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How to Graduate College Without Student Loans

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On this episode, I’m joined by Kara Walker– a millennial who was able to graduate college without any student loan debt.

Some topics we cover are:

  • Kara’s childhood conversations about college and money
  • choosing the correct college for her goals
  • finding grants and scholarships
  • working through college and the impact it had on her social life
  • the options being student loan debt-free has afforded her

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Read the Transcript

Michael Lacy 0:00

Welcome to Episode 55 of the winning to wealth podcast, how to graduate college completely debt free.

Intro/Outro 0:09

You're listening to the winning to wealth podcast where you'll hear real stories from real people who are on the path to building real wealth. These stories will show you how to earn more money, pay off debt, start investing, and make better money choices so you can build wealth for your future. Now, here's your host, Michael Lacy,

Michael Lacy 0:32

what's up? What's up? What's up wealthy fam. I'm your host Michael Lacy and this is episode 55 of the winning to wealth podcast. On today's episode, I have joining me Kara Walker, and she's here to share how she was able to graduate college completely debt free. Now I want to let you know that we actually recorded this episode earlier this year, but it just never really felt like the right time to release it with schools closing and so much uncertainty surrounding just education and college and all those other things. However, with so many folks looking to go back to school to change careers or do whatever. And even with some of you parents out there that are trying to help your kids make better decisions than yourselves. I really felt like now was a pretty good time for you guys to hear this story. In this episode, we talked about Charisse upbringing, we talked about scholarships and grants and how to find those. We talked about working through college and all the things that come with that. And then we end with some of the benefits and some of the pluses that go with not having student loans. And and I'll be honest, it goes a little deeper than just financial implications. And so I'm excited for you guys to hear this episode. And also Kara mentions a few resources and a few ways that you can connect with her in this episode. So if you want to check out any of that, or if you actually want to read the transcript for this episode, head over to winning to wealth comm slash Episode 55 that is winning to wealth comm slash Episode 55. Also remember to tap into the private Facebook community, we're actually closing in on about 15,000 members. And so many of you guys are active and super engaged over there with your questions. And even sharing your wins on those winning Wednesday posts. I love those. It's like my favorite part of being on Facebook. I truly believe that this group is one of the best groups on Facebook as well. So if you're not in yet head over to winning to wealth.com slash teammates, join the private community. Again, almost 15,000 people strong people chime in every week when the winds asking the questions getting help. It's just a really big community that's just supporting each other as we all work towards reaching our financial goals. So enough about that, let's jump right into this interview with Kara where she details how she graduated college with no student loans. Hey, Carol, welcome to the winning to wealth podcast. I'm excited to have you and learn more about your story share with the audience. But I do want to jump in with just the first question and ask you to share just some of the childhood conversations that you remember having specifically relating to college and saving for college and all the financial things that go into getting our kids ready for college.

Kara Walker 3:29

Yeah, so my parents give you a little background. They are very frugal with their funds. My parents always talked to me about kind of like buying use and saving the difference and not going into crazy debt, even though they do use credit cards. And I don't there's a little bit of a different shift on there that I decided, but those are my discussions. And we are a Christian family. So we would talk about what the Bible talks about with money. And I remember thinking as a kid, you know, asking my parents like, Hey, where's my college fund? Like, I thought it was like in a jar somewhere. And they were like, well, that's not exactly how it's done all the time. And they were they were trying to save a little bit at a time but they were like, we're not necessarily sure how it will play out by then we'll shave a little at a time. And I remember thinking like, oh, okay, different families do it differently. And as we'll get into, my parents did help me in ways they could and then I also found some extreme ways to pay for college. So I would say that we definitely were open about money and frugal.

Michael Lacy 4:38

Gotcha. Okay. So for you, where did that desire to graduate college debt free come from?

