blog navigation

SMMC News & Events Blog
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.

blog posts

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

    Understand Your Refund - Spring 2022

    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.

  • Financial Resolutions white text over image of a 2023 flatlay with notebook and coffee

    Podcast: Financial Resolutions!

    In episode 54 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki & Andrea talk about some recent changes in setting new years resolutions and how to make finances part of your goals for 2023.

  • Spend Less, Travel More - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about how to spend less to travel more by watching this webinar recording from December 7, 2022.

  • airplane in sky over palm trees

    Podcast: Revisiting Travel

    In episode 53 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea & Nikki discuss a few updates to consider when traveling before re-airing the Time to Travel podcast from July 2021.

  • Quote from Oprah Winfrey: “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

    Gratitude & Personal Finances

    There are so many things to be grateful for in this life. As we go into the holiday season, in this article we will discuss about how gratitude impacts our finances. 

  • piggy bank with grad cap on money

    Podcast: Paying for College with Scholarships

    In episode 52 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea talk to special guest, Kara Holloway, Director of Scholarships at UIC, about paying for college with scholarships.

  • Pointer finger with tiny graduation cap on it

    Know What You Owe Challenge - Fall 2022

    About half of students at the University of Illinois take out loans to fund their degrees. Make sure you're not surprised by the amount of student loans you have taken out when you graduate by taking the Know What You Owe Challenge which runs November 15 - December 15, 2022.

  • Build Credit to Your Advantage - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about building credit to your advantage by watching this webinar recording from November 9, 2022.

  • phone with credit score on screen & "Credit Scores" text

    Podcast: Credit Scores

    In episode 51 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea discuss some of the ins and outs of credit scores, the credit ecosystem, and building credit to your advantage.

  • Side Hustles & Small Businesses - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about side hustles & small businesses by watching this webinar recording from October 26, 2022.

  • Man in front of chalkboard with "start up" written on it & text: Becoming an Entrepreneur

    Podcast: Becoming an Entrepreneur!

    In episode 50 of Making Cents of Money, Steve Bob from UIC Entrepreneurial Support Program joins Andrea and Nikki to discuss what to think about when it comes to starting your own business.

  • Podcast: Dealing with Emergencies

    In episode 49 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea talk about dealing with a financial emergency, not just how to plan but how to recover once an emergency happens.

  • ESG: Investing in Values to Make the World a Better Place

    Investing has become more than just seeking financial returns. It can be a means to support organizations, projects, and companies that align with your values. Read on to learn more about ESG and what it means to consumer influence.

  • Inflation: When Prices Rise - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about how inflation impacts individual consumers by watching this webinar recording from September 28 2022.

  • flatlay of stethescope, mobile phone, and clipboard with "Federal Student Loan Forgiveness" text

    Podcast: Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

    In episode 48 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki talk about the differences between the federal student loan cancellation in Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan and the temporary Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver that has a quickly approaching deadline of October 31st.

  • Hand pulling tissue out of box

    Shrinkflation

    As we get ready for our first Get Savvy webinar of fall 2022, Inflation: When Prices Rise, we wanted to share a little bit about shrinkflation - what it is and how to cope with it as a consumer.

  • 2 stacks of coins with a graduation cap on one stack. Text reads Biden Student Loan Cancellation & PSLF Limited Waiver

    Biden Student Loan Cancellation & PSLF Limited Waiver

    Not all federal student loan forgiveness programs are the same. We want to draw your attention to an upcoming deadline to be aware of if you work in public service and will still have a balance after the Biden student loan cancellations are processed.

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

    Understand Your Refund - Fall 2022

    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.

  • Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff Webinar Series

    Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff Webinars for 2022-2023

    The 2022-2023 Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff annual webinar series schedule is out. Register today and #GetSavvy.

  • IDFPR Webinars on Temporary Expanded PSLF

    IDFPR is hosting 4 webinars between now and October 30th on the temporarily expanded PSLF program for Public School Educators.

  • Chicago skyline with "Community Reinvestment Act" as text overlay

    Podcast: The Community Reinvestment Act

    In episode 47 of Making Cents of Money, Chasse Rehwinkel joined Nikki & Andrea to discuss the Community Reinvestment Act and how it is intended to support economic equality.

  • Podcast: Estate Planning

    In episode 46 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki explain many tools for estate planning, including wills, transfers, power of attorney, and more.

  • Podcast: Selling a Home

    In episode 45 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki discuss many aspects of selling a home so you can make more informed choices when it comes time to sell your own home.

  • Podcast: Shopping for Appliances

    In episode 44 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea talk about shopping for appliances, and they've focused on times when it may be a surprise shopping need!

