budgets are not those that are
the most drably practical; they are the
ones that give the budgeteers the best
run for their money.
“One of the 'hings that has made
economy so unpopular .is that people
are apt to practice it with grim de
termination. Too many economizers, in
our opinion, go in for Keeping Up a
Too many economizers go in for Keeping Up a Front, \ V A»\ 'y
with only the bare necessities behind the front. Why
Front, with only the bare necessities
behind the front. We are all for tak
ing down the front and using its up
keep to get more fun out of living."
Miss Hillis, a minister’s daughter,
was born in the middlewest, moved to
New York when she was quite young,
and later became associate editor of a
fashion magazine. She thinks that al
though it’s both wise and courageous
to live in the future now and then, it
never gets you entirely away from the
Miss Hillis points out the importance
of cutting out little things which give
you no pleasure at all and emphasizing
those which do. Some things, however,
she thinks everyone should do. Enter
taining is one of them.
'HEN there is the matter of clothes.
How is the woman who has to watch
the pennies going to get and maintain a
becoming, attractive wardrobe?
It’s really fairly simple, says Miss
Hillis. First, know your fashions. Get
a few issues of the best fashion publi
cations, spring and fall, and study them
from cover to cover as if you were a
college student cramming for a mathe
matics test. Know just what the new
modes consist of, and then observe a
few simple rules in your shopping.
First of these rules is the old one
about building your wardrobe about one
In choosing that one simple color, she
continues, get an unspectacular one.
Start with “a coat that isn’t something
to remember you by,” and get hats,
shoes and most of your dresses in the
same unexciting shade.
But with all this economy talk, Miss
Hillis warns, don’t let yourself be
stingy. And if you fear that perhaps
you have been growing stingy in spite
of yourself, Miss Hillis has provided a
series of questions by which you can
Here are some of the questions:
“1. Do you take friends whom you
don’t rare about impressing to a cheap
restaurant, and smart friends to an ex
“2. When getting on a train with a
friend who has a newspaper, do you
buy a second?
“3. Do you walk instead of taking a
taxi when the sidewalks are wet and
you have no rubbers, or when a friend
is waiting and you are late for an ap
“4. Do you keep putting on your old
dresses and saving the new one for a
more important occasion?
“5. When you are in a taxi with a
lot of other women, are you a past
master at the art of fumbling?
“6. Do you check your restaurant bill
before paying it?
“7. Do you wear a nightgown or a
slip just once more, even though it’s a
shade soiled, before putting it into the
Do you walk instead of taking a
taxi when the sidewalks are wet
and you have no rubbers?
“8. Do you buy Christmas presents
that ‘will do’ for relatives to whom giv
ing is a duty, instead of trying to think
of something they would really like?
“9. Do you painstakingly untie tke
string on packages?
“10. Do you forget to pay for tele
phone calls in other people’s houses?'*
ND now for the correct answeos,
with Miss Hillis’ comments:
**l. Yes. (The unstylish ones may b«
more at home in a not-too-smart res
“3. No. (Getting your shoes wet is a
“5. No. (This shouldn’t need explain
“6. Yes. (This isn’t stinginess.)
“7. No. (Fastidiousness is a quality
you can’t afford to be without.)
‘B. No. (If you don’t see why for
yourself, you are stingy.)
“9. Yes. (This is a harmless ecoa>
omy, and it often comes in handy.)
“10. No. (Answering this incorrectly
should count as two mistakes!”)