How to Count Money

Large amounts of cash may be difficult to count accurately.

Money drives the societal interactions of the modern world. With the invention of paper money, people were able to carry around large amounts of cash to buy what they needed. Carrying cash requires that you count it before you spend it to make sure that you are giving the right amount. It is important to be able to count money fast and accurately. There are many different methods for counting money, and people from different regions of the world often have unique counting methods.


How to Count Money

Step 1

The system you should use to count your money depends on the approximate amount of money that you need to count and the value of the bills you are carrying. Before you start counting, pick a number to which you will cycle your counting. This number is generally a power of 10. For example, use 1000 if your cash consists mainly of hundred-dollar bills and fifty-dollar bills; 100 if it consists of twenties and tens; and 10 if it consists of fives and ones.


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Step 2

Sort all bills of the same monetary value together. You may keep all of these together in one stack or separate them into piles of differing values. Arrange these groups of same-valued bills so that they are ordered by their value.

Step 3

To count the amount of money in each collection of same-valued bills, divide the number that you have chosen to count to by the value of the bill. For example, if you are counting ten-dollar bills and you have chosen to count to 100, the number you will remember is 10. Divide the collection of bills into stacks of 10. Each stack represents $100.00, which is easy to add together mentally.


Step 4

Repeat this process with each collection of similarly valued bills, using different powers of 10. For all leftovers that don't go easily into the power of 10 that you are counting to at the time, add the bills to the pile that is being sorted by the next lowest power of 10.

Step 5

You should now know how many sets of $1,000.00, $100.00, $10.00 and $1.00 that you have. Adding these numbers is simple in the standard decimal system.


Count the bills of highest value first. Instead of physically dividing your money into separate piles, keep it in one pile and use your fingers to separate different sections of it.