What is Money? Finding its Value Using Cents & Dollars - BYJUS

Total Money Value

Money has value because we collectively believe that money is valuable. We use money to buy or sell goods and services. We have different currencies in different countries, and each currency has different denominations of money. The denominations of the US dollar bills are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100, and the coins in circulation are 1¢ (1 cent or $0.01), 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00....Read MoreRead Less

Select your child's grade in school:

What is Money?

Money is a commodity that is widely acknowledged as a means of economic exchange. It is the vehicle through which prices and values are communicated. It is the primary measure of wealth and circulates from person to person and country to country, promoting trade.

Example: If the child wants to buy ice cream she would have to pay money to make the purchase.


Value of each Coin

There are a few types of coins like a penny, a dime, a nickel and a quarter.

  • A penny is equal to 1 cent.
  • A nickel is equal to 5 cents.
  • A dime is equal to 10 cents.
  • A quarter is equal to 25 cents.


Total Value

When we count how many coins or currency notes there are, we will get the total value of the money with respect to the number of coins or currency notes.

Example: Count on to find the total value

                                                  fivecentsnickel penny


As we can see we have 3 coins: one dime, one penny, and one nickel.

Since, dime = 10 cents

penny = 1 cent

nickel = 5 cents

So, Total money value: 1 + 5 + 10 = 16¢

Relation between Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter











Example: If Thomas has 10 quarters and Michael has 10 dimes. Then, who has the most money?




quarter = 25 cents

10 quarters = 250 cents


Thus, Thomas has total 250¢.


As 1 dime = 10  cents

10 dimes = 100 cents


Micheal has a total of 100¢.

Micheal has less cents as compared to Thomas. 

Order of Coins

As we have seen earlier there are many coins like pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters.

The penny is the smallest coin in the US currency system as it is equal to 5¢. The largest note currently in circulation in the US currency is the $100 bill.

The order of currency from smallest to greatest:

Penny, nickel, dime, quarter, $1 bill, and so on with $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 being the other notes in circulation.


Use of Money in terms of Coins and Notes

Human beings require money to pay for all of the necessities of life, such as housing, food, medical bills, and a good education.

We have lots of different coins as well as different currency notes. Sometimes, to pay a bill, we need a combination of coins and notes. So, in daily life we use money in different combinations whether in the form of notes or coins.


Let John have a total of 25¢, but he does not have a quarter coin. He has to pay 12¢. So, John can pay 12¢ by paying 1 dime and 2 pennies. Also, if he does not have a dime, he can pay with two nickels and two pennies.

What is a Dollar ?

Dollar is the unit of money in some countries including the US. A dollar is a monetary or currency unit. The dollar is used in the United States, Canada, and in Australia. A dollar is represented by the symbol “$”. A $1 bill is the same as a 100-cent bill.

$1 = 100¢


Example: Count the notes to find the total value. 





As we can see in the given figure, We have $20 bill, $100 bill, $10 bill, $10 bill. 


The total amount of money =  20 + 100 + 10 + 10 = $140 .


Example: Which group of bills is the odd one out?




Answer: The images labeled as $2, $2, $5 are similar. The third image labeled as $1, $100, $100. The first and second image is similar to each other.


Example: Berlin has 10¢. Then how many cents does Berlin need to make it up to a  $1 bill?



1 dollar = 100 cents

Berlin has = 10¢

The amount of money to make $1 bill = 100¢ – 10¢ = 90¢

So, Berlin needs 90¢ to get the money he has to $1. 

How can we make a $1 bill?

As we know, 

$1 = 100¢


You can make 1 dollar using different coins like dimes, quarters, etc. Also, we can make 1 dollar using only one coin.


Example: $1 bill = 10 dimes = 100 cents.

1 dime = 10 cents




A $1 bill can be a combination of 5 dimes and 10 pennies.

$1 bill = 5 dimes + 10 pennies = 100 cents

1 dime = 10 cents

1 penny = 5 cents



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Solved Examples on Value of Money

Example 1: Write 26 cents in the combination of quarter and penny.



1 quarter = 25 cents

1 penny = 1 cents

26 can be written as 25 + 1.

Hence, 26 cents = a quarter + a penny.




Example 2: Draw the label of the coins from greatest value to least value and then find the total value

                                            1cent  1quarter



As we can see, 1 cent is equal to a penny and a quarter has 25 cents. Hence, a quarter is greater than a penny.


1 penny = 1 cent

1 quarter = 25 cents


The value of coins from the greatest to the least is:

The total value of coins is 1¢ + 25¢ = 26¢.


                                          1_quarter     1penny


Example 3: Betty has just 1 coin, which is a quarter but George has 5 nickels, who has the greater money value? And by how much?



Since, 1 quarter = 25 cents

Therefore, Betty has 25¢ in total

1 nickel = 5 cents

Then, 5 nickel = 55 = 25 cents


Therefore, George also has 25¢ in total


Hence, George and Betty both have the same amount of money.


Example 4: Mia has 2 nickels and 8 pennies in one pocket. She has 3 dimes in another pocket. She wants to buy a toy car. The price of the toy car is 60¢. In this case, does she have enough money to buy the car?



nickel = 5 cents 

2 nickel = 10 cents 

8 pennies = 8 cents 

dime = 10  cents

3 dimes = 15 cents 

Total money: 10 + 8 + 15 = 33¢.


As we can see, Mia has only 33 cents and the price of the car is 60 cents. 


Since Mia has less money than the price of the toy car she cannot buy it. 


Example 5: Oliver has 1 dollar. He buys the item shown. Then how much change will he get?





As We know, 1 dollar = 100¢.

Therefore, Olive has 100¢

He has spent 77¢.

So, the total change Olive get = 100¢ – 77¢ = 23¢.


Example 6: Show this amount in different ways? 





We can write 66¢ in the combination of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

As we know, 1 penny = t

1 nickel = 5 cents

66¢ can be written as :




Another way to write 66¢:




Hence, there are a few combinations in which we can obtain a total of 66¢.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Money

American currency comes in seven denominations. The federal government currently issues $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 notes. 

No, As currently the highest dollar currency is $100. We can’t get $1000 bill from the bank. We can withdraw $100 bill ten times from the bank.

In the United States, burning money is illegal and can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years, as well as fines. It’s also illegal to tear a dollar bill or even flatten a penny on railroad tracks due to the weight of a locomotive.