Book Review: The Frugalista Files by Natalie P. McNeal

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

ll admit that I’m not the best at managing my finances, though I consider myself frugal. I’d much rather take my money to the store and buy new shoes. I realized my spending was out of control and curbed it.

Then I moved out on my own.  Needless to say my spending habit may have gotten out of control. Again.

Not too long ago, Ms. Career Girl recommended Natalie P. McNeal’s The Frugalista Files on her blog. I immediately ordered it from Amazon and it may have been the best amount of money I have spent. Ahh, inspiration. The best part was that I felt she was talking to me. When I read the following passage from the beginning part of the book I knew that I was going to relate and love it!

“I am bored out of my mind. My salary sucks. What I write about isn’t sexy or glamorous. It’s a grind. Everyone at work wonders why I haven’t left. I kind of wonder why, too, but then I remember the few job offers I’ve gotten since working there: more local reporter coverage of city commissions. With newspapers going the way of the pony express, finding a new job that I want is a hot mess. It’s more of the same type of work. It’s hard to transition to being a business reporter when most of your clips are local news.

I reread the above and fee even more depressed. I don’t leave my low-paying, dead-end job, because I need money to pay down my rent, car, and school loans, and to bring down my credit card bills.”

I was really glad to know that I wasn’t alone. I have my credit card debts, but I’m lucky enough to live in Chicago where I don’t need to have a car and that my parents were able to help with the student loan debt. (Who needs a graduation party when you can be student loan free?)

I was really inspired by Natalie. I am journalist, but I was never lucky enough to make it to the newsroom. Instead, I joined the corporate sector, but I feel the same way Natalie does.  I want something different. I want to have don’t spend money months. I want to bring my lunch all of the time. I want my blog to be something more than a hobby to chronicle my journey.  I want to make change in my life. I want things to be different.

Natalie, thank you for inspiring me to be better with my money.  And to Ms. Career Girl, thank you for the recommendation. You have inadvertently have influenced my life for the better. I need to become more of a frugalista.

I recommend this book to those who want to get their life in order. For those who want more. It’s possible. You just have to think outside the box.

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