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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

  • Executing a Power of Attorney in Illinois

    A power of attorney (POA) is a tool to enable someone else to make decisions on your behalf. There are several types of POAs and their functions differ. Read this article to find answers to many questions about POAs.

  • Variable Insurance: Protection Product or Security?

    Learn about how variable insurance differs from traditional whole and term life insurance policies and what to keep in mind if you are considering variable insurance.

  • Don't Get Phished: Avoid Scams & Fraud

    Webinar Recording: Don't Get Phished

    Stay one step ahead of scams and fraud! Learn ways to protect yourself, recognize identity theft, and take action if affected.  

  • The Financial Impact of Digital Illiteracy

    Podcast: The Financial Impact of Digital Illiteracy

    In episode 68 of Making Cents of Money, The Financial Impact of Digital Illiteracy, Andrea and Nikki explore the financial implications of digital Illiteracy in our digital age.

  • What's a Credit Report Anyway?

    Podcast: What's a Credit Report Anyway?

    In episode 67 of Making Cents of Money, What's a Credit Report Anyway?, Nikki and Andrea discuss what's in your credit reports and how to get them at AnnualCreditReport.com.

  • Password Managers

    Podcast: Password Managers

    In episode 66 of Making Cents of Money, Password Managers, we explore what password managers are and how they can be leveraged to protect your important information.

  • How I Avoided a Phone Call Scam in My First Week in the United States

    This article is meant to put people, particularly first-time travellers in the United States (US), on alert on the activities of phone call scammers. 

  • hand stacking blocks with icons representing healthcare and "Health Insurance Dissected" text

    Health Insurance Dissected - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Dissect the ins and outs of health insurance by watching this webinar recording from April 12, 2023.

  • Image of earth from space with "How Your Spending Can Change the World" in white text

    How Your Spending Can Change the World - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Explore how your spending can change the world by watching this webinar recording from March 29, 2023.

  • White piggy bank with text: Investing to Reach Financial Goals

    Podcast: Investing to Reach Financial Goals

    In episode 57 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki interviewed Alan Sorcher and Anne McKinley from the US Securities and Exchange Commission on strategic ways to approach investing to build wealth.

  • Balance board with risks and rewards blocks on each end & "Investing Risks & Rewards" text overlaid

    Investing Risks & Rewards - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Discover investing risks & rewards by watching this webinar recording from February 8, 2023.

  • Fintech and Digital Assets text on image of hands holding phone with money signs above it

    Podcast: Fintech and Digital Assets

    In episode 56 of Making Cents of Money, David DeCarlo, IDFPR's Regulatory Innovation Officer, discussed what consumers should know about digital assets and regulation in this new era of fintech.

  • Image of cat in background with "Memes & Money: What are the Facts?" text overlaid

    Memes & Money: What are the Facts? - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about money memes, digital assets, and more by watching this webinar recording from January 25, 2023.

  • 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.

  • 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: 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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: 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: Financial Education and Financial Literacy

    Episode 9 of Making Cents of Money, Financial Education and Financial Literacy, reviewed the state of financial literacy in the United States, programs for pre-K through high school students, and resources to help parents and teachers support learning about finances in a variety of ways.

  • 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: 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: Fending Off Fraud

    Episode 6 of Making Cents of Money, Fending Off Fraud, discusses what you need to know about the different types of fraud scamers use (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, how to prevent fraud, and what to do if you become a victim.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.