currency http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7812/all en-US Here's Everything You Need to Get Started With Bitcoin http://www.wisebread.com/heres-everything-you-need-to-get-started-with-bitcoin <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-everything-you-need-to-get-started-with-bitcoin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_bitcoin_000056230992_0.jpg" alt="Learning everything you need to get started with bitcoin" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's understandable that you haven't heard about Bitcoin in a while. From an all-time high market value of <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kitconews/2013/12/10/2013-year-of-the-bitcoin/">$1,242 per Bitcoin</a> back in November 29, 2013, the cryptocurrency is, at the time of this writing, trading at a much more humble value of about <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/price/">$246 per Bitcoin</a>. (Update on 11/3/15: Bitcoin is currently trading at more than $400 per coin.)</p> <p>But Bitcoin is still very much on the rise. The number of Bitcoin transactions per day has <a href="https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions?showDataPoints=true&amp;timespan=all&amp;daysAverageString=1&amp;scale=0&amp;address=">increased by 57%</a> since 2013 and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently defined <a href="http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/pr7231-15">cryptocurrencies as commodities</a>, paving the way for more open trading. That means everyday people like you and I will be able to trade Bitcoin more easily. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mobile-payment-tools-you-should-start-using-today?ref=seealso">6 Mobile Payment Tools You Should Start Using Today</a>)</p> <p>Here's what this historic announcement means for the average investor, as well as some best practices for getting into the cryptocurrency game.</p> <h2>So, What's a Bitcoin?</h2> <p>In very simple terms, Bitcoin is a form of digital money that you can use to make purchases, or save as an investment. Unlike other virtual currencies, such as <a href="https://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Buying-and-selling-Linden-dollars/ta-p/700107">Second Life's Linden dollars</a>, Bitcoin adds a layer of security through cryptography on all transactions and emissions of new units.</p> <h2>What Can I Do With Bitcoin?</h2> <p>You can use bitcoins for virtually anything. (Pun intended!)</p> <ul> <li>Shop for products using Bitcoin at several retailers, such as <a href="http://www.overstock.com/bitcoin?keywords=bitcoin&amp;searchtype=Header">Overstock</a>, <a href="http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/uscorp1/campaigns/bitcoin-marketing?c=us&amp;l=en&amp;s=corp">Dell</a>, and <a href="https://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2014/12/11/now-you-can-exchange-bitcoins-to-buy-apps-games-and-more-for-windows-windows-phone-and-xbox/">Microsoft</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get a magazine subscription, such as <a href="http://www.timeinc.com/about/news/press-release/time-inc-partners-with-coinbase-to-become-the-first-major-magazine-publisher-to-accept-bitcoin-payments/">Time, Fortune, or Travel + Leisure</a>, with Bitcoins.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use Bitcoins to book your next flight at <a href="http://www.expedia.com/Checkout/BitcoinTermsAndConditions">Expedia</a>. If that sounds too boring, then book a space flight with <a href="http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/bitcoins-in-space">Virgin Galactic</a> instead.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pay for a <a href="http://www.unic.ac.cy/digitalcurrency">Master of Science in Digital Currency</a> at the University of Nicosia (Cyprus) entirely or partly in Bitcoins.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave your wallet at home and convert your Bitcoins into cash at one of many <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-atm-map/">Bitcoin ATMs</a> around the world.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy and sell and Bitcoins in Bitcoin exchanges to try to make a profit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Trade Bitcoin swaps and other types of derivatives in Bitcoin exchanges, such as <a href="http://www.teraexchange.com">TeraExchange</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy and hold Bitcoins for a long time to see what happens!</li> </ul> <p>Since people can trade derivatives on Bitcoin, it was in the interest of the CFTC to classify Bitcoin as a commodity. That way the CFTC has jurisdiction over companies trading Bitcoin swaps, and can protect the interests of consumers.</p> <h2>How Do I Get Bitcoins?</h2> <p>To start using Bitcoins, you need first to get some coins into your digital wallet. The easiest way to get a hold of some bitcoins is to buy them at an exchange. Here's how to do it.