Really understanding the value of money is very important. You need to know what the different kinds of money look like, and what value they have. What can you buy for $10$ dollars? What can you buy for $200$ dollars? How much does a pair of sneakers cost? How much does it cost to feed a family for a month? How much does it cost to play hockey, football or tennis?

We have two types of money: Coins and banknotes. You have definitely seen coins before. Maybe you even have some in your piggy bank at home? You will learn about coins first, then you will learn about banknotes.

Being able to count money means that you understand what value coins and notes have, and what you can spend the money on.

Here is a drawing of some of the coins you have in the United States:

Think About This

The money used in the United States is called the United States dollar. It’s called the United States dollar and not just dollar because a bunch of other countries also use money called dollar, except it’s different from the American one.

People who live in the United States just say dollar when they talk about money. When we write about dollar, we write this symbol: “$”. This is the symbol you will see when we talk about US dollars going forward.

The $1$-cent coin (“penny”) is the coin with the lowest value. $1$ cent is one hundredth of a dollar, which means that there are $100$ cents in $1$ dollar, $100\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}=\text{\$}1$. The $5$-cent coin (“nickel”) is worth as much as five $1$-cent coins. It is the same way for the other coins as well. The $10$-cent coin (“dime”) is worth the same as two $5$-cent coins. The $25$-cent coin (“quarter”) is worth the same as two $10$-cent coins and one $5$-cent coin.

The $50$-cent coin (“half dollar”) is worth the same as two $25$-cent coins. The dollar coin is worth the same as two $50$-cent coins. Neither of these coins is used that much, so we won’t show them in the examples below.

Example 1

**One piece of gum costs $\text{\$}\text{}0.30\text{}$. What coins can you use to buy the gum? **

You can write $$0.30$ like this:

$$\text{\$}0.30=30\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}=25\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}+5\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}$$ |

That means you can use one $25$-cent coin and one $5$-cent coin to pay for the gum.

Example 2

**A lollipop costs $\text{\$}\text{}0.37\text{}$. What coins can you use to buy the lollipop? **

You can write $$0.37$ like this:

$$\text{\$}0.37=37\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}=25\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}+10\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}+1\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}+1\phantom{\rule{0.17em}{0ex}}\text{\xa2}$$ |

That means you can use one $25$-cent coin, one $10$-cent coin and two $1$-cent coins to pay for the lollipop.

Next entry

Banknotes of the United States Dollar