Which Apps To Use In A Classroom Economy?

Which Apps To Use In A Classroom Economy?

This post was updated on Sept 2, 2023.

I ventured into the world of classroom economies in 2013. I initially used resources from myclassroomeconomy.org but soon found the paper-based system to be way too time consuming. Over the years, I’ve tried various apps, each with its pros and cons.

Read more: Which Apps To Use In A Classroom Economy?

My Journey with Classroom Economy Apps


I was pretty stoked when I stumbled upon MyKidsBank.org in 2014. I couldn’t believe there was a virtual bank for students to manage their classroom economy money! It was a great starting platform, but I wasn’t a fan of its outdated interface, and that it lumped all my students into one gigantic class.

The interface hasn’t improved much since 2015, but some new features have popped up, like a marketplace. However, the marketplace is a separate link, making it a bit clunky for students to navigate.

For a long time MyKidsBank was free, but recently they began charging a yearly price based on how many students you have. Pricing starts at $24/year for up to 40 students.

You can see some of the ways I used MyKidsBank in this video from 2018.

If you don’t mind all your students in one massive class or a really dated interface, MyKidsBank really isn’t a bad option.


After MyKidsBank, I was pleasantly surprised to see a modern interface in the next app I tried, Bankaroo.

I found Bankaroo’s modern interface refreshing after MyKidsBank. It combined banking and budgeting, solving the confusion my students faced when juggling multiple apps.

However, it had some frustrating quirks, it didn’t allow for transaction deletions, which became a headache when mistakes happened. And as of September 2023, they’ve shut down for good.

Boulay Bank / Paygrade / Stash101

I found Boulay Bank in 2019, which later became Paygrade and then Stash101.

This app was my favorite of them all. The founder was a husband and wife team; Tim was a developer and Janessa was a teacher who was in the exact same situation as me; she was using myclassroomeconomy.org, found the paper-based system unsustainable. Then she tried all these other classroom economy apps but found them lacking in one way or another. So she and Tim built their own app.

Paygrade had everything I was looking for in a classroom economy app and there was a lot of potential when they were acquired by Stash, an investing company. There was even an investment simulator and my students were putting money from their paychecks into a 401k and watching the value grow.

I was really sad to see Stash101 go out of business in early 2023 though (it’s not easy to maintain a virtual bank!)

So that leaves us with the new kid on the block, ClassEquity, which is the classroom economy app I recommend for most teachers.


What ClassEquity gets right

ClassEquity has all the basics just about any teacher would need to run an effective classroom economy.

Student Jobs
You can put your student jobs in ClassEquity, state the qualifications, set the salary, and list the responsibilities for each job. They’ve also made it easy for your students to be able to apply for their top 3 job choices right within ClassEquity. To ‘hire’ students, you just drag their avatar to that particular job and when they’ve been hired, they’ll see all of their job responsibilities on their classroom dashboard.

I really like that you can hyperlink to other documents in their list of job responsibilities. That makes it easy to ensure your students have access to everything they need to do their jobs whether it’s a link to a screencast tutorial, a shared Google Sheet, or a graphic of what their completed job should look like.

If you need class jobs ideas, click on the button below for my list of 28 essential student jobs for the middle school classroom of tomorrow.

Bills, bonuses, and fines

ClassEquity allows you to set up bills that students will need to pay, like charging a monthly “rent” on student desks.

The app also lets you set up bonuses as a way for students to earn extra money beyond their salaries for things like being involved in extracurriculars or doing extra work in class. In my class, I typically didn’t give bonuses for basic expectations like kindness or respect to avoid creating external incentives for these behaviors.

Fines can be set for unwelcome behaviors in your classroom like off-task behavior, tardiness, or being unprepared.


I really like the interface of ClassEquity.

It’s fairly intuitive and looks like a fun, modern site. I like that available icons and graphics for avatars, jobs, and store items. And it looks pretty good when you log in on your phone or iPad as well.

You can view your class in list view or grid view. When in grid view, it looks a lot like the way Class Dojo is designed if you’ve ever used that, which makes giving fines or bonuses pretty easy if you’re during that during class.

