Ever think about money? Not in terms of how much you owe or make, but in terms of the actual physical substance. The primary currency of the United States is the dollar bill, a paper representation of worth. Each dollar sports a life cycle of just six years before its time is up. Of course, in even that short time, the bill can really move. It changes hands 55 times a year and travels two miles a day – not bad for an inanimate object. At the same time, the changing ways we store and spend money are rapidly making physical currency obsolete.
Part of why we don’t think much about physical money anymore is that, to many of us, our money is just a number on a screen. We get our checks direct deposited, then spend the money using credit and debt cards. Sometimes we don’t even shop physically; easy access to internet storefronts, and the ease of learning how to send money online, means that we complete more and more transactions via computer or smartphone. Add all of that up and you all too often get a lack of awareness of exactly what those numbers on your bank balance represent.
This infographic should help. It summarizes the most important facts about money production and distribution, as well as your place within that cycle. If you’ve ever wondered how you fit into the global finance thing you keep hearing about, take a look. You’ll be surprised what you find out.