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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



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About This Episode

Lucia Pilar (@thewealthandhealthjourney), teacher and personal finance coach, joins The Student Loan Podcast to share how her personal story as a first generation Mexican American college graduate formed her passion to share lessons of financial literacy within her community.

Lucia Pilar created The Wealth and Health Journey to help first-generation, BIPOC, and women gain control of their finances and build generational wealth. Lucia is passionate about teaching others how to gain control of their finances and start building wealth in the simplest ways. She believes everyone should have access to financial literacy. 


  • how middle-class Americans end up shouldering a great deal of the student loan burden;
  • how family bonds inspired her to share lessons of financial literacy;
  • Lucia even shares on-the-spot advice she would give her clients in sample scenarios;
  • and much, much more…


Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!

Lucia Pilar (00:00): Throughout my journey as a student, but also to not forget my seat students, right? My B students, because also the students that get forgotten the most and actually that's the best thing, right? Our students that get CS and BS are the ones that are also getting student loans, because they're not the ones who were entered, you know, the academic achievement award, the first two years of college. And I think that's something we don't talk a lot about.

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:24): Welcome to the student loan podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:26): Here you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses

Daphné Vanessa (00:34): And inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where your hosts Daphne Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez (00:40): Shamil Rodriguez.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:43): Before we begin, we have a message from a very special VIP

The Student Loan Podcast VIP (00:48): Please rate, review and subscribe to The Student Loan Podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:53): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinions.

Daphné Vanessa (00:59): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out of start new is on your campus. Visit start new.com.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:14): Welcome to another episode of the student loan podcast. Everyone. Today we have a very special guest for you as the semester has gotten underway. And some of you who may be now dealing well soon to be dealing with student loan payments, you may be thinking to yourself, well, after I'm done with all of this, what am I going to do? I mean, do I just now spend all this money going out to concerts and bars and restaurants or, or do I actually invest my money or do a little bit of both? Right? So today we actually have a CFE lad from the health and wealth journey. Who's actually going to share some of her tips before we get into that. We're actually going to have her share her story because it's pretty inspiring. And it's actually how she got on our radar. And we can't wait to share it with you to hopefully inspire you to do the same, because guess what? Not everybody who joins this little podcast has student loan debt and Lecia is one of those people that went to school for free. And guess what? She's also taught her siblings how to do the same thing too. So without further ado, let's turn over to you. Lecia

Lucia Pilar (02:14): Thank you for having me today. I'm so excited. So a little bit about me. I am a first generation Mexican American from south central LA born and raised. My parents immigrated back in the early nineties and after marrying, they came back, my mom was actually pregnant when she crossed the border from Mexico to deal with me before. So growing up education was super important and my parents only went to school up to like fifth grade, eighth grade. So my parents were like, you need to go to school. And it was really difficult because my parents also didn't want me to lose my culture. So they did not allow me to speak English at home, but all in Spanish. So it was just constantly, I had to English at school, but I couldn't really practice it as much as I wanted to at home because I was only allowed to listen to media and Spanish.

Lucia Pilar (03:09): So, which was, and now I'm very thankful because I am fully bilingual, but like I said, I grew up in south central LA. All of my peers growing up, we were all low income. We had different types of struggles in our, in our homes. And that really motivated me to, you know, go, go to college. I clearly remember I was in fifth grade and the first time I heard the word college, I was like, I don't know what that is. We had a college student come in and all I really remember is she said, you can eat in the classroom. And I was just like, I know that sounds like I want to go there. And then in sixth grade, I remember having a mentor that said, you know, that if you get good grades, you can go to USC for free, which USC is like the street is that the south of USC, south central LA.

Lucia Pilar (03:59): And I was like, wait, I'm never going to be there. That place is like really nice. And then again I think I was very lucky. I was always placed in the honors classes. Even though I was going to like LA USC schools and known to be not the quote unquote good schools, I was always placed in honor classes. And that really helped me because I was always the treatment that we would get was very different and very evident. And again, when I was in ninth grade, I remember having a, a teacher told me, you know, that if you get straight A's in high school, you can go to Stanford for free. And it costs $60,000. That was in 2009. And if you remember, we were just coming out of a recession and we were still in a recession. So when this teacher said Sanford pays students like you to go there for free it's $60,000 a year, I have to get straight A's turns on lead and make 60 K a year.

Lucia Pilar (04:57): They probably need him. So I was really motivated. And again, I took all AP courses, honors classes and played all the sports. I could did all this organizing in my community, just everything and anything that I can get my hands in, because that was like, I want to send out. But again, like I said, I, I it's my hard work, but I always remembered that privilege. I have like not many kids were being talked to that. Talk like that, especially where I went, I went to Fremont high school, the first school that got reconstructed in L U S C, meaning that everybody got fired. And the got started from scratch when I was in 10th grade. So it just, the type of motivation, honored kids and AP kids were given was just, it really increased the gap. And once again, when I was a junior, I got scouted by a program called one voice that helped low income students in Ellie Misty applied to schools in the in the east coast, all the liberal arts colleges and there's goal was for us to not only leave LA, but also get the best financial aid because they knew that the schools were providing all that financial aid at first.

