Bitches on a Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style


Joining me today is Rosalyn Hoffman. She is a former buyer for Bonwit Teller, Filene’s, and Lord & Taylor in New York City. She was also a marketing executive for Avon and Lillian Vernon. She speaks Chinese and has traveled extensively in China. In addition to being a serious cook and wine collector, she has lived and studied cooking in France and has traveled the world cataloging changing markets. Her latest project is her book, Bitches on a Budget, which I’m excited to get to talk to her about today.

Natalie: Rosalyn, tell me about how you came up with Bitches on a Budget.

Rosalyn: Our new book, Bitches on a Budget, was conceived two years ago over a cup of coffee and a discussion about women, money, lifestyle and values. Not only were we lamenting the Paris Hilton’izing of American values—status symbols as markers of identity over substance–we also felt the underpinnings of the mortgage and financial markets were shaky. In short, we believed we were headed into bad times (if only we had sold our stocks then!).

Natalie: What financial advice do you have for all of us as we head into 2010?

Rosalyn: Our advice is the same every year. It’s simple common sense. Live within your means.

  1. Make a budget: know your income, know your expenses.
  2. Go over your spending with a fine tooth comb: Make sure you’re not over paying for services. If you don’t watch premium channels on cable eliminate the package. Do you need a landline and a cell phone? Check all your plans and policies and see if you’re getting the best prices.
  3. No credit card debt. Period. Get out of the debt you’re in.
  4. Plan to save.
  5. Change your shopping and buying habits. Think libraries and consignment stores.
  6. Find ways to enjoy yourself every day. Pleasure is free. Life is short.

bitches on a budget (2)Natalie: What can we expect to find in the book?

Rosalyn: Our philosophy? Life is short and should be lived with humor, joy and pleasure. Beautiful things should be admired and yes, even lusted after, but it’s time for all of us to break out of the ninetie’s and aught’s pattern of mindless consumption. It’s bad for our wallet, bad for the environment and bad for our psychic health!

So we set to work to write a book about living well, in good times and bad times. To give you a feel for the book we’d like to share a short section from the introduction:

Budget is Not a Dirty Word

Fiscal responsibility is like monogamy… if you think it’s boring, you’re doing it wrong. Since when has budget been a dirty word? After all, we’re not talking chastity belts, abstinence rings, knee-jerk denial. Think of budget as just another way to say edit. The key to good living is in using your limited resources wisely– we’ll show you how to hitch your mind to that little lust engine that’s driving you. The end result? You’ll make smarter shopping decisions. Bargain buys will replace designer labels as your new badge of honor. Besides, since you want to be a good green citizen of the world, it’s time to stop consuming everything in your path. Nothing is less attractive than a bloated bitch.

Be a Bitch, Bitch

Bitch isn’t a bad word, either. We’re proud to be modern women. Women who know what we want and aren’t afraid to get it; women with the sense to edit the good from the bad; women who choose to live with style and with conscience. Independent women who say what they think, are in touch with our femininity, and know how to enjoy our pleasures. Hell we make less than men do by the hour, work harder and produce more value (just think about it, can they have babies?). It’s time to stand proud, Bitch. “

Be sure to visit www.bitchesonabudget.com and don’t forget to enter this holiday giveaway by leaving a comment on this post before Saturday December 19th. A special thank you to author, Rosalyn Hoffman, and to Rachel Tarlow Gul at Over the River Public Relations for putting this giveaway together.

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13 thoughts on “Bitches on a Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style

  1. I really liked this post about this book, I will definitely look for it the next time I am in the book store. I find that I get more satisfaction buying a really expensive, high quality item at a thrift or consignment shop instead of full price. When people ask where I got it I can tell them how inexpensive it was and that makes me feel better that I am recycling and helping out the environment. Great blog!! I just suscribed and am loving the interviews!
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  2. Loved your interview with Rosalyn and the book intro. I can’t wait to introduce my 23 year old daughter to her book. I need a copy. I think she’ll be able to relate to it and hope that ultimately it will help her see the light. Thanks. LORI

  3. Great interview. “Nothing is less attractive than a bloated bitch”– lol. This looks like a fun read… the world would definitely be a better place if more women (and men) took this advice!

  4. Finally, someone who isn’t afraid to be a “Bitch”. Assertive women should be proud of who they are and what they have accomplished! Looking forward to reading the book.

  5. Oh I will definitely look for this book! It sounds fun, practical, and entertaining and I always appreciate books on women power (or lack of it? haha). Also thinking of giving this to some of my friends — I’m sure they’ll love it! you’re right, being a bitch isn’t such a bad thing. =)

  6. Budget is a GREAT word. Women lose Power when they let their credit rating slide. And spending out of bounds does that. Doesn’t matter whether you agree with the rating system or the corporation politics, we have to protect ourselves. A high score, clear budget and a goal or two works wonders and opens the door to Freedom. I am curring back more this holiday (hard to imagine) but I want to be able to weather this economic storm. We also need to help each other, everyone has a talent, we will get through this together.
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  7. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. I’ve been reading through the book and it’s a fun read with some really good lessons. Kelly, I certainly think frugality is the new consumerism. The recession has been an eye-opener for many people. As Jacqueline says, we will get through this together and it’s important to help each other, which includes helping each other learn more about our finances and living comfortably.

    Thanks for all the great comments. The winner of the book is Sandra Beaulieu and the winner of the $50.00 gift card to One King’s Lane home interior store is Nancy Serafini.
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  8. Yes, Yes–budgets are good.

    But I have to say that since I have been living under extreme financial stress for an extended time, budgeting sounds awful. Just like someone who has severe dietary restrictions being told that they need to diet, life feels contracted and dull. It’s like my friends who boast about a great find at Goodwill when they could easily shop at a different store. When all you can afford is Goodwill, it loses its fun.

    So living within one’s means is paramount. But it has to be fun too!

    I’ll have to get the book and read it because what I really want is to learn how to build the sense of abundance and fun into a budget. I want to feel free to enjoy myself but not build up debt.

    Thank you very much for telling me about this book. I can’t wait to read it.
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..How to sell coaching … or not =-.

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