Financial Literacy Month

This November, join Mac’s Money Centre as we help you to dream big and make your dreams a reality. Increase your knowledge and money management skills so that you can feel confident when it comes to making decisions about money.

What’s financial literacy?

Where does your money go?

In a recent National College Health Assessment Survey, results confirmed that finances were one of the top three stressors facing McMaster University students. This is not a surprise given that only 6 out of every 10 Canadians have basic financial skills. Understanding where your money goes, how you can minimize debt and better balance your monthly expenses, will give you the confidence and skills you need to make good financial decisions now and in the future.

We want you to feel good about money, not be stressed by it. Through Mac’s Money Centre, we offer online and in-person resources and tools to help you become more financially aware and savvy.

Talking about money doesn't have to be stressful; talking about these things can be fun and empowering, too. In fact, it's absolutely necessary that students talk about finances so that they can make informed financial decisions that will impact their future.

Gina Robinson, Director, Student Success Centre, and Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

Things to look forward to…

It’s the contest of your dreams!

We have a month’s worth of free events and workshops, so mark your calendar!

Attend a starred (*) workshop or event (Money Talks or Cooking on a Budget), or book a money coaching appointment during November and you will be entered to win a chance of having your textbooks bought for the Winter term, courtesy of the Student Success Centre.

Money Talks*

November 13, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., The Grind/TwelvEighty

Food + mocktails + real advice from financial experts.

Be part of an interactive evening, featuring four financial experts who have powered their way to success. Topics and the incredible line-up include:

  • Conquering Imposter Syndrome: Sarah Zandbergen, Senior Program Specialist, stnce
  • Money Mindset: Vanessa Bowen, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner
  • Monetize Your Side Hustle: Lauren Smith, Entrepreneur
  • Power to Success: Kim Kukulowicz, Senior Vice President, Residential Sales at EQ Bank
  • With moderator Katherine Hesson-Bolton, Diversity Employment Coordinator

After the conversation, there will be an audience Q&A with our speakers and a mingle.

McMastering Mac and Cheese: A food lover’s dream!*

November 20, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Bridges Café

We’re putting a new and healthy spin on a classic dish, but keeping it affordable and delicious. The SSC has teamed up with Hospitality Services to put a twist on one of the greatest comfort foods: mac and cheese.

Join us at this interactive cooking event where you will learn how to make the recipe and enjoy free samples. Remember — if you can dream it, you can do it!

Chef Leigh Laidlaw and Liana Bontempo (Hospitality Service’s Wellness and Sustainability Manager) will be presenting, cooking and answering questions from the audience at this event.

Mac’s Money Centre representatives will also be at the event to give you tips on how to eat well on a budget, and to answer any other financial questions you may have.

All of the food at this event will be vegetarian-friendly.

AMA in Residence

November 25, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Mary Keyes Lobby

Come ask a Mac’s Money Coach your money questions at this AMA (ask me anything) session.

Dealing With Debt and the High Costs of Education*

November 4, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., GH 110

Anxiety caused by student loans and everyday expenses can be a burden. How can you alleviate some of the stress? Stop by the Student Success Centre, and we’ll check out some financial strategies and tools to help you cope with this stress.

Yikes! What are my expenses?*

November 7, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., GH 110

It’s important to plan your spending now. You don’t want to find out mid-semester that you’re out of money. Join us and learn how to make a spending plan and develop money-saving strategies.

Where does all my money go?*

November 18, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., GH 110

Let’s discuss some hidden costs that you might not consider when putting together a budget. At this event, we’ll evaluate all of the spending categories in a typical student budget. We’ll also discuss common money wasters and give you tips on how to avoid them.

Cheap vs. Frugal*

November 25, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., GH 110

You need to evaluate how you spend your money. Are you cheap or are you frugal? There really is a difference!

Come to this event and we’ll show you how to create and manage effective spending habits.

Smart Credit: Building Your Credit Report*

November 28, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., GH 110

We’re here to help you learn about the various types of credit and how you can build a great credit score. Join us at this event. We’ll let you in on all the secrets to success in the credit world.


Join us every Monday in November for #MoneyMondays.

On Sunday evenings, we will post a theme and take questions on @MacSSC’s Instagram story. Our money coaches will answer back every Monday.

93.3 CFMU: Smart Money Moves to Make in University

November 5, 9:00 a.m.

Tune in to this edition of CFMU’s Fall 2019 Talk Series to get tips and guidance on budgeting, paying for school and saving money.

Terry Bennett, Mac’s Money Coach, and Gina Robinson, Student Success Centre Director, will give you their expert financial advice and tell you about all the services they offer at Mac’s Money Centre.

Facebook Live: Making Your Travel Dreams a Reality

November 18, 12:30 p.m.

Make your travel dreams happen.

Follow @MacSSC’s Facebook page for a conversation with our money coach, Terry, and Karolina Armstrong, a Mac grad who travelled the world on a budget.

Karolina learned how to live abroad on a budget through the Student Work Abroad Program, which gave her the chance to work in England and then travel across Europe. Later, she travelled throughout Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, New Zealand and Australia — all on a budget.

Join the conversation to hear Karolina’s tips on how you can make your travel dreams come true on any budget.


Money Coach Appointments

Deciding how to spend your money is up to you, but we can help you make good financial decisions that will impact you now and in the future.

Make an appointment to speak with an accredited money coach who can provide information on:

  • juggling bills
  • making a spending plan
  • shopping for a credit card
  • debt repayment
  • setting financial goals
  • investing
  • and more!

Financial Literacy Month is supported by:

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