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Simmons Bank Aims to Teach Financial Literacy Amid Sponsorship With UofM

Mollie Walker, Manager of Business Development at Simmons Bank, spoke to a group of female student-athletes at the University of Memphis on Friday afternoon. Walker taught these women about managing finances and budgeting for life after college, a topic many students struggle with as their time in school comes to an end.

As Simmons Bank has recently become a sponsor of the University of Memphis, they thought it would be beneficial to start offering in-person financial education opportunities.

Walker herself not only graduated from here, but she was also a student-athlete and danced for four years while at the U of M. Walker came from a family that had no savings, and she received no financial education, which left her to fend for herself once she graduated college.

“I had a single mom, a younger brother, and often I felt like the parent… there was no one there to guide me with finance or budgeting,” she said.

Walker talked her audience through taking your salary (or estimated salary) and budgeting aside proper amounts of money for all expenses and taxes.

After going through multiple different scenarios of salaries, spending, and budgets, the room realized how fast money could go if you did not plan accordingly.

“That is how it will add up so fast, and if you do not plan for it, it will really hinder you,” Walker said after taking a look at the possible budget plan for Senior Track and Field athlete Brooke Calvo.

Calvo already has a job lined up in Nashville next year, and her salary is going to be $72,000 a year. Walker showed how even with such a large salary right out of college if you do not budget it the right way, you could still find yourself in financial trouble.

Her goal is to help students who maybe not have received proper financial education and make them feel more prepared to enter the real world.

Rebecca Jacobs, a CPA at Reynolds Bone and Griesbeck, also spoke on the new rules with taxes and NIL deals. Student-athletes now need to be educated and aware of how taxes work with NIL deals now that more and more athletes are signing them.

“When filling out your FAFSA, you now have to include any NIL deals as part of your income which can impact your financial aid, which is something you all need to be aware of,” Jacobs said.

Simmons bank also has paid internship opportunities for female student-athletes, and they have multiple departments and are open to hiring students from all majors.

Walker encourages students to seek internships, even if it is not with Simmons Bank, to get that real-world experience. She said students are often shocked when they get their first real job because they have never experienced anything like it.

Simmons Bank will continue to hold financial education sessions like this one as it is a part of their contract with the University. “We asked to have the honor and privilege to educate students on their financial future,” Walker said.

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