Kara Walker 4:45

Okay, so honestly, just Dave Ramsey. I did a fpu the Financial Peace University when I was like 13. I like a finance class like a personal finance high school class. And I just basically was hooked. I think I've always been a deeper thinker on that a little more conservative with my funds, I'm definitely a saver. And I know that I need to balance that out with spending and saving. And just the stories that he had, and the life that I wanted to pursue live like no one else. So later, you can live like no one else. I thought I will be totally off track on that plan. If I have dead after college. I'm not that it's like I'm judging people that do. But I just knew that I wanted to pursue that wholeheartedly.

Michael Lacy 5:27

So where exactly did you end up going to college?

Kara Walker 5:30

Yes. So I actually tested out of quite a few classes, which wasn't exactly through college, but then I went to our local community college, and then Eastern Michigan University in southeastern Michigan, just a state school.

Michael Lacy 5:43

Okay. And so did you choose that particular school based on you having this goal to graduate debt free, or were there other factors that went into your decision to choose that particular school?

Kara Walker 5:55

It was partially that it was mostly because there was a fantastic articulation agreement between my community college and that university for both that I can do most of my degree at the community college, which was cheaper. And then also there were great scholarships there. I had considered other colleges too. So I wouldn't say the financial aspect was the only one. But it was it was definitely pretty high up there. And I felt like I had enough social interaction in my hometown, because I commuted and also on campus that I didn't feel like I needed a certain different kind of college experience. I think it just all worked out very well together.

Michael Lacy 6:35

Do you remember kind of what the average price per semester was there?

Kara Walker 6:40

at Eastern Michigan, I want to say it was about I was about 11,000. And then you're going to have actually online classes, you're gonna have extra fees, and labs, and, you know, books, etc. But I think that was the bare bones of it.

Michael Lacy 6:55

And I know you talked about the process of, you know, doing some classes at community college and things like that. What were some of the other strategies that you use to help you pay for college and cool,

Kara Walker 7:06

so I actually got 33 college credits, and that there's story behind this, but I got 33 college credits for only 20 $400. When I started, the reason I did that is I used my graduation party money instead of like buying a laptop or something, I kind of hoarded it away. And I tested out of classes. So there's things called CLEP tests and DSS T's CLEP is college level examination program. DSS Ts has a longer name, it's Dante specialized something exam program. Basically, it's like people in the military would take it, so that they could do school while they were serving. But now civilians can take it if they pay. And the fact is that the tests are like $100, and you study on your own. And if you pass the class, or I'm sorry, if you pass the tests, you're going to get three to six college credit. So I remember I got six college credits for an English class that I tested out of, I got six credits for hundred dollars. Now the thing with these is, you have to check that your college will accept these because it depends on the college, I made sure the Community College accepted them. But I want to say if I hadn't done that, I either probably would be in debt now. Or it would be taking two more years to go to college, because I was able to get credits at such a low, low price. And so many people don't know about those tests.

Michael Lacy 8:33

So did you also apply for or when any grants or scholarships or anything like that?

Kara Walker 8:39

Sure. So you said grants for so I will mention after I was 24, because it took a little while to do college for this purpose. When you're 24, or at least when I was I was counted as an independent student, independent from my parents income. And since I earned money, I worked but I was in a lower bracket, I was able to get the Pell Grant and also some state grants. That doesn't necessarily mean wait to have to you're 24 to go to college, but there might be some helpful things in that regard. I also did get some scholarships. What a great blessing, to be honest, my community college is they have a full ride, two year full ride on Band in choir scholarships. So you have to audition to be in the band, or the choir. And I like to sing so I auditioned for the choir and I got two years of my community college paid for from that interesting thing with those scholarships. I told people on campus about it and they had never heard of it. So many people do not look up the scholarships in their school. So basically, I got my classes I tested out of and then I went to the community college and I got the full ride from the choir scholarship. So beyond that, I was part of a club at my community college. So when I went to the Eastern Michigan, the State University, there's a scholarship that kind of carried over from that Club, which was cool. There was also like a GPA scholarship. And, and there was like an endowed scholarship I got later which that basically is when some maybe a either a very interested and passionate family or maybe a wealthy family from a college will put money down for a student that has some specific requirements, like you're in this certain degree program or something else. And they're usually found elsewhere, you have to pursue them separately than just the general financial aid award letter. So I got like endowed scholarships, and I did have to pay cash for a couple semesters as well. But I really wanted somebody else to pay for my schooling, if I could be honest with you.

