It Make$ Cents! offers financial education and assistance to UWL students

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It Make$ Cents! offers financial education and assistance to UWL students

uwlax.edu

uwlax.edu

uwlax.edu

uwlax.edu

Kayleigh Marshall, General Assignment Reporter

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The It Make$ Cents! office, located at 2103 Centennial Hall, provides students at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with financial guidance and money management skills. The It Make$ Cents! website says, “Our goal is to motivate, inspire a call to action, and to instill life-skills so students can sow the success that each strives to reap after graduation.”  

“Being aware and smart about finance is important to save yourself from stressing about money,” said Alyssa Kuchar, an accounting major at UWL, who also works as a bank teller at Altra Federal Credit Union. “I learned how to be smart about finances through my work at a bank, and by watching my family struggle with finances. It made me realize I didn’t want to live like that and have to worry about money.”  

The office is there for students who have questions about finances or need money management guidance“There are not any stupid questions when it comes to finances,” said Amanda Gasper, program coordinator for the It Make$ Cents! office.  

“We all need to begin asking and learning more about our personal finances. We are a free resource for students. We offer one-on-one financial consultations and coaching sessions to help educate students and help them reach their financial goals,” said Gasper.  

According to research done by Ohio State University, 70% of college students stress about finances, including paying for school and covering monthly expenses, such as rent, groceries, and utilities. Offices such as It Make$ Cents! work to help students alleviate their financial stress. “Our mission is to address the financial concerns of students that are unique to college life, and equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to integrate and maintain lifelong financial wellness,” said Gasper.   

“Students can attend any of our free events, utilize and access our website for resources, but most importantly, come in and meet with one of our It Make$ Cents! financial peer mentors,” said Gasper.  

They have fourteen financial peer mentors available to answer any questions about finances or offer budgetary and financial guidance. Peer mentors can also be easier for students to work with.  

The Resources section of the website provides calculators for interest, investments, cost of living, job salaries, loans, and savings calculators, all of which are free to use. Additionally, there are shopping resources, including an IMC student discount card with discounts for local discounts around La Crosse. There are also budgeting apps, money facts, and resources to help with taxes.  

The website also offers tools for understanding finances, such as the basics of credit, budgeting advice, and advice for talking about money within relationships.  

Additionally, the Affording College section offers resources to help college students specifically with their financial questions, with links for scholarships, loans, off campus housing, tuition costs, and repayment advice.  

“Personal finance or money management is not a required course in most high schools or on college campuses today,” said Gasper.  

Gasper added, “Research shows us that it isn’t being taught well enough in the home either. Where do people learn financial literacy skills? How can people have a positive sense of financial well-being when they aren’t sure if they are making positive or negative decisions with their money that could affect their financial future?”  

Gasper stressed that It Make$ Cents! is there to help students. “We are here to assist students in navigating the complex world of financial products, decisions around money, credit, loans, etc., and build a healthy foundation to begin to manage their financial future.” 

It Make$ Cents! offers several free events every semester centered around educating students about money management. The schedule for the 2019 Spring Semester is here. For more information about It Make$ Cents!, visit their website or visit their office in Centennial Hall.  

 

 

 

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