A Classroom Economy Made Simple

I’ve just finished my 18th year of teaching.  Yikes!!!!!  I have always (humbly) prided myself with my abilities to implement classroom management.  It has taken a lot of trial and error, but I truly believe I have something that works, and it is SIMPLE!

Want to know what it is?  It’s my classroom management system!


You may have tried implementing a classroom economy.  It may have worked, it may not have worked, it may have become overwhelming, or it may have just simply been forgot about.  No matter what you have encountered along the way, I encourage you to try my system!!!

Here is a bit about how it works.

Initial Setup

At the beginning of the year, I give students 25 classroom dollars to start with.  This will get students excited about the classroom economy and will give them something to work with.  If you have new students that begin throughout the school year, follow the same routine.

I also give students a place to keep their classroom dollars.  I LOVE to use these soap boxes!  I have designed the dollars and coupons to specifically fit inside these boxes.

You can find these soapboxes on Walmart.com here.

How They Earn Money

After so many years of trying to figure out how to balance it all, I settled on a simple strategy.  Each morning, students earn five classroom dollars for simply being at school. They earn another five dollars for completing their morning assignment.  To simplify it even further, students don’t get their classroom dollars until they have completed their morning assignment.  Once they have completed it, they come to me, I check it, and give them 10 classroom dollars.  This prevents me from having to pass out money every moment of the morning, and it motivates them to finish their morning assignment!

I periodically give students classroom money for good behavior, rewards, etc.  Sometimes we play classroom games, and winning money is an option!

In the past, students have earned money for doing classroom jobs.  While this is definitely an option, it is not something that I implement, because as you will see I like to keep the classroom economy simple.  While it is simple, it’s very effective!

Losing Money

I truly believe in positive reinforcement, but sometimes students do need consequences.  Taking recess is my least favorite consequence and is the very last resort for me!  Instead of taking five minutes of recess, adding checkmarks, flipping cards, etc., when students do not follow expectations they “owe me 5”.  When I say, “You owe me 5,” they know that they owe me five classroom dollars.  My students DO NOT like to give up their classroom money!

Coupon Day

Buying coupons is what my students come to school for, do their best for, and save their money for!  They know that coupon days are on Friday.  If  we only have a four day week, I may have coupons on Thursday or have them save their money for the following week.  We always discuss this ahead of time so that they know when to expect coupon day.

Coupon day is short and sweet.  I can justify spending 30 minutes every week for awarding students, because they have given me 35+ hours of their hard work and dedication.

How much does each coupon cost?  Once again to make it super simple, each coupon is $25 classroom dollars.  If students have attended school all five days and have completed their morning assignment those days as well, they automatically earn $50.  That buys them two coupons!

I have made coupons different amounts, but once again, I wanted the process to be as simple as possible!

Getting Started

Do you want to get started with the best and easiest classroom economy ever?  I have everything you need to get started with my Classroom Economy resource pack!

What’s Included

  • A nine page Implementation guide
  • Classroom money in 6 different designs and matching binder cover
  • 50+ coupons

You can find the Classroom Economy Resource pack HERE.

Mandy Neal at Teaching With Simplicity
Mandy Neal at Teaching With Simplicity

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