Developing Functional Money IEP Goals for Students with Disabilities

Developing Functional Money IEP Goals for Students with Disabilities

Effective money management is crucial for the independence of students with disabilities. This guide delves into creating detailed Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals that focus on financial skills, aimed at helping students navigate the world of money with confidence and competence.

Understanding the Importance of Functional Money Skills

Functional money skills are essential for students with disabilities to achieve independence, make informed financial decisions, and participate fully in society. IEP goals targeting these skills equip students with the necessary tools to manage everyday financial tasks effectively.

Key Areas for Functional Money IEP Goals

  1. Money Identification: Recognizing and understanding the value of different coins and bills.
  2. Making Purchases: Executing simple to complex buying transactions.
  3. Budgeting and Saving: Planning for future expenses and saving money.
  4. Banking Skills: Using banking services effectively.
  5. Financial Safety: Understanding how to handle money safely and securely.

Strategies for Setting Functional Money IEP Goals

  • Progressive Learning: Structure goals to gradually increase in complexity as the student masters each level of skill.
  • Practical Application: Focus on skills that students will use in their daily lives to ensure relevancy.
  • Consistent Evaluation: Continuously assess and adjust goals to align with the student’s growing capabilities and changing needs.

Examples of Functional Money IEP Goals

Disclaimer: The following are sample goals meant to illustrate how functional money IEP goals might be structured. However, it’s important to remember that each student’s IEP goals should be uniquely tailored to their individual circumstances, needs, and strengths.

  1. Money Identification Goals:
    • Goal: The student will distinguish between coins and bills by size, color, and value, correctly identifying them in 95% of opportunities.
    • Goal: The student will demonstrate the ability to arrange coins and bills in order of value and sum totals for sets of mixed denominations with 100% accuracy across ten trials.
  2. Making Purchases Goals:
    • Goal: The student will practice making small purchases under $10, using the correct amount of money, and verify correct change using subtraction in 90% of real-life scenarios.
    • Goal: The student will successfully execute transactions using different payment methods, including cash, debit cards, and digital wallets in various settings, such as at a grocery store or online, in 85% of opportunities.
  3. Budgeting and Saving Goals:
    • Goal: The student will create a simple weekly budget for personal expenses and adhere to it within a $5 variance, documenting their spending and savings for two consecutive months.
    • Goal: The student will set a saving goal for a desired item or activity, plan savings over a specified period, and achieve the goal within the allotted timeframe.
  4. Banking Skills Goals:
    • Goal: The student will learn to perform basic banking tasks, such as depositing checks and monitoring account balances through online banking platforms, achieving independence with minimal supervision after six months.
    • Goal: The student will use an ATM to withdraw cash, checking their receipt against the transaction displayed on the screen for accuracy in 9 out of 10 visits.
  5. Financial Safety Goals:
    • Goal: The student will identify and follow at least three key practices for handling cash safely, such as never counting money in public or carrying large amounts of cash, in all outings over the course of the school year.
    • Goal: The student will learn to recognize common financial scams (like phishing emails or fake charity requests) and demonstrate the correct actions to take when they suspect a scam, discussing their response with a teacher or caregiver in 95% of simulated scenarios.

Elevate Your Team’s Approach to IEP Meetings

Our Transition Planning Rubric is designed to support district leaders and educators in guiding their teams towards excellence in transition planning.

It provides comprehensive criteria that cover the breadth of transition planning, from gauging student engagement to evaluating post-secondary goals and services.

Why Use This Rubric?

  • Tailored Feedback: Utilize a structured scoring system to evaluate and enhance individual transition plans.
  • Fillable Format: Conveniently fill out the rubric digitally or print it for hands-on collaboration.
  • Action-Oriented Guidance: Benefit from a clearly defined path towards creating robust and legally compliant IEPs.

Expand your team’s capabilities and improve the success of IEP meetings.

Image of the transition rubric on a yellow background with text "Download your transition rubric"

Implementing Functional Money IEP Goals

  • Hands-On Learning: Use real and simulated money in a controlled classroom setting to teach and practice skills.
  • Community Involvement: Plan supervised outings that allow students to apply their money management skills in real-world environments, such as shopping malls or banks.
  • Technology Integration: Introduce financial apps and tools that can aid in budgeting, making transactions, and tracking spending.
  • Family Collaboration: Engage families to reinforce and practice money management skills at home, ensuring a consistent learning environment.


By meticulously crafting and implementing functional money IEP goals, educators can significantly contribute to the financial literacy and independence of students with disabilities. These goals not only prepare students for practical financial situations but also foster confidence and self-reliance in managing their personal finances.


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Jon Izak

Jon Izak is the founder and CEO of Ori Learning.