Did you ever wish that you, too, could live the lifestyle popularized by the chic, chic single gals on Sex and the City?
Cash in the City: Affording Manolos, Martinis, and Manicures on a Working Girl's Salary by Juliette Fairley may help you achieve your inner fabulousness while not separating you from too much of your hard-earned money.
Many of the tips are reasonably doable. Among them:
• Pay down your debt, and don't take on any more.
• Start saving, the earlier the better.
• Take advantage of your company's 401(k).
There's always an eager audience for shopping advice, and Fairley is ready: Always buy on sale, invest in a classic wardrobe, hit the outlets (addresses and descriptions for discount shopping centers in different cities are included in the ''Resources'' section), buy cosmetics at the drugstore instead of the department store. And decorate your overpriced, undersized urban dwelling with fun accessories (two words: throw pillows).
Her advice on the subject of waiting for Prince Charming to whisk you off and solve your financial woes? Don't. It's your financial life; you're responsible for tending to its health.
The over-30 crowd may find some of the suggestions impractical. For instance: How many older women do you know who are willing to live with a roommate? Or buy clothes sight unseen off eBay? Or allow a beauty student to style and color her hair, regardless of the savings?
Census 2000 reveals that there are about 12 million women who fall under the category of ''female householder, no spouse present,'' which translates to about 12% of all households. For these women, the most useful advice of all is to educate yourself about, and take charge of, your finances. That tip is ageless. (USA Today, May 13, 2002)