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Oklahoma State University Extension: Tackling financial literacy for teens, homebuyers & seniors

In her role as a family and consumer sciences educator with Oklahoma State University Extension Service, Belinda Pfeiffer must tailor her talks about money to different audiences, which was often a daunting task. Using Money Habitudes has allowed Pfeiffer to bridge demographics and age differences more easily among the groups she works with because of its flexibility of use at any level. Instead of boring PowerPoint slides and lectures, Pfeiffer uses Money Habitudes for Teens to connect with teenagers in schools and youth groups. When using Money Habitudes with homebuyer/homeowner classes and with senior citizens, the adult cards help put people at ease, get them to participate and make talking about tough issues more enjoyable.


  • Using Money Habitudes as part of financial education classes at OSU’s Extension Service has:
  • Promoted engagement among participants vs. listening to lectures or reading PowerPoint slides.
  • Reveals to students patterns in the Money Habitudes statement cards with which they identify.
  • Allows students to connect how their Habitude type plays into why they’re making a budget, tracking their expenses or setting personal money goals.

How They Use Money Habitudes

  • Pfeiffer divides her one-hour class into two equal parts. The first is an introductory section using Money Habitudes to engage students and help them better understand themselves. The second builds on the habits-and-attitudes piece and includes practical financial skills.
  • Pfeiffer concentrates on making students aware of how personal finance affects them and on instilling good, life-long habits for handling money, using Money Habitudes as a 30-minute extended icebreaker.
  • She begins the class with a brief introduction, then asks students about spending habits and attitudes and their first money memories. Each of the 20-30 students then sorts his/her own deck of Money Habitudes cards, followed by a discussion of what the results mean and how they influence spending and saving. With this interactive introduction, she avoids being just another presenter with “sleep-inducing” slides.
  • Following Money Habitudes, Pfeiffer may use tools like Iowa State University’s Allowance Game, which teaches students to prioritize spending among various categories. At the end of the class, she encourages students to share what they learned, hoping that they: recognize needs versus wants; understand what a budget is and why it’s important; and are motivated to spend and save better.
  • Seeing that the Money Habitudes activity made for a better learning and teaching environment in her other classes, Pfeiffer added the cards to her homebuyers and homeowners workshops to augment the curriculum outlined by the Homebuyer Educators Association. The Money Habitudes cards help couples feel more comfortable with each other and better understand how they handle money.