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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

  • 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.

  • Conscious Consumerism - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn how you can align your own behaviors with your personal values and goals with this webinar recording from November 10, 2021.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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: 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.

  • Identity Theft & Fraud - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Find out how to protect yourself from fraud, recognize identity theft, and what to do if you're affected with this webinar recording from September 15, 2021.

  • Podcast: Emergency Funds

    In episode 26 of Making Cents of Money, Emergency Funds, Jake, Nikki, and Andrea discuss the value of building emergency funds and a few ways to get started.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Podcast: Choosing a Financial Professional

    In episode 25 of Making Cents of Money, Choosing a Financial Professional, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki talk to Kathy Sweedler from University of Illinois Extension about type of financial professionals, credentials, and how to choose one that best meets your needs.

  • 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. 

  • Leveraging FinTech - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about new financial technologies as well as considerations and protections that may be helpful in choosing fintech for navigating your financial journey.

  • Podcast: Cryptocurrencies

    In episode 24 of Making Cents of Money, Cryptocurrencies, Andrea, Jake, and Nikki talk to Professor Lamont Black from DePaul University about cryptocurrencies, discussing everything from the blockchain technology behind them to their utility in the world of fintech.

  • 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.

  • Woman sitting in car smiling and holding up a car key

    Podcast: Buying a Car!

    In episode 22 of Making Cents of Money, Buying a Car!, Nikki, Andrea, and Jake explain the true costs of car ownership as well as the terms and tools to know about before you buy your next vehicle.

  • 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.

  • Travel Planning Templates

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

  • Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff Webinar Series

    Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff Webinars for 2021-2022

    The 2021-2022 Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff annual webinar series schedule is out. Register today and #GetSavvy.

  • Podcast: Budgeting

    In episode 20 of Making Cents of Money, Budgeting, Nikki, Andrea, and Jake cover a few of the most popular budgeting (or spending plan, if you prefer) methods to help you think about building a financial plan.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Conscious Credit text on image of man on bench with headphones in, tablet in one hand and credit card in the other

    Podcast: Conscious Credit

    Episode 15 of Making Cents of Money, Conscious Credit, demystifies parts of the credit system in the United States thanks to our guests, Camaya Wallace Bechard, from University of Illinois Extension, and Natalie Daniels, from DePaul University. 

  • 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.