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SMU co-organized the inaugural My Money @ Campus 2018 Series at the polytechnics

1 Jun 2018

More than 1,000 polytechnic students were imbibed with financial concepts and money management tips at the launch of the My Money @ Campus on 18 May 2018 at the Singapore Polytechnic.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung was the guest-of-honour at the launch which was extended to the polytechnics for the first time. Singapore Management University, through the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults, as well as MoneySENSE - the national financial education programme in Singapore – and The Association of Banks in Singapore, were the co-organisers of the event.

At a media doorstop after the launch, Minister Ong said, "Young people, as they grow up, they step into the workforce, there are so many competing demands… It's not easy. You need to know how to spend. You need to know how to invest. And so having that basic knowledge of financial literacy, I think it helps a lot.”

Mr Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS and Chairman, Financial Education Steering Committee in his welcome speech said, “We thank our main partners for this series, SMU and Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults, who are spearheading the carnival segment and have worked closely with student volunteers from our 5 polytechnics to design the carnival and games. All in all, this event involved over 250 student volunteers from SMU and the polytechnics.”

Professor Lily Kong, Provost of SMU, said: “SMU has been at the forefront of financial education in Singapore. We are pleased to be part of the national initiative in preparing young adults to be financially responsible and future ready. SMU and Citi Singapore, with the support of Citi Foundation, launched the Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults in 2012, and it has since trained more than 400 student trainers, and reached out to more than 18,000 young adults about money management and responsible financial behavior. SMU students, with the guidance of faculty and staff, have been empowered to develop innovative learning pedagogies to impart financial knowledge to fellow young adults. Indeed, one must start managing his or her finances early to ensure financial freedom in the future.”

Caption: Members of the My Money @ Campus 2018 student organizing committee comprising of student representatives from SMU and the five polytechnics posed for a photo with Minister Ong.

SMU students Lester Wong and Laura Tang, who are student trainers from the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults, co-chaired the student organising committee comprised of SMU students and representatives from the five polytechnics. The committee conceptualised the financial literacy carnival and the design of the game booths, as well as managed the running of the event on the day.

Caption: Through games specially designed by Citi-SMU Financial Literacy student trainers, the event aims to impart financial literacy concepts in a novel, effective and entertaining way.

Lester said, “There is a need to stay ahead of technological developments in today’s world, and this event’s overarching theme of being “futuristic” aims to align students with the nation’s vision to be a smart nation and cashless society. It also aims to impart financial literacy knowledge which is an essential life skill to prepare students to achieve success in the future. Hence the tagline, “Money Savvy, Future Ready”.”

Students who attended the carnival enthusiastically took part in a variety of interactive financial-themed games which were designed to impart financial literacy concepts in an engaging and light-hearted manner. These included a game named Cashuristic which educates participants of the need to be more aware of online purchase scams, and 22nd Century Stocks, an activity which simulates the potential effects of significant events and disasters on the stock market. Participants were able to accumulate ‘Space Gold’ on a Carnival Card – a ‘cashless’ initiative – to earn credits to redeem food items.

Caption: Panel discussion at My Money @ Campus Seminar at Singapore Polytechnics

At the My Money @ Campus Seminar, three eminient speakers shared with the students on how to better manage their personal finances. They were Mr Freddy Lim, Co-founder & Chief Investment Officer of StashAway, Mr Lee Yong Chye, Portfolio Manager, GIC, and Mr Christopher Tan, CEO of Providend Ltd. The discussion was moderated by Ms Janet Fok, Lecturer, Singapore Polytechnic.

Mr Freddy Lim shared his entrepreneurial journey and how sound money management strategy had prepared him to kickstart a business venture. Mr Lee Yong Chye shared his personal experiences in saving and investing, the difficulties he faced, including learning points and failures. Mr Christopher Tan shared some tips on good budgeting and spending habits that can help students build up strong financial health.

Lester added, “ Organising an event of this nature was a first for me. It has opened my eyes to two things. First, there are many students who lack financial literacy, who understand the importance of financial planning and budgeting. Second, many also do not realise the value of financial literacy, which when applied from a young age, will help build a secure financial future for ourselves. I hope that this event has created meaningful impact on many students by bringing about positive influence on them or even their family.”

Republic Polytechnic student Beatrice Loh recalled how the event is a culmination of months of careful planning and hard work; but seeing the warm response from the more than 1,000-strong crowd that supported the event launch was a heartening and reassuring sight.

She said, “I was fortunate enough to be given a chance to partake in the Train-The-Trainers programme as it helped me with organizing this event. It taught me basic financial literacy concepts which allowed me to understand each game better and how the concepts can be incorporated into each game. As this was my first time being part of an organizing committee of such a huge event, it spurred me to step beyond my comfort zone and improved my time management skills.

“I believe that youths should be taught basic financial literacy concepts to better manage their finances and to be more responsible with their spending. This is to prepare them for working life and adulthood when they will face more complex financial situations involving the the planning for housing, children’s education, healthcare, insurance, and retirement.”

Low Sy Mann, a student participant from Singapore Polytechnic said, “During the event, I played all the games and the most impactful one was The Molecules. I learned that we must always ensure that we are able to pay back what we borrow. In the event that we are unable to pay, our debt will only increase due to interest rates. I find that the game was fun and educational."

Following the launch, My Money@ Campus was held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in end May, and will next travel to Nanyang Polytechnic in June, before ending at Temasek Polytechnic in July.

About Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults

Launched in April 2012 by Citi Singapore and Singapore Management University with the support of the Citi Foundation, the Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults is Singapore’s first structured financial literacy program for young adults.

Through lectures, workshops and course curriculum, the programme seeks to equip young adults between the ages of 17 and 30 with essential personal finance knowledge and skills applicable to their life stage to give them a firm foundation in managing their money and a financial head-start early in their lives. A train-the-trainer model is used in which selected students from SMU and partner institutions are trained to deliver the financial literacy outreach curriculum to the young adult community, with the focus on reaching the low to the moderate income.

Since its launch, the programme has engaged over 18,000 young adults on a wide range of topics including basic money and credit management, financial and retirement planning, home and car ownership as well as principles of investment.

Citi-SMU Financial Literacy Programme for Young Adults is headed by two Principal Investigators, Associate Professor Jeremy Goh and Assistant Professor Aurobindo Ghosh.

For more information, visit our website:, Facebook page: and Instagram page: citismu_finlit.

Featured photo: Guest-of-Honour Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung launched the My Money @ Campus 2018 with senior representatives from MoneySENSE / Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Manpower, Association of Banks in Singapore, Citi Foundation, the five Polytechnics and SMU.

Last updated on 13 Jun 2018 .