  • Podcast: Choosing a Credit Card

    In episode 43 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea discuss what you may want to consider when it comes to choosing a credit card.

  • Podcast: Credit Access

    In episode 42 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki spoke with Camaya Wallace Bechard from University of Illinois Extension about access to credit, options for building and improving credit, and warning signs to watch out for.

  • Podcast: Student Loan Repayment (update)

    In episode 41 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki discuss some of the big updates on federal student loans that have occured over the past couple months.

  • Student Loan Repayment - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about managing student loan repayment once it restarts and the limited time PSLF waiver by watching this webinar recording from May 18, 2022.

  • 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!

  • Podcast: Farewell, Jake!

    In episode 40 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki bid farewell to long time co-host, Jake, as he transitions off the podcast and on to the next step in his career!

  • Podcast: Protecting Pets

    In episode 39 of Making Cents of Money, Protecting Pets, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki discuss pet insurance and other ways to handle the financial risk of vet bills for our pets with Presley Fee, Digital Financial Planning Program Coordinator at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Factors Influencing Financial Knowledge

    This article highlights some of the factors that influence financial knowledge, factors that affect one's appreciation of financial concepts, habits, and decisions.

  • Podcast: Mortgages

    In episode 38 of Making Cents of Money, Renting!, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki interview IDFPR's Anti-Predatory Lending Database Director, Kari Beyer, about the ins and outs of mortgages.

  • Buying vs Renting a Home - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Explore the differences between renting & buying and what to consider when deciding what's best for your situation by watching this webinar recording from April 13, 2022.

  • Financial Socialization and Influences of K-12 Financial Education on Adult Financial Decisions

    Financial socialization, as well as formal financial education in the early stages of life, do influence adult attitudes, habits, and decisions concerning money. Looking at what state legislation exists in promoting K-12 financial education as well as resources for policymakers and parents in providing spaces for early exposure to financial education may help.

  • Pointer finger with tiny graduation cap on it

    Know What You Owe Challenge - Spring 2022

    About half of students at the University of Illinois take out loans to fund their degrees. Make sure you're not surprised by the amount of student loans you have taken out when you graduate by taking the Know What You Owe Challenge which runs April 1 - May 1, 2022.

  • Financial Emergency Preparedness - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Discover tools to help you prepare for dealing with potential financial emergencies by watching this webinar recording from March 30, 2022.

  • Podcast: Renting!

    In episode 37 of Making Cents of Money, Renting!, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki discuss the basic steps and what to watch for when renting a place to live.

  • Podcast: Buying a Home!

    In episode 36 of Making Cents of Money, Buying a Home!, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki explain terminology, tools, and the basics steps of buying a home.

  • Podcast: Employment

    In episode 35 of Making Cents of Money, Employment, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki continue the podcast series on economic indicators by discussing metrics related to employment.

  • Money in Relationships - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Explore methods of communicating and managing money in relationships by watching this webinar recording from February 8, 2022.

  • Podcast: Gross National Happiness

    In episode 34 of Making Cents of Money, Gross National Happiness, Jake and Nikki discuss an alternative metric to Gross Domestic Product that some countries use to help monitor the health of their economies called Gross National Happiness.

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

    Understand Your Refund - Spring 2022

    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.

  • Steps to Investing - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn more advanced concepts to take steps to investing from this webinar recording from January 26, 2022.

  • Podcast: Establishing a Vision for Your Life

    In episode 33 of Making Cents of Money, Establishing a Vision for Your Life, Andrea, Nikki, and Jake talk to Donovan Sanchez, CFP and instructor of financial planning at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign about making meaningful money choices that allow you to live life now and make progress towards the future.

  • Podcast: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    In episode 32 of Making Cents of Money, Establishing a Vision for Your Life, Andrea, Nikki, and Jake explain Gross Domestic Product as part of an ongoing mini series on economic indicators. 

  • Planning for the Unforeseen - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about tools you can use in estate planning, like power of attorney, wills, and more, from this webinar recording from December 8, 2021.

  • Podcast: Financial Security and Stress

    In episode 31 of Making Cents of Money, Financial Security and Stress, Andrea, Nikki, and Jake talk about statistics related to both financial security and stress and tips to deal with them.

  • 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.

  • Pointer finger with tiny graduation cap on it

    Know What You Owe Challenge - Fall 2021

    About half of students at the University of Illinois take out loans to fund their degrees. Make sure you're not surprised by the amount of student loans you have taken out when you graduate by taking the Know What You Owe Challenge which runs November 15 - December 15, 2021.