What I’d love to see in ClassEquity

Here’s my wishlist, in order of preference:

Student-initiated transactions Currently, most transactions (besides the class store) are done by the teacher or students with banker access. The teacher is the one going in and charging the student for a fine or charging them for the amount they spent in an auction.

I would love if a student could go in and pay for those things themselves. Particularly with fines, I think there’s a little bit of negative reinforcement when the student is one that has to go in and pay the fine and see the money withdrawn from their account.

Same with auction items. The closer you are to the transaction, the more you ‘feel’ it. The more you feel it, the less you spend. There’s a reason Amazon wants users to click on the ‘1-click purchase.’

Single login for student bankers ClassEquity has a ‘banker’ position in their paid plan which is another account that student can use that allows them to deposit and withdraw money from other student accounts. So what ends up happening is your bankers have 2 different logins, one for their normal student transactions and one to do all their banking duties.

I would love banker features to be able to be added to a student account so they don’t have to switch back and forth between two accounts. It’s the same for the HR Manager job and the Store Clerk job.

Visible student passwords As the teacher, you’re able to change student passwords but you can’t actually SEE their passwords. Being able to see it would be great so you didn’t have to change it every time they forgot, you could just remind them what it is.

Individual ‘rent-free’ options I had students buy their desks and was able to turn off their rent in Stash101 but I can’t do that in ClassEquity. I have to give them a ‘homeowner’ job that gives them $1,000/mo to offset the rent that continues to come out each month.

Toggle automatic rebalancing Currently if a student has any deposit or withdrawal, they have to find out what their new balance is with every transaction. For example, if my balance is $1,200 and I get my $1,500 salary deposited, my $1,000 rent taken out, and a $25 fine for tardiness, I’d have manually click on the salary transaction, add $1,200 and $1,500, type in $2,700, submit, and then do that with the remaining two transactions.

While I think that’s great for some math classes, this can get time consuming and one of the biggest reasons I hear teachers not wanting to give a classroom economy a try is because of the time it could take. Anywhere you can shave off some of that time time is valuable. So I wish teachers had the option to turn off the ‘rebalance transactions’ feature.

An ‘entrepreneur’ option I’d love for students to be able to add things to the class store (with approval) if they have an ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘business owner’ badge and so other students could purchase things from them.

Automated desk interest I wish students could easily have interest accrue on their desks so they can truly see it as an investment and then sell it at the end of the year. While ClassEquity does recommend having a class job where someone calculates how much interest has accrued and deposits that money in student accounts, I’d love it to be automated.

Scheduled class store I Wish you could put the class store on a schedule instead of manually turning it on and off

Quicker login It takes a lot more clicks than I expected to log in, about 4-5 clicks.

Pricing & Plans

CLICK HERE to view their current pricing as it may have changed since the writing of this blog

Regarding their Pro Teacher paid plan, the main thing in there that I find worth paying for right now is the ‘banker’ position. Without having that, if you want students managing the fines, bonuses, etc, then they have to log into your teacher account. But that can get tricky if you’re worried about students messing around with some of the banking settings and then not being able to tell who it was because they were logged into your account.

If the paid plan included a lot of these other features I listed, I’d feel I’d really be getting a good value for the cost if I were paying for this myself. Of course, if I were you though, I’d talk to your admin about paying for this first.

If you find yourself using ClassEquity and loving it, then buy the Pro plan, otherwise they may go the way of Stash101 and Bankaroo due to lack of funding; they need your support to keep doing what they’re doing!

Learn how to use ClassEquity

You can find all of ClassEquity’s resources on how to use their platform HERE.

Additionally, I have an online course that’s a step-by-step guide on how I ran a classroom economy and I show you exactly how to do it with ClassEquity. It’s called 21st Century Classroom Culture. Click on the button to learn more.


Of the four classroom economy apps I’ve used in the classroom, only two of them remain in business; MyKidsBank and ClassEquity. I think both of them will get the job done but for me, ClassEquity stands out for its comprehensive features, modern interface, ease of use, and generous free plan. If you’re an educator looking to implement or improve a classroom economy in your class, I highly recommend giving ClassEquity a try.

By Thom H Gibson

I help middle school STEM teachers create meaningful & memorable experiences for their students. Teacher, podcaster, YouTuber. Two-time teacher of the year

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