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The Money Mentors program is ongoing during these extraordinary times. Mentors are available to help people by phone, email and online meetings. Currently, the Money Mentors program is available in Champaign, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston, McLean, Vermilion, Will, and Woodford counties.
What is the Money Mentor Program?
Sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, the Money Mentors program is a network of trained volunteers who work one-on-one with individuals who request help with personal money management.
Money Mentors are available to meet with participants online or by phone.
Money Mentors assist individuals in our community with personal finance strategies, including:
- Establishing Financial Goals
- Building Savings
- Managing Credit
- Organizing Finances
As a participant, you can meet one time (for example, if you have a few questions about money management) or you can commit to meeting via phone or a virtual communication mode at least once a month over a four-month period. After four months of mentoring you can decide if you'd like to continue meeting with your mentor.
The goal for each meeting is to determine the most important steps a mentee can make to move towards her or his financial goals. Money Mentor volunteers are trained in problem-solving and financial coaching strategies to help participants move forward.
What do Money Mentors volunteers do?
Money Mentors volunteers build financial capacity in our local communities by providing financial education and coaching to individuals. Mentoring consists of working one-on-one with people who have asked for help with their personal finances and doing community outreach through displays, community talks, and other projects.
What qualifications do I need to become a Money Mentor?
Anyone can become a Money Mentor volunteer--it does not require a degree in financial planning! You do, however, need to:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have good communication and interpersonal skills
- Possess the ability to work with individuals in a respectful and nonjudgmental manner
- Maintain participant confidentiality and trust
- Have access to email, telephone and transportation
- Devote time to attend all training sessions and volunteer commitments
- Commit to following University of Illinois Extension's research-based financial education strategies and recommendations
What is required to become a Money Mentor?
Money Mentors volunteers receive approximately 30 hours of training in money management, financial mentoring, and community resources. Some home study is required. Opportunities are provided during training to apply financial knowledge to case examples and to practice mentoring skills. An application, interview, and background check are required before being accepted as a mentor.
Following the training, each volunteer agrees to complete 30 volunteer hours annually in financial mentoring and community outreach. During the year, 12 hours of continuing education is also expected. Money Mentors meet monthly for continuing training as well as planning projects.
Is there a cost to become a Money Mentor?
A one-time $40 fee helps cover training and material costs. Partial scholarships are available if needed.
Interested in becoming a Money Mentor volunteer?
Thank you for your interest in the Money Mentors volunteer program. To apply to be a Money Mentor, please complete the Money Mentor Application.
Build Your Savings Account: Ideas to jump-start your savings.
Budgeting Excel Form: Plan and evaluate your spending.
Dollars from Dimes: How do small, regular habits add up over time? Check out this worksheet!
Financial Calendar: When do your bills arrive? Mark these dates on the calendar and then you can plan to make your payments in a timely manner.
Finding and Using Community Resources: Where to find a variety of community resources, including food banks, shelters, support for children or seniors, physical and mental health information, and even factual consumer information.
Income Tracking: Use this worksheet to track your different income sources during a year.
Inventory of Accounts: An inventory of financial accounts can be very helpful to family members when you are incapacitated or die. Too often assets go unclaimed because family members aren't aware of financial assets.
Organize Debt: Take the first step towards debt repayment and gather information about each of your debts.
SMART Goals: You can write achievable financial goals.
Weekly Expenses: Track how you spend your money.
Occasional and Seasonal Expenses: Use this chart to help you estimate these expenses and include them in your spending plan.
Please report all hours you volunteer as a Money Mentor at https://volunteer.extension.illinois.edu/
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