UW-W goes Money Smart to teach money responsibility

Carli Pope, Assistant Biz & Tech Editor

Money Smart Week is focused on informing students how to better manage their personal finances. The program came back to UW-Whitewater for its fourth-annual week of events starting April 1.

The events helped students test their knowledge of many personal finance topics, starting with how to save money when preparing meals and purchasing groceries.

There was also a contest called Geocache for College Cash, a scavenger hunt that ended with prizes.

“Students can still play and be entered to win our big local prizes as well as the $500 national cash prize,” said Naomi Schemm, Andersen Library business reference librarian.

To enter, students could visit the posters hanging in Andersen Library, scan the codes and answer the quiz questions.

“Students seemed to enjoy the campus-wide scavenger hunt. Upon returning, all said they enjoyed it and learned something,” Schemm said.

Students used their phones to learn important topics like debit versus credit cards, identity theft, budgeting for success and the real cost of owning a car.

Sarah Corlett, a student at UW-Whitewater, noted that the events were set up in a timely fashion for students trying to take part in the events in between classes.

“The events are not very long, so it is nice to be able to go to them in between classes. They do not just take up time, but I actually learned something too,” Corlett said.

Because it’s tax season, Money Smart Week had an event focusing on taxes. Many students asked questions about their specific filing needs. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), which holds regular workshops during tax season for students, was there to respond to student questions and concerns.

Staff and community members got involved as well. Scheduled events such as a Cooking on a Dime demonstration, a Home-buying 101 seminar and a Financial Crimes presentation, which had an added benefit of providing financial information for the staff and community. The turnout for students, staff and community members was great.

The Financial Literacy Center on campus provides these services at no cost to students. The Financial Literacy Center’s website offers a wealth of personal finance information.

In addition, students can schedule private, one-on-one coaching sessions to discuss financial concerns or create a budget. Students looking for more help managing any aspect of personal finances can contact Katie Patterson at [email protected].