</p> <h3>1. Choose a Wallet</h3> <p>You can pick from many available desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux), mobile (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, or Blackberry), hardware, or web <a href="http://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet">Bitcoin wallets</a> to store and use your Bitcoins.</p> <p>Each type of wallet has it advantages and disadvantages, so take the time to review each option. Novice users of Bitcoin may be better off to sticking to a widely used alternative, such as <a href="http://www.coinbase.com">Coinbase</a> &mdash; it has 2.6 million users with four million wallets and is accepted by 40,000 merchants.</p> <h3>2. Fund Your Wallet</h3> <p>Most Bitcoin users complete their first deposit using a bank account. No matter what wallet you choose, you'll need to first verify your bank account with the company managing the wallet. Keep in mind that some wallets may require you to verify a bank account before you can start using the wallet.</p> <h3>3. Get Free Bitcoins</h3> <p>There are a few ways to score some free coins. First, you could receive Bitcoin tips by posting awesome content on certain sites, such as <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/changetip">Reddit</a>, or connecting your social media accounts to <a href="http://www.changetip.com">ChangeTip</a>. Second, you could receive cryptocurrency payments for completing small tasks, such as viewing websites or completing surveys, at <a href="http://www.bitvisitor.com">BitVisitor</a> and <a href="http://www.faucetbtcs.com">FaucetBTC</a>.</p> <h3>4. Buy and Sell Bitcoins</h3> <p>Depending on your Bitcoin needs, you may need to buy additional coins when your balance is running low or to exchange coins into dollars. Fees vary per exchange and financial institution. For example, Coinbase doesn't charge fees for accepting and receiving Bitcoins, but does charge you a <a href="https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/585625-what-is-coinbase-and-how-much-does-it-cost-to-use-">1% fee</a> when converting Bitcoins to dollars. Some banks may charge you a fee for transferring funds from your wallet to your checking account.</p> <h2>What Are Some Best Practices?</h2> <p>Bitcoin is still in development, so it's better to be safe than sorry. Here are some key things to consider:</p> <h3>1. Keep an Eye on Market Value</h3> <p>The price of a Bitcoin in dollars is very volatile. On January 3, 2015, the market value of one Bitcoin was <a href="https://blockchain.info/charts/market-price?showDataPoints=false&amp;timespan=all&amp;show_header=true&amp;daysAverageString=1&amp;scale=0&amp;format=csv&amp;address=">$302.33</a> and on the very next day, it was $270.93. If you're risk averse, then Bitcoin isn't for you.</p> <h3>2. Have Only What You Really Need in Your Wallet</h3> <p>Just like you keep only a few hundred or thousands dollars in your checking account to cover your monthly expenses and the rest on a saving or investment account, you should keep your Bitcoin wallet only with what you need. You don't walk around with $10,000 on your normal wallet, do you?</p> <h3>3. Understand That Bitcoin Payments Are Irreversible</h3> <p>Nowadays, even barbers and lawyers are accepting Bitcoin. When buying with Bitcoin, make sure to deal only with reputable merchants. Once a payment is completed, the only way to reverse it is by having the person receiving the payment reverse it themselves &mdash; which means they can refuse to do so. When making payments online, check out the company's reputation before handing over your coins.</p> <h3>4. Learn How to Maintain and Backup and Online Wallet</h3> <p>Depending on what type of wallet you use, you may be ultimately responsible for backing up its data. In the event that you receive a large amount of Bitcoins, it's a good idea to stash some of them in an offline wallet and have a backup. Learn from the lesson of the man who lost <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/uk-man-tries-to-retrieve-7-5-million-in-bitcoins-from-dump/">$7.5 million in Bitcoins</a> when his computer hard drive got thrown away.</p> <h3>5. Don't Put Your Life Savings Into Bitcoin</h3> <p>Unlike bank accounts, Bitcoin wallets aren't covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC provides coverage of up to $250,000 for a wide variety of deposit accounts. Any losses that Bitcoin exchanges suffer have to be covered either by themselves or by an insurance plan that those exchanges pay for. Exchanges have to be very vigilant of malicious hacker attacks, such as the <a href="http://www.wired.com/2014/03/bitcoin-exchange/">$460 million heist on Mt. Gox</a>.</p> <h3>5. There's More Than One Type of Cryptocurrency</h3> <p>Bitcoin is just one of <a href="http://www.cryptocoincharts.info/coins/info">several hundreds of cryptocurrencies</a>. Just because Litecoin sounds like Bitcoin, doesn't mean that they are worth the same. One Litecoin is worth 0.01 Bitcoins. Some cryptocurrencies may have funny names, such as Dogecoin or Unobtanium, but they do have an actual market value.