Seeing myself in Natalie P. McNeal’s “Frugalista Files”

I accidentally left Your Man and Your Man at work, so I decided to jump into another personal finance book. I’m so glad I stopped by the library yesterday and picked up five more books. It’s as if I have to keep reading and exercising the savings muscle every day to keep from going off track. In between reading Michelle Singletary’s books, I read Glinda Bridgforth’s “Girl Get Your Money Straight: A Sister’s Guide to Healing Your Bank Account and Funding Your Dreams in 7 Simple Steps. Tonight’s reading: The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving up The Fabulous Life.

I’ve been following Natalie on Twitter for years and read her blog. We’re part of a national organization for black journalists, so my local chapter was able to snag Natalie for our Twitter chat on personal branding. I led the chat with our members in Greensboro. It was a great to talk to an industry celebrity of sorts. We’ve been loosely connected for so long, but I’m learning so much from reading Natalie’s book.

She cracks me up. After reviewing all of my expenses February last night, I needed these laughs. I needed to hear how another young, black lady balanced being frugal and fabulous.

I am her. She is me. The parallels are endless. From the print journalism connection to the mother-daughter shopping trips to learning how to cook better to save money – it’s all right there. I’ve blazed through the first four months of her year-long journey while sitting under the dryer. I got my locs professionally styled two weeks ago and am determined to get more wear out of it. These double-strand twists are the gifts that keep on giving. I took them down from the updo and washed my hair still in the twists. I’ll keep it twisted until I take them out Saturday. I have two events to attend that day. As I’m reading, I start laughing to myself because Natalie is learning how to do her own hair, too. I feel like a pro now because I’ve been able to go two full months without seeing a styling. The hooded dryer I bought a few years ago has been a great investment.

It’s weird that I picked Natalie’s book now. It was published in 2011. But stuff comes to you when you’re ready for it. I’m ready for it now.

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