A Passion for Saving

May 9, 2014

Developing good money habits inspired Cat Placencia to offer financial help to her peers.Catherine Placencia

Cat credits her financial education to her mother.

“My mother taught me ways to save and smart tips I could carry with me when I went off to college,” she says.

Cat has been managing her own money as far back as middle school. College disciplined her even more. Being independent and living on her own for the first time forced her to be accountable for her own actions. She shops for clothes and essentials at yard sales, thrift stores and clearance racks. She keeps her grocery bills low by not paying more than 99 cents per pound for fresh vegetables and fruit.

Since she didn’t qualify for need-based financial aid, she applied for and earned a few scholarships. After hearing several loan horror stories from her fellow students, Cat manages her money very carefully.

Currently, she works as a student scholarship advisor for CSUN’s Financial Aid & Scholarship Department, located in Bayramian Hall 130. She uses her money-saving tips and information to help others avoid financial woes.

“Being a student scholarship advisor allows me to help others save money,” she says, “which is something I’m extremely passionate about doing.”

In fall 2013, Cat took her passion further by founding Smart Spenders at CSUN. The club provides a forum for students to share tips and good money habits, including couponing, budgeting, loans and credit. The club hosts events such as workshops with representatives from the tax preparation company H&R Block and CSUN’s financial aid office. Smart Spenders meets from 6 to 7 p.m. every other Wednesday in the University Student Union’s Santa Susana Room.

In addition to serving as president of Smart Spenders, Cat is also president of Tau Sigma National Honor Society, an active member of the Child and Adolescent Development Association, a University Ambassador and a peer advisor and mentor for the Department of Child and Adolescent Development. Due to her involvement in student services, Cat gained practical experience working with college students. After graduating, she will begin CSUN’s master’s program in counseling with an emphasis on college students.