Michael Lacy 10:52

Let's talk about that. And we were talking about how you were paying having to pay some out of your own pocket. So about how much were you having to pay?

Kara Walker 11:01

That is a great question. And I probably should calculate it, I want to say that I still might have spent several thousand dollars of my own funds anywhere from three to 5000, maybe 6000. Um, that's just from internships, I did an internship with a national park service, which is a cool opportunity, I actually got a little bit of college funding from that. And I just did other part time work. And I will say, my parents helped me with books, several semesters, because books, you know, having an extra, so to speak, that must be paid out. And, but I think, three to 6000 or so is fantastic compared to someone going for $40,000 or something. And so I'm appreciative that I was able to find a lot of scholarships to help aid that.

Michael Lacy 11:53

Okay, and so, you talked about some internships? And did you have to work like, get a job or anything like that? And if so, can you talk a little bit about that experience balancing that with college?

Kara Walker 12:04

Okay, so balancing work in college is so hard, and I'm not going to pretend that it was just some walk in the park. And then on top of that, you have I have the emotion of like, I'm getting through college so late, it's taking so long I'm, I'm in a class, and there's like freshmen, and they're 18. And they're, they look like they're five, not really, but like, they don't know how to do stuff, at least, like socially or like what a syllabus is, you know, it was it was it was, there's the emotional struggle on that. And then also keeping up a work life balance, and oh, yeah, you have to sleep. And like, see your friends. But I did work. I've worked almost all through college at my local library system. And it's very cool, because I ended up getting a sub position, which means I take shifts when I want to, I would maybe a sub for different people. So it wasn't consistent work. But it was very helpful for extra cash, if there's any chance people can get like shift by shift work. I think that's interesting. I also worked at the colleges. So I worked at the fitness center, at my community college, I got to do homework, while I, I worked in essence, as long as nobody came in, then if someone came in, you know, you help kind of killing two birds with one stone, I worked in the marketing department and you started. So again, if people came in, I work with him, no one came in, I did my homework, you know, while I got paid. It's just it's almost like job hacking, so to speak. And I also did have an internship through AmeriCorps with the National Park Service, which was actually full time, I didn't know what I wanted to do for college at that point. So I just kind of shifted to full time work and part time school. And that was, like, probably the most building like character and career building job I've ever had, because there was stress. And there was like government hoops to jump through. But there are so much good people like interaction to deal with, and it helped me decide on my major. So I would not pretend to say that balancing all of that. It's easy. And there's definitely the anxiety of what am I doing with my life, but I knew that I would have so much more struggle after college if I had debt to pay back. And so I just kept holding on to that anchor that was kind of like my anchor, even though I didn't know what I was doing.

Michael Lacy 14:21

Okay, so can you talk a little bit about how all of this with, you know, looking for grants and scholarships and working and all those things? What kind of impact did that have on your social life? Because I know for a lot of people, you know, when they come out of college, yes, they come out with student loan debt, but they're like man college, this was like the best experience of my life, and blah, blah, blah. So, like, how did putting in all these hours impact your social life and your inner circle with your friends and all of that?

Kara Walker 14:47

Sure. Well, I would like to respond to that. When you mentioned all the hours I did work hard, but because I took quite a while to get through school. I wasn't cramming it into four years. So I made sure to have margin in my life.

It didn't like lose friends over it, if that makes sense. But I ended up finding friends where I was working, where I was doing school, and also in my church, which didn't necessarily shift when I had school. On another note, I didn't quote unquote, feel so bad, because there was a lot of other college students running around. Like, I can't see friends, I have so much stuff to do it. So it wasn't me. And, and it wasn't just like, because I was trying to do stuff debt free. And also I very much like my own company, to be honest. So I wasn't like,

emotionally scarred. If I didn't see friends for a week, if that makes sense. I feel like there's a good healthy balance with alone time. And friend time, it really didn't hurt my social life too much. Now, if, if I had just taken out loans, and gone straight through college and put a little more focus on social life, maybe, you know, I would have made even more friends. But I don't know if I can really know that at this point. And it's not something that like I stay awake at night, like regretting or something. I don't I don't think it bothered me too much, to be totally honest.

