Monetary Units/Denominations

The U.S. monetary system follows the decimal system. The basic unit is the dollar US. The most widely used bills are in denominations of $1, $5, $10 and $20. Occasionally, a bill of $2, $50 or $100 may be seen. Each dollar is divided into 1 00 cents. Currency in the form of a coin is:

1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), and 25 cents (quarter).



$1 dollar, $5 dollars, $10 dollars

$20 dollars, $50 dollars, $100 dollars

Value of a Dollar – Below is a list of average prices:

  • Cup of coffee $2.00
  • Espresso-based drink $3.50
  • Hamburger, fries, & drink $5.00 – $7.00
  • Lunch at a restaurant… $8.00 – $15.00
  • Movie Theater (cinema) $8.00 – $10.00
  • Letter stamp in U.S $0.49

Sales Tax

Most states in the U.S. charge a sales tax on tangible personal property and services, such as clothing, restaurant and fast food meals, services,
newspapers, books, toiletries, etc. The sales tax; in Okoboji, Iowa, it is 7.0. Sales taxes are added at the register, so be prepared for your bill to be more than the price tag on an item.


Also known as gratuity, tipping is giving a small amount of money to another person for a service. Tips are expected in many situations in the U.S. These are the most often tipped services and a percentage guideline for tips:

  • Waiter/waitress 20% of food bill
  • Barbers/hairdressers 10% of bill
  • Taxi drivers 10 – 15% of fare
  • Food delivery No less than $3

You should never tip police officers, physicians, government employees or university employees. It may be interpreted as a bribe, which is illegal.
You do not tip bus drivers, theater ushers, museum guides, sales people, employees at fast food restaurants or hotel clerks.