</p> <h3>6. Learn the Tax Implications of Using Bitcoin</h3> <p>Since the IRS treats Bitcoin as property, federal tax rules for property transactions apply to any transaction involving Bitcoin. If you only plan on using Bitcoin sporadically, keeping track of the market losses or gains of your few transactions won't be that hard. If you plan to pay with Bitcoin regularly, receive or issue wages in Bitcoin, or start a Bitcoin mining operation, then learn more about the <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140516185817-22868355-5-takeaways-from-irs-notice-2014-21-for-bitcoin-users">tax implications of using Bitcoin</a>.</p> <p><em>Are you considering buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-everything-you-need-to-get-started-with-bitcoin">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-youre-bad-at-money-and-how-to-fix-it-asap">8 Reasons You&#039;re Bad at Money — And How to Fix It ASAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-grocery-budgeting-a-game-the-price-is-right-style">Make Grocery Budgeting A Game, The Price Is Right Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-should-know-about-bitcoin">Here&#039;s What You Should Know About Bitcoin</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies">Local Currencies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bitcoin cryptocurrencies currency digital wallets shopping Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:15:50 +0000 Damian Davila 1602149 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-man-finances-200444771-001-small.jpg" alt="happy man finances" title="happy man finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There has been a lot of recent rumbling that interest rates could be on the rise. And that rumbling also comes with debate over what it means for the economy and the average person's finances.</p> <p>Rising interest rates can be a bit of a mixed bag, but there are some definite positives for people who are looking to save money and secure their retirement.</p> <p>Consider these ways that higher interest rates could help you financially.</p> <h2>1. You Get More Income From the Bank</h2> <p>This is the most basic benefit of higher rates. If you have money in a bank account, that money will start working for you. Imagine getting 5% or more off your money instead of less than 1%, as we've seen in recent years.</p> <h2>2. You Might Spend Less</h2> <p>Sometimes when interest rates are super-low, people feel inclined to spend whatever extra money they have. Some might argue there's little point in keeping large sums of money in the bank if that cash isn't going to generate a high return. If interest rates are higher, you might see the benefit of saving more. And there's nothing wrong with getting in the habit of saving.</p> <h2>3. Your Retirement Account Becomes More Secure</h2> <p>When interest rates are low, it's not too helpful for older Americans who are nearing retirement age. Older people may have rebalanced their retirement accounts to include more cash, but haven't seen much growth in recent years. Higher interest rates allow older Americans to keep their retirement in safer investments while also boosting income.</p> <p>Higher interest rates could also be a boon to defined benefit plans, or pensions. In recent years, pension funds have come under fire for placing money in riskier investments in order to fulfill obligations to retirees. Higher interest rates may allow those funds to remain secure with less risk.</p> <h2>4. Housing Prices May Drop</h2> <p>When mortgage interest rates were historically low, you had lots of potential buyers entering the market, and this caused home prices to skyrocket. Now, it's true that higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing, thus making buying a less attractive option for people. But prices themselves may fall if there is less demand. So if you're capable of putting a lot of money down, you may end up with a better deal when interest rates are higher.</p> <h2>5. The Dollar Becomes More Valuable</h2> <p>A rising dollar isn't always a great thing, but there are some definite ways it can improve your financial situation. For one thing, a stronger dollar often means lower prices for many commodities, which could translate into lower costs for fueling up your car or heating your home. Higher interest rates also mean it's cheaper to buy foreign products, and your money will go farther when traveling overseas. So maybe it's time to plan that European vacation!</p> <h2>6. Lending Is More Lucrative</h2> <p>If you lend someone money, (perhaps through a firm <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=22959155&amp;fot=1176&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">like Lending Club</a>) your returns are based on the interest rate. So if the borrowers are paying higher rates, your returns increase. In theory, a higher rate may also mean a higher rate of default, but you're probably coming out better as a lender when rates go up.</p> <h2>7. Some Stocks Will Rise in Value</h2> <p>Because higher interest rates are often viewed as a sign of stronger economy, shares of some companies will be viewed as good investments. This is especially true for banks and home improvement stores, such as Lowe's or Home Depot. But be careful &mdash; some sectors, including real estate, could be crushed by rising rates.