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New financial management tool now available for students

September 13, 2011

Arizona State University students have a new financial management tool available to them that could result in more money in their pockets.

Money Matters is a personal money management  website that helps students learn about finances, how to conserve wealth and live within their means. The site comes at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.

“We’re hearing from many students and families who are in situations where finances have tightened up. It’s important for students to take charge of their finances sooner,” said Craig Fennell, director of Student Financial Assistance at ASU.

Providing information on managing money is a new service among universities.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Fennell said. “We’re counting on students to provide feedback so we can tailor this to what their needs are.”

Students can choose from a variety of topics at the site such as “personal budgeting: spending smart” that lets students take a quick quiz to determine if they are a smart shopper. Six modules are offered currently and the course offerings will expand as students offer feedback on what they would like to see on the site. Most of the site content is provided by Wells Fargo. There is no financial obligation between students, ASU and Wells Fargo and student information is not shared through the site.

ASU student peer advisors are available for appointments through the site for one-on-one sessions on money management.

“We’re trying to get students on a solid footing. Many students don’t have a bank account and many don’t do personal budgeting. They need to know where their money is coming from and where it is going,” Fennell said.

A section on “borrowing student loans: school and money” offers lessons in investing in yourself, education and earning power, where to find the money you need, an action plan and managing money in school and after graduation.

Students can find information about identity theft that teaches money safety and security and links to consumer protection Web sites. Options to consider when renting an apartment are also provided.

Banking basics are covered in a module that tests money IQ, understanding how money works, a money “tool kit” and how to stay safe. Students can also access an online library from the site to explore financial topics such as credit scores, ATM security, comparing financial aid, creating a spending plan, what to bring when you open a new account, setting personal goals, used car purchasing tips and your rights as a borrower among many other topics.

And, the best part about the new site? It’s absolutely free.