Natalie P. McNeal is On the Move

My Name is… Natalie P. McNeal, but my superpower name is “Frugalista”

You are reading about me because… I have my first book out, The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life. It’s published by Harlequin. The book got a really good review in Publisher’s Weekly, so I am very happy.

Right now I’m working on… Getting the word out about my book. It’s a personal finance memoir with lots of savings tips. I think the HBCU community can relate to a lot of what’s in my book about life post-graduation. Many of us are dealing with debt from student loans, credit cards, car notes, career enrichment expenses and our overall lifestyles. I was $20,000 in debt and was able to get rid of in a little more than two years. I adopted a “Frugalista lifestyle” that allowed me to save and earn more money as well as have fun. I share all of my experiences of living frugally while managing a career in a shaky economy in the book. I detail in the book how I was able to pay the debt off.

But if I wasn’t, I’d be… I blog ( I do journalism. I edit. I wrote a book. I’m addicted to social media. I love my career right now because I do a variety of different things. I am doing everything that I want to do.

One thing I do every day is… check my banking accounts, and I watch Bravo. Please don’t judge me. I have range!
I can’t stand when people…

I can’t stand when people… I’ll just quote one of my favorite lines in a song (shouts out to Mobb Deep’s Shook Ones, Part II) “You all up in the game and don’t deserve to be a playa.”

But I love it when people… are smart and engaging. I love great conversation and sharing of ideas.

If you happen to run into me on the street… Please tell me your favorite money-saving tip! I can never get enough. And let me know when we’re meeting for happy hour!

The best advice I ever received was… “Stay in your lane.” It’s easy to get distracted by what other people are doing in their lives. Most times, it’s best to just focus on being great at what you do. Focus is important.

If I had to coin it, my message would be… “Be frugal and fabulous.”

My future plans and projects include. I’m doing a No-Buy Month in February. I’m going a month without paying to get mani-pedis, my hair done or shopping. I’m going to cook at home. I normally save about $400 each time I do it. It’s a great thing. CNN did a story on me when I did a No-Buy Month. I had a lot of Howard grads in the shoot! I hope Alumni Roundup joins me!

Big Ups to… Be for giving me this interview spot! I remember when you were a Campus Pal, and I interviewed you for a story for the Hilltop. Funny how life works?!! I’m so glad I didn’t write anything scandalous.

Get “The Frugalista Files” here:
The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life

Natalie P.McNeal is an award-winning journalist who launched her personal finance Frugalista blog and brand in February 2008. Oxford University Press named “Frugalista” as a finalist for Word of the Year largely because of Natalie’s savvy style of teaching people how to live the frugal and fabulous life. As a journalist, she writes and edits articles about personal finance and lifestyle for a number of publications and websites. Her work has been published by The Miami Herald,, AOL, Ebony Magazine and (Raleigh) News and Observer. She has been on CNN, BBC Radio and NPR’s Talk of the Nation.

McNeal’s coverage of immigrant communities as a newspaper reporter earned her a United Nations Fellowship to Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Natalie regularly speaks on college campuses, and she has served as a guest speaker for the Women in Technology trade group, National Association of Black Journalists and National Council of Negro Women. A Chicago native, Natalie is a graduate of Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications where she earned a bachelor of arts in news editorial.

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