Introduction to Solving Word Problems Containing Decimals

What you’ll learn to do: Solve word problems that have decimals by applying the problem-solving method

A stack of coins on a table

Decimals often appear in problems dealing with money.

Emily is digging through her car to find change to put in the parking meter. She finds twice as many dimes as nickels, and one fewer quarter than dimes. Altogether, she comes up with $2.00–just enough to cover the amount of time she’ll have to park for her appointment! How can you figure out how many of each coin Emily put in the meter? You’ll need to think about the value of each coin, which is usually expressed as a decimal (quarters are worth $.25, dimes are $.10, and so on). In this section, you’ll practice solving word problems like this one, involving coins, tickets, and stamps.

Before you get started in this module, try a few practice problems and review prior concepts.

readiness quiz


If you missed this problem, review the following video about multiplying decimals.


If you missed this problem, review this video about the distributive property.


If you missed this problem, review this video on how to solve a linear equation by clearing decimals first.