The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt without Giving Up the Fabulous Life: Natalie McNeal

Following in a long line of blogs to books, Natalie McNeal’s The Frugalista Files is just another example of how some things are just better left on line.

Though saving money isn’t a new concept, it is a good one.

However, the premise of the book is deeply flawed. Despite the claim of saving money without “giving up the fabulous life”, Ms. McNeal does exactly that. It only stands to reason, how else will you change your situation, if no sacrifices are made?

No more shopping sprees, no more hanging out at trendy bars, no more restaurants and no more salon pampering spells sacrifice. However, if a dinner of nuked fish and vegetables and doing your own hair is your idea of the fabulous life…then I guess you’re on the right track.

On the other hand, Natalie McNeal deserves major props; not only for working hard to rectify her debt situation, but for creating a successful blog that took a lot of courage to write. Ms. McNeal let people know that they’re not alone in the struggle and her blog provides a forum where others can share not only the trials and tribulations of being in debt, but the ideas and successes of how they’re getting out.

Through no fault of the author, the structure and essence that made the blog so popular (interaction, among other things), was, if not lost in translation, then rendered a bit diluted. Those who judge the book by its title and expect to solve their money problems without giving anything up will be very disappointed.

Ms. McNeal should also be commended for her attitude. Unlike Save Karyn, who put her plight on-line and requested donations, Natalie McNeal did things the old fashion way: through sacrifice, perseverance and hard work.

In the end, Ms. McNeal not only reduced her debt, but garnered praise and recognition for building something productive, helped a lot of people along the way and set off on the career path of her dreams—you can’t put a price on that.

 April 1st, 2016  
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