This seemed like the prefect book to start off a New Year, a book to describe how to live a fabulous life without going book. Unfortunately The Frugalista Files fulls short. This is not actually a personal finance guide, it is a look into one woman's struggle to live within her means and pay off the debt that she owes. If you a looking for a book to help you with your personal finances than look somewhere else.
The Frugalista Files is step in like blog or journal entries in month date format. I think the purpose of the format was to let readers see how McNeal struggled in her path to live frugally but most of the time it was just an overview of her day and had nothing to do with living frugally. The format made this a boring read for me. I think the book would have been better if it was done in normal chapter format. With each chapter dealing with some of the obstacles McNeal encountered in the first year of being a Frugalista.
There are a few interesting stories like her relationship with Mr. X and her co-workers. There is also a heart breaking story of her friend dying of brain cancer. These stories are few, mostly it is about her day to day life. Fear of losing her job, having people like she is broke. All done in a rather bland matter.
I didn't learn anything new from this The Frugalista Files, which is what I expect to do when I read a self help book. The only thing that might be new for some people is that bring lunch to work is cheaper than take out. Walking short distances saves gas. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx are cheaper than department stores. That's it and I already knew all those things.