Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Author: Powercat Financial

Director of PFC

Powercat Financial Can Help You Create Your Personal College Financial Plan!

As time continues to tick on, financial aid packages for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in KSIS and as a student you will need to make decisions on what and how much to accept. This can get a little bit overwhelming but Powercat Financial is here to help. We can help you by creating a budget with our great tool called the College Financial Plan. A link to this worksheet if you’d like to utilize it on your own, and other helpful tools, can be found on the right-hand side of our website at https://www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial/planning/.

The College Financial Plan worksheet has multiple parts that our Peer Financial Counselors can walk you through to help you determine how much you may need to accept in loans to cover your school costs. An appointment with us to create your personal College Financial Plan includes assistance with the following:

  1. Estimating your personal costs for a month – this includes items like rent, groceries, and eating out.
  2. Translating the monthly amount to a semester total – this makes it easier to determine how much you will need in total for a semester since financial aid is offered on a semester basis.
  3. Calculating school-related expenses that are only paid for each semester – this would include tuition, fees, books, and supplies for specific classes.
  4. Factoring in payments from other sources – this is for funds that are not loans. For example, scholarships, family support, part-time work income and/or grants.
  5. Seeing the amount that still needs to be covered – this amount is the amount you will need to cover with loans or via out-of-pocket payment perhaps by signing up for the tuition installment payment plan.

This process is very important, not only will it identify how much you will need to cover in loans it can also identify if you have been taking out too much in loans. This can save you from taking unnecessary funds that can incur interest costs.

Powercat Financial would love to meet with you virtually through Zoom or telephone sessions to walk through a College Financial Plan with you or discuss any other financial questions you may have. You can make an appointment by requesting an appointment at www.ksu.edu/powercatfinancial.

Rebecca Kuderka – Graduate Assistant

Powercat Financial



Financial Help Through Federal CARES Act Is Available

We are sharing below the K-State Today news release provided to students today (5-4-2020) by the director of K-State’s Office of Student Financial Assistance so students are aware of the CARES Act student emergency grant opportunity and criteria:

“Dear students,

Kansas State University is committed to helping those of you who are facing financial challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund through the U.S. Department of Education. K-State will distribute $6,343,277 from this fund among eligible students, which is intended to help students offset expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

Expenses that can be considered for CARES Act emergency grant assistance include:

• Technology
• Health care
• Childcare
• Course materials
• Housing/rent
• Food
• Other expenses incurred in the spring 2020 semester as required by the federal act.

The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding prioritizes reaching as many students as possible with the greatest demonstrated need. The Office of Student Financial Assistance will use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, data to determine a student’s financial need. Students who have not yet filed a 2019-2020 FAFSA may still do so at studentaid.gov

Under the U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, we may award these funds to students enrolled in at least one in-person class during the spring 2020 term and pursing an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree program at K-State. Students can apply for emergency funds through a short online application. Read more information and determine your eligibility. Students not eligible for CARES Act funding may apply for other emergency funding.

If you have any questions about the CARES Act Emergency Relief Fund, please contact our office at finaid@k-state.edu.

K-State Strong,

Robert Gamez
Director, Office of Student Financial Assistance”

Please let other K-State students know about the CARES Act emergency grant opportunity who may not follow our Powercat Financial blog! Other K-State emergency aid is available as outlined at https://www.k-state.edu/sfa/aid/emergency-aid/.

Remember Powercat Financial is available for online or phone financial counseling sessions which may be requested via our website link at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial.

Jodi Kaus, Director

Powercat Financial



Recommended Financial Books

If you are anything like me, you have a lot of extra time on your hands due to the Great Quarantine of 2020. With this extra time maybe you are considering learning a new skill or putting a greater emphasis on increasing your learning. If reading more is one of your quarantine goals, here are five (mostly) financial literacy books I have enjoyed reading and highly recommend.

  1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a top-selling personal finance book. For me, this book provided a unique and new money philosophy. Robert Kiyosaki makes arguments for why debt may be good or bad, depending upon how you use it. He also discusses whether your own home should be considered an investment or not.

