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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

  • Financial Resolutions white text over image of a 2023 flatlay with notebook and coffee

    Podcast: Financial Resolutions!

    In episode 54 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki & Andrea talk about some recent changes in setting new years resolutions and how to make finances part of your goals for 2023.

  • 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.

  • airplane in sky over palm trees

    Podcast: Revisiting Travel

    In episode 53 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea & Nikki discuss a few updates to consider when traveling before re-airing the Time to Travel podcast from July 2021.

  • piggy bank with grad cap on money

    Podcast: Paying for College with Scholarships

    In episode 52 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea talk to special guest, Kara Holloway, Director of Scholarships at UIC, about paying for college with scholarships.

  • Build Credit to Your Advantage - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

    Learn about building credit to your advantage by watching this webinar recording from November 9, 2022.

  • phone with credit score on screen & "Credit Scores" text

    Podcast: Credit Scores

    In episode 51 of Making Cents of Money, Nikki and Andrea discuss some of the ins and outs of credit scores, the credit ecosystem, and building credit to your advantage.

  • Side Hustles & Small Businesses - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

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

  • 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: 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.

  • Inflation: When Prices Rise - Get Savvy Webinar Recording

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

  • flatlay of stethescope, mobile phone, and clipboard with "Federal Student Loan Forgiveness" text

    Podcast: Federal Student Loan Forgiveness

    In episode 48 of Making Cents of Money, Andrea and Nikki talk about the differences between the federal student loan cancellation in Biden-Harris Administration's Student Debt Relief Plan and the temporary Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver that has a quickly approaching deadline of October 31st.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cultural Influences (Socialization) on Financial Literacy and Habits

    This is the final article in the series for Financial Literacy Month. The article focuses on how cultural influences (socialization) affect financial literacy and habits.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.