A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 18, 2014
“An income is what you can’t live without or within”

"An income is what you can’t live without or within” is a witty saying that was popularized—with slight variations—in 1890 and 1920. “You say you can’t live within your income, and certainly you can’t live without it” was cited in Harper’s Bazar in 1890. “Our income—we can’t live within it or without it” was cited in the Nashville Tennessean in 1920. “An income is what you can’t live without or within” was cited in 1921.


Chronicling America
16 October 1890, Rock Island (IL) Daily Argus, pg. 1, col. 2:
A Problem.
“I don’t see how you live.”
“Why?”
“You say you can’t live within your income, and certainly you can’t live without it.”—Harper’s Bazar

Chronicling America
14 September 1898, Columbus (NE) Journal, pg. 2, col. 2:
If you can’t live within your income you cannnot live long without it.

Google Books
March 1899, Dixie (a monthly magazine), pg. 314:
She — Could you live without your income?
He — I suppose so. I can’ t live within it.

Google Books
The Modern Woodman
Volume 32, Issue 8
1915
Pg. 15:
You can’t live without your income, so you’d better learn to live within it.

Chronicling America
27 August 1915, The Intelligencer (Anderson, SC), pg. 3, col. 4:
No Joke.
Your income may be very small,
But, son, you should not flout it;
Though you can’t live within it, I
Know you can’t live without it.
--Cincinnati Enquirer.

Chronicling America
3 March 1920, Warren (MN) Sheaf, pg. 3, col. 4 ad:
CREAM
By the Wise Little Man
To neither borrow nor lend—especially lend.
To live within my income, because I can’t live without my income.
(...)
Nels Lund
Cream Buyer


26 December 1920, Denver (C)) Post, “Topics in Brief,” pg. 14, col. 2:
Our income—we can’t live within it or without it.—Nashville Tennessean.

Chronicling America
25 February 1921, CLinch Valley News (Jeffersonville, VA), pg. 3, col. 3:
Our income—we can’t live within it or without it.

24 December 1921, Muskegon (MI) Chronicle, pg. 4, col. 2:
An income is what you can’t live without or within.

Twitter
Laugh Please
‏@tfunnysaying
My income seems to be the only thing I can’t live without or within.
1:00 PM - 25 Sep 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Saturday, October 18, 2014 • Permalink