SMMC News & Events Blog

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This blog highlights news, events, and informative articles on personal finance from University of Illinois System's Student Money Management Center. Feel free to navigate to different categories with the list of topics on the right or search for a specific topic next to the view all link below.

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  • Podcast: Holiday Savings Tips and New Year's Goals

    Episode 8 of Making Cents of Money, Holiday Savings Tips and New Year's Goals, explored tips to help prepare for a less stressful holiday season over the coming year as well as ways to set S.M.A.R.T. goals, be it financial or otherwise.

  • Podcast: Inflation

    In episode 30 of Making Cents of Money, Inflation, Jake, Nikki, and Andrea discuss what inflation is as one of many metrics to gauge how an economy is doing and how it impacts our spending power as consumers.

  • Podcast: Investing Basics

    Episode 13 of Making Cents of Money, Investing Basics, covered common terms and concepts related to investing in the stock market in preparation for our Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff webinar, Investing Basics, on 3/10. 

  • Podcast: Money Personalities & Financial Well-being

    In episode 23 of Making Cents of Money, Money Personalities & Financial Well-being, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki discuss several financial personality inventories and the CFPB's financial well-being scale as tools to better understand financial values, habits, and internal feelings around money.

  • Podcast Partnership Launching with Illinois Division of Financial & Professional Regulation!

    A new podcast launched today, Making Cents of Money, co-hosted by our very own Andrea Pellegrini and Illinois Division of Financial & Professional Regulation's Nikki Giancola-Shanks!

  • Preparing for Retirement with pink piggy bank smiling

    Podcast: Preparing for Retirement

    Episode 12 of Making Cents of Money, Preparing for Retirement, discussed the retirement savings crisis, the different types of retirement plans that exist, and the Secure Choice plan in Illinois. Listen to special guest, Courtney Eccles, from the Illinois Treasurer's Office to learn more about the Secure Choice program for small businesses in Illinois.

  • Podcast: Preventing Identity Theft

    Episode 4 of Making Cents of Money, Preventing Identity Theft, looks at identity theft and fraud statistics as well as how we can protect our money from potential theft.

  • Image of woman in lab coat with hijab and stethoscope and text: "Professional Licensure in Illinois"

    Podcast: Professional Licensure in Illinois

    Episode 18 of Making Cents of Money, Professional Licensure in Illinois, helps us understand the scope of professional licensing in Illinois across many different industries and some protections in place for consumers.

  • keychain in the shape of a house with keys on it. text says "Real Estate"

    Podcast: Real Estate

    Episode 17 of Making Cents of Money, Real Estate, explains the world of real estate professions and what to consider when hiring professionals to help you buy or manage a home or other real estate property!

  • close up of people shaking hands with "Reintroductions" text

    Podcast: Reintroductions

    Episode 19 of Making Cents of Money, Reintroductions, lets us learn more about one of the co-hosts, Jake Hamilton, the history behind the podcast, and what's in store for the future of this audio teaching medium.

  • 4 college students studying at a table together

    Podcast: Saving for College with a 529 Savings Plan

    Episode 11 of Making Cents of Money, Saving for College with a 529 Savings Plan, explored 529 plans, including how they funciton, a bit on their history, and how they differ from other savings vehicles. Listen to special guests, Fernando Diaz and John MItchell, from the Illinois Treasurer's Office to learn more about options in Illinois.

  • "Short-selling" text in white over image of two people's hands over a table with a stack of papers and glasses on top of it.

    Podcast: Short-selling

    Episode 14 of Making Cents of Money, Short-selling, allowed us to interview Chasse Rehwinkel about the investing method that's become so popular in the media over the past few months. 

  • Man with over the ear headphones around his neck studying on a laptop. White text reads: Student Loans

    Podcast: Student Loans

    Episode 16 of Making Cents of Money, Student Loans, lays out some student loan statistics, considerations, and protections for borrowers in preparation for our webinar on Student Loan Repayment tomorrow!

