By Callie Cox

The Key to Financial Well-Being

The Office for Financial Success (OFS) empowers every Tiger to make informed decisions about, well, their finances. It’s also a cornerstone for accessible opportunities and economic education on campus.

We sat down with Alex Embree, Program Manager for OFS, to break down what every Mizzou student needs to know.

Q: What are your go-to tips when discussing budgets with Tigers?

“Start one!” Alex said. “Starting a budget includes knowing your income, understanding where that income needs to go, and then figuring out where you want your money to go in the future.”


Here are her helpful budgeting tools:


“A budget is proactive,” Alex said. “It’s not just taking a glance at your banking app to ensure you’re in the clear. The Office for Financial Success wants students to use these budgeting tools to ensure they understand what they are putting their money towards and that it is meaningful to them and not just out of habit.”

Q: Setting financial goals can be hard for college students. How can they start?

“Your number one financial goal should be an emergency fund,” Alex said. “Starting small and choosing an amount or percentage from each paycheck helps create the habit of paying yourself first.”


OFS suggests an initial goal of $500-$1,000 during college, depending on what is reasonable for your budget. “It’s important to set a goal and follow it up with intentional steps to get there,” Alex said. “Our office is here to help Tigers figure out how to do that. Through one-on-one consultations, we can look at individual budgets and help them find money to put towards financial goals.”

Q: What tips do you have when someone is trying to understand student loans?

OFS breaks down their student loan explanation into two components.


  1. Education. This helps Tigers understand how student loans work, and which ones are available for them specifically.
  2. Planning. “We want students to be informed about their student loan decisions and be able to answer two questions.” Alex said. “How much do I need, and how do I ensure I’m not overborrowing? Our office provides resources to help answer these questions.”

Here For You

The Office for Financial Success is ready to support Tigers in guided financial decision making. OFS provides free and confidential one-on-one counseling sessions for a variety of topics and interactive group discussions – whatever works for you, OFS is there. Take control of your financial well-being and connect with OFS today.