Browse   Newsletters   Contests   Ask   Share   Account   About

Teach Your Children How To Count Back Change

If your kids were to get jobs where they'll be running cash registers. Help them. Gather up some cash and change, sit down with them. Give them an amount of your pretend purchase, you pretend to "pay" for something and let them count out what change they'd give you back. This is a great way for them to learn to count change. Some kids now days, if they don't know how to ring it on the cash registers to see how much change to give a person back, they can't count change worth a darn! This will help them, not only with jobs, but to know how much money to expect back from their own purchases, as well.

By Terri H.

Recent Feedback

Feedback about this article is posted here. Want to contribute? Click above to post feedback.

By tajaburns03/03/2014

This is when we stop and realize a few factors at hand, at least in the U.S. First of all, machines have taken over and tell us the amount to give back, but what about the proper way to count it back? Although I graduated in 1989, my education at school never taught me the proper way to count money back. My parents tried to teach me, but they would become so frustrated with me that I ended up hating math altogether.

Machines have become smarter and teachers are now told what to teach and in what time frame. Unfortunately, not all students learn, study, or test at the same pace. So the subject of learning to give and count change may have been taught to a class until they all understood the subject. Once the government became so involved teachers were given maybe 3-4 days if that to teach the entire subject weather all the students understood the process or not.

My daughter graduated in 2012 having taken AP classes throughout high school and in the gifted program since 5th grade. Her final GPA was a 3.69 and her final math was honors calculus. Today she is a manager at a local business, and yet does not know how to count back change properly or figure the correct amount if the machines were to break down.

It is much the same across the board for our youth and changes must be made in the government, school and home levels to insure they learn necessary life skills. It's not uncommon for her to be yelled at, criticized, or teased by grandparent type customers about our youth's inability to handle money and how they dread them running the future. If she wasn't management she'd tell them where to stick it, but I taught my children grace and manners in difficult times if they want to get from point A to point B.

Best of luck to everyone out there who might not be so great at math, and just keep practicing (it makes perfect).

By alfred (Guest Post)01/03/2009

First of all, to the young folks, I feel for you. if you're working in a burger joint or something you're probably never going to need to know this because of computers, but if you're interested, my best advice is to go to a store with someone old working the register (hardware stores are a good bet). Buy something cheap and see if they count change back to you. It will sound something like (this is my own thing so the dollars stack by denomination):

43 cents makes three
ten is 13
18 (for the five)
19, and one is 20

Ask them to show you how to do it. We're a dying breed and we love to pass on this knowledge. There are a few little tricks to pick up for a lot of specific situations (which is why cashiers used to be trained), and a few quirks everyone has but someone who has made change thousands of times can show you this simple skill.

By (Guest Post)03/07/2008

If you can do BASIC MATH, you can make change. For instance, the total is $3.88 and they give you a five. Well, 3 away from five is 2, and another one (for the 88 cents) makes it one, but 100 - 88 still leaves 12, so the change would be $1.12. If it's a ten, well, ten is five more than five, so $6.12. A twenty is fifteen more than five, so $16.12, and so on.

By erin lininger (Guest Post)01/18/2008

Counting the right change from 100.00 dollars.

By Jim (Guest Post)06/17/2007

When the amount due is say 53.24
1)do you ask if they have 24cent or is it better to ask for 4 cents

and they give you a $100.00

By erin-lea forbes-dawson (Guest Post)05/16/2007

hi my name is erin and i am 16 yrs 5 mnths, i just got a job at foodtown in onehunga and at this shop you need to do alot of counting back change, the thing is i am lost when it comes to counting back change, but i am fine with counting change just not counting back change i live in new zealand and we use dollars and cents. pleaseeeeee help me

By MiMi (Guest Post)10/15/2006

hey, my name is MiMi i am about to be 16 yrs old in 4 months. I am a Sophmore in highschool. I kno how to count change i just dont kno how much change to count back!! and it is soooo embarrassing because i am much old enough to know and i really dont know how. I am afraid of asking someone because its really embarrassing please help me learn how to count change back.

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel [9]04/05/2005

Hi Marie and Ieshia,

There are so many jobs where the cash register figures the change for you, it is something a lot of people are not taught anymore.

For: "Total 72.14 Gave me:100.02"

The extra 2 cents doesn't help at all. Give it back to them. Then count the change back to $100.

Start with the change:
1 penny makes it 72.15
a dime makes it 72.25
3 quarters makes it 73.00.

Then the dollars:
2 dollars makes it 75.00
a five dollar bill makes it 80.00
a twenty dollar bill makes it 100.00.

So you give them 1 penny, 1 dime, 3 quarters, 2 dollar bills, a five dollar bill and a twenty dollar bill.

Always count up from the cash register total to the amount they gave you adding as you give them the change.

For the second case "Total: 63.44 Gave me: 100.50"

Give them the change from .44 to .50 so 1 penny and 1 nickel.

Then count back the change from 63.50 to 100.50. (The .50 at this point is taken care of and just tacked on the end.)

2 dollars , 65.50
5 dollar bill, 70.50
10 dollar bill, 80.50
20 dollar bill, 100.50

Hope this helps,
Susan from ThriftyFun

By Marie (Guest Post)04/05/2005

I know how to count back change to a certain extent, but what if it was like this:
total 72.14
Gave me:100.02
change: would be what?
I have problems w/ those ones. how would I figure that out?
or
Total: 63.44
Gave me:100.50
Change would be?
I have problems whith those ones too""""

By Kiki03/27/2005

"I am 16 years old in the 9th grade and i do not no how to count money and i am getting ready to start a job that has to do with money. Help me please .What should I do. "

Do you know how to add and subtract from 100?

That's how my mother taught me when I was little. Since every Dollar is 100 pennies, it's much easier for me to think of in that respect. Any Change (coins) people would be recieving would be from 100.

example: Someone buys $3.54 worth of stuff. They pay with a $5 bill.

5.00
-3.54
-------
1.46 would be the change.

Ignore the decimal points until the end, and just drop them down evenly.

This may also help:

http://www.moneyinstructor.com/wsp/wsp0019.asp

You can print out worksheets to help you along the way.

By Ieshia Clark (Guest Post)03/27/2005

I am 16 years old in the 9th grade and i do not no how to count money and i am getting ready to start a job that has to do with money. Help me please .What should I do.

Post Feedback

Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to post feedback.