Monday, November 11, 2013

October 2013

This month we visisted many residence halls, classes, and student organizations. We loved getting to meet so many UNL students and help answer their money management questions!

We had all the freshmen in the OASIS program complete Money Olympics, as well as had the most highly attended WH Thompson Scholars workshop, which was also Money Olympics!

We were lucky to be a part of the Afrikan Peoples Union's Life event, as well as host a Money Game Night for Courtyards residence hall. We also had fun hosting a Money Quiz Show for the Multicultural Business Students Association.

We also loved being part of haunted houses around campus!

We also were able to talk to parents at New Student Enrollment, and work with our Freshmen Campus Leadership Association to create new money resources.

We appreciate UNL Housing letting us present to all their employees and for your great support of the SMMC!

We ended the month by teaching a class on budgeting for graduating seniors, having a workshop with Student Legal Services about smart car buying, and being part of Career Services' Financing Grad School panel.

We were also extremely busy with appointments and walk-ins. Our one-on-one Money Boot Camp is becoming popular!

What a busy, but fun, month!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 2013

This month we were lucky to be busy presenting fun money management workshops and activities all over campus.

In the residence halls, we had several "Money Truth or Dare" events where students learned important money management tips, shared their own experiences with money, and completed money-themed dares. All the participants also got to decorate their own piggy banks!

We debuted our new workshop format - Money Olympics. Participants complete a series of 8 activities that involve money management infographics and fun physical activities, while competing for prizes. The Nebraska College Preparatory Academy and the NU Athletics Life Skills program loved this workshop!

We also participated in Mid-Semester Check. We presented information for freshmen on how to save money throughout your UNL career, as well as how to reach your financial goals.

We partnered with the UNL Health Center to present budget-friendly snack ideas at the DN's Taste of Lincoln events, and passed out tips for preparing for study abroad trips, and how to save money when traveling, at the UNL Education Abroad Fair.

We have had lots of walk-in traffic in the office this semester and enjoy helping students find answers to their money questions!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August 2013

We had a fun month welcoming our students back to campus!

We focused on creating our Fall 2013 promotional materials, including a tip booklet that included a variety of money management tips to help students save up to $15,000 per year!

We had the opportunity to be involved in the training program for University Housing's RAs. We provided fun bulletin board kits that included tips for how to prevent the "World's Biggest Rip-offs."

We also participated in Big Red Welcome. During the Party at the Union, students decorated piggy cupcakes, which were a hit!

We participated in all the Welcome Back events, where we supplied our best "Money Secrets" for starting the new school year on the path to money success!

This year we are focusing more on dispersing financial education through social media. In August, our social media users went up over 70%! We have created interesting, relevant money management campaigns for Facebook and Twitter.

We had lots of visitors to the SMMC during August, with questions about everything from understanding financial aid, to how to pay the student bill, to buying a new car, to setting up a Roth IRA. We're so happy we got to get to know so many of our new students, as well as our upperclassmen.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July 2013

What a busy and fun month! New Student Enrollment took up the first part of July. We were so lucky to be able to present important money management education to the parents of our new freshmen! Thank you to all the parents who attended our "Money Smart" session and thanks for asking great questions!

We were also happy to participate in UNL Admissions events, including the fun Power Up conference. We had a great time teaching students how interest rates work.

We also spent time strengthening our relationships with a variety of other UNL programs and departments and planned our money management activity collaborations for the fall semester.

We held our annual Advisory Board meeting. We thank our Advisory Board members for their help with finalizing our program strategy for the next academic year.

Following are some items we wish to accomplish this year:
  • We want to teach as many students as possible the main principles of personal finance.
  • At every opportunity, we want to help students build confidence in their money management abilities and help them improve their relationships with money.
  • We want to be more meaningful about making our own students ambassadors for financial empowerment.
  • We want to focus more on getting students ready for life after college.
  • We want to be the money education supplement for other UNL programs.
  • We want students to identify us as the knowledge provider when they are making specific financial decisions.

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 2013

This month we visited a variety of Lincoln community organizations to distribute financial education resources.