Lucia Pilar (06:10): So I ended up applying to all these schools like Middlebury Bowden, Wellesley Smith, all these liberal arts colleges. And obviously, as I was applying to them, it was like, I don't want to go to these schools like who goats here. I want to go to UCLA, UC Berkeley, or the, you know, the big name schools in California. But I ended up applying. I ended up going through the process because they paid for my college, epic patients' sat scores. And I got into Wellesley college. And when I got the financial aid, I remember what I felt, $60,000. It was again like that number came up again, $60,000. And I only had to pay a thousand dollars a year and I decided to go, I decided to go, I I'm like, this is, this is the best it's gonna get. I, I also had gotten into UC Berkeley, but I decided not to go because I say, well, we'll see is, you know, these liberal arts colleges are just for undergrad.

Lucia Pilar (07:08): You can only do undergrad ones. I can always go to grad school and figure out the student loans maybe later there then, but this was my story, right? This was one way that I learned quote, unquote, how to get the best financial aid. I didn't know this right. And a lot of my peers didn't know this. I feel that if a lot of more of my peers would have learned or known and have had access to these programs that I did have, they would probably wouldn't have a, to these liberal arts colleges and gone to school for free, or even at Wellesley, where one of the reasons why I think I was able to graduate Wallace is because they offer that support. They, they, they ensure right that their graduation rates stays really high. Like you're God, no matter what, even if it's really hard, but that's my story on how I went on school, basically on a free ride in my sister.

Lucia Pilar (07:59): She's five years younger than me. She goes to Wellesley to again, on a free ride. My sister goes to state school again on a full ride. And as I was telling you prior to this podcast is and realizing right that the middle class, right? We, I grew up income, but when I was at Wellesley, I realized that all my middle-class friends and peers were the ones holding the most student loans. And that was very sad to see because yes, I realized like, yeah, like I grew up low income. I deserve to be here. Right. I had to tell myself, I deserve to be here despite me being on the far. Right. It was also when you grew up, not really having money, like you also wish other people had that same opportunity as you, but I could always see my middle clowns told me the high, the rich people, their parents are gonna pay for them.

Lucia Pilar (08:49): They don't have to worry about school, their legacy, or for the most, you know, it's known as legacy when your lower income financial aid comes through for most people. Right. But while you're middle class, there's just this gray area where people get screwed and it really pains me. Like it really is. Even now as a teacher, it really hurts me to see like a lot of my students with my future students getting in student debt when I'm like education should be free. And it also bothers me when like certain skills are not taught at school, like financial literacy. I look back and I'm like, I'm kind of happy. They didn't pay for school because I was not tough. Financial literacy.

Daphné Vanessa (09:32): I mean, what an amazing story. I think so inspiring for people to really understand where you came from, like literally crossing the border in your mother's stomach to getting a full ride and not only getting a full ride, but being able to have a career and then teach your family the same. Talk to us a little bit about what it means to you to be a teacher and why you think education is so important.

Lucia Pilar (09:57): Oh, for me, I just love my teacher. I have really great teachers, but again, like I said, I was always placed in good quote unquote good classes, the better classes. And I've been out of high school for almost eight years. And I can tell you that I can count with my hands, the amount of people that graduate college in four years. Wow. Some are still, and I'm really proud of them. I think they're still graduating. Like every single year we've been out of high school for eight years and we're still on that tree, which makes me very proud of them because it's like, they're still going for it despite the four year goal. Right. And when I became a teacher, that was my goal because when I was in college, I constantly saw a lot of my peers dropping out from college and even worse.

Lucia Pilar (10:50): Some had debt because they took out student loan debt to go to school and they didn't finish. So my goal when becoming a teacher was not only to continue providing these resources that I had acquired throughout my journey as a student, but also to not forget my seat students, right. My B students, because also the students that get forgotten the most and actually that's, that's the thing, right? Our students that get CS and BS are the ones that are also getting student loans, because they're not the ones given, you know, grants, you know, being granted, you know, the academic achievement award, the first two years of college. And I think that's something we don't talk a lot about that, that extra support that they're not given. See it. And I recognize that privilege. Like that's why I always say, like I was privileged enough to like, even in my high school did not prepare me for college. And I was struggling throughout college to graduate. I was given at least that opportunity through, in a war, through a grant. And I have to recognize that

Daphné Vanessa (11:50): That's beautiful. I mean, the fact, despite your background, you still recognize any form of privilege is just a Testament to your character. I mean, I think a lot of people can fall victim mindset, right? Where they just focus on the negative, but you really sort of shine a light on some positive aspects to your background and how that was able to bring you to success. So thank you so much for sharing that. You mentioned a few times the privilege and being selected to be an honors classes. How did that happen and why do you think you were selected for honors?