Michael Lacy 16:12

Gotcha. Okay. So you mentioned again, a few things were grant scholarships. So like, Where did some of these ideas come from? Were you like reading books? Or did you have like a great counselor, or just not a walk of how you were stumbling across these different ways to pay for your tuition?

Kara Walker 16:30

Mm hmm. One of my cousin's told me once some proverb from some foreign country, and I have no idea I don't know the background, but it's something like as you walk the way becomes clear to you. And so literally, it was, what is the next step that I know I can do. So to start with, I had a friend and her mom and her mom knew about these things that you could test out of classes. So my friend, and I would, this is another aspect, social aspect. As you mentioned, my friend and I would sit down together weekly, and study for these CLEP tests that we tested out of, and totally bond and socialize. And this mom of hers, I'm not actually sure how she knew all this information, I want to say she's just been into finances as well. And she just shared it with us. And then beyond that, the Community College choir scholarship. Some friends were in it. There's their social aspect again, and I just learned about it. And I went and try it out. I want to say by that point, I think I started researching on my own, I started being like, Okay, I'm finding books. There's a book by Ben Kaplan. That's how to go to college almost for free. And he got like, $90,000 in scholarships, I didn't out there that much. But I started going by books at that point, because I knew if I was going to finish out, I knew the choir, the full ride scholarship was going to kind of cancel out eventually, you know, because that would be done with two years. And I just started researching on my own, but I would say I kind of fell into it at first. And I think if I would have known more, I could have done it even faster. But I wouldn't say I regret any of it. Because I learned as I went,

Michael Lacy 18:13

gotcha. Okay, so can you talk a little bit about maybe some of the challenges that you face trying to get through college without any debt, were there any hurdles in the road or speed bumps or challenges that you had to really overcome? While you were going through this process?

Kara Walker 18:30

I would say the first roadblock might have been my own fear. And not to get all existential on you. But I wasn't sure if I would have the next semester paid for. So I think there's a lot of like, any college student needs to take care of some stress relieving, you know, exercises and techniques to help with that. But there's definitely fear on that. And there actually weren't that many people that were like, thought I was that weird. But there occasionally was some that was like, you know, do you think you're better than others doing that? And I was like, No, I just want to do it myself. And or, like, why don't you just get a loan and go faster? I guess there was questions in my head. I want to say most of my optical obstacles were very mental. And there weren't there were barely, like, not a lot of like naysayers, to be honest with you. But there's just a couple I had thought of, and there were times that I had to you know, give up maybe buying something else knew I wanted because I was saving for that semester, which in hindsight, I don't even remember what it was. So it probably wasn't worth it. So I would say it's more it was more keeping the eye on the prize and just a mental mindset that sometimes I struggled with.

Michael Lacy 19:44

Okay, so one of the things you mentioned earlier was your age and then kind of there you touched on the fact that people were kind of pressing you to take out loans and get it done sooner. So how many years did it take you to complete college from the start until you got to walk across the stage?

Kara Walker 20:00

Sure, I want to tell you first that my parents never pressed me. And that was very, very good. Not only was I did they support financially when they could, there's emotional support. So it wasn't like a deep, ingrained aspect. But it took me about seven and a half years. So I would say almost eight years, which certainly felt like I was doing double which it did take about double and, and not to freak people out and say, it'll take that long if you do it debt free. It's just was my experience, and I am 26 right now.

