We touch it every day, we use it almost every day but how much do we actually know about money? Sure, the basics are covered: there’s lots of it, every country has a different currency and well, that’s about it. To find out some surprising and interesting facts about what’s sitting in your wallet then read on…
20. It’s not paper
Well, at least that’s the case with the US bills. They are actually made out of cloth, back in Benjamin Franklin’s day they were sewn with needle and thread. Now that is a lot to go through for a $10 note.
19. The coin was invented in 1500 BC
Before then just about everything was used to trade goods, from cows to blood, tea leaves and rice nothing was off limits when it came commodities.
18. It can become worthless
In the 20’s hyperinflation meant that the German currency was practically worth zilch, so the nifty Bavarian’s decided to use it as wallpaper and give it to kids to play with instead.
17. Penny’s cost more than their worth
That’s right, the useless little coin actually costs the US government around $2.4 cents to make and mint, making it the most overpriced penny ever.
16. North Kore likes to produce counterfeit notes
In fact, they are the largest producer and distributor of counterfeit notes in the world. They are considered so high quality, the US secret service nicknames them superdollars.
15. More Monopoly money than the real deal
Yup, that’s right more Monopoly money has been printed over the years than actual real notes and bills. If only we could actually use it to buy things!
14. Careful of the cocaine notes
The rumours are true, around 90% of US bank notes have traces of cocaine on them, but don’t worry there is tonnes more bacteria than drugs on them (see no.7)
13. Queen Elizabeth is everywhere
No, literally her face has been on the notes and bills in over 33 different countries. While they’re all Commonwealth countries, it’s still pretty impressive!
12. Icelandic people love their cards
People in Iceland use debit and credit cards more frequently than any other country. Around 70% of sales transactions in Iceland are completed using cards, while in the states it’s closer to 40%.
11. Australia has some sturdy currency
Since their notes are made out of a type of plastic rather than paper they last more than twice as long and are actually more eco-friendly, sounds like a win-win situation!
10. Those little grooves have a purpose
Some coins have indents around the edges, while today they serve little purpose back when they were made from precious metals people would scrap off bits to sell later on. So, essentially the grooves were carved in to stop this.
9. Poverty is real
If you happen to have $10 in your wallet and are living debt free, sadly you’re wealthier than 25% of Americans today. Some survive on just $2 a day.
8. Throw out your cheque book!
Okay maybe not just yet but really all a cheque’s purpose is to tell the bank what it needs to do, so really it could be written out on a piece of paper, as long as everything is in order.
7. So gross, you don’t want to touch them
If you ever want to touch a note again don’t read on. Shockingly 14% of bills have faecal matter on them and a whopping 94% had live pathogens. Delicious.
6. Gold isn’t that great
If all the gold in the world was melted down into one square block, it would only measure 21m on each side. Can we test this theory out, please!
5. Digital money rules
Amazingly, only 8% of all the currency in the world is actual physical cash. Everything else is online, bank transfers, online shopping, with a click of a button you’ve transferred digital cash.
4. Rats like to eat cash
No, seriously. It has been reported that the notorious Pablo Escobar lost an average of 1 billion dollars every year to hungry rats nibbling at his cash stash. Ever heard of a safe?
3. Most of it goes to food
Somehow, on average every year in America people spend 117 billion dollars on fast food. That’s 500 million on Twinkies and about 96 billion on beer. No wonder there is an obesity epidemic!
2. Credit cards rule the world
Well, at least America. There are more credit cards floating around the states than people. On average people have around 5 credit cards!
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1. Gambling money
Each and every year gambling generates more revenue than movie theatres, cruise ships, spectator sports, theme parks and recorded music – combined! Now that’s crazy!