It’s a familiar expression, but the Student Success Centre wants to answer a more important question — “Can you talk money?”
Since November 2014, the SSC has been hard at work refining its financial literacy initiative, Mac’s Money Centre, to help students gain greater confidence when it comes to talking about their finances.
The goal is to create a culture of students who feel good about money, and provide the resources to reduce their financial stress.
“Post-secondary students are entering university with little understanding of basic financial concepts. They are unprepared to take on the challenges of planning and executing a budget and are often extremely stressed by the need to manage their funds appropriately,” says Terry Bennett, financial counsellor for Mac’s Money Centre.
Initially launched as an online resource, Mac’s Money Centre has expanded its offerings this year to include in-person services such as bi-weekly workshops and one-on-one counselling with an accredited financial counsellor.
The knowledge gained is not only useful during a student’s time at McMaster, but essential as alumni transition into the workforce and face greater financial responsibilities.
In addition to regular programming, Mac’s Money Centre hosts a variety of events which focus on generating discussion among students.
This past March, Mac’s Money Centre asked students to share their thoughts on money and finances at the “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees (Or Does It?)” event. The first question was simple — what comes to mind when you think of money?
The answers were varied. Initial comments included words like freedom, tuition, necessity and broke.
“We all have a different relationship with money so we need to first figure out what that is,” says Gina Robinson, director of the SSC. “Storytelling and sharing our values about money is key to positioning us for a successful relationship.”