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.

blog posts

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Budget Hacks Presentation Title Slide with brain icon

    Budget Hacks - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Money can be messy - it's not just about numbers, calculators and excel sheets. If you're looking for new ways to manage your money mess, we have the budget hacks for you! Learn how to take what we know about human behavior and choices to build better financial habits.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Exit Counseling is Live for Institutional Student Loan Borrowers

    If you borrowed institutional loans to pay for school and are graduating or leaving school soon, don't forget to complete your Exit Counseling to avoid a transcript hold!

  • Empty grocery store shelves

    Food Insecurity Takes on New Meaning in 2020

    As Hunger Action Month comes to a close, we're reflect on how food insecurity has looked different in 2020 than in previous years. 

  • Podcast: Banked or Unbanked - Choosing Financial Services for You

    Episode 2 of Making Cents of Money, Banked or Unbanked - Choosing Financial Services for You, is all about defining unbanked/underbanked, the differences between banks & credit unions, and how to choose the right financial institution for you. Learn from Illinois' Director of Banking, Chasse Rehwinkel, and Director of Financial Institutions, Francisco Menchaca.

  • 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! 

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff Webinar Series

    Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff Webinars

    The 2020-2021 Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff annual webinar series schedule is out. Register today and #GetSavvy.

  • Collection of Several Hundred Dollar Bill Bundles in US Currency

    How do people with vision impairments manage money?

    Vision impairments can complicate how people manage their money. Learn about ways that people with reduced vision or blindness can be empowered to navigate finances on their own.

  • Changes to Financial Coaching

    We're restructuring our services to better meet the needs of our stakeholders: students, their families, and employees across the University of Illinois System. Read about what that means for financial coaching!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How to Support Small Businesses During COVID-19

    Here are ways you can help support small businesses during COVID-19.

  • Wellness While Virtual Title over smoothie and fruit ingredients

    How to Support Wellness While Virtual

    Learn ways to enhance your overall wellness in a virtual environment. 

  • 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.

  • Coronavirus Challenges Our Financial Security with Image of Empty Wallet

    Coronavirus Challenges Our Financial Security

    We have defined a few financial terms to make it easier to stay up-to-date on how COVID-19 is impacting our finances.

  • COVID-19 Update: Changes to SMMC Services

    All financial coaching appointments will be conducted via zoom, and no in-person events or presentations will be available through SMMC until further notice. Read on for details.

  • Crow

    Friday the 13th! Financial Planning to Avoid Unlucky Losses

    Friday the 13th is often considered an unlucky day, but let's talk about how to improve your luck with personal finance!

  • 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.

  • UISAVES Week 2: Small Amounts Add Up

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

  • 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 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!

  • Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff Webinar Series (Spring 2020)

    The Spring 2020 Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff webinar series schedule is out. Register today and #GetSavvy.

  • 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.

  • Know What You Owe Challenge

    Over 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.

  • Funding New Year's Festivities

    The best way to manage your finances on New Year’s Eve is to plan ahead and set a defined budget you are comfortable with. Read more tips to save while celebrating.

  • Completing the FAFSA

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA, is “the largest source of financial aid to pay for college”. Read about important dates, tips & reminders for filing.

  • Good Food, Good Mood

    Is having to find consistent, affordable food always putting you in a bad mood?  Read our article about ways to fight food insecurity to learn of resources that can help.

  • Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff Webinar Series

    The 2019-2020 Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff annual webinar series schedule is out. Register today and #GetSavvy.

  • How to Add Digital Badges to LinkedIn

    If you have a digital badge from the University of Illinois Digital Badges Program, you may have noticed that there's a new backpack system to use. Since the transition from Mozilla Backpack to Badgr Backpack, there's a new way to create collections that can be placed on LinkedIn. 

    We created a tutorial to help you display your badges on LinkedIn after you've transitioned to using Badgr.

  • Fall 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.

  • Know What You Owe Challenge

    Over 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.

  • 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. 

  • University of Illinois Saves 2019

    (Re)pledge a savings goal for UISAVES 2019!

  • 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.

  • International Student Financial Wellness Survey

    The University of Illinois Student Money Management Center developed a survey specifically for international students to learn about your unique financial struggles and habits because of how important you are to the community and enriching diversity for all three of our universities in the University of Illinois System. 

  • Defeat the Debt Monster

    Students across the University of Illinois System are needed to Defeat the Debt Monster between October 1 – October 29 for a chance to win one of three $25 gift cards.

    Discover ways to defeat your personal debt monster!

  • Get $avvy - Grow Your Green $tuff Webinar Series

    The 2018-2019 Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff annual webinar series schedule is out. Register today and #GetSavvy.

  • Mobile Wallets: Know the Risks & Rewards

    Mobile wallets are a digital way to keep your financial tools and resources in your mobile device. Learn more about the risks & rewards of mobile wallets so you can best protect your hard-earned money.

  • Top Tips for Tax-Filing

  • IOUs: There's an App for That!

    Have you heard of Venmo? Squarecash? These are just a few of the apps that allow you to send money to anyone, anywhere, anytime.  From a convenience standpoint, these advances are amazing—but what are the costs of convenience?

  • My Account is in Collections! Now What?

    Tips to help you cope with & resolve accounts in collections.

  • Expect the Unexpected: Saving For Emergencies

    Planning for the unexpected can ensure that you are able to weather a financial hardship should you lose your job, have a car repair, or any other unplanned expense. By having savings set aside for emergencies, you decrease the need to rely on credit cards or loans to cover emergency situations. Your college years can be an ideal time to create and build your emergency savings.