Michael Lacy 20:33

So would you would you recommend that path to somebody that's in high school to just kind of stretch it out to get graduate debt free? Or would you recommend like kind of a little more balanced approach where maybe they take out loans, a little bit of loans to kind of get it done sooner,

Kara Walker 20:48

I would like to say that I don't know your situation. And I'm not going to sound like I'm pressuring as in somebody else wanted to pressure me. But I would say, I think the best way to launch into the rest of your life is no loans. If you don't, especially if you don't know exactly what you want to study, you do not want to go into debt for it. So I would, I would suggest people do that, within within reason that they don't know, they don't have a lot of funds on. And I'm kind of being nice about this, because I hate like pressuring people, but like, really, really no loans is just such a fantastic feeling. But I also want to remind people that college is not for everyone and not to necessarily do it, because you think you have to as the next step. So maybe people will go through with loans, try to pay it off fast, you know, maybe they'll take longer. And I will tell you that by the time you graduate, you forget about those few things that you didn't buy, you know, and also to not just do college, just because other people say you should figure out what you have a passion for.

Michael Lacy 21:53

Okay, so let's talk about that moment where all of your hard work paid off, and you finally get to walk across the stage. What did that moment feel like?

Kara Walker 22:03

Well, I'm going to tell you my moment then and then how I feel now. That's okay. Yeah, I was I was just like crazy. It was senior year or at least senior semester. And I was just senior itis I was just done, you know, but I was still so busy. By the time I walked across stage. It honestly just felt normal. Sometimes. I've heard other people talk about the moment they've waited for just felt like the next moment it didn't feel like heavenly like your light shined on you. You know? I think it honestly it just it felt normal. Um, but now, and I don't know, we can discuss or or not later, I have such a free lifestyle. I'm responsible, but such freedom, that I feel like it's almost like growing every day how amazed I feel how relieved that I feel. All I can say is probably belief. Um, so I'm not sure I felt it right then. But I think it's grown.

Michael Lacy 22:58

Okay, so yeah, let's talk about that. I mean, what has graduating DME for you? I mean, let's talk about it from a career perspective, because I know a lot of people graduate college, and they've got 40 $50,000 in student loans. And I've got friends that have six figures worth of student loans. And they have to take jobs that maybe they feel like, I wouldn't take this if I didn't have that. So can you talk a little bit about your experience, career wise, being a debt free graduate?

Kara Walker 23:22

Yeah. Okay, dude, I don't even make that much money right now. And I'm loving it. But that I have plans to keep growing. So I'm not like necessarily content in that way, quote, unquote. But there's such freedom. So I graduated, and I had money I had money still left in the bank. I actually had, I don't normally tell people this, but it's a finance podcast, right? So we're talking finances, I had over $10,000 saved in the bank, because I saved from all of my part time and full time jobs because I thought I might have to pay the last few years. Right. And that would have only lasted one semester. And so basically, I graduated college, I established my emergency fund, I established a fund for if my car breaks down because my car is about 19 years old. So you know, I established a little bit of a travel fund just because I knew I was going someplace I wasn't like extravagant. And then I currently am a consultant to help students find grants and scholarships for college. I have learned a little bit more, some months, a little bit less other months, but I've always had enough for my budget, and then I've slowly saved some away. I can just tell you, I have time freedom. I have location freedom. Right now a lot of people are staying at home, but I've been able to go to family's house and work or the library, you know, and eventually I would like finance freedom. I'd like to pursue financial independence and although that's not there, now, there's such freedom. I don't have to get a job that I dread. I remember some of my internships I'd get up and I was trying to be so positive, you know speak positive thoughts. You know, and do your best. But I would just dread slugging one foot after another into work. And now I don't have to do that. And I don't make a lot right now, I'm going to be honest. But I see the growth, you know, and I'll keep working on it. And I really don't mind I'm free.

Unknown Speaker 25:19

Yeah.

