Jose has four dollars and ninetyfour cents. He wants to impress his math teacher by writing the amount of money as a decimal but isn't sure how to convert from dollars and cents to decimal form. Can you write the amount of money Jose has as a decimal?
In this concept, you will learn how to use decimals to accurately write dollars and cents.
Writing Dollars and Cents as Decimals
Money is a way that you use decimals every day.
Let’s think about change. Coins are cents. If you have 50 pennies, then you have 50 cents. It takes 100 pennies to make one dollar or one whole. Coins are parts of one dollar so you can represent coins in decimals.
A penny is one cent or it is one out of 100. When you have a collection of pennies, you have so many cents out of 100.
How can you write 5 cents as a decimal? To do this, you need to think about 5 out of 100. You can say that 5 cents is 5 hundredths of a dollar since there are 100 pennies in one dollar.
Let’s write 5 cents as a decimal using place value.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


.  5 
The five is in the hundredths box because five cents is five one hundredths of a dollar. You need to add a zero in the tenths box to fill the gap.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


.  0  5 
Now you have converted 5 cents to a decimal.
Suppose you have twelve dollars and fourteen cents. A dollar is a whole number amount. Dollars are found to the left of the decimal point. Cents are parts of a dollar. They are found to the right of the decimal point.
There is one ten and the two ones gives you twelve dollars. Then you have some change. One dime and four pennies is equal to fourteen cents.
Here are the numbers:
12 wholes
14 parts
Let’s put the values in a place value chart.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


1  2  .  1  4 
There is the money amount. The answer is $12.14. Notice that the dollar sign is added to the answer to represent money.
Examples
Example 1
Earlier, you were given a problem about Jose and his four dollars and ninetyfour cents.
How can you write that value as a decimal?
First, write the amount in a place value chart.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


4  .  9  4 
Then, write the number as a decimal.
4.94
The answer is $4.94.
Example 2
Write 75 cents as a decimal.
First, think about what part of a dollar 75 cents is. Seventyfive cents is seventyfive out of 100.
Now, you can put this into the place value chart.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


.  7  5 
Then write the number as a decimal.
0.75
The answer is $0.75.
Example 3
Write three dollars and fifteen cents as a decimal.
First, write the amount in a place value chart.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


3  .  1  5 
Then, write the number as a decimal.
3.15
The answer is $3.15
Example 4
Write eightynine cents as a decimal.
First, write the amount in a place value chart.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


.  8  9 
Then, write the number as a decimal.
0.89
The answer is $0.89.
Example 5
Write fifteen dollars and twentyfive cents as a decimal.
First, write the amount in a place value chart.
Hundred  Tens  Ones  Tenths  Hundredths  Thousandths 
Ten Thousandths 


1  5  .  2  5 
Then, write the number as a decimal.
15.25
The answer is $15.25.
Review
Write the following money amounts as decimals.
 Ten dollars and fifty cents
 Five dollar bills, two quarters and three pennies
 A twenty dollar bill, a ten dollar bill and three dimes
 Fifteen nickels and two quarters
 Six dollar bills, three quarters and a nickel
 A dime and fifteen pennies
 Two dollars, ten dimes and two quarters
 Three quarters, five nickels and ten pennies
 Sixteen dollar bills, two quarters, a nickel and ten pennies
 A ten dollar bill, a five dollar bill, one quarter, three nickels, a dime and ten pennies
 A ten dollar bill, a quarter, a dime, five nickels and fifteen pennies
 A five dollar bill, two quarters, two dimes, a nickel and two pennies
 Two dollar bills, a quarter and five pennies
 Three dollar bills, a twenty dollar bill, two quarters and five dimes
 A dollar, three quarters, two dimes, five nickels and two pennies
Review (Answers)
To see the Review answers, open this PDF file and look for section 3.4.