Lucia Pilar (12:25): From the very beginning, my parents were big on education. My mom would pray to me like my mom didn't my mom. It was actually, my parents had only went to fifth grade, but she was, she would drill me. Like I learned how to read and write in Spanish before I was three. And that was because she was like, you're going to, you're going to have to go to school. I think just having that, those skills and my parent, my mom preparing me at such a young age, really motivated me. But it also, my motivation also came because for when I was like four years old, my mom took me to Mexico for like couple months who actually wanted to have us move back. But then she thought that my education wasn't going to be the same and we just came back to the us. So I think that was my motivation of I'm going to go back to the us for an education. And that was what drove me into, you know, my, my academic achievement path.

Daphné Vanessa (13:21): So today you are not only helping others and inspiring others as a teacher, but you also run a successful online presence. You're a content creator where you share wealth building tactics, talk to us about what you're doing today and how you're inspiring people. Yeah.

Lucia Pilar (13:38): So I am a money coach and I hope first gens woman iPods to gain control of their finances, get straight with their money. But through budgeting, saving, investing, money mindset even helping out people start their businesses online because I also want, I have learned a lot while growing an online business. And I want to make sure that, Hey, you know, if this helps go ahead and try it out because it's working for me. I started this because I don't have to tell them a little bit about the front story in 2018. I was my paternal grandfather got really sick in Mexico. I was to teach her, but at that time I was also getting my master's in education. So actually I did have to pay for my master's in education about eight K or nine K per per year for two years.

Lucia Pilar (14:31): So I really was, I didn't really have that much money because I will get my paycheck. It will go to my education. And it was just basically living paycheck to paycheck. What saved me was I was living at home because I'm here at home in LA. But other than that, I would have probably been like a lot of my peers who were getting money, student loans to pay the rent and pay their schooling. So back in 2018, despite that though, I was still living paycheck to paycheck. I didn't know how to budget. I just had no concept of what personal finance was and me and my dad went to Mexico to go see my grandfather. And I remember I don't have any money to give to my dad to give to my grandfather. Right? Like this just felt this responsibility, this, like, you want to give your parents, like, I have a job, I'm a teacher.

Lucia Pilar (15:15): I have a good salary. Right? Do I not have money to get to my dad? And I remember just sitting there and like wanting to cry because I, I was like, my dad's in his mid forties. I'm in my early twenties. If this happens again in 20 years, am I really going to be able to give my deck and my knee that he needed to serve? Am I able to do that? If I have kids, am I going to be able to do that? If I'm still a teacher and all these questions started flooding and it all records relating around money and I wanted to cry and I, my, my brain went into problem solving mode. And I said, I'm going to start a party business because LA has parties all the time. It does start a party. I went on offer out and I looked at a lady. She was selling her party business equipment. I messaged her. I came back to LA. I took out a loan from the bank and I bought the business and I started, you know, I was full-time teacher part-time business owner. And I did that. And within 16 months I was able to pay about $28,000 in my grad school program, the business equipment and any consumer debt I had. And we thought I was really proud of myself.

Daphné Vanessa (16:32): You, I mean, I just, I feel like we can't, we can't just gloss over the accomplishment. So you basically said you were inspired by a family moment where you wanted to contribute more to your family and you weren't able to. And so that was the catalyst for you just saying, I'm just going to start a party business. You, Hey, I'm going to buy your business. Like, how did you talk to us about that process? Because that's really important.

Lucia Pilar (17:00): I would say there was a couple of things. I think for one, my, my first year as a teacher, I was tutoring and I was tutoring at this company and they were paying me like $15 an hour and I was fine with it. Again, it was, as the money was coming in, it was leaving because I was in budgeting correctly. But still later, once I left the business that a tutoring company, I still have parents calling me like, Hey, like I want you to tutor my son. And I'm like, yeah, sure. I can do that. And they would say, okay, we'll pay you 40 an hour. So they were paying me more than, than the co then my boss at that time. So that when I was sitting around that, I was like, I don't want to go work any more for a company because I know they're not going to pay me what I think I'm worth.

Lucia Pilar (17:47): And I thought, well, with the part, this list, it's, it's going to mind my equipment. It, as long as you maintain it, it, it just picks on, you know, you can continue using it. I think I just went up around that. And, but I think entrepreneurship just runs in my family. My mom is actually, she has never really had a job. She has always just worked out a side hustle just because he sells flowers. She sells rubber, she sells all these things. She flips things. So I think in a way it just was one of those things that maybe I was thinking about my family, then maybe my own family, call me back. I don't know. That's what I want to say, because that was the catalyst of me becoming a business owner. And now an online business owner.