</p> <h2>8. It Might Make Your Job More Secure</h2> <p>In recent years, many companies have replaced human workers with automated systems and other technologies. They could afford to do this, because low interest rates <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-policy-has-contributed-to-the-great-economic-divide/2012/06/22/gJQAXTX2vV_story.html">made it easy for them to invest in the necessary systems</a>. But if interest rates are higher, companies may find it's cheaper to keep a human workforce for a little while longer.</p> <p><em>Are you positioned to take advantage of rising interest rates, should they arrive as expected?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-personal-finance-tips-for-introverts">8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance currency interest rates investing saving Wed, 03 Dec 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1260495 at http://www.wisebread.com Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Counterfeit Money http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash-5348151-small.jpg" alt="cash" title="cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The chances are, you've exchanged fake money at some point in your life. Most likely you haven't realized it, as counterfeits are getting harder and harder to spot. Last year, the Secret Service seized almost $89 million in counterfeit money, and the problem is only getting worse. Consider the following 10 facts about counterfeit money &mdash; they may encourage you to look a little harder at the bills in your wallet or purse. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/counterfeiters-beware-heres-how-the-new-100-will-ruin-your-day?ref=seealso">Counterfeiters Beware: Here's How the New $100 Will Ruin Your Day</a>)</p> <h2>1. The $100 Bill Is the Most Counterfeited Bill in Circulation</h2> <p>You may have heard that the $20 bill is the most counterfeited, and that would make a lot of sense. When you hand over a $100 bill, it gets more scrutiny. But $20 bills are usually taken without any kind of security check. Even $50 bills get a second look, so why does the $100 bill take the top spot? A detailed study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago breaks it down, but basically it all boils down to the quality of the bills. Fake $20s are much easier to spot and are easily dropped out of circulation. But $100 counterfeits are of much higher quality.</p> <h2>2. Ridges Were Put on Coins to Stop Counterfeiters</h2> <p>Have you ever wondered why coins like quarters and dimes have those little ridges on the edge? Well, it all stems from measures to protect you from counterfeits. Back in the day, when coins were made from gold and silver, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methods_of_coin_debasement" style="text-decoration:none;">people would clip the edges off coins and collect the shavings</a>. Over time, they would have enough to make other gold and silver coins, and most people didn't notice coins that will a little lacking in diameter or circumference. The ridges added to the pressed coins stopped these coin clippers in their tracks. Of course, modern crooks have found new ways to manufacture coins with ridges, with the <a href="http://www.royalmint.com/discover/uk-coins/counterfeit-one-pound-coins">British Pound Coin suffering from millions of fakes</a> every year.</p> <h2>3. Counterfeit Money Has Been a War Strategy</h2> <p>Another &quot;strange but true&quot; fact, but a very powerful one. During wars, nations will produce counterfeit currency of a country they are at war with as a simple way to bring the opponent's economy crashing down. One famous case of this involves the British government flooding America with phony currency during the 1776 War of Independence. The Brits did it again during World War II, and the Japanese printed Chinese currency in the 1930s and 1940s. Why? Well, there were umerous reasons. The most obvious is to create hyperinflation. Counterfeit money can also be used to pay informants and buy munitions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation?ref=seealso">5 Cases of Hyperinflation</a>)</p> <h2>4. Banks Hand Out Counterfeit Bills</h2> <p>Don't think that you're protected from fraud by getting the bills directly from your bank. Even they can fall victim to counterfeit money, especially those fake $100 bills mentioned earlier. Last year, a grandmother named&nbsp;<a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/7_on_your_side&amp;id=9156017">Arlyne Lorenz withdrew $300 from her bank in New York</a>&nbsp;and deposited it less than an hour later into her stepdaughter's bank. That's when the fakes were discovered, and the bank that issued them refused to refund her loss (the local news station managed to rectify that situation for her, but you may not be so lucky). So, what can you do about it? Well, although it may be a pain, ask the bank to check the money they give you before you leave. Once you're out the door, it's your problem.