  • Podcast: Student Loan Update

    In episode 27 of Making Cents of Money, Student Loan Update, Jake and Nikki gave a quick update on the state of federal student loans.

  • Podcast: Tackling Insurance! (Part 1)

    In episode 28 of Making Cents of Money, Tackling Insurance! (Part 1), Deputy Director of Consumer Education & Protection at the Illinois Department of Insurance, Patrice Dziire, talked to us about auto, home, renters, and life insurance. 

  • Podcast: Tackling Insurance! (Part 2)

    In episode 29 of Making Cents of Money, Tackling Insurance! (Part 2), Nikki and Jake talked with Laura Pellikan from the Illinois Department of Insurance about the basics of health insurance and ways you can get covered.

  • Podcast: Taxes

    Episode 10 of Making Cents of Money, Taxes, discussed common terms, forms, and considerations for filing taxes in preparation for our Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff webinar, Tackling Taxes, on 1/27. 

  • Podcast: Technology and Your Money

    Episode 3 of Making Cents of Money, Technology and Your Money, explores how financial technologies are evolving and what that means for keeping our money safe.

  • Podcast: The Anti-Predatory Lending Database

    Episode 7 of Making Cents of Money, The Anti-Predatory Lending Database, discusses predatory lending and the Anti-Predatory Lending Database (APLD) in Illinois. Katie Liss from IDFPR Division of Banking breaks down predatory lending in mortgages and how the APLD helps mitigate some predatory lending practices.

  • Podcast: Time to Travel!

    In episode 21 of Making Cents of Money, Time to Travel!, Nikki, Andrea, and Jake discuss travel aspirations, goals, and tips for planning a trip to help you make your next dream vacation a reality.

  • Podcast: Understanding Credit

    Episode 5 of Making Cents of Money, Understanding Credit, explores the complicated world of credit to help demystify things like scores, reports, and credit management.

  • Image of hand between domino-style blocks - some standing up, others already laying down

    Practicing Self-Advocacy in Your Financial, Professional and Social Life

    Self-advocacy is an important skill to practice, particularly right now. Whether it's getting the resources you need to succeed in school or setting boundaries with your loved ones so you can focus on your own well-being, it's important to communicate with others about your needs, wants, and struggles throughout your life.

  • Publications & Resources Addressing Consumer Needs in U.S. During COVID-19

    We've compiled a list of federal websites & resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic that may be helpful in addressing some of your financial questions.

  • Title slide for How to Save Money on Food with icons of groceries like milk, corn, cans, eggs, etc.

    Save Money on Food - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    At the end of a busy day, when you’re hungry and tired, do you go home knowing you’re all set to prepare a tasty, healthy dinner?  Are you happy with how much money you spend on food? Would you like to learn some tricks for eating well for less money?  If any of these questions resonate with you, then How to Save on Food is the educational opportunity for you!

  • Two silhouetted people standing in front of a sunrise.

    Seasonal Themes: Get More Done with a Mindset Shift

    Has Your New Year's Resolution Failed? Try a Seasonal Theme!

  • Setting Goals for Your Well-being

    Explore how Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the dimensions of well-being can help you set, prioritize, and manage your SMART goals.

  • Sky with clouds above Illini Union roof at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with text: Job Opening for UIUC Grad Student

    SMMC Grad Hourly Job Opening at UIUC

    Are you looking for an opportunity to enhance your professional skills while in school as well as your knowledge of personal finance? University Bursar's Student Money Management Center has an open position at Urbana!

    Apply to be an SMMC Support Specialist!

  • Keyboard and hands with images of social media icons placed above keyboard with text: #SMMCSharingIsCaring Contest

    #SMMCSharingIsCaring Contest

    Share and interact with #SMMCSharingIsCaring tagged posts from SMMC on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook between April 5 - 16, 2021, to get entered to win one of 10+ financial wellness kits in honor of National Financial Capability Month.

