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How to Count Money

Two Parts:

Counting money is a fairly easy task, but it's useful to have a clear picture of the amount of change you have lying around. It can also be a good way to practice some maths. Learning how to properly count your money is a fun and quick task that is especially applicable if you work in the retail industry or your work involves using a cash register.


Counting Your Coins

  1. Gather together all your coins.The first thing to do is get together all your loose coins. Empty out your pockets, purse, wallet or anywhere else you keep coins. Spread them out on a flat surface so all the coins are visible are none of them are overlapping each other. You want to be able to distinguish each coin easily.
  2. Organize by size and value.Next, you can split the coins up into groups determined by their value. For example, scoop together all the nickels in one place, all the dimes in another, and so on. Do this until you have little piles of each coin. Then stack up the coins from each pile into a column. Once you've done this you should have a collection of little stacks of coins on the table.
    • The size and color of the coins makes this easy to do very quickly.
    • You could do this in descending order from a high value to low by first stacking all your dollar coins together in one pile, followed by your quarters, dimes, nickels and, finally, pennies.
  3. Calculate the value of each stack.Now work your way through the stacks calculating the value of each one and noting it down. For example, if you have a stack of ten 1 cent coins note down that that stack's value is 10 cents. Five 50 cents coins? Write down .50. Complete this calculation for each stack.
    • You could also write it down on a tally chart. With headings for each coin denomination, you can tick for each coin you have of that value and then add up the totals.
    • If you have a lot of stacks you will need to clearly identify which ones you have already counted. You can do this just by moving them to one side when they are counted. For example, keep uncounted stacks on your right-hand side and slide them over to your left when they are counted.
  4. Add it all together.Once you know the value of each stack you just need to add them all together to get the total. You can add that up as you go and keep a running total to make it quicker. If you think you might forget, writing the value of each stack means you can go back and add it all up together at the end.
  5. Consider using a coin sorting machine.If you have a lot of coins or regularly need to process a lot of change for your job, it might be a good idea to get hold of a coin sorting machine. These are devices which sort your coins for you by denomination. Some of the more advanced machines will also count them and tell you the total value.
    • You may find coin counting machines in your bank or store which you can use. But be aware that there will typically be a charge for this service.
    • The most common coin-counting machines in the US generally cost a fee of around 10% of the total value of the change you process.

Counting Your Bills

  1. Organize your bills.Once you have counted up all your coins, you can move on to your bills or notes. You will basically follow the same method as with the coins, namely splitting the bills into piles of the same denomination and then calculating the value of each pile. The first step is to spread out your bills on the table so you can clearly see each one. Then separate them out into groups.
    • For example, you could have a pile of bills, one of bills, and so on.
    • Depending on how much cash you have this could be a fairly speedy process and take a little longer.
    • If you have a lot of cash to count, begin with your largest bills. Stack your 0, and bills in their own piles. Then move on to the , and bills.
  2. Count and record your bills.Now you have organized your bills into separate piles, all you have to do is go through and calculate the value of each pile. If you have five bills, that's 0. Just like the coins you can go through each pile and note down the value on a sheet of paper and add them all together at the end. If you are more confident in your maths and memory skills, you can calculate the total as you go only writing down the final amount when you get to the end.
    • Another way to do it is create a table with headings for each bill denomination in which you keep a tally, and then add up the totals.
    • For example, if you have two bills, three bills, four bills, two bills and 6 single dollar bills, your "totals" column should read, "100, 60, 40, 10, 6." You should add all these bill totals together and hopefully come to a total of 6.
  3. Combine your bill and coin totals.The final step is to combine the two totals you have for coins and bills respectively. This will give you the total amount of money you are counting. Write the total down and use your records to keep track of your personal finances, and budgets.
    • If you are going to deposit the money you can place it into special bank deposit bags. You can write the value of the contents on the outside of the bag.
    • For bills, consider paper clipping them to a deposit slip if you plan on depositing the money

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What is a quicker way to count pennies, instead of counting them on by one?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You could count them by twos, threes or any larger amount.
  • Question
    How many quarters are in a roll?
    Top Answerer
  • Question
    How would I know how much to give back?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You subtract the amount due from the amount paid. For example: 20.00 (Paid) - 13.00 (Due) = 7.00
  • Question
    How many nickels in a roll?
    Top Answerer
    There are 40 US nickels in a roll.
  • Question
    How do I count out .16?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Nineteen dollars is one ten dollar bill, one five and four ones. Sixteen cents is one dime, one nickel and one penny.
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Quick Summary

To count money, start by sorting out your coins by size and value. Put all of your quarters together, all of your dimes together, and so on. Once they are organized, count how many coins there are of each kind and then calculate the value of each stack using multiplication. For example, if you have 17 dimes that are worth $.10 each, that equals .70. After you've added each stack, add them all together using a calculator or sheet of paper. Then, separate and add together your bills to get your total.

Did this summary help you?
  • One of the easiest ways to count money is to take it to the bank to find out how much its worth and cash it in.
  • Double check any calculations to make sure you have tallied an accurate amount.
  • Save your money-counting notes and totals for your own personal records. This will not only help you with your financial record-keeping but will also help you keep track of how quickly you spend your money.
  • Use online money counting games to practice and improve your maths.

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