Fractions are numbers expressed in parts as well—a numerator over a denominator. A percentage can be stated as a fraction in which the denominator is 100: 50% = 50/100. With fractions, your goal is to reduce the denominator to the smallest possible number so that the fraction becomes easier to deal with. Thus, 50/100 is the same as 1/2, and 25 percent or 25/100 is the same as 1/4.

Often, thinking of these amounts as parts of a dollar—coins—can be very helpful. For example, 50/100 is equivalent to a half-dollar (50 cents), and 25/100 is equivalent to a quarter (25 cents).

Real Life, Real Money use
Fractions, like percentages, show up all the time when stores put things on sale. You often see things marked "1/2 price" or "1/2 off." Fractions also are common in recipes. Once you get good at percentages, decimals, and fractions you'll be able to use them interchangeably. Here are the ones you'll see most often whether you're perusing the stock tables, clearance sales, or a recipe book.

Percentage Decimal Fraction
10% .10 1/10
12.5% .125 1/8
25% .25 1/4
33% .33 1/3
37.5% .375 3/8
50% .5 1/2
62.5% .625 5/8
66% .66 2/3
75% .75 3/4
87.5% .875 7/8
100% 1 1

Math 101 continues...
Reprinted from Make Money, Not Excuses by Jean Chatzky with permission from Crown Business, a division of Random House, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Jean Chatzky.  
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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