Shamil Rodriguez (18:32): That's a phenomenal, I think to use that opportunity now to really dive into something that I think is really important that I love to share. When we have guests like you on the pot is the importance of family, right? You can hear it like coming through the channel that you are so proud of your family and you understand the importance of the sacrifice that they've made to put you in a position to succeed. Right. so can you talk a little bit about that? Can you talk about why is that something that even matters to you? I want to make sure that people are out there recognizing that, that your parents make decisions for your benefit whether you see it or not, like you're like your mom went back to Mexico, your parents went back to Mexico and were like, all right, we know what education is not good enough for what we want for our daughter and our kids. We're going to go back again and we're going to make this work. So he talked a little bit about that if you don't mind. Yeah.

Lucia Pilar (19:26): I think it's, it's a lot of things, right. I I'm Mexican American. So my, my, my family is from Mexico, very small village. I think now there's probably like maybe less than a thousand people in that village. So there was no real it's like my parents grew up with no electricity, no running water. None of them since pavement paved roads was actually probably in the early two thousands. So basically the last two decades, that's when people finally had all these utilities running a little bit easier for them. So I think that really sparks. I think that's one thing I have to say, right. I think that's what sparks me. Like my parents come from their village is just one way in one way out. There's no, there's nothing else. And my grandmother, again, she, she grew up, she was also an entrepreneur, even though in a small village, she was doing so many things.

Lucia Pilar (20:18): She went from having one cow to having 60 cows. She sell the like so bread, she had a store. There was like everything. And even despite my eight and nine uncles and unspin here in the us, she worked until the last state when she had, when she passed away of diabetes back in like 2014. And that for me was just that her family has like, she hadn't been working with diabetes, but she still did it because she just loved like, you know, being independent, doing her own, you know, having her own money. And I think that's what really now sparks me because I'm like, wow, like my grandmother had no access to internet, could barely read and write. And she was doing money moves, left, and right. I have access to the internet. I have patients like I'm going to do when my grandmother would have done, if she had all these resources that I have. And that's really hard to sometimes think about it because my grandmother died when I was in college. And I was not even thinking of entrepreneurship that I sometimes wish I wish my grandmother was here. Like I know despite her again, not knowing how to use a phone, she would have given me the best business advice. So that's what motivates me a lot. Just this ability to now as a woman, I can go ahead and build whatever I want to build and help as many people as I want to help. Amazing story. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (21:45): I think I've so touched, especially by the grandmother comment. I wish my grandmother was here too. That's so, so beautiful. So

Shamil Rodriguez (21:53): I think it's, it's, it's extremely expiring and I hope that and please guys, when you guys check out the show notes, you're going to, we're going to share at the end of the podcast episode Lucia's handle and her website and new ways you can get in touch with her to get coaching. But before we get there, I wanted to speak about one more topic. Before we go back into the health and wealth journey. I wanted to ask the, I love that some of the posts you've put out there are really family oriented, right? So we've covered how much your parents have inspired you. But I love that you highlight your siblings. I know you posted that. You recently put them on your credit, your credit line. I believe it is, but I know so many people that would be like no way. Right. but I think it's, it's really great that you've done that. And so can you just talk a little bit about that and why, why does it matter to you?

Lucia Pilar (22:42): I believe that again, I am sometimes mind blown because I'm like my parents come from a very small village and they now own a home, all my, all my uncles, all my aunts. And I'm like, they went from nothing to something. And I cannot imagine what I know now. I think, because they look again at the very beginning, I said, my, all my uncles and aunts, because we live in LA, they never really assimilated. They never learned the language. They were very like, like they don't know English, they, and they still to this day, don't know English

Lucia Pilar (23:17): And really beautiful, you know, we all of us know Spanish, but it's also sometimes a lot of opportunities get missed. So I, like I said I have there over maybe 40 cousins and I'm the first one to graduate with a bachelor's and a master's. So when I say like, when I show all this information on Instagram and the reason I'm so passionate to share, it's not only because I have three younger siblings that I have to look out, actually, I feel like I have to look out for my whole family and make sure that they're on it because I'm one of the older cousins. So I'm like the older siblings. And for me, it's just the way, I don't know, we just think about it as my family, but also in the community. I always want it. Okay. If I have a thousand more dollars, I can donate a thousand more dollars.

Lucia Pilar (24:05): But I'm like if I show other people how to make a thousand dollars or save a thousand dollars or, you know, invest in, make a thousand dollars out of their investments or even more obviously the community. And I think it goes with family, but it goes more like, okay, fast, my family, what are we going to be able to do? And I think that's why so many women of color in the personal finance are so passionate because we're always also so gifted. We're always trying to give. And that's, I, I see that too, when I'm my business makes money, I start putting my money into other women businesses, because I know that I want to uplift to answer your question about family. I think, I think because our family is so big and at least in the, a lot of Latino families are really big. It feels, it ends up extending to like commute.