</p> <h2>5. Anyone Can Produce Quality Fakes</h2> <p>Technology has changed the way counterfeit money is being produced. Just 20 years ago, 99% of counterfeit money was created using sophisticated methods, large-scale printing presses, and forged plates. Today, 60% of counterfeit bills are made using standard inkjet and laser printers that can be bought from any retail store. Recently a woman <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-07/mom-with-hp-printer-shows-the-digital-ease-of-bogus-cash.html">counterfeited $20,000 in fake bills</a> simply by soaking $5 bills in degreaser, scrubbing off the ink, and printing over them with scanned $50 and $100 images. It was all done on a cheap HP printer.</p> <h2>6. Counterfeiting Was Once Punishable by Death</h2> <p>Today, depending on the severity of the crime, counterfeiters can get away with a fine (albeit a hefty one). But in the 18th century, it was a different story. Benjamin Franklin himself printed warnings on the twenty shillings bills, which read &quot;To Counterfeit Is Death.&quot; And people who were caught counterfeiting money in England in the 17th century were hung, drawn, and quartered.</p> <h2>7. The Secret Service Was Founded to Stop Counterfeiters</h2> <p>You think of the Secret Service as the government agency responsible for the protection of the President of the United Stated. But they only began to fill that role in 1902, one year after the assassination of President William McKinley. Before that, the <a href="http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml">Secret Service was responsible</a> for dealing with America's counterfeit money problems; and they were created by President Abraham Lincoln to fulfill that task. At that time, one third of the money in circulation was fake. With the country in a financial crisis, this was a crucial role.</p> <h2>8. Counterfeit Money Is Readily Available on the Dark Web</h2> <p>You may not know of the <a href="http://www.wired.com/2014/04/grams-search-engine-dark-web/">dark web</a> yet, but it's becoming more well known every week. The dark web is the underground of the Internet, and a primary reason Bitcoins were invented; basically, untraceable money for untraceable products. In the dark web, you have access to guns, drugs, explosives, bullets, and fake money. For those foolish enough to risk it, quality counterfeit notes are available for a fraction of the price of real money &mdash; perhaps $20 for five fake $20 bills. Of course, should you get caught buying or using these, expect the punishment to be severe.</p> <h2>9. Today, Most Counterfeit Coins Simulate Rare Coins</h2> <p>With the cost of materials and production methods being much higher than that of printing paper money, there's only one way to make a profit with coins &mdash; counterfeit the very rare ones. A 1920s Liberty Half Dollar can change hands for $40,000! That's the kind of money that will attract criminals from across the globe. In comparison, spending all that time and effort to mass-produce quarters, nickels, and dimes just isn't worth the effort.</p> <h2>10. Sometimes Even Obvious Fakes Are Accepted</h2> <p>Would you accept a $200 bill with President George W. Bush's picture on it? Well, of course not. But a <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/bush-phony-200-bill">clerk at a Dairy Queen in Kentucky did in 2004</a>, and happily gave the customer $198 in change. The bill was clearly a joke, and even the denomination is absurd. But it just goes to show, if you're not paying attention, mistakes can be made.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been passed a counterfeit? How'd you spot it? Please share with a bona fide comment!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/video-on-how-to-spot-counterfeits">Video on How to Spot Counterfeits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund">50 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips counterfeits currency fake money Mon, 26 May 2014 08:12:20 +0000 Paul Michael 1140315 at http://www.wisebread.com Weird Money Facts: 5 True Cases of Unbelievable Inflation http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash-474671699.jpg" alt="old coins" title="old coins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Inflation. It's a simple enough concept to grasp, although the economics behind it can be way more complex. Basically, inflation is a continual increase in the prices of goods and services. What was $1 last year could be $1.07 this year and $1.14 the year after that. This results in decreased buying power for consumers, especially if wages do not keep up with inflation.