An adult continuing education financial program for auctioneers

The Issue: How to add interesting, engaging content to a continuing education financial program.

wvu extensionWho: Zona Hutson is an Extension Agent with WVU. She works in Doddridge County, West Virginia.

What: WVU Extension Service teaches a recertification class for the state’s auctioneers. Hutson has been teaching the auctioneers’ course for 15 years. Money Habitudes is used as part of the continuing education financial program.

How:

  • The recertification course for auctioneers is six hours long and is usually held on a Saturday.
  • The continuing education financial program typically has 30-40 people. It is mostly an audience of older men.
  • Hutson uses the Money Habitudes cards as a financial ice breaker and a way to engage the class. “When they come in, they’re not necessarily in the greatest mood because they have to spend a whole Saturday getting training. They don’t come in with the best attitude, but the Money Habitudes cards are a good way to get people to open up and feel better. The cards are fun and they really lighten the mood,” she says.
  • The goal of the auctioneer class is teach people about business aspects of auctioneering. However, Hutson says, “It’s always nice to bring something different to the table for them, to keep them engaged in something new and thought-provoking.”
  • In addition to being an energizing activity and helping the auctioneers better understand how they see and use money in a business context, the Money Habitudes activity also helps them understand – and be able to discuss – how they handle money at home. “It really engages people in a discussion about their family finances,” says Hutson.
  • Participants often realize how their business life affects their home life and come to see more clearly what their financial strengths and challenges are.
  • The continuing education financial program devotes about 45 minutes to doing Money Habitudes. After doing the Money Habitudes sorting exercise to determine each person’s money personality type, there is usually some group discussion about financial habits and attitudes.
  • Whereas other financial education classes that use Money Habitudes will move on to modules like doing a budget or buying a home, the auctioneers’ class then covers other aspects of the industry. Although there is no fixed curriculum, other sessions may include identifying counterfeit bills, spotting fake antiques, and accepting and using credit cards.

Why:

  • “They’re so unique, so neat and so fun. It’s a real thought-provoking thing to go through those cards!”
  • “I would certainly use the Money Habitudes cards as an introductory activity for any financial class. It’s a great way to get people to open their minds to financial management.”
  • “It’s so easy to use. It’s one of those things to definitely have in your arsenal. If you need a program quickly, you just pull Money Habitudes out and you’ve got it!”
  • “We don’t always have a lot of time, so I know this is a program that is easy to do, it’s fun and people really like it.”
  • “Finances are a hard topic and a very personal one. The cards make it a much lighter issue.”
  • “People can think, ‘Oh, we’re just playing cards,’ but it has a lot of value beyond getting them to relax and have fun. It really helps people understand who they are and why they do what they do.”
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