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Money Masters: Financial Diffraction

  October 24, 2014  |    #Eliminate Debt

This week’s Money Master is Alicia from Financial Diffraction. Alicia is a professional scientist turn personal finance hobbyist. Alicia is a PhD who spent her twenties and thirties not paying attention to her credit card purchases. This eventually swelled to a grand total of $33,000. Dr. Alicia’s goal is to be 100 percent debt free and have a fully funded emergency savings account by 2015.

Alicia lays it all out on the table. She has an entire page on her blog dedicated to her current financial status and financial goals. This is something most people are reluctant to share and gives her readers a real-life, real-time example of climbing out of credit card debt brought on by unconscious consumption.

An interesting post of Alicia’s is “How Much House Can You Buy in Halifax, NS?”. In it, Alicia compares what a home buyer can get for $1,000,000,000, $500,000 and $250,000. We liked comparing what these dollar amounts buy in Halifax, NS compared to what they buy in Denver, CO. Later in her post she links to comparisons of other cities in Canada, the U.S. and New Zealand.

1. What’s your story?

My story is pretty simple. I went to university for nine (!) years, and in the process of earning my BSc and PhD, I also racked up $33k of debt. The worst part… It wasn’t even directly tuition costs. Some of it was from living expenses, but mostly it was because I didn’t give a clue. I started Financial Diffraction back in July 2013 as an accountability aid for my debt-repayment journey. Since I owned up to the mess I was in, I’ve been actively paying down my debt. I just reached the 50% point and should be debt-free in July 2015.

2. What’s your point of view as a personal finance blogger?

I try not to judge. I am 28, new (ish) to the work force and just don’t feel like it is remotely my place to say “should you really have spent that $5?” to my readers and fellow bloggers. I suppose it’s because I hate when readers accuse me of spending too much on things sometimes – truly I can’t get cheaper internet 🙂 I guess I am a “debt blogger”, but I write about a lot of other things as well. And although I am starting in the negative, I am really on board with the financial independence PF movement.

3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?

Own up to where you are, map out where you would like to get, and just keep working towards it; learn to cut yourself some slack if you don’t get there in a straight line.

Alicia has an entreating, analytical take on personal finance and she provides a unique voice to the personal finance community. Check out her website at, sign up for her newsletter and/or her RSS feed. We know that you’ll be glad you did.

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