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."
- Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Write AP Style
Associated Press style, or AP style, is the gold standard for journalistic writing. A successful career in print, broadcast or online journalism...
How to Make $1 Million Dollars in Less Than 1 Year
I worked for a start-up company a couple of years ago. I stepped in when the product was just hitting the market...
How to Format Numbers in Associated Press Style
The general rule regarding numbers in Associated Press style is to spell out one to nine and use figures for numbers 10...
How to Write an AP-Style Newspaper Article
The Associated Press (AP) is the largest news organization in the world, providing stories to print and online publications. AP writers follow...
How to Write Out Dollars & Cents in Legal Documents
Legal documents need to be so precise that there is no margin for misinterpretation. Those that involve the transfer of money, such...