Shamil Rodriguez (24:54): I think, I think you, you hit it spot on 1000%, but as one of 11. So trust me when you said to 40 cousins like, oh, 40 cousins. I got you. No problem. No, but I mean, back to you back to that, thank you for sharing that. Right. And I think it's so important to highlight that community aspect. That's why we started the suit alone podcast. That's why, when we told you before we recorded today, why we started start new in the first place. Right. All of this ties together with the idea of uplifting our community, uplifting people that could have more if we just share more information. Right. And so thank you so much for doing that. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you for putting out the information for all the people to learn from. It's such a, it's such a mind blowing experience.

Shamil Rodriguez (25:40): And let me know if this is how it was for you, but to me, it's been perceived as such a mind-blowing experience when you go to school and you're like, wow, I didn't know that. Wow. I didn't know that. Let me just put this in my bag and we put this in my bag, let me put this in my bag. I'm going to take this and give this to you and get this to you. Right. And so you ended up becoming this wealth of, of change, whether you're going to see it or not, you're going to end up being this wealth of change for people that know you directly or people that don't know you, but they saw you. Right. So I think Lucy, I just got to say, you know, great job. Thank you so much for, for sharing that part of your story.

Shamil Rodriguez (26:12): So let's shift gears, Daphne, unless you wanted to. I was in a shift gears back over to the health and wealth journey. I wanted to, to discuss that it was go back to the original question. You answered the why you help your siblings and your community. But I think it was a really interesting point where like co-signing loans or giving people access to your credit, right? You you've authorized your siblings. I've heard so many people and I've been a beneficiary of having family members that have co-signed when I first went to college. So I'm grateful for it. And I'm all for it obviously. But I know a lot of other people that are like, I would have never done that for you. I would have never done that for somebody else. Oh, I'm not risking my credit for it. So what do you say about that? Especially as somebody who is coaching other people on how to create wealth for their family,

Lucia Pilar (26:55): Just so people who have not seen my pulse Noah, we were talking about the polls that I made was I had my 15 year old brother, 19 year old sister and 21 year old sister as I, I have them under my, one of my credit cards. So long story short just by doing that. And my sister who is 19 years old, she had never had a card. So my card was the very quote unquote first card that she has under her credit score credit report. So when she went to apply for her first credit card, you have to be, not only did she get approved when she got her credit card, it said that her credit score was in the high seven hundreds. She really, she had no clue. She thought it was out of a thousand. She had no clue. So she's like, yeah, my credit score.

Lucia Pilar (27:41): It says it it's in the high seven hundreds. And I'm like, wait, what? No way you can usually start in the six hundreds. So then I clicked and I'm like, oh, I had put you under my credit card couple of weeks before you went, like sign up for yours. And she's like, oh, okay. And yeah, I made her go to credit, karma, create an account. And yep. Right there. It was not only her credit card line that she had been recently, but also the one that I have had in the part that I put her in was a card I had for like three, four years. So her credit history was already two years old, averaging the new one and the older one. So for our listeners, that that's what happens that if you have a credit card or you want to authorize someone like either you can afterwards, basically anyone like the spouse, a cousin, anyone, I, you, they, you would help them with their credit credit score.

Lucia Pilar (28:35): So what I tell people, right? This is my, this, I wanted to share this with people because I think, I believe in build the wealth as a family, not only as an individual, and I know that this is gonna really help my siblings. I mean, it clearly did. My sister came with a good credit score. Absolutely, absolutely nothing. And she has her credit card approved for much more than my other sister who had the same card. Like I think three times more. So I do, I want to walk as a family and I want to make sure that my siblings have an easier time building that wealth. Now it's not for everyone. It can it's again, I think it just goes back into setting boundaries. And that's one thing that I did with my siblings. Like I have access to the card. The card is always the only person that is able to log in it's me.

Lucia Pilar (29:28): So that's what I like about that. I can block the card at any time. So there's these some things that you have to think about, can I can do I have access to block this card? Right. And I think it's easier for me. I opted for a card because I did not want to sign for a car. But again, it all depends where you are. Right. If I was planning to make a big purchase, I probably wouldn't want to sign for a big payment, but maybe if I'm not planning on buying a home or a car, anytime soon, maybe I'm willing to do that. But I think a lot of it has to be with the communication and just knowing the type of relationship you have with the person. No, I would never do that. That's and that's totally fine. That's you have to respect because at the end of the day, personal finance is personal, but I still think it's, this is like I think this adds some money. Yeah,

Daphné Vanessa (30:19): No. I'm also the oldest guy. I'm the oldest girl in all of the cousins on my mom's side. So we also have very large family with lots of people in it and totally agree with you. That sort of family wealth building really is how you lift each other up. And it's, I'm so proud when I see, you know, my family members have as well, who have, have listened and have, have done quite well for themselves not to age myself, but I just feel so much older than all of them. Cause I'm the oldest, right? That's probably why the oldest girl. And so I there's so much pride when you know, you see other people sort of glowing up with you and it's such a blessing to be a part of that journey. So completely agree that wealth is community wealth is family.