  • Spring 2019 Understand Your Refund Quiz

    Hundreds of students end up unable to register every semester because they owe money back to the university, even after receiving a refund.

    Learn how to avoid being one of them.

  • Student Loan Repayment - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    There are 8 repayment plans for federal student loans, 10 federal student loan servicers, and an abundance of terms, tools, and tips to remember to manage federal, institutional, and private student loans. Watch our Student Loan Repayment webinar recording to learn about your options as a borrower.

  • Summer 2020 #UIMoney Tweet Chat Series

    SMMC is hosting several tweet chats this summer to help our students, alumni, and friends prepare for a variety of financial transitions during a time filled with uncertainty.

  • Tackling Taxes Presentation Title Slide

    Tackling Taxes - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Taxes are complicated, whether you’re a first time filer or have been filing for years. How do you know if you’re required to file? What are deductions and credits? Why are there so many forms, and what are they for? Join us as we walk you through the basics of taxes and provide resources to help you file for free.

  • Person doing yoga on a beach

    The 5 C's: A Guide to Self-Care on a Budget

    We put together a few tips in an effort to add to your ideas and/or motivate you to start practicing self-care/self-love on a budget! 

  • Top 5 Financial Reminders for International Students

    Tuition & fees will be due before you know it, so here are the top 5 financial reminders for International Students.

  • Top Tips for Tax-Filing

  • Travel Planning Templates

    Getting excited to travel? You can use these templates to help get your planning started for your next trip!

  • UIC - U-PASS Program Opt-Out Deadline is September 12

    UIC students have the option to opt-out of the CTA U-PASS program before September 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM. 

  • UISAVES 2020 runs February 16 - March 7!

    The overall goal of UISAVES is to create a culture of savings at our three universities – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Illinois at Springfield. Read on to learn what we're doing for the 2020 campaign!

  • UISAVES Week 1: Goal-setting

    A strong foundation to any financial plan are goals. Set a goal with #UISAVES to connect with resources to help. universityillinoissaves.org

  • UISAVES Week 2: Small Amounts Add Up

    An important part of building a savings habit is understanding how small amounts add up. 

  • UISAVES Week 3: Building Financial Habits

    The reality of personal finance is that it is personal and requires behavior change. Learn ways to make behavior changes easier to accomplish your goals.

  • UIUC - Emergency Grants Available for Graduate Students

    The application period is now open for HEERF III COVID-19 Emergency Grants for graduate students at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

  • Understand Your Refund Challenge - Spring 2020

    Hundreds of students end up unable to register every semester because they owe money back to the university, even after receiving a refund.

    Learn how to avoid being one of them.

  • woman drinking coffee and smiling at a computer with her hand in the air

    Understand Your Refund - Fall 2020

    Hundreds of students end up unable to register every semester because they owe money back to the university, even after receiving a refund.

    Learn how to avoid being one of them.

  • woman drinking coffee and smiling at a computer with her hand in the air

    Understand Your Refund - Fall 2021

    Hundreds of students end up unable to register every semester because they owe money back to the university, even after receiving a refund. Learn how to avoid being one of them.

  • woman drinking coffee and smiling at a computer with her hand in the air

    Understand Your Refund - Spring 2021

    Hundreds of students end up unable to register every semester because they owe money back to the university, even after receiving a refund. Learn how to avoid being one of them.

  • University of Illinois Saves 2019

    (Re)pledge a savings goal for UISAVES 2019!

  • Virtual Financial Education title over woman sitting cross-legged with laptop

    Virtual Financial Education

    We put together a list of ways you can enhance your financial knowledge through virtual means as well as a few tips if you're teaching online for the first time.

  • What's Your Job Worth? - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Explore with us how job benefits can add up to big dollars. Walk into your new job ready to make informed choices that can significantly increase your net worth.