Math Word Problems: Money

In this lesson, students will solve math word problems using money, decimals, and fractions. These problems will include all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Students will solve problems involving multiple steps (for example, students may be asked to first add, then subtract). Lastly, students will solve money problems using simple fractions.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this lesson your child will be able to:

  • Solve money problems using all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division)
  • Solve multi-step problems (e.g. first multiply, then subtract)
  • Solve money problems using simple fractions

Warm Up

Work through the warm up section below with your children and then try the worksheet before moving on to the main part of the lesson.

Operations and Key Words in Word Problems

The chart below shows common terms for the 4 operations found in many word problems.

Add Subtract Multiply Divide
Total Difference Each Each
In all Less than Row Split
Together/ All together How many more Group Row
And Minus Total Half
Sum Left over Double Fourth

Below are some examples of key words in word problems.

  1. Jackson has 250 baseball cards and 175 football cards. How many baseball and football cards does he have in all? (Add 250 + 175 = 425 cards).
  2. How many more baseball cards than football cards does Jackson have? (Subtract 250 - 175 = 75 cards).
  3. Mrs. Silver has 5 rows of daisies in her garden. There are 6 daisies in each row. How many total daises are in Mrs. Silver's garden? (Multiply 6 x 5 = 30 daisies).
  4. Mrs. Silver also has lilies in her garden. She planted 18 daisies. She has 6 rows of daisies. How many daisies are in each row? (Divide 18 ÷ 6 = 3 daisies in each row)

Money, Decimals, Fraction Connections

The chart below shows you connections between money, decimals, and fractions

Money Decimal Fraction
Quarter 0.25 ¼
Fifty cents/ half dollar 0.5 or 0.50 ½
Seventy-five cents 0.75 ¾
Dollar 1.0 or 1 1 whole

 

Pre-assessment worksheet

Have your children try the assessment worksheet below before starting the main lesson.

Main Lesson: Money Word Problems

Below are eight examples of money word problems. Work through these with your children and have them try the word problem worksheets as they go.

Example 1 of 8: Money Word Problem With Addition

Stephanie received {$15.25} for babysitting on Friday night and {$17.75} for babysitting on Saturday night. How much did she make in total?

Step 1:  Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.

Step 2:  Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much did she make in total).

Step 3: Write a number sentence (15.25 + 17.75)

Step 4:  Rewrite the problem vertically.  Line up decimal points.

  15.25
+17.75
33.00
 

Step 5: Solve and write the answer in dollars. Stephanie made $33 dollars in total.

Help your children add money using real dollars and coins. Encourage them to count dollars and coins left over from change, that is in your wallet, or spare change in the house. Remind them that when they count money, they are adding and that coins are decimals. Coins are parts of dollars just like decimals are parts of whole numbers.

Example 2 of 8: Money Word Problem With Subtraction

Jessica has {$25.00} to spend in the video game store. She buys a used game for {$15.83}. How much money does she have left over?

Step 1:  Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.

Step 2:  Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much did she have left over?).

Step 3: Write a number sentence (25.00 - 15.83)

Step 4:  Rewrite the problem vertically.  Line up decimal points.

  25.00
- 15.83
9.17
 

Step 5: Solve and write the answer in dollars.  Jessica has $9.17 left over

Example 3 of 8: Money Word Problem With Multiplication

Sol wants to buy a candy bar for {$0.75}. If he buys {4} candy bars, how much total money will he spend?

  • Step 1: Underline important information and {bracket} important numbers.
  • Step 2: Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (Determine how much total money will Sol spend?).
  • Step 3: Write a number sentence ($0.75 x 4)
  • Step 4: Count the number of decimal places in 0.75. There are 2 decimal places. The 7 is in the tenths place and the 5 is in the hundredths place.
  • Step 5: Multiply 75 x 4 = 300
  • Step 6: Put the decimal point back into the product.  3.00
  • Step 7: Write the answer.  Sol will have to spend $3.00

Encourage your children to use the partial product method to multiply 75 by 4. Partial product involves multiply the 75 in expanded form (70 x 4)+(5 x 4)=300

Example 4 of 8: Money Word Problem With Division

Rudy received {$24.75} for his birthday. He wants to split the money into groups to save for {three things}: movie tickets; art supplies; music downloads. If he wants the same amount for each activity, how much money will he put into each group?