Daphné Vanessa (31:12): And when you think about it like that, it's much more giving than just selfish success. So I, I agree. The community aspect is so important to making an impact with your money, right? I love that you're talking about credit and the importance of credit because oftentimes, you know, maybe not everybody knows what that is. Like you said, we didn't cover personal finance in high school or secondary. We did not cover personal finance in college potentially. So you're starting your life as an adult, not really knowing anything. So what do you think from your experience, the pillars are of personal finance. What areas should people really be focused on in terms of getting to wealth

Lucia Pilar (31:59): Pillars? Our money mindset? Because the money, our money mindset is we can call it like maybe our first memories with money is when we were like three, four years old. So money mindset. And that has really that, that behavior, our behaviors are coming from what our parents taught us. Right. I remember for me, like I hated money up till I became a business owner because my parents would always fight about money. It was a constant thing where I found money was evil. I'm like my parents are always fighting their about a divorce because of money. Why would I want that? So my money mindset has had to change a lot. So that's definitely like my biggest pillar because I grew up low income. I always thought like, am I worthy of having right when you have that, am I ever going to get out of debt? It's just all these questions, right? It's just a mindset. So money medicine is the most important one budgeting, saving, investing. Those are the main, main, main pillars. And I know it's like, well, that's everything. But if you just tackle each topic little by little, it's going to be much easier than instead of say, well, everything you just say, okay, learn how to budget, learn how to save, learn about invest the check, your money mindset. It's just much, much, much easier to start digesting.

Daphné Vanessa (33:17): So let's give two examples. How's that? Well, we'll do one example of a current student and we'll do a second example of somebody who graduated and let's see what your advice is for these hypothetical people. So one person we'll call him Leo Nell. I don't know. I just came up with that. [inaudible] Has a $20,000 in student loan debt. He's a senior in college. He's going to graduate. So he's had mostly scholarships, but he had to take out some student loan debt along the way so that he could pay for housing and food while he studies to get good grades so that he can get a job. And he's considering, and he's accumulated interest by the way, while in school as well on deferred payments, he's considering taking the 6, 9, 9 month pause after and not paying anything. What advice do you have for him after he graduates?

Lucia Pilar (34:14): One thing I tell my clients and just in general, we need to look at the numbers. We need to run the numbers one, I would say, well, okay, so you're a senior where, w what's your job? What's like your future job looking like, what's your salary pay. What's going to be their salary. Where are you going to be living? Like, what's the city, what's the cost, right? That's when budgeting comes, like we kind of have to see how much are you going to be spending and what's the leftover. And then from there, we can be like, okay, let's start running again. The numbers, like, okay, we save, how much can we save? Because we do want that. We want to make sure that if something happens, he doesn't have to go get credit card debt. Because Allah like me, I got into next. And it was like, you want to avoid that?

Lucia Pilar (34:56): So it's having a saving plan is a hundred percent important. And then from there, just see, okay, what is it? Interest rate 5%, 3%. And then from there, what are the minimum payments? And you pay more with the money you have left over also. Okay. There's some money left over. Well, maybe we want to do start investing because remember Roth, if you're, if you're 22 right. Type to start investing in a Roth IRA, because interest get accumulated and you can Mount six K per year. Sure. I would have to like, list right. The numbers. Because if, if he's going to go back, live to live at home. Wow. Beautiful. But if he's going to have to go move to another city, okay. Our numbers are going to change.

Daphné Vanessa (35:43): Yeah. Yeah. No. And I love going through the numbers, so, okay. We, we spoke to Lionelle now let's speak to Victoria because I just liked that name. And let's talk to Victoria about her life. She graduated three years ago. She's paying her student loan debt already. The minimum payments only though she has a whopping 600,000 well let's, let's make it more real. Let's say $300,000 in student loan debt. And she has an average of 6% interest. She's living in a big city like LA or New York. So life is expensive. She doesn't have a family yet because she's deferring it, but she wants to start investing. She wants to start sort of starting her life. But at the same time, she feels burdened with these student loan payments. Should she start tackling the six figure student loan debt? Or should she say, I'm just going to start investing. Let me only pay the minimum payments or a combination.

Lucia Pilar (36:44): Well, okay. This is a really good question. So right now the stock market is doing really, really good. Really, really good, actually. Yeah. There's a couple of things. I don't know what her salary is, so I don't know if she can. I don't, I don't know what her lifestyle is.

