Off-Campus Life’s Money Magnet Financial Literacy Program assists students in gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to make well-informed and contemplative monetary decisions that impact their daily lives. From budgeting for food, fashion, and fun with friends the financial literacy program assists students in learning how to plan and execute projects with a spending plan while propelling them to become a Madison Money Magnet. This program helps guide students to develop their own strategies for their specific needs and aspirations for now and in the future.

  • Stocks, Investing, and Retirement Planning| March 4, 2024, in Taylor Hall, Room 306 @ 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm: OCL Presents Jaideep Chowdhry Join us for an enriching workshop on stock and investing where you'll gain invaluable insights into the dynamic world of financial markets. From understanding the fundamentals of stock trading to mastering advanced investment strategies, this workshop offers a comprehensive learning experience suitable for beginners and seasoned investors alike. Explore the nuances of market analysis, portfolio management, and risk assessment, equipping yourself with the knowledge and confidence to navigate the complexities of investing with precision and success. Whether you're looking to build your wealth, secure your financial future, or simply enhance your understanding of the stock market, this workshop promises to be an enlightening journey towards financial empowerment.
  • A Humorous Guide to Financial Freedom| March 27, 2024, in Festival Conference and Student Center, Ballroom A @ 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm: OCL Welcomes back Colin Ryan to present “A Humorous Guide to Financial Freedom." Colin believes that your ability to handle your finances directly affects your ability to have the life you want. So, what do you want your money story to look like? Colin Ryan uses humor, storytelling, and interactivity to teach what you need to know about building wealth & managing money as a college student. You’ll learn the knowledge and skills you need, plus how to find your experts and define the vision for your big life. 
  • Secrets of Financial Success - "Budegeting and planning" | April 02, 2024, inTaylor Hall, Room 306 @ 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm: With the best personal finance approach, retiring as a millionaire is within reach of most Americans.  But most people do not reach their wealth goals.  Career banker, investor, and JMU Personal Finance professor Jeff Hulett shows you the path to unlocking your wealth potential.  This 1-hour program provides a starting point.  The program focuses on budgeting, planning, and the essential tools for making a lifetime of great financial decisions. ” 
  • How to crush real life | April 03, 2024, in Festival Conference & Student Center, Highlands Room @ 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm: Pete Hardesty currently lives outside Washington DC and serves as the U.S. Director for Young Life College. Pete grew up in Baltimore, MD and graduated from the University of Virginia where he was pre-med, with the emphasis on “pre.” He then joined the staff of an international non-profit called Young Life where he has served for over 27 years. Pete crammed his 3 years of grad school into 17 years and finally received his M. Div in 2014. Pete is co-author (with a JMU grad!) of the 2 Amazon #1 bestsellers: ADULTING 101 Book 1 and 2. Both of these books provide tools to help young people have wild success in the “real world.” Book 2 released in April 2021 and focuses on inner adulthood and mental health.
    Pete lived in Harrisonburg and worked at JMU for most of his career and is a huge Dukes fan. Pete is a frequent international keynote speaker having spoken to over 100,000 young people and has been working closely with college students for the last 20 years. Pete is married to the love of his life and has a teenage son who is his favorite.

Students can schedule one-on-one consultations with our Graduate Assistant for Financial Literacy, Melanie Hubbard, to talk through their finances and spending in a safe, supportive space.

Details on how to schedule coming soon!

What is a Spending Plan? 

A spending plan is a money management tool used to:

  • See an aerial view of income and spending habits
  • Distinguish wants from needs
  • Create accountability for spending habits
  • Save for the future
  • Plan for the unknown.  

Before Creating a Spending Plan​:

  • Income Sources
  • Employment
  • Family/Friend Support
  • Financial Aid
  • What are my needs?
  • What are my wants?
  • What are the actual costs of of my needs and wants?
  • What are my future goals?
  • How do I plan for emergencies?

Spending Strategies:

  • Traditional Budgeting
  • Zero-Based Budgeting
  • 50/30/20 Budget
  • 70/10/10/10 Budget
  • Envelope System
  • Pay Yourself-First Budget

Money Matters to Consider:

  • Source(s) of income:
  • Employment
  • Financial Aid
  • Family Support
  • Other
  • What are my needs?
  • Create accountability for our spending habits
  • Save for our future
  • Plan for the unknown, create an emergency fund

The Pantry

The Pantry is a joint effort on campus, supported by the Basic Needs Advisory Board, co-chaired by Off-Campus Life and Community Service-Learning staff, and university and Harrisonburg community partners. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank ensures we have a consistent supply of quality, nutritious food options. The Pantry is stocked with shelf-stable goods, some hygiene products, a limited selection of fresh produce from JMU Dining Services each week, as well as fresh bread.

Food Planning & Costs

Content coming soon including:

  • Cost Comparisons: JMU meal plans, grocery store prices, etc.
  • "When times are tough"
  • The cost of prepared food
  • Dining out
  • Food subscriptions

Food Prep

Content coming soon including:

  • One-pot meals
  • Healthy foods at home

Shop Your Closet

Content coming soon!

Shop JMU Career Closet

Shop a curated selection of work attire for your next interview or career fair for FREE! Hosted and organized by the University Career Center and The Pantry, the JMU Career Closet is a clothing and accessory resource for all JMU students, with a specific focus on work and interview attire. This is a donation-based resource, and students are welcome to take one complete outfit from the closet free of charge. Students may choose five free pieces each semester!

  • Location: SSC 3rd floor, suite 3250
  • Times: Thursday & Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 pm during the academic year


Shop Thrift Stores

Shop Economically

Content coming soon!


Content coming soon!

Content coming soon!

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