The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is a popular formatting and style guide used by journalists and public relations writers. In addition to providing punctuation, spelling and grammar rules, it includes an alphabetized guide to numerous other topics including: the writing of abbreviations, dates, ages and times. The format for writing about money if found under the "dollars" and "cents" entries in the AP Stylebook. The AP Stylebook explains how to write when referencing dollars, cents and a combination of the two.
Writing about Dollars and Cents
Use the dollar sign before the amount you are writing about; never write out the word "dollars" after any amount.
Round amounts up or down when an exact figure is not essential to the story.
Over $200,000 (not $203,052)
Over $575,000 (not $579,001)
Almost $800,000 (not $797,964)
Almost $450,000 (not $446,389)
Write out the words with the dollar sign for amounts of $1 million and higher.
Write a number followed by the word "cents" for amounts of money less than $1.
Combining Dollars and Cents
Use a dollar sign and a decimal point when writing an amount that combines dollars and cents.
Add dollars and cents in writing by combining the forms from Section 1, Steps 1 and 4; and Section 2, Step 1.
"The boy bought a piece of candy for 25 cents and a cake for $3, bringing his total to $3.25."
"John spent a total of $56.23 on a present, $22.05 at one store and $34.18 at another."
Add large dollar amounts to each other in writing by combining the forms from from Section 1, Steps 1 and 3.
"The CEO earned $6.5 million and spent $3 million on a private plane, leaving him with $3.5 million."
"Lisa spent $1.8 million last month, $1.5 million on a house and $300,000 on a yacht."
Tips & Warnings
- When referencing large amounts of money to the exact amount, use the dollar sign and do not include the words for amounts over $1 million.
- "The palace is worth exactly $10,476,159."
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