How to count back change

How to count back change

Counting change does still matter!

More often than not today when entering a store, consumers are faced with electronic cash registers that tell the cashier everything they need to know. When faced with a malfunction, all too often these cashiers cannot deal with the very basics of their job which is to provide accurate change to a customer.

Counting change at one time was something that most people were taught at a very young age, and those who worked in retail were taught specific ways to count change back to patrons. Here is exactly how to make sure that you count change back to someone accurately each and every time.

Here are the steps for making change for a $100.00 bill given to a cashier for a total expenditure of $38.62.


Step 1

How much you were given

The first step in counting back money is to always keep in mind how much you were given. Always hold the amount given away from other monies until you have given accurate change.

In this case, assume that the customer gave the cashier a $100.00 bill and the amount owed is $38.62 meaning the customer is now owed $61.38.

Step 2

Count change back to yourself

With the $100 bill sitting on the register in front of you, the next thing you will do is count the change owed to the customer back to yourself. Since you know that the amount owed the customer is $61.38, you want to start with the largest bills first:

  • 1 $50 bill
  • 1 $10 bill

(note: that you may need to substitue 3 $20 bills depending on the store

  • 1 $1.00 bill
  • 1 Quarter
  • 1 Dime
  • 3 Pennies

Before you count this change to the customer, count it one more time to ensure it is accurate.

Step 3

Counting to customer

Since you removed the change due to the customer from the register, you now have to count back to the customer to ensure that they understand how you calculated the change due to them. While you counted from the largest denomination to the smallest when you were obtaining the change, you want to do the opposite to the customer.

To Customer: You gave me $100 and your bill was $38.62, your change is $61.38.


  • Pennies: 3 makes $38.65
  • Dime: 1 makes $38.75
  • Quarter: 1 makes $39.00
  • Dollar: 1 makes $40.00
  • Bills (either 3 $20 makes $100 or 1 $10 makes $50 and 1 $50 makes $100)

Now you have succcessfully provided the customer with change for $100 against their bill of $38.62.

Step 4

Finally deposit cash

Now that you are positive that the customer has received the proper change, you can deposit the $100 bill into the cash register. Counting back change in this manner will always result in 100% accuracy.

Things You Need
• You need to know:
• How much money is owed
• How much money was given
• How much change is due

Tips & Warnings
• Always count backwards! Start with pennies and finish with largest bills
• Never put what it paid into the register until after change is made
• Final statement should be amount paid to cashier


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