My Frugalista Life

So, it’s 747pm on a Saturday night. I’m at home thinking about all of the tasks on my long list of things to do.

And, then, I pause and think, “I want to read right now”. Way to go getting those tasks completed, Lexyne! Yes, I know. Moving on…

About once I month I trek to my local library branch and check out books on various topics. Not only is this saving me time and money, but I love going to the library and browsing the book aisles. Lately, the books that I have been borrowing relate to my business in some kind of way (start-up texts, management guides, cookbooks, etc.).

Picture of The Frugalista Files bookHowever, on this last trip, I picked up a book called The Frugalista Files. I don’t remember how I heard about the book…I think it was on Twitter. But I do remember that I immediately logged on to the Chicago Public Library website to see if it was available. Yes, it was! (Sidenote: Can I tell you how much I love the Chicago Public Library?! Every time I need a book, it is there. But I’ll save my gushing for another post.)

Anyway, the book–which is an out-growth of the blog by the same name–was written by Natalie P. McNeal, a self-described “promiscuous spender”. At first I thought that it seemed like a pretty harsh description. But I understood once I starting reading more of her book. To say that she was care-free with her spending is an understatement. And, unfortunately, hers is a tale that is all too common nowadays. But the difference here is that she took a moment to think about her financial future. And the future didn’t look so good.

So Natalie decided to take a radical approach and cut out spending for an entire month. When that proved successful, she continued for another month, and so on.

I have read about half-way through the book and am pleasantly surprised to find that I can relate to Natalie’s story. I wasn’t quite the spender that she was; in fact, I am much more of a penny pincher than her. However, I noticed that I already (had) have been living the “Frugalista” life, which is trying to spend less in order to get out of debt.

My mountain of debt was accrued the old-fashioned way: via student loans and a mortgage. Only recently have I had credit card debt. And that has been due mostly to re-channeling funds for the household so that I can free up a little cash for my business. I know some financiers would probably scowl at that assessment. But, trust me: I’m only talking a few hundred on the credit card. Remember, I said that I was already living the Frugalista life.

But Natalie’s recipe for frugal living (spend only on the things you need, not what you want, when paying down debt) has proven to be serendipitous for her. And, I can speak from experience that it has kept me accountable to my debts, especially when considering what I buy and why I buy it.

So, if you are looking to revamp your spending habits in the new year, check out Natalie’s book and her blog for some inspiration. It has definitely inspired me to keep going, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Do you have tips to share about living the Frugalista life?

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