How much do you really know about those digits in your checking account? We use money every day, but we don’t all know much about it. You won’t believe it when you hear these real facts about money.

For most of us, the most important fact about money is the amount in our paychecks. But there are dozens of reasons money is one of the most complex subjects in the world. From its materials to what it symbolizes, there’s a lot you need to know.

15 Facts About Money That Will Blow Your Mind

These facts may not change your relationship with money. But they will change your perspective on the concepts behind it.

Consider the following fifteen facts before your next commute. You’ll have a better understanding of what it means and what you’re working for.

1. Money Isn’t Made of Paper

Among many facts about money that will interest your friends is its material. Cash is often referred to as ‘paper money,’ but there is nothing ‘paper’ about it. It’s actually 75% cotton and 25% linen, which makes it more durable.

2. Money is Actually Worthless

Well, its materials are relatively worthless. Money has only as much value as we all agree to give it.

The only reason you can trade money for goods and services is a ‘social contract.’ This is a contract we’re born into whereby we agree to the symbolic value of money.

This standard was once upheld by the ‘gold standard,’ where the government had value in gold to support the symbolic value of money. Now that value almost literally resides in our communal shaking of hands.

3. Money Has a Drug Problem

As somewhat implied, money exchanges a lot of hands. CNN found in 2009 that 90% of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine. That means almost all bills have been used for drugs–and stuck up people’s noses.

We can assume that most people aren’t illicit drug users. This shows how wide the circulation of money can be.

4. Money is High Tech

Dollar bills are riddled with security measures. From trackable, magnetic ink to holograms, its physical attributes are like a database firewall. This prevents counterfeiting which in turn maintains money’s value.

5. You Can’t Just Print More of It

Lots of people wonder why the government doesn’t just print more money. Then we’d all be a lot richer, right? Quite the opposite.

This stems from the illusion that money has a fixed value. But if we pump bills into the economy, that value plummets exponentially. This has been a historic problem, leading to $500 loaves of bread.

Money is about relationships. Its value in relation to us, goods, and services give it its economic “umph.”

6. Money May Lose Its Lowest Cohort Soon

What comes to mind when you think about the penny? If you picture a sticky coin at the bottom of your cupholder, there is a reason for that. The penny is becoming so useless that it’s on its way out.

This is due to inflation. Money inevitably loses some value over time. Now you know why a Coke once costed a Nickel when now it costs over a dollar.

7. Money Has Gone Digital

From in-app purchases to cryptocurrency, money as we know it is changing. New business models are redefining ‘goods and services’ and even denominations. This goes to show how ‘buying in’ to new systems and exchanges is what gives money its value.

8. Money is a World Traveler

Remember the ‘social contract’? Even on top of that premise is the symbolic digital transfer of money in our country and overseas. Technology supporting these processes and exchanges are more advanced than ever.

Look into foreign financial groups like Bonsai Finance. You will see what a wide range of options are available to businesses and individuals.

9. The Government Uses Money for Mulch

Who would destroy perfectly good dollar bills? The U.S. government, of course.

Part of maintaining the economic balance is destroying and replacing old money. Much of that waste goes to agriculture for use as compost. That’s one of those facts about money that makes you want to cringe.

10. The Less Valuable the Better

Coins are not made of the impressive metals you might think. World governments have reduced the value of coins’ physical attributes by using cheaper materials. That’s why the penny is now more Zinc then Copper.

This saves on the minting process. It also prevents people from reselling raw materials. And it gives new credence to the claim, “Not worth the paper it’s printed on.”

11. Money is a Work of Art

All of currency’s characteristics are well thought out. Each symbol has a distinct meaning. Its ink is green to prevent long-term fading.

Billions of people use cash every day. We might as well create it with some sense and style.

12. Everyone’s After It

Retailers, burglars, and the government all have this in common. There are dozens of ways each can get to your cash. Everyday life is a financial minefield, so be aware of how you spend and save.

13. It Pays to be Rich, Costs to be Poor

Among all facts about money, this seems the most discouraging. Struggling people are more likely to be charged overdraft or maintenance fees by banks. Wealthy investors get paid huge dividends on their investments.

This swings both ways. Everyone has the opportunity to make money. There are countless ways to get out of financial ruts as well.

14. Not All Money is Actually Worthless

This is a slight retraction. Western Australia minted a coin made of solid gold. The materials alone are worth over $50 million.

Meanwhile, the currency value is only $1 million. This makes one wonder whether Australians are smelting them down for a 5,000% gain.

15. Money is a Part of Life

Money is a channel for value. It has no inherent value, just that which we as a culture agree upon. And while there are sciences for studying finance, it’s real value driver is the productive value of the people.

In an ideal world, your pay is reflective of the value you put out. The things you buy represent the inherent value behind them. On either side, the more you add value to the economy, the greater your financial power.

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