</p> <p>But when <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hyperinflation.asp">hyperinflation</a> occurs, all hell breaks loose. Whereas inflation is gradual, and hopefully not very noticeable, hyperinflation is a rapid increase in the cost of goods and services over very short periods of time. This can often happen during times of war, sociopolitical upheavals, or other government crises. There are books dedicated to this subject, but the net result is that money starts getting printed rapidly, in higher and higher denominations, and the value of the smaller currencies become worthless. When you're paying $1,000,000 for an apple, you can't buy much for a $1 any more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savings-rates-below-inflation-save-anyway?ref=seealso">Saving Rates Below Inflation? Save Anyway</a>)</p> <p>There have been many cases of hyperinflation over the years. Here, we look at five of the worst. And in case you're thinking this is ancient history, one of the biggest occurred <em>within the last decade</em>.</p> <h2>1946 Hungary</h2> <p>Imagine the prices of everything doubling overnight. That would be tough. Now, imagine that happening day after day, week after week. That's what happened in Hungary in 1946, by far the worst case of hyperinflation on record, when the highest monthly inflation topped out at 13,600,000,000,000,000%!</p> <p>That's a daily inflation rate of 195%.</p> <p>Prices doubled every 15.6 hours, and suddenly people were paying for their groceries with 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengő bills (that's <em>one hundred quintillion</em>, if you're counting). People were carrying money around in suitcases, and banknotes were often stamped with new denominations as new money could not be printed quickly enough. When the pengő was replaced by a new currency &mdash; the <em>forint</em> &mdash; in August of 1946, all of the Hungarian banknotes in circulation equated to 1/1,000 of a US dollar, and four hundred octillion pengő became just one forint.</p> <h2>1923 Germany</h2> <p>In the middle of August 1921, during the final years of the Weimar republic, Germany began purchasing foreign currency with Marks at any price. This, obviously, had the knock-on effect of devaluing the currency.</p> <p>When Germany had to pay for war reparations demanded by the Treaty of Versailles, things really started to go off the rails. Inflation hit a high of 29,500% per month, with prices doubling every 3.7 days. To put this in perspective, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Papiermark">papiermark</a> was exchanging at a rate of 4.2 per US dollar in 1914. By August 1923, it was 1 million <em>papiermark</em> per US dollar, and two months later, it was 238 million <em>papiermark</em> to one US dollar! A special medal exists that recognizes this insanity, reading &quot;On November 1923, 1 pound of bread cost 3 billion; 1 pound of meat: 36 billion; 1 glass of beer: 4 billion.&quot; A typical grocery shopping trip could cost a family trillions of <em>paipermarks</em>, and the smaller notes were so worthless they were used as wallpaper.</p> <h2>1994 Yugoslavia</h2> <p>Once again, regional conflicts and government mismanagement were responsible for this case of hyperinflation.</p> <p>A massive inequity between supply and demand, and the government's solution to print money ad nauseam, led to the complete collapse of the Yugoslavian <em>dinar</em>. The highest monthly inflation reached 313,000,000%, the equivalent of 65% per day, with prices doubling every 1.4 days. In fact, between 1993-1995, it is estimated that prices increased approximately 5 quadrillion percent. Revaluations of the <em>dinar</em> happened five times, with one million <em>dinars</em> becoming one new <em>dinar</em>, and one new new <em>dinar</em> then becoming 1 billion old new <em>dinars</em>, and so on! Confusing isn't even close. One huge side effect of this was that residents stopped paying bills. After all, why pay a bill today, when next week that bill will have been devalued by a factor of a thousand?!</p> <h2>2008 Zimbabwe</h2> <p>Just six years ago, Zimbabwe was in a financial meltdown of historic proportions. It could all be traced back to the failed policies of President Robert Mugabe, whose land redistribution programs crippled the country's ability to produce food. And when demand vastly outstrips supply, prices quickly begin to skyrocket.</p> <p>With massive loans to pay, Zimbabwe started printing money like it was going out of fashion (which it was about to), putting 21 trillion ZWD (Zimbabwean Dollars) into circulation to pay off IMF loans. In a few years, it printed another 60 trillion ZWD to pay the salaries of soldiers and government workers. The effects were devastating to the economy. In one month, inflation hit almost 80,000,000,000%, with prices doubling every 24 hours. A loaf of bread cost $35 million ZWD. And by April of 2008, the $50 million ZWD note was worth a little over one US dollar. They were printing so much money, they ran out of paper. The country was full of trillionaires and almost all of them were struggling to survive.</p> <h2>1944 Greece</h2> <p>You may have heard of the financial woes of Greece today, but they're nothing compared to 1944.