Michael Lacy 25:21

So talk a little bit about that, that time and location freedom that you mentioned, I mean, explain that a little more. For the listeners who may not be aware of what time and location freedom actually looks like,

Kara Walker 25:32

yeah, if we're talking about time, freedom, there are some weeks I, I work a lot on my business, and otherwise, that I don't work like the traditional 40 hours or whatever, because I'm actually trying to write a book and make YouTube channel like some of those other things. If I have enough money for the month, sometimes, like, I will try to still scope out more business for the future. But sometimes I step back from my business just a little bit and work on another project I want to work on because I have enough funds. Within being reasonable. I'm a very conscientious person, so I would probably over plan. So I know I can do that. But that time freedom is like you earn enough, you earn a little more than enough. And then sometimes I step back for a few days, it's it's amazing freedom and location, I have no idea what the airlines will be doing soon. But I'm supposed to fly out west later this year, to visit family, sit by the pool for three weeks and work on my laptop. So like I hang out with him in the evenings. And I found like a $63 ticket, I'm still cheap, man, like I found like a good ticket, you know, I don't just spend a ton on travel, but I just want to go places and work from my laptop there and then hang out with people and travel. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to do that kind of thing. We'll see how it works. So how the rest of the year goes?

Michael Lacy 26:51

Yeah, you know, I love that. So, you know, I think one of the best things that I did was not having any student loans either. And it allowed me to pursue opportunities that I probably wouldn't have, like, I remember just kind of moving away from home once and then I got to one location. And then I moved to Las Vegas for a little bit and worked out there for a little bit and then came back home and I got to just pursue things and find the things that I'm really passionate about. And it's really paid off. So I'm glad to hear you say that that's kind of the approach you're taking. Because I think really, you know, your 20s man, it's when you're you're just so full of life, and you're so energetic, and all these other things, it's just a great time to really just pursue what you're really interested in. And it's sad that a lot of people don't get that experience because they have so much student loan debt. So let's talk about your parents for a second. How much help Did you have from your parents? And I asked this because I know somebody that's probably out there listening going well, yeah, our parents probably paid for a big chunk of it. And that's why she was able to do this. So can you talk a little bit about the help that you had from your parents?

Kara Walker 27:58

Yeah, my parents were amazing, actually. Um, but financially speaking, I didn't actually keep track, but it might have been a few hundred dollars, or in the hundreds, it wasn't in the thousands compared to college been thousands of dollars. So I mean, it, you know, yeah, I know that there would be people out there thinking that it wasn't necessarily financially, but I did commute. So I lived at home, I did a ton of stuff around home and find emotional support, to be honest, was just the biggest. So they support it in those ways. And I think I am so rich from that. But it wasn't definitely was not the majority on financially. Yeah. Okay.

Michael Lacy 28:44

So do you think it just kind of having gone through your experience? Do you think that's something that parents like myself, I have an almost two year old? Do you think that's something that we should be doing is saving up for our kids to go to college or based on your experience? Do you think that that's something that the student should be responsible for themselves?

Kara Walker 29:03

Yeah. So okay, I'm really big on like, nitpicky things. So the word should know, I don't think parents should, because I had to really fight with that word. throughout college. I was always like, I should do this or this much sleep or I should, and I kind of had to get rid of it. Could they? Yes, that would be fantastic. But only when a parent's finances are in order and then they can bless their child. I think if they can't, that's fine too. And I think there's a lot of emotional support can go a long way. So I want to say should know it's not necessarily should you know what I think is illegal or something. But it would be great if the parents are also have that Financial Peace and then beyond help the child I think of that in regards to me what I would do, I would like to be able to help my kids but I think there will be a little bit that I would push them towards scholarships because It really molded me so much. I'm not sure yet. I don't have kids, though. So we'll have to wait.

Michael Lacy 30:07

So let's take it back to the beginning of your journey. And looking back on the totality of your journey. Is there anything that maybe you would have done differently? If you could start over from the beginning today?

Kara Walker 30:19

Okay, absolutely. If I could start over today, meaning like, I knew everything, like I already would know what I should major in right away and where to get funding. But that to say I actually don't have any regrets on it. Because at the time, I didn't know all of this. And I think I took the best step I could when I took it. So if I could start over today with all of these, oh, yeah. Like, I would just like I majored in business and I minor in math, I would just major in that right away, I would just start my classes up, I would get the funding I needed, I would know where to get it from. But I don't think I regret like I did something terribly wrong, because I did the best I could with what I knew.

Michael Lacy 31:00

Right? Okay. So I want to give you the opportunity to share just a few tips for any high school or maybe even early college students who are wanting to pursue a debt free degree. After listening to you talk about it, can you give them just a couple of tips to help them get started?