Daphné Vanessa (37:00): She makes a baby six figure salary. So she's like at the beginning of the hundred thousands, let's say like one 20 or something like that. She, because she's in a big city, her lifestyle inflation is somewhat real. So she's probably at least spending 50% of her income, if not more closer to 70% on living expenses,

Lucia Pilar (37:22): For sure. To start making bigger payments. 300,000 is a lot in student loan debt. So just making the minimum payment and a 6% is very, very high. I would tell her if she doesn't have a savings and an emergency fund to start building that one first, before she starts investing. I don't know if she has one, but if she doesn't, I would say that because in case something happens, she gets laid off. She needs to take some time off. She at least test that question and she does have an option. And again, I think personal finances, personal, like some people there there's no right way, right? Like some people are hearing that like she should pay her, her student loans. No, no investing other people. Like she should have a medium other people like will just start investing periods.

Lucia Pilar (38:11): So there's no right. I think it also people have to think about, well, what's your long-term goal is your long-term goal to be debt free. Is your loan at the moment, right? As your long-term to own a property, what is the long-term? I think that's also, especially when there's a big amount of debt. These are the types of questions we should ask ourselves. I would tell her to make more than the minimum payment, for sure. With index funds, right? That's one thing we talk about an invest, the investment in investing, they do have a higher than 6% rate. So there's like a rule, not a rule, but some people say, well, if your interest rate that you're earning on your investments is higher than the interest rate angered debt, then you should definitely do both. I liked that one because at least you're not losing money.

Lucia Pilar (38:57): You're not going against negative. Now, if someone, when some people come in, they're like, Hey, I have like 50 K in Deb, my eight, all my credit cards have an APR of 20 bursts that I want best. I tell them we'll wait, wait, wait. Let's just say the best scenario you'll get is 10% AP. Why? Right. Interest rate anger investments, and you are constantly paying 25% APR on your credit card. You are still losing a negative 30 negative 15% per year. I don't think that's the right thing to do. I think you should pay your debt first. And then once you feel that, okay, I can invest and you do that. Yeah.

Daphné Vanessa (39:36): Love it.

Lucia Pilar (39:36): That's great. That's a great, great.

Daphné Vanessa (39:38): So we went into a little glimpse of what, like an awesome coaching opportunity would be with you. I think that was, you were not prepared for that. So I just want to let the audience know that we did not prepare Lithia at all. We just did off the cuff. And I, I love how you went into the different scenarios and sort of gave the pros and cons. I agree with your advice on sort of thinking about percentages and interest and looking at that gain as compared to what you're really losing on a loan. And so making that your driver we've actually covered this on one of our earlier podcasts where a multifamily real estate investor had successfully paid off, you know, six figures worth of student loan debt, but wasn't concerned about paying everything off because he was making so much money in multi-family real estate that it didn't necessarily make sense to focus on the losing amount of debt.

Daphné Vanessa (40:32): And so now he's made, you know, hundreds of millions over and paying that off is, is totally plausible. So I think that it, it sort of gives you context. Well, if in this percentage of time, I can make this amount with investments. Perhaps I should think about focusing my energy here and still sort of paying the minimum and a little more than the minimum so that you're tackling principle. But then you're also still focusing on building wealth because we don't want to forget like the goal for, and everybody's goal is different. I, I liked that. You asked the question, I tend to assume that you know, people don't want debt and that everybody wants to be wealthy. I know that's not the case for everybody, but let's say that that is your goal then yes. Let's start to think about investing. Let's start to think about still tackling the debt, but then also investing. So really thank you for bringing that up and sort of going through those scenarios. I was super excited.

Lucia Pilar (41:29): Yeah, no, I was not aware of this testing. And you, you made a good point because I remember one time hearing, it was just this YouTube video. I don't remember the name of the government. He said I only pay the interest. I have a lot of money and he's, I'm okay. I'm okay with dying with my student loan debt. It doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm paying the interest, I'll always keep the par and that's something that works in that's one thing that sometimes people might be like, you know what? I don't care. Like I just don't, I just want to be $300,000 the rest of my life, as long as I'm living a good life. And that's okay. Like, if that works for them and they're still able to like rent and live and have a happy life, then that's a personal choice. Correct?

Daphné Vanessa (42:16): Yeah. Yeah. And we don't judge people's choices. I hope anything that I said before was not a judgment. I agree with everybody has a different view. My default is to assume that everybody wants to pay off debt, but it's not true. I know so many people that are like, so what it's going to die anyways, like, or, or what's the, the forgiveness aspect where after you've paid a certain amount, it's forgiven, the servicers are really selling that one these days on the customer hotlines. So you know, there are a lot of different options you have to do. What makes you happy and what you feel comfortable with. And I love that you went through the questions to ask, that's almost the most important thing so that everybody can apply sort of it to their specific scenario. So thank you for sharing that. Yeah.

