The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.


Nomad Stories: Alexia

alexia horseback riding and alexia with luggage

What do you care most about? Honesty.

How do you spend your time? I am a grad student, so I usually have reading and writing to do. I am also trying to be financially independent from my parents, so I work two part-time jobs.

What would you be doing if you didn't have to make money? Traveling.

My favorite recreation is: Horseback riding.

The last vacation I took... was too short. (Vacations usually are!)

What's the best advice anyone's ever given you? My high school physical education teacher would always tell us, "Don't lie; don't cheat, don't steal."

When I need advice I... call my mom.

Who is most important in your life? My friends and family, and of course my dog.

Who do you enjoy spending time with the most? It's hard to pick one person, but my childhood best friend and I always have a great time together when we're reunited.

I feel most like an outsider... when I'm the only one who doesn't understand an inside joke.

My enemy... used to be my friend.

alexia's dog and alexia with childhood bestfriend
Filet Mignon

Money is... stressful.

The last thing I bought was: A car battery. It made me feel... old. When did I become an adult?

What do you want in life that you can afford? Good food and good company.

$50 would be enough to... buy a delicious filet mignon.

What do you want in life that you can't afford? I fell in love with Europe when I spent a semester abroad, and I would love to spend some time living there.

My earliest memory about money was... when I was about four years old I thought it would be funny to take $400 out of my dad's wallet while we were out to dinner with a group of friends. I didn't say anything when he discovered the money was missing. I eventually spoke up after I realized my joke was not very funny.

Describe your relationship to money: It's very cat-and-mouse. When I manage to catch it, I always have to let it go.

Alexia outside in Europe
Happy Alexia

Who do you turn to or where do you look for guidance when you have financial questions? My parents. They've been in my situation before and usually have good suggestions about how to avoid making financial mistakes. Whether or not I listen to them is a different story.

I love... to travel.

How much debt do you have? I have about $30,000 in student loans. It's a lot less than some, and it certainly went to a good cause (my education), but it is enough to have me worried about how I'm going to pay it off.

What three things could you do to change your relationship with money? Get a full-time job (steady income); seek out professional financial advice; learn more about how to handle my finances.

What financial rules or recommendations seem like sound advice to you? My mom has always told me to put at least 15 percent of each paycheck in savings (and try to resist the urge to spend it). It's important to have money tucked away for emergencies.

My best trait is: Kindness.

My worst trait is: I tend to be an impulsive spender.

What do you collect? I have saved every card, note and letter that I have received since kindergarten.

Cash, credit or debit card? Debit card.

Quote about kindness
Alexia in nature

What vehicle do you own? A 2002 Toyota 4-Runner. I didn't exactly choose it, but I managed to convince my parents to let me have it when my mom got a new car.

Lead or follow? "Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." —Albert Camus

Stability or adventure? Adventure.

Pop star or Nobel prizewinner? Nobel prizewinner. I'd like to think that my ideas are a lot better than my singing.

More or less? More sleep, dessert, love and happiness. Less of all the bad stuff.

Favorite band/musician: It's hard to pick one artist. My dad plays the drums, so I grew up listening to classic rock, which I have always really appreciated.

Favorite possession: My journal from when I was abroad.

What has no one ever asked you that you wish they would ask? What I would change if I could change one thing about the world.

What would you change if you could change one thing about the world? I would make sure that everyone had access to an education. Some people are more motivated to learn than others, but no one should miss out on an education because it is too expensive, too far away or not available to them.

Rock band performing and a pile of papers

Other Stories:

Alexia Nomad

Casey Pathfinder

Chelsea Trooper

Marissa Tenderfoot

Theresa Nomad

Molly Trooper

Jessie Nomad

Elizabeth Trooper

Melissa Pathfinder

Dante Trooper