Kara Walker 31:17

Sure. I would say you need that. A Why? You know, why do you want to do that? Do you feel like you should you know, we talked about should? Do you have that motivation for that freedom? After college? Are you just doing college because you feel like you have to? Then I would say, if you're going to do it, make a commitment. That's still difficult, but like, surround yourself with other people who are doing it, or listen to podcasts, right. I've been just so into podcasts lately, to be honest. And fill your mind with that positivity and that wisdom. But I would also say, look for scholarships that are obvious, because there were so many at my community college at least that weren't even awarded because nobody applied for them. There might even be scholarships that someone might not seem to qualify for. Why don't you ask the scholarship committee? I'm two years older than the requirement. Can I still apply you know, if nobody else has applied, maybe you'll get it. And there's also that concern with like, you know, people might have writer's block this is back in school, you know, you always didn't want to get started writing. Sometimes that's the same with scholarships. Oh, I'm overwhelmed with all these scholarships to do I challenge people sometimes to work hard to do a good scholarship essay or application. But if you're so stressed that you can't even keep like a plant alive or Remember to eat breakfast you know, because it's college then just just wing it and apply for some now hear me that's not like a habit that you always just wing scholarship applications. But don't let Oh, I don't have enough time to put all this time into it stop you from just reaching out and doing a few just randomly just going for it and that can just get you into the habit it's so much a habit and a mindset and a commitment and people that you're around with and just know there's so many that are awarded because but don't apply for them. And it's tough know that it's tough. And give yourself grace in that I would say as well.

Michael Lacy 33:13

Awesome. Awesome. Well hey, thank you so much for sharing. I want to give you this last opportunity to share where people can find you if they want to follow along on your journey get some tips from you, or anything like that what's the best place for somebody to find you and follow along?

Kara Walker 33:27

Absolutely. The best place that I seems like most people seem to be on the social media is Instagram I do have a page called care about debt free college now My name is Cara so that plan words care about and then it's underscore debt free underscore college. I do also have a Facebook business page. also care about debt free college. And I also have like my email mentioned on there. I have a YouTube channel. It's a little bit debt free focus and other things. It's Kara's quest. I definitely welcome you to look it up, but it's not as much where I will be interacting with people that's more like Instagram. Yeah, and I just offer different scholarship, consulting services and love connecting with people.

Michael Lacy 34:17

Thank you so much for sharing Kara and I'll be sure to link to everything you mentioned in the show notes which you all listening can find at winning to watch comm slash Episode 55 that is winning to watch comm slash Episode 55. All right now it's time for this week's win of the week. Now one thing I loved about Kara's journey is the fact that she set a goal and she did what she had to do to reach that goal. Like it didn't matter to her that it took her longer than some of her peers or even what societal standards are for graduating college. She made what she felt was the best decision for her and she continued to make decision after decision. That was best for her. And the result that time and location freedom that she mentioned. So my question to you is, is there an area of your finances where you're still being influenced by society as a whole, or maybe other people like friends or family, like maybe people make you feel bad for not eating out as much as you used to, and it's starting to weigh on you, as you march toward debt freedom and financial wellness. Or maybe you feel like you should have bought your first house or whatever other big milestone by this point in your life. Listen, I want to encourage you to stay focused on your goals and your process. Now hear me out. I know that that's easier said than done. Sometimes, I know. But don't sweat what people who aren't paying your bills are really putting money towards your goals have to say, a focus on your goals in your process, just like Kara did. And you'll find yourself living the life that you want to live, whatever that may be. Remember, your goals, your process, not to help you stay motivated and focused on your goals and your process. You can always download some of our debt free charts. They're actually free for the month of November and you can check them out over at winning to wealth.com slash shop that is winning to wealth.com slash shop. But hey, that's all the time I have for this week. So until we talk again, keep racking up those wins. One at a time. Take care.

Intro/Outro 36:40

You've wrapped up another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. To learn more about how you can start making winning money decisions head over to winning to wealth.com

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