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West Virginia University: Engaging state auctioneers on money discussions

Financial education has always been part of West Virginia’s recertification process for its state auctioneers, but program participants weren’t usually excited about or engaged in money discussions. Zona Hutson, an extension agent with WVU, says that attitude has shifted since incorporating Money Habitudes into her financial education curriculum. Money Habitudes has helped “lighten the mood” around money talk and reinvigorated the financial education aspect of her program, which aims to teach auctioneers about the business aspects of auctioneering.


Since incorporating Money Habitudes into the recertification course, WVU has found that:

  • In addition to serving as an energizing activity and helping auctioneers better understand how they see and use money in a business context, the Money Habitudes activity helps them understand and facilitate discussion about family finances.
  • Participants often realize how their business life affects their home life and gain clarity on their financial strengths and challenges.

How They Use Money Habitudes

  • The recertification course for auctioneers is six hours long with 30-40 people.
  • Hutson spends 45-minutes using Money Habitudes cards as a financial icebreaker and a way to engage the class. “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.
  • After doing the Money Habitudes sorting exercise to determine each person’s money personality type, the group discusses financial habits and attitudes.
  • While other financial education classes that use Money Habitudes will move on to modules like developing a budget or buying a home, the auctioneers’ class then covers other aspects of their industry. Although there is no fixed industry curriculum, other sessions may include identifying counterfeit bills, spotting fake antiques and accepting and using credit cards.