Counting by Hand

Cheetah Change cup

Photo: Tammie Valdes

Two weeks ago, one of the Wildlife Safari’s ambassador cheetahs visited Anna’s school and I wrote about his visit for Five Minute Friday. Over the last two week, Anna and her classmates have been collecting change to donate to the Safari’s Cheetah Breeding program, and today we counted totals for each classroom.

Hand counting that much change is a chore, but we’ve got it down to a system. My wife Julia, who’s far better at both math and money than I am taught me how to count money fast and efficiently, and using this system three adults and one eight-year-old were able to count eighteen classrooms worth of “Cheetah Change” in about an hour and a half.

Here are the steps.

  1. Take out the bills.
  2. Separate coins (quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies).
  3. Count coins from largest to smallest.
  4. For every four quarters put one in a “dollar pile” and the other three in the counted change pile.
  5. For every ten dimes, put one in the “dollar pile” and nine in the counted change pile.
  6. For every nickel, put one in the “dollar pile” and nineteen in the counted change pile (it helps to count nickels by twos).
  7. Once you get to pennies, you’ll need to make a third pile (“tens pile”)  to count every tenth penny. It’s too easy to lose your place when counting to 100.
  8. The number of  leftover (less than ten) pennies go in rightmost column (i.e. $__._7).
  9. Count the “tens pile.” For every ten pennies, put one in the “dollar pile” and nine in the counted change pile.
  10. The number of  leftover (less than ten) pennies go in the next column over (i.e. $__.37).
  11. Count the “dollar pile.” Add the number of coins to your bill count to get the dollar total and place that to the left of the decimal point. (i.e. $26.37),
  12. Collect the bill and change. Your done with that jar!

The result? Anna’s school ended up raising over $360 for the cheetahs. The two top classes got an extra recess.

And most amazing of all, our hand-counted total was within forty cents of the machine count at the bank.

The system works!

Five Minute Friday

And on the first Friday of each month …

Fatherhood for Fridays

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