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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

  • Chair with mortarboard / graduation cap hanging over the edge of the top of the chair with the words "6 Considerations for Finding Funding During COVID-19

    6 Considerations for Finding Funding During COVID-19

    Finding money for your education, especially grad school, can be more difficult now. Read the 6 considerations for finding funding during COVID-19 to learn about searching for fellowships. 

  • Creating Your Own Financial Education Plan

    Use this guide to identify what modules in the University of Illinois Financial Literacy Badges Program align with your financial education needs and make a learning plan for yourself!

  • Plan a Webinar Watch Party

    Facilitator Guide - How to Throw a Webinar Watch Party

    We aren't able to accommodate workshops by request, but we have dozens of webinar recordings on YouTube and plan new, live webinars each academic year on different financial topics. You can empower your peers or students with increased financial knowledge by throwing a webinar watch party.

  • Finding Funding Opportunities: Insights From a Current PhD Student

    Funding is one of the biggest factors in determining what kind of financial decisions you make as a graduate student. Taking on federal student loans, using your employment to fund your degree, using your savings, getting help from family members, etc. We all want to make decisions that will benefit us most--and while the above are all good options depending on your individual situation, nothing beats “free money” like fellowships, assistantships, grants and scholarships. 

  • Investing Basics - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Investing - it's not for the faint of heart, because investing in the stock market involves risk. Knowing and understanding terminology, fees, types of professionals, as well as investment methods can be a whirlwind of terms and confusing concepts. Learn the basics and have a better understanding on how investing works!

  • 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: 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: 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Podcast: Financial Planner vs AI

    In episode 65 of Making Cents of Money, Financial Planner vs AI, we discuss the pros and cons of using Artificial Intelligence language model, ChatGPT, to answer financial planning questions with the help of Donovan Sanchez, CFP®.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Magnifying glass over newspaper focusing on Interest Rates with white text that reads "The Impact of Compound Interest"

    Podcast: The Impact of Compound Interest

    In episode 70 of Making Cents of Money, The Impact of Compound Interest, Andrea and Nikki explore the complicated relationship we can have with compound interest when it comes to accomplishing financial goals.

  • Man smiling while holding paycheck. White text reads "Understanding Your Paycheck"

    Podcast: Understanding Your Paycheck

    In episode 69 of Making Cents of Money, Understanding Your Paycheck, Nikki and Andrea talk about something you're bound to love: your paycheck!

  • Image with line chart and graph behind white text that reads World Investor Week

    Podcast: World Investor Week

    In episode 71 of Making Cents of Money, World Investor Week, Andrea interviews Alan Sorcher and Anne McKinley from the US Securities & Exchange Commission in honor of World Investor Week on ways investors can learn about securities throughout the year.

  • Saving Up for a Side Hustle

    To complement our Side Hustles & Small Businesses webinar from last fall, we wanted to share some tips on saving up for starting a small business.

  • 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.

  • Side Hustles & Small Businesses - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

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

  • 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.

  • Steps to Investing: What to Know Now

    Webinar Recording: Steps to Investing - What to Know Now

    Ready to start investing? Learn investing basics and explore new trends in securities. 

  • 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.