What you need to know

Things to remember:

  • We can add the £ and p separately.
  • When we add and subtract money, we do it the same as with normal numbers.
  • If a question that asks for “change”, it is a subtraction question.
  • If we don’t have any pence to take away from, we can turn one of the pounds into 100p.

When adding or subtracting money, we can move the pounds next to each other and the pence next to each other. Remember, we can treat money like normal numbers.

£6 and 30p + £1 and 15p = £6+£1 and 30p + 15p = £7 and 45p

£8 and 20p – £5 and 9p = £8 – £5 and 20p – 9p = £3 and 11p

Questions can sometimes be worded as well.

“You buy 7 croissants for 50p each. You pay for your croissants with a £10 note. How much change do you get back?”

Here we need to do two things:

Step 1: Find out how much is being spent.

50p + 50p + 50p + 50p + 50p + 50p + 50p = 350p = £3 and 50p (The cost of the croissants)

Step 2: Subtract to find the change.

But how can we take away the pence when we don’t have any in the £10 note? Let’s start by taking away the pounds.


But remember, we can write this as pence.


£7-50p = 700p – 50p = 650p = £6 and 50p

If we think about this in the real world, when we buy something our money goes down. Using this, we knew it has to be a subtraction question.

Example Questions

Question 1: What is £3 and 50p + £2 and 35p?


£3 and 50p + £2 and 35p = £3+£2 and 50p + 35p = £5 and 85p


So, our answer is £5 and 85p

Question 2:  If you buy £3 and 20p worth of sweets and pay with a £5 note, how much change will you get?


Remember, when we are looking at change it is a subtraction question.


£5 – £3 and 20p


Start by taking away the pounds.


£5 – £3 = £2


Now change the pounds into pence and subtract.


£2 – 20p = 200p – 20p = 180p = £1 and 80p


So, you will get £1 and 80p change.