|The Frugalista Files
Author – Natalie P. McNeal
Reviewer – Stephanie
Rating – C+; Enjoyable, would recommend/ N/A
Reading Level – Adult
Genre – Non-Fiction
Pages – 179
Publisher – Harlequin
ISBN – 978-0-373-89229-7
Release Date – 2011
Source – Public Library
It’s January and Natalie McNeal realizes she’s in debt. Bad. She is just going to keep swimming in debt unless she does something to change that. But a girl’s gotta eat and go out with the girls and occasionally splurge and treat herself right? Natalie sets about challenging herself to find ways to do this without spending a ton of money. In fact while she looks for a way to stay socially active and in fine fashion, she’s going to try and get her debts paid down.
Natalie also grows over the year that she is covered in The Frugalista Files. She goes from a self-proclaimed spending slut to a woman who has her priorities in the right place. By the end of the book Natalie has put a decent dent in her debts and it is inspiring.
The Frugalista Files was a very light financial read. As the reader you watch Natalie realize her problems and her reactions to it. It was helpful to learn that we are not alone in financial issues and that other people make mistakes too. Natalie started The Frugalista Files as a blog for the newspaper she was working for at the time. The book is set up as blog entries including LOLs, emoticons and various other Internet speak. There was also clear development in Natalie as she grew stronger in her resolve to get her debts under control.
I admired her in her ability to stick to her goals. She didn’t waver from them too often. The book wasn’t what I expected it to be though. It was more personal and less financial advice. It boils down to what every financial advisor will tell you: spend less, save more. I walked away feeling more inspired than when I started so the book isn’t all bad.
There were things that just didn’t work for me as well. I didn’t click with the author at all. I think it started at the beginning of the book. On page 11 there is a scene from one of Natalie’s Christmases and I instantly detached any connection to the author. I was pretty disgusted and I think it stuck with me through the rest of the book. I’m sure it wasn’t fun to relate that story but it set my opinion of the author for the rest of the book.
If you’re looking for an inspirational financial read from the perspective of one woman trying to turn her life around this book is for you. Otherwise, I’d pass on it or get it from your library.