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City Chic: An Urban Girl's Guide to Livin' Large on Less Paperback – May 1, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bursting with random tidbits-e.g., bakeries often slash prices heavily right before closing; it's best to shampoo your hair every other day, not daily; blue is supposedly an appetite suppressant, thus not a great color to paint your kitchen-Willdorf's handbook for the chick-lit crowd actually contains lots of useful information. The glossy magazine vet (she's written for Glamour, Worth, Entertainment Weekly and Teen Vogue) provides a cheat sheet for 20-something women dealing with life on a budget in a big city. There are chapters on home decorating (complete with tips on seasonal curbside shopping); body care (suggesting exercises you can do anywhere); food and drink (listing cash-saving dinner options); and clothes (insisting "white tennies over tights are not an option here. Don't even think about it."). Of course, any woman who's lived in New York for a few months already knows the drill, but Willdorf's book may appeal to newbies and those considering making a move to a more urban environment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

With tips like these, readers won't have to sacrifice much to put a big dent in their credit card balance.
(ForeWord 20081210)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc. (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402200544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402200540
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,996,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In Ms. Willdorf's magical world people don't have credit card debt, student loan payments, emergency vet bills, car problems or health issues requiring prescription drugs ... at least her handy-dandy budgeting lists never mention or account for these things. Must be nice.

While some of the hints and suggestions in this book are rather interesting, some of them were simply incorrect. For example, the author fusses about Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee costing $18/lb., to which I say "Ha." Not unless she's sleeping with the bean farmer (or, she's being ripped off with an undisclosed blend -- which is also possible). That stuff might *wholesale* for such a price, but if you're buying by the pound it's more like $50 a bag.

Also, there's a great deal of discussion on thrift store shopping and second hand acquisitions, but her estimates of furniture prices are ludicrously low. She *sounds* like someone who has been thrifting sometime within the last 20 years ... but the numbers she tosses off incline me to think otherwise.

All in all, the book was a quick, fluffy, pleasant-enough read ... but it wasn't half as informative as I hoped it would be. If you're *actually* poor, you may want to look elsewhere for your bargains. This book was written for poor women with poor friends who occasionally drop $600 on decorative pillows [an actual anecdote from the book, related as a fiscal coup].
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book on how to live on a limited income, this is not your book. Nina Wildorf seems to live in a world that doesn't involve student loans, car payments, or the idea of a savings account. Her rule of thimb for budgeting is 20% of your income towards clothes. This is not fical responsibility.

And only wash your jeans every 6 months so that they don't fade? Really? Am I the only one who thinks this is odd?

On the other hand, she does have some cute ideas for decorating on the cheap--I am glad to see that someone besides me goes dumpster diving!
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Format: Paperback
I'm just start to get into frugality and, oh hell, let's just call it common sensibility. Most books on saving money seem to be oriented to evangelical Christian moms who homeschool their kids and live on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's for sure not my life. I knew this was the book for me--and a book that really grokked Life in the Big City--when I saw that there was a whole chapter on "finding furniture on the side of the road," which is pretty much how I've furnished my whole house. Her expenses and her world (name-dropping Restoration Hardware and "Tar-jay") are very up-to-the-minute, and it's a relief! Recommended. I wish someone had given me this book when I first graduated from college.
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Format: Paperback
Even if you think you know every way to pinch a penny until it screams, Willdorf delivers some new, unique ways to have a diamond-encrusted lifestyle on a cubic zirconia budget.
Willdorf is unapolgetic in her quest for ways to have it all for less, and she's happy to share the information with you in an upbeat, quirky, knowing way. No need to feel sour about living on a budget, done the City Chic way, it's an adventure in itself.
Put just one or two of these tips into action and you've recouped your investment, so skip your gourmet take-out coffee for a couple of days and use that money to buy this book! You can't afford not to!
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By A Customer on May 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
In the world of girl guides, City Chic stands out for having well-researched content, accessible do-it-yourself attitude, and lively narration. For any urban girl living on a miniscule salary, this book provides just the sort of information-and inspiration-she needs to spark a creatively chic approach to her lifestyle.
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Format: Paperback
I don't know what those other reviewers are talking about. I found the book to be a fun read with lots of great, useful ideas. I definitely will refer to it. Plus it's a fun book for people who see it lying around on my coffee table to pick up and flip through for a few little morsels of info. Thanks for your book!
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Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book! I can't help it. It is the coolest thing I've ever seen. It contains sections on decor, fashion, beauty, furniture, really everything imaginable. I can't really think of a single thing not covered here. If you're looking to be stylish, and yet have no money ( an extremely common problem ), this book will solve all of your problems...providing great hope for the future!
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Format: Paperback
This book as fun to read as it was valuable. Pouring over the pages was like having a great conversation with a trusted girlfriend. And who doesn't need tips on keeping a lid on the budget these days? Here's my only tip: Give this book as an affordable and stylish gift for any girl on your list.
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