Looking for a way to give back to the community? What better way than by empowering others to take control of their finances. If you’re comfortable managing money and would like to help others take steps forward in their lives, University of Illinois Extension’s Money Mentor program may be the right fit for you.

Many people are looking to make a change in their financial lives, but don’t know where to start. Making financial decisions and handling money is not something we’re born knowing how to do. Often people who are looking for help want support to work towards a goal, or they may want a sounding board as they consider choices such as how to save for multiple goals at one time. Or, they may to develop a plan to pay down debt and want someone to be accountable to. It’s hard to change habits and having a financial coach – like a Money Mentor – can make a difference.

The Money Mentors program depends on trained volunteers to help community members develop spending plans, set financial goals, reduce debt and build savings. People come to Money Mentors seeking to improve their financial situation and looking for someone to provide positive feedback as they make big changes in their financial behaviors. University of Illinois Extension’s program combines research-based education with financial coaching to help people reach their financial goals.

After going through 30 hours of training, Money Mentor volunteers work one-on-one with people who request help with personal money management. Mentors and participants come from all walks of life and ages. All mentoring help is free and confidential.

Training begins Oct. 1. For more information, visit go.illinois.edu/moneymentors. Anyone is welcome to apply and no previous financial education is needed.

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