We were excited for the start of New Student Enrollment. It was fun to create our information fair display and our "Money Secrets" hand-outs for both the students and their parents. We were so happy to get to meet the parents of our new UNL students and help them understand how they can help their students be money smart while they are in college and throughout their lives. We received many positive comments about our Money Smart workshop, which we greatly appreciate!

We started our financial education class for the Upward Bound program, a group of high school students from the Lincoln community. This summer they are competing in the Money Olympics, which includes a variety of fun activities aimed at teaching students how to build good financial habits.  

We are also busy organizing a UNL Student Affairs Poster Session, which is part of our involvement in tour Student Affairs What Matters Research Group.

Our own Erin Wirth was recognized by the Lincoln Journal Star for being one of Lincoln's 20 Under 40. This award is based on her professional achievements and community involvement. Congrats!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May 2013

This month we were honored to receive an award from the American Marketing Association for building a financial education brand.

We had a great SMMC Board of Directors meeting, where we reviewed our program accomplishments and challenges from the spring semester and discussed our future program strategy.

We wrote articles for financial literacy professional journals highlighting what we've learned about financial literacy and college students. We also wrote articles for University publications aimed at the parents of our students.

We had the opportunity to network with financial professionals who conduct research on the financial literacy of Americans through our leadership role in the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education's Annual Research Conference.

We also spent time at Lincoln high schools and community organizations, including the People's City Mission, presenting financial literacy workshops and helping with job-readiness activities.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 2013

This month we helped organize Money Smart Week, a state-wide public awareness campaign. We had the opportunity to promote financial literacy and Money Smart Week at the State Capital and received recognition from our Governor.

Other Money Smart Week events included performing Financial Health Check-ups at the Nebraska Heart Health Fair. On campus we held UNL Reality Checks, where we helped graduating seniors create financial plans. We also had a great time at the UNL Health Center's Stress Free Zone, where we shared ideas for budget-friendly Mother's Day gifts.

Other Money Smart Week activities included a money smart pledge contest, money saving tip contest, money smart quiz, media campaign, and social media campaign, which received over 1,900 views.

We held fun money workshops for several campus groups, including the Order of Omega. We had our money machine out at the Campus NightLife End of Year Carnival. We also helped complete tax returns at the UNL Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site.

We were also busy creating resources, including a Student Loan Money Boot Camp, which we distributed at the UNL Housing Student Debt event. Additionally, we completed several personalized financial education resources for student organizations, which they have found to be useful and entertaining!

This month was also filled with one-on-one appointments with students of every age. Following is a quote from one of our students:

"Going through a session at the SMMC gives you another perspective, helps make you aware of options you may not have been aware of, and helps you make better decisions."

Monday, April 1, 2013

March 2013

This month was filled with one-on-one money coaching sessions. Popular topics were rebuilding credit scores, managing debt, creating spending plans, completing taxes, and student loan repayment plans.

We were delighted to be involved in several UNL events, including helping to kick off UNL Women's Week by sponsoring a luncheon. We had a great panel of guest speakers who gave tips for how women can become successful in their professions. We also promoted the importance of financial literacy and how being a good money manager will help women achieve overall well-being.

We were happy to be one of the sponsors for the DN's Housing Fair. We want to help students be smart about choosing off-campus housing through our Budget-Friendly Off-Campus Housing campaigns.

We had a great workshops with WH Thompson Scholars, UNL Student Legal Services, PSYCH 100 classes, UNL Wellness Advocates, and other student groups. We always have a lot of laughs! Workshop activities included money quizzes and decorating piggy banks.

We completed several resources, including a Guide to Off-Campus Housing and several Money Challenges activities. We helped education parents on off-campus housing through the Parent's Association newsletter.

We also were excited to be guest columnists in the UNL Credit Union's newsletter. We wrote about how parents can help their teenagers build good financial habits. Additionally, we were honored to be included in an article about financial literacy that was published on NewsNetNebraska.

We finished up our first money management class at the People's City Mission. We will miss all the amazing women we met. Additionally, we were happy to help out at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site at the Malone Center, as well as judge a business plan contest for the Nebraska Future Business Leaders of America. Congrats to all the participants!

We also attended Cause Camp, an event designed to help non-profits creatively market their programs and services and worked on compiling research results to showcase at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education's annual conference.