Lesson Learned: Look at money in a different way. Wealth is not your net worth; it’s how long you can go without working.

  1. The One-Page Financial Plan – by Carl Richards

The One-Page Financial Plan is a simple book about a complex issue. That is why it is brilliant! Carl Richards helps walk readers through your “why” for money. He helps you dig in and prioritize how and why you spend your money so you can eventually have more of it. Most importantly, he makes the whole process simple.

Lesson Learned: Analyze my own money values. Once these are understood, I can spend my money in accordance with my values.

  1. Good to Great – by Jim Collins

This was one of my quarantine books. I just finished it a little less than a week ago and gained a lot of knowledge. This book is, I will admit, less about personal finance and more about business. The reason I include it in this discussion is because the principals can easily be applied to your own finances. Jim digs into the question about what makes a great company different than a good company. Through a ton of research, Mr. Collins provides six key phases a good company goes through to become a great one.

Lesson Learned: Discipline is the key in life. You may not have large goals or enough knowledge yet to even know what your goals are. If you maintain discipline in your life, you prepare yourself when you finally understand or create your goals.

  1. The Millionaire Next Door – by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko

The Millionaire Next Door explores American millionaires and how they became millionaires. The book found seven common activities/beliefs which these millionaires held in common. I found the book to be enlightening and hopeful. Millionaires are not just born into rich families, a majority of those interviewed for the book were first-generation millionaires.

Lesson Learned: Spending less than you make is a key to building wealth and being financially independent. You will not be able to point out most common millionaires. Funnily enough, the reason you would not be able to point them out is one of the reasons they are millionaires.

  1. Total Money Makeover – by Dave Ramsey

I will readily admit, I think Dave Ramsey has done more good for America than most celebrities. The Total Money Makeover discusses basic financial planning principals. It also brings Dave Ramsey’s personal hatred for any and all debt to the forefront. Dave presents seven steps to achieving financial freedom.

Lesson Learned: Getting out of debt is a choice to be made. It won’t happen on its own.

A final thought, these authors sometimes disagree with each other. I think that is what makes this selection of books so useful in developing your own goals and values around money. With money, there is rarely one single right answer. There are multiple best answers. Best wishes as you pick up one of these books! I hope you learn more about yourself and how you can better manage your money!

Don’t forget you can still schedule a free client session with Powercat Financial to discuss any financial issues via the link on our website at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial.

Philip Wegman,  Peer Counselor II

Powercat Financial




Life is Good

Life is good.

Most people, including me, like to live life in the fast lane. We get caught up in early mornings, schoolwork, rush hour traffic, and working overtime. We spend our free time on social media, surfing the web, binge watching TV shows. Sometimes, it is nice to slow things down and appreciate the most important things in life. Sometimes, less is more. With less, we learn to have greater appreciation for our friends, family, and the privilege of being alive and well.

I think the COVID-19 outbreak has really highlighted these important things. Families and friends are prohibited from meeting with each other and we all have slowed down our lives. I’ve had some time to reflect, and I think about how much I care about my family—my wife, my parents, and my brother. What would I do without one of them? Maybe a better question is “What would they do without me?”

That is why I have a plan in place in the form of life insurance. Not because they wouldn’t be able to be financially stable without me, but because if something happened to me and I didn’t make it home one day, I would want them to know how much I cared about them. No amount of money could ever replace me in their lives but having more money never has caused anyone to have more stress.

Well how much life insurance does someone need? Where do I get life insurance? It sounds expensive. Do I even need it at all? What are the types of life insurance? These are questions I hear all the time. Many professionals argue about the rationale behind what type and amount people should have. Some say that everyone should have 10-12 times their yearly income. Other solutions involve complex planning tools. Let me tell a story to illustrate the truth.

Dave and Allison have been a happily married couple for 15 years. They have 3 kids—Jimmy, Jane, and Julie. They both make $50,000 a year. They have a $200,000 mortgage and $7,000 in student loan debt that they cosigned with each other.