Shamil Rodriguez (43:01): Thank you. And so I think let's see, this might be a good time for people to figure out how to get in touch with you right. And to, to figure out are you offering coaching? You know, you had mentioned this in the beginning. I just want to bring it back to, whoever's been like, wow, I've been taking so many great notes. Hold on. How do I get in touch with her? But let's go ahead. And that, and then I think definitely we might have enough time to add on a lightning round. It's one of my favorites, but let's, let's add let's Lucy. I share with everyone where they can find you so they can get in touch with you. Thank you.

Lucia Pilar (43:30): I am mostly happy loud and you can get in touch with me on Instagram, at the wealth and health journey. My website's coming up soon. It's actually already live@thewealthandhealthjourney.com to quickly go over the name, the wealth and health journey. The name came from, like I said, my parents work really hard. A lot of our parents, especially first gen low-income parents worked so hard to make ends meet, and I didn't share this, but even though I was, I did pretty good. When I was doing my party business. I realized that the reason why I started a party business was because I always associated labor with money. And I was like, the only way I'm going to have money is if I, if I am working and that's what ended up happening, I ended up working too much to have this money. And at the end of it, and I showed this in my Instagram page, I lost so much weight on like 10% of my weight.

Lucia Pilar (44:21): I wasn't taking care of myself and it was all because of money. Now I saw myself in a way like marrying my parents, right? My parents worked so hard and sometimes I see my mom, especially my mom who has anxiety. She goes through these periods where she works a lot. And then she stops working because she has to take care of her health. So for me, when I thought of the wealth and health care, and I said, I want to build wealth and I want to keep them out because also the two most important assets that we have held, meaning the maintenance. So that's why this that's the name of, of my my Instagram handle and my friend, because I want to help people start building wealth through investing, where they don't have to sacrifice their health. They'll sacrifice time, right? Because in investments from, with compound interest and that takes time, but at least we're not sacrificing ourselves and we're kind of breaking this cycle of like, you have to work to make money.

Lucia Pilar (45:17): So I am a money coach. I coach anyone who wants to coaching when it comes to personal finance, but my target audience is bipolar woman of color. First gen and I help with budgeting, investing, saving, and now I'm actually transitioning into helping people build wealth through online businesses. Because I have realized that with all the information and all the experience I have acquired in the past two years of building my own online business, I want to share that with others. So it it's crazy because I had, I started off with a lot of my clients as just a money coach. And I'm also now like a business coach. Awesome. We love that. You said BiPAP a few times. Can you just explain for people who don't know in the audience, what does that acronym stand for? Yes. I, I, I use BiPAP because it's like black, indigenous and POC.

Lucia Pilar (46:11): Right. We don't want to, I want to be as inclusive as I can with my audience. And I feel like a lot of the times, especially with money, right. We have erased a lot of the voices of all these different marginalized communities. And I want to make that I as a content creator, right. I am bringing the key, not only listening to the, to these voices, but also acknowledging them and realizing that why wealth is not, not that it doesn't come easy to others. Right. But why building wealth is harder for us. And obviously, like, not like my experience is different than someone who is black or someone who's indigenous, but I still wanted to make sure that I say, you know, what is because of this is because of that. Right. Red lining you know, the acts against women to not have credits a credit card until like the late sixties or seventies. Like we have to make sure we bring these the history back or let you know, remind us constantly, like reminding ourselves, like why we are in these, in these scenarios, in these situations. It's not because we're not working hard or communities are working hard. It's because there's these, these rules that we're taking, you know, these laws that were put in place for these starting communities to struggle to build well,

Daphné Vanessa (47:33): That hit me hard. I don't think we, I don't think a lightening round would do this episode justice, but I'm happy to do

Shamil Rodriguez (47:40): No, no, I think, I think that was actually a really great way to end the episode. Lucy had a quick question. Can people DMU or email with, which do you prefer just so that people want to actually just reach out to you?

Lucia Pilar (47:49): Yeah. through Instagram, Instagram is online, the wealth and health journey is my Instagram handle. Let's see at the wealth and health dirty.com is my email. And I'm also on Tik TOK and my, my website, the wealth and health journey.com. So yeah, and again, like my whole goal is to make sure that we, as a community are building more wealth. And I think, I think I want to leave off with reminding, especially like clevis listening, who identify as right in these marginalized groups, communities is I think a lot of the times we feel like we're not doing enough. Like, oh, like it's, maybe we don't deserve to be here. Maybe we don't deserve to have money. But once we start to realize all these reasons why it comes, it's difficult for us to build well, it's very empowering. Actually. I take it more as a challenge and that I'm like, I'm going to help others.

Shamil Rodriguez (48:43): You so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. You having you on the show today, Daphne, is there anything we, you want to say before we wrap up

Lucia Pilar (48:50): At the wealth and health

Shamil Rodriguez (48:52): Journey? Very good. Very good. All right. Thank you so much for having us, Lucy. Yeah. Everyone. If you want more information on today's episode, visit the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 49. That's the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 49.

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