Let’s start this whole blog thing off with an introduction, so you can learn a few things about me.

Hi, I’m Alicia. I’m a late twenty-something who has interests in many pots:

  • I am a female scientist in a male-dominated field,
  • a (currently retired) runner,
  • a finance and money-managing enthusiast (still learning),
  • a huge lover of Excel spreadsheets,
  • and admittedly am on the verge of being a crazy-cat lady.*

How I Ended up in Debt

I delayed my joining of the workforce in pursuit of the (not so) elusive PhD. In reality, I was just delaying real life until the latest possible second because I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Having recently completed my PhD (that’s Dr. Alicia to you!), I have finally become gainfully employed in the my first career position in a setting that is a mixture of Academia and Industry. Being on the higher side of my twenties and only recently becoming employed has been tough on my finances.

I spent my way through my mid- to late-twenties, just not watching where the money went. Then one day I couldn’t actually zero out my credit card balance (until then I always had savings to keep me afloat). I can’t blame my high debt load on student loans, or medical debt – it’s all horrifying consumer debt – most of which I can’t say what I spent it on. Five years of not watching my spending has resulted in a fairly large debt, roughly half a year’s salary, or $33,000! My goal is to be debt-free, with a fully-funded Emergency Fund by December 2015.

Because of this financial black cloud hanging over my head, I’ve taken to reading and educating myself on as many financial topics I can find. I’ve recently come to an understanding that money is a tool to be heavily worked, and now that I have a bit of money to call my own, I am working diligently to make my net worth highly (!) positive, lock it up and make it a big nest egg.

My posts will venture into my growing financial wisdom, frugality, developing professionalism in a work-setting where I inherently am an outsider, and discovering my ever-changing life at the ritualistic transitioning from perpetual student to worker bee. It is also here to keep me honest, and accountable for my debt-repayment journey.

Feel free to contact me at financialdiffraction [at] gmail [dot] com.

*Proof of impending cat-lady status:


  1. Mr. 1500 (Carl)


    What kind of scientist are you and what kind of work do you do? While I write software now, I was a Biology/Chemistry major in college. I’m a complete science geek to this day.

    • Alicia

      I am a chemist by training, specifically in energy storage devices (hence the friends at Tesla, etc). I don’t really want to mention what I do now because it is a dead giveaway of my anonymity :) but I am definitely a science geek too! Oh, and I am in Canada, not Cali (from your other message).

  2. Victoria @thefrugaltrial

    We seem to be in a similar boat. Good luck with your debt repayment from a fellow, on the verge of, crazy cat ladyism

  3. DivHut

    Oh no… another crazy cat lady. Just kidding. I have one myself :) Thanks for sharing your journey out of debt.

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