  • Step 1: Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.
  • Step 2: Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much will Rudy put into each group?).
  • Step 3: Write a number sentence ($24.75 ÷ 3)
  • Step 4: Divide whole dollars first (24 ÷ 3 = 8)
  • Step 5: Divide cents next (0.75 ÷ 3 = 0.25)
  • Step 6: Add dollars and cents. $8 + 0.25 = $8.25
  • Step 7: Write the answer.  Rudy will put $8.25 in each group.

Try this Word Problems Worksheet to practice with money word problems that are similar to examples 1 to 4 above.

Remind your children that 0.75 is 3 quarters. Three quarters divided by 3 is one quarter or 0.25.

Example 5 of 8: Multi-step Money Word Problem

Talia is at the mall with her friends. She buys a DVD for {$10.99}. Then she buys a new pair of earrings for {$8.25}. Lastly, she gets her mother a bouquet of flowers for {$9.50}. If she starts with {$50}, how much does she have after she goes shopping?

  • Step 1: Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.
  • Step 2: Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much will Talia have after she goes shopping?).
  • Step 3: First, add the total amount that she spent ($10.99 + $8.25 + $9.50 = $28.74)
  • Step 4: Then, subtract the total amount Talia spent from the amount she started with ($50.00 - $28.74 = $21.26)
  • Step 5: Write the answer. Talia spent $21.26

Remind your child that a multi-step problem means that there is more than one step in solving the problem. In this case, first you add, then you subtract.

Example 6 of 8: Multi-step Money Word Problem

Josiah is buying {5} packs of gum that cost {$1.50} each. He wants to share his gum with {two} friends. He asks his friends to pay him for their share. Including Josiah, how much does each person spend on gum?

Step 1:  Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.

Step 2:  Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much did each person spend on gum?).

Step 3: First, multiply the number of packs of gum (5) by the cost of each pack ($1.50)

  5 x $1.50 = $7.50
(5 x $1) = $5.00
($0.50 x 5) = $2.50
($5.00 + $2.50) = $7.50
 

Step 4: Then, divide the total amount of the gum ($7.50) by the number of people (3). One way to do this is to convert $7.50 into cents.
This gives 750 cents which we then divide by 3
750 cents ÷ 3 = 250 cents. We then convert the cents back into dollars: 250 cents = $2.50

Step 5: Write the answer.  Each friend spent $2.50.

Try this Multi-step word problems worksheet to practice with problems that are similar to examples 5 and 6 above.

Dividing decimals may present a challenge for your child. Also, in the above problem, encourage your child to make connections between the 7.50 and the 3 as "seventy-five cents" and "three." If you divided 75 cents by 3, you would get 25 cents.
Note: Your children might not be shown how perform operations with decimals until 5th Grade.

Example 7 of 8: Money Word Problem With Fractions

Todd has {$100} saved from shoveling snow and raking leaves. If { ½ } his money came from shoveling snow, how much money did he make raking leaves?

  • Step 1: Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.
  • Step 2: Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much money did Todd make raking leaves?).
  • Step 3: First find ½ of $100. $100 ÷ 2 = $50
  • Step 4: Since half divides the $100 into two equal amounts, Todd made $50 from raking leaves and $50 from shoveling snow.
  • Step 5: Write the answer. Todd made $50 shoveling snow.

Example 8 of 8: Money Word Problem With Fractions

Spencer received {$240} a month for tutoring 4th grade students. { ¼ } of his earnings came from tutoring students in math. How much money did he make tutoring students in math?

  • Step 1: Underline operation key terms and {bracket} important numbers.
  • Step 2: Ask: What is this question asking me to do? (How much money did Spencer make tutoring math?).
  • Step 3: First find ¼ of $240. Since one-fourth (¼) means to divide by 4, you are now dividing by a whole number: $240 ÷ 4 = $60.
  • Step 5: Write the answer. Spencer made $60 tutoring math.

Try this Money Word Problems Worksheet to practice with problems that are similar to examples 7 and 8 above.

Money Word Problems: Worksheets

Listed below are the 3 worksheets included in the above lesson

Test Questions

Have your children try the 8 questions in the Post-assessment worksheet below. Check their answers and review this lesson with them if necessary.

 

 

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