How to Make Change as a Cashier

Learn to make change

If you are a cashier at anything from a gas station to a five-star restaurant, an essential job skill for being a good cashier means knowing how to make change. Knowing how to make change will not only help you prevent costly and embarrassing mistakes but will help the customer feel attended to and taken care of. Retail workers and restaurant cashiers will not get promoted if they are consistently imperfect in the totals at the end of the day. Making change accurately, is the best way to avoid this problem.


Step 1

Collect and organize the paper money and coinage you have available to you to practice with. Making change takes slightly longer than just handing the customer all of their money at once.

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Step 2

Think back to your last shift at work, as a restaurant cashier, retail worker or any other job that involves handling money. What were some of the more common totals you rang up for customers who paid with cash? What bills did they pay you with? I f you are constantly selling video games costing $29.99 plus tax, it is likely the customer will give you $40 in cash. Try to remember these amounts and making change will become easier.


Step 3

Write down a common total, such as $32.46, which is $29.99 plus the 8.25% sales tax added in California. Then, write down the amount most commonly used to pay such as $40. Use a calculator, or by hand calculate the amount of change the customer would receive. In this case, it would be $7.54.


Step 4

Learn to count the change, first with coins and then with bills starting with the smallest denomination, into or next to the customer's hand. You would first carefully count out the 54 cents, followed by two $1 bills in succession, and finally the $5 bill. Always go smallest to largest when making change.


Step 5

Say the total of each denomination aloud as you count it out. As an example: "Out of $40, $7.54 is your change. 54 cents is $33, one is $34, and $35, and $5 is $40."


Step 6

Notice how as you state the amount of each bill, you are counting upward, from the cost of the sale toward the total given to you by the customer. This is the way people expect it to be done, and customers will appreciate you taking the time to not only make sure it is correct, but to show them, through both visual and auditory means, that they are getting the correct change.


Step 7

Master the art of making change, and you will quickly notice that your accuracy and speed at work will improve. If the customer sees and hears, that they are receiving the correct amount of change, they do not have to take the time to stand at the counter and recount it themselves. If you make change in this way, you will also catch your own mistakes before they happen. If you grabbed too many singles, for example, you will quickly realize this before the money changes hands.


Remember or write down the most common sales totals at your job. If you commit to memory exactly how much change you will need to make, you can perform more quickly and accurately.


You, and not the customer, need to be always right when it comes to money. Make sure you and the customer have acknowledged the correct total before the money changes hands, and making change will become a job skill you can rely on.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper money

  • coins in all denominations

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