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For a more light-hearted take on living a simple life, I highly recommend “Jane Austen’s Guide to Thrift”, which sits in pride of place on my bookshelf.

As with so many of my greatest finds, I came across it at the library in my many searches for good resources. It took only a few moments of skimming to tell that I had found what I wanted and the very next day, it was on my Amazon wish list.

“Jane Austen’s Guide” is a new perspective on an old problem…or perhaps an old perspective on one.

The authors, Kathleen Anderson and Susan Jones, English professors and long-time Austen fans, use Jane’s best-known characters to illustrate different types of thrift (or lack of!) and combine 19th and 21st century scenarios in a humorous, yet meaningful way. As Jane Austen spent her entire life as a single young woman who had to live frugally, her novels have a lot to tell us about the concept of “living within one’s means”.

A great Austen fan myself, this was a very pleasant change from the drier, heavier books I’ve read on budgeting and living simply. Roth IRAs and stock market options may still be a bit beyond me, but I can appreciate some good, old-fashioned advice from a favorite author (and probably remember it longer!).

Who says finance can’t be fun?

For Further Reading:

  1. An interview with the authors (My Jane Austen Book Club)
  2. A summary of Austen’s famous characters and their take on personal financeĀ  (Huffington Post)


Let Jane be your guide to personal finance

I’m happy to recommend one of my favorite books on living a simple, classy life