They had just arrived back home from a family vacation. As they were unpacking their bags, Dave started to complain about shortness of breath and some chest pain. He shrugged it off and continued to go about his evening. The next morning, Dave and Allison go back to work after taking their kids to school. On Allison’s way home from work, she got the call. Dave wasn’t going to make it home that day. Dave had a heart attack while driving home from work and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Allison and the kids were heartbroken. How could they go from having a wonderful family vacation to complete devastation in one day? How could the kids ever go back to normal after their loving father was gone? Shortly after Dave’s death, Allison realized there was another problem formulating. She has to raise 3 kids, pay off the mortgage, pay for Dave’s funeral, and attempt to put the kids through college with half of the income they had before! Troubling thoughts went through Allison’s mind. Would she have to sell the family home and move to a smaller apartment? Would she have to get a second job on nights and weekends to help pay the bills? Will the kids be able to go to college and graduate debt free like she hoped?

A week after Dave’s funeral, Allison gets a call from a stranger. The stranger introduces himself as a financial planner. The financial planner gives his condolences to Allison’s loss. He then goes on to explain that Dave cared about his family so much that he wanted to make sure everything was okay if something were to happen to him.  Ten years ago, Dave had sat down with this planner, listened to his recommendations, and purchased a $1,000,000 life policy. The planner explained how he was going to meet with Allison, help her pay off her mortgage and her other debt, help put the kids through college, and invest the rest in a way where she can withdrawal a paycheck every month for the rest of her life. So even though Allison and the kids will never be okay again without Dave, financially they will not suffer.

So how much life insurance do you need? Absolutely none. Nobody needs life insurance. Even if you know you are going to die, you don’t NEED life insurance! Dave didn’t need life insurance. It’s all about what you WANT. Talk to a financial professional about the things you want and they should help you plan for the worst.

If you have financial planning questions, please schedule a free online appointment with Powercat Financial today via Zoom or telephone via the link at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial! While Powercat Financial cannot provide investment and insurance advice, we can help you create personal financial goals and consider next steps towards reaching those goals!

Morgan Flax

Peer Counselor II

Powercat Financial



Temporarily Free Apps and Services to Take Advantage of During COVID-19

If you’re like me, the effects of social distancing has left me feeling a little stir crazy. Luckily, there’s more than one way to stave off boredom while staying indoors. In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a handful of apps and services are free for the coming weeks. So while you’re stuck at home, keep your mind off of coronavirus with free movies, TV, concerts, internet, fitness sessions, classes, and more. Compiled below is a list of free apps and services to take advantage while you are social distancing. Just be sure if it is a limited-time free subscription that you cancel before any charges begin.


  • HBO is offering 500 hours of programming available for free for a limited time. You can find the free titles, which include titles such as The Sopranos, Veep, and The Wire, under the heading #StayHomeBoxOffice.
  • NHL – Hockey season is on-pause for now, but sports fans can get their fix for games. The National Hockey League is providing free streams of full replays of games form the 2019-2020 regular season games.
  • Nightly Met Opera Streams – The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is offering free nightly live opera performances. The performances can be streamed on the Met website or through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, Roku devices and Samsung Smart TVs.
  • Scribd, an e-book and audiobook is offering a free 30-day trial that gives you access to over a million titles.
  • Virtual Museum Tours – Many museums are offering virtual tours you can take from the comfort of your living room. Below are a list of Museums across the globe that are offering free virtual tours:
    • The Louvre, Paris, France
    • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
    • The Vatican Museum, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
    • The British Museum, London, England
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY

Health and Fitness:

  • Peloton is currently offering a 90-day free trial to their full library of digital classes, which includes cycling, meditation, yoga running and more. The in-app workouts do not require you to own any Peloton equipment.
  • Down Dog, is a yoga fitness apps that offers guided yoga, HIIT, and barre classes is opening its library free until May 1 for everyone and until July 1 for students, teachers, and healthcare professionals.
  • Planet Fitness is streaming live, at-home workouts for free on its Facebook page daily, Monday-Friday, at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. For individuals who can’t make it to the live workout, they will be able to view the workout afterwards on the Planet Fitness Facebook page and YouTube channel.
  • Headspace, the popular mindfulness and guided meditation app Headspace is going free for US healthcare professionals who work in public health settings through the end of this year.
  • Core Power Yoga, a popular yoga studio chain, is currently offering free online classes through its Core Power Yoga On Demand platform. The classes are pre-recorded and range from 30 minutes to up to an hour long.
  • SWEAT, is now offering new members one month of free access to its app. That means you can check out a wide range of on-demand workouts requiring minimal equipment, from beginner exercises to high-intensity style training, taught by expert trainers like Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells, Chontel Duncan, Stephanie Sanzo, and Sjana Elise.


