The creator of Frugalista.com and an award-winning journalist shares how she got herself out of $20,000 worth of debt without giving up her fabulous lifestyle.
Publisher Comments: Natalie McNeal opened her bills in January 2008 to find that she was a staggering five figures--$20,000 --in debt. Young, hip and gainfully (if Dilbert-ly) employed, Natalie loved her lifestyle of regular mani/pedis, daily takeout and nights on the town, but clearly something had to give. And so The Frugalista Files was born. Through her blog, Natalie confessed her spending habits to the world--and it turns out she wasn't the only one having trouble balancing the budget From the drastic no-buy month that kicked it all off to the career gamble that threatened to put her deeper in the hole, The Frugalista Files shares Natalie's personal and professional transformation from cubicle rat to take-charge career girl. It is possible to get ahead without giving up on the fabulous life. This is personal finance in peep-toe pumps--the empowering true story of one woman's personal and professional transformation and your ultimate guide to living the Frugalista lifestyle, too. Review: "McNeal, a journalist and founder of www.thefrugalista.com, chronicles her journey from debt-slave to empowered financier in this delightful account. A self-described promiscuous spender, McNeal finds herself buried in car and school loans and credit card debt despite a steady salary. After a frank examination of her finances, she embarks on a credit-card free month where she only pays her bills, buys food she will cook at home, and purchases gas for her car. Monitoring the cost of 'insignificant' expenses, she discovers that minor, sometimes surprising, changes make a big difference and allow her to maintain her standard of living, for example, choosing to buy supermarket ready-made meals instead of eating out or cooking from scratch. She chronicles her successes (reducing utility and cellphone expenses) as well as her failures (staying within her weekly food budget), showing that making fiscally responsible trade-offs such as working overtime can easily cover the little luxuries she wants to retain. Even if McNeal is still in debt by book's end, she is well on her way to wriggling her way out, and her example shows that gaining control of one's expenses is within almost anyone's grasp. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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