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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

  • Building Wealth After Graduation

    Podcast: Building Wealth After Graduation

    In episode 80 of Making Cents of Money, Building Wealth After Graduation, Donovan Sanchez returns to talk about how to navigate juggling multiple goals during the transition to life after college.

  • What happens when a bank fails? in white text over picture of piggy bank sinking in water

    Podcast: What Happens When a Bank Fails?

    In episode 79 of Making Cents of Money, What Happens When a Bank Fails?, Chicago City Comptroller and former Illinois Director of Banking, Chasse Rehwinkel joins us to discuss recent incidents of bank failure and how these differed from others in history.

  • Save Money on Food

    Webinar Recording: Save Money on Food

    Hungry for savings? Uncover tricks for affordable dining. Say goodbye to overspending and hello to tasty savings. 

  • Is Crypto the Wild West? with a sunset and silhouettes of saguaro cacti.

    Podcast: Is Crypto the Wild West?

    In episode 78 of Making Cents of Money, Is Crypto the Wild West?, David DeCarlo and Jake Hamilton join us to discuss what regulation does and does not exist for consumers regarding crypto.

  • Episode 77 - Tax Talk with two people speaking to each other over some paperwork.

    Podcast: Tax Talk

    In episode 77 of Making Cents of Money, Tax Talk, Andrea and Nikki talk tax... forms, terms, and more as the April 15 federal tax deadline approaches.

  • What is Crypto Anyway?

    Podcast: What is Crypto Anyway?

    In episode 76 of Making Cents of Money, What is Crypto Anyway?, Jake Hamilton, a previous podcast co-host, comes back to provide an overview of how crypto works and what the future looks like for this financial technology.

  • Money in Your Entrepreneurial Pursuit

    Webinar Recording: Money In Your Entrepreneurial Pursuit

    Master your finances as an entrepreneur. Learn best practices for money management while building your business.

  • Podcast: Setting & Prioritizing Financial Goals

    In episode 75 of Making Cents of Money, Setting & Prioritizing Financial Goals, Nikki and Andrea discussed several strategies for setting, prioritizing, and re-prioritizing financial goals... just in time for the new year! 

  • Your Financial Tool Chest

    Webinar Recording: Your Financial Tool Chest

    Unlock the power of financial tools! Explore the best services for your goals, safety, and cost-efficiency.

  • Behavioral Economics: Five Ways to Shift Your Habits

    When considering decision-making in terms of your finances, it’s important to understand behavioral economics so we can develop healthier spending habits and save money along the way.

  • Talking to Family About Money During Holidays

    As the holidays are coming in, you are probably thinking of the trips, events, food, and gifts that come with it. However, this holiday, you may consider having a conversation with your family about how the pressures of this season can affect your resources (financial or otherwise).

  • Spooked by Spending Plans?

    Webinar Recording: Spooked by Spending Plans?

    Discover spending motivations and find money management tools that work for you to face your financial fears.

  • Refinancing an International Education Loan in the United States

    Suhas Vetri Annamalai, SMMC Support Specialist and student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's College of Law, discusses multiple factors to consider when deciding if refinancing your international student loan in the U.S. is the right choice for you.

  • Read Before You Sign: Renting & Leasing

    Webinar Recording: Read Before You Sign

    Get savvy about renting & leasing! Understand your rights & responsibilities when it comes to renting a place to live. 

  • Breaking a Rental Lease in Illinois

    Kwabena Sarfo Adjei, SMMC Support Specialist and LLM student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's College of Law, describes how he was able to get out of his rental lease after finding the rental property did not meet his expectations.

  • 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.

  • Decreasing Borrowing While in School

    Student loans can be a valuable tool for increasing access to higher education, but it does come with a cost. Learn how to limit those costs while in school so you decrease future costs of compounding interest.

  • Funding a College Education

    Funding your education can be a daunting task, but there are many tools to help students and their families cover the cost of a college education.

  • Financial Aid Notifications: Cost of Attendance is Estimated

    Financial aid notifications, or award letters, contain valuable information that help you understand the costs of college. However, it's important to remember that Cost of Attendance is an estimate.

  • Identifying Expenses: Fixed, Flexible, or Occasional?

    If you're looking for a better understanding of how to categorize expenses in your budget or spending plan, explore the differences between fixed, flexible, and occassional costs.

  • 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®.

  • Screenshot of google map for financial institutions created by SMMC with white text: Financial Institutions Map

    Banking Locations Near Each University

    Looking for a financial institution on campus? Explore our Google Map for locations on or close to each campus in the University of Illinois System.

  • Tax Filing 101: Forms & Facts You Need to Know

    As we get closer to the tax filing deadline for the United States, it is important to knwo the intricacies and important forms for filing taxes.

  • 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.

  • Wealth Building as a Balancing Act text over image of hand holding a balanced scale

    Podcast: Wealth Building as a Balancing Act

    In episode 55 of Making Cents of Money, Donovan Sanchez from University of Illinois' Financial Planning program talks about wealth building as a balancing act.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Inflation: When Prices Rise - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

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

  • Hand pulling tissue out of box


    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.

  • 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: 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!

  • 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.

  • Financial Literacy Around the World

    Financial education influences financial literacy and financial well-being around the world. This article highlights some statistics on financial literacy around the world, financial inclusion as well as financial resilience.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: 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, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Andrea, Nikki, and Jake explain Gross Domestic Product as part of an ongoing mini series on economic indicators. 

  • 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.

  • 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: 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.

  • 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.