  • Cambridge University Press is opening its library of college textbooks, book chapters, journal articles, and key reference works to students for free until the end of May.
  • Coursera is offering more than 400 free Ivy League courses for a limited time during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • LinkedIn is offering free learning opportunities to help adults connect and collaborate, while easing the stress of working at home. LinkedIn’s free courses include working remotely, time management, productivity tips, how to use Microsoft Teams for collaboration and virtual meetings, and how to project an executive presence on virtually.
  • Rosetta Stone is offering three months free for students during the coronavirus pandemic to learn a language of their choice.
  • Tableau, a data visualization tool, is offering a free three month training, Includes courses exploring all facets of the data science software Tableau. A subscription normally costs $15 per month.
  • Nikon, from now until April 30, Nikon is offering its online photography classes for free. Each class is normally priced at between $10 to $50.

News Sources:

Many news publications are waiving their fees or bringing down their paywalls for nonsubscribers to make it as easy as possible for readers to stay up to date on the pandemic. Below are some national sources doing so:

  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The Washington Post
  • The Guardian

Remember, Powercat Financial continues to offer financial counseling sessions either online via Zoom or via telephone for current students. Appointments may be request from the link on our website at www.k-state.edu/powercatfinancial.

Sarah Meenen

Peer Financial Counselor I

Powercat Financial


How To Stay Connected

As time goes on and everyone continues to social distance it is important to continue to stay connected with others. Even though we cannot do this in the traditional sense here are five great ways to stay connected virtually!

  1. Virtually Attend Events

There are many events that are being either created or moved to the online format. You can find some great events listed on the K-State Calendar, https://events.k-state.edu/, as well as on UPC site https://union.k-state.edu/get-involved/get-engaged-virtually. So link up with friends and participate in these events! This can help add something new to your days and get you interacting with others.

  1. Engage Via Social Media

This one is everyone is probably already doing but it is definitely worth mentioning. Keep up with your friends through their social media. You can even help others by posting what activities you are doing during your time at home.

One trend on social media that has been going around a lot is a BINGO activity! You can find a great one that has been produced by K-State’s Wellness Coalition on our Facebook and Instagram accounts this week! All you have to do to participate in this activity is save the picture of the bingo card (shown here) and mark off the items you have completed then share it to your personal social media account!

Also, keep a look out for K-State’s hashtag #KSTATESTRONG! You can also catch up on all the videos that have been posted so far by visiting, https://www.k-state.edu/covid-19/kstatestrong/, this includes a video from Powercat Financial staff.

  1. Virtual Get Togethers with Friends

Pick a time to meet up with friends and family through online platforms like Zoom or Skype!  This is a great way to still be able to see people and have some “face to face” interactions. It can also be a great way to celebrate milestones like birthdays since you cannot actually get together.

  1. Virtual Game Nights

Along the same lines of the option above you can get a group of people together to play a game virtually. You could use a trivia game and divide into teams to have a great night. Even playing video games with people can be a great way to connect. There are even games that will let you play board games online with others!

  1. Virtual Movie Night

Another great idea is a virtual movie night. You can also watch movies and shows together through Netflix.  Netflix introduced Netflix Party, https://www.netflixparty.com/, that allows you to share a link with your friends and join in on watching movies and shows on Netflix and you can even chat while watching the shows together.

Keep these ideas in mind while we continue to practice social distancing! Your mental health is as important as your physical well-being.

Powercat Financial continues to meet with students online via Zoom or with telephone sessions so you can still meet with us to discuss your financial questions by requesting a free appointment at www.ksu.edu/powercatfinancial.

Rebecca Kuderka – Graduate Assistant



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