In order to help UNT students avoid becoming part of the significant number of Americans who do not have $500 in savings to address a financial emergency, Student Money Management Center (SMMC) graduate assistants and peer mentors partnered together this semester to create a virtual saving club – Club B.I.G.I. (Bank It. Grow It.).

“Club B.I.G.I. came about because we discovered that a lot of students do not have any sort of savings for when they prepare to move into the real world,” said Michael Silvey, SMMC graduate assistant. “Club B.I.G.I. seeks to provide them with information on how easy it is to save money.”

The goal of the club is to help motivate, encourage and inspire students to save $500 by the end of the spring semester. By attaining this goal within one academic year, students will not fall victim to becoming another statistic. After the successful attainment of a year’s goal, the SMMC hopes students will be able to build a transition fund that will help lessen personal financial stress when they transition into life after UNT as successful graduates.

Currently, 325 students are participating in the club. Each month, the SMMC sends out a newsletter that lists information from the center as well as savings tips that are based around that particular month. For example, for October, the SMMC encouraged students to look at thrift stores for Halloween costume ideas before heading to big name-brand places. Students are also encouraged to attend at least two coaching sessions throughout the semester, attend at least two educational programs throughout the semester and be active on at least one of the SMMC’s social media sites. In the coaching sessions, students can talk about anything that has to do with their finances. In the workshops, students are provided with information on how to live life in college without breaking the bank. Through social media, the SMMC provides students with opportunities and education on how to save money while still having fun.

“I am especially proud of the program concept and implementation because it reflects the very best in innovative, student-centered student-driven programming,” said Paul Goebel, director of the SMMC.

For more information on the Student Money Management Center, visit

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Contact: Ray Willhoft, 940-565-2464,