</p> <p>Greece incurred a great deal of debt during World War II, and was occupied by the Axis powers for much of that time. In fact, in just one year Greece went from a budget surplus of 271 million drachma in 1939, to a deficit of 790 million drachma in 1940. And it only got worse. Tragically, the expectation of future inflation, and the government paying debts in gold francs, caused the general public to lose faith in the <em>drachma</em>. The government's limited ability to collect taxes snowballed, and in record time the <em>drachma</em> was almost worthless. In 1942, the highest denomination of currency was the 50,000 <em>drachma</em> note. Just two years later, it was the 100 trillion <em>drachma</em> note. Fortunately, by 1947, after the creation of a Currency Committee, prices had stabilized, the currency had been revalued, and Greece had dug its way out of a horrific cycle of financial destruction.</p> <p><em>Can you recall any examples of devastating inflation? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-everything-you-need-to-get-started-with-bitcoin">Here&#039;s Everything You Need to Get Started With Bitcoin</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet">8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-much-these-10-rare-coins-are-worth">You Won&#039;t Believe How Much These 10 Rare Coins Are Worth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance currency inflation weird money facts Thu, 15 May 2014 08:12:23 +0000 Paul Michael 1139360 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What You Should Know About Bitcoin http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-should-know-about-bitcoin <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-you-should-know-about-bitcoin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coin-173706033.jpg" alt="bitcoin" title="bitcoin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people heard of the virtual currency bitcoin for the first time recently when <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/nyregion/operator-of-online-market-for-illegal-drugs-is-charged-fbi-says.html?_r=0">U.S. authorities shut down Silk Road</a>, an online marketplace for illicit goods. Bitcoin was the currency used to order everything from heroin to fake IDs on Silk Road &mdash; but the online-only currency is also used by law-abiding citizens who embrace it for a number of reasons, ideological, practical and profit-motivated.</p> <p>Buying and using this digital currency doesn&#39;t make you a law-breaker &mdash; but is it a good idea? Here&#39;s a look at what bitcoin really is, and the pros and cons of using it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Should You Choose Debit or Credit at Checkout?</a>)</p> <h2>What Is Bitcoin?</h2> <p>Bitcoin is a form of money that you can buy online using dollars or other national currencies, then spend at merchants who accept it, or save as an investment. There aren&#39;t any official bitcoin bills or coins; bitcoin holdings exist digitally and are stored on your computer or held for you by an online company.</p> <p>Bitcoins are released into the economy when computers &quot;mine&quot; them by solving increasingly difficult mathematical problems. There are a finite number of bitcoins &mdash; and once they are all mined, no more can be created, since there is no central bank or federal reserve to manipulate the bitcoin supply. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-quantitative-easing-anyway">How Banks Increase the Money Supply With &ldquo;Quantitative Easing&rdquo;</a>)</p> <p>This system, an open source software protocol, was created by an anonymous person or group known as <a href="https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Satoshi_Nakamoto">Satoshi Nakamoto,</a> as an alternative to national currencies. Bitcoin is <a href="http://www.weusecoins.com/en/questions">decentralized</a>, not under the control of any one government, and is embraced by libertarians, voluntaryists, and <a href="http://www.abcf.net/contribute/">anarchists</a> as a way to effect transactions without government involvement. However, that doesn&#39;t mean it&#39;s immune to government regulation. U.S. authorities, for instance, are <a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/us-regulator-bitcoin-exchanges-must-comply-with-money-laundering-laws/">requiring companies that transmit bitcoins to register as money services businesses</a>.</p> <p>Another way that bitcoin is different from other forms of currency is that it can be transmitted online from person to person without going through any bank or clearinghouse. Because of this, fees for exchanging or transferring bitcoins are very low.</p> <p>When the first bitcoins were released in 2009, the published exchange rate was just <a href="https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/History">$1 for 1,300 bitcoins</a>, but as more and more people became interested, the price climbed to a high of $31. Then, the value <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2013/04/11/an-illustrated-history-of-bitcoin-crashes/">crashed to a low of $2</a>. Further price gyrations have ensued, even as more bitcoins have been released and more and more people have acquired and used them.</p> <p>Now, there is <a href="http://coinmarketcap.com/">more than $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in circulation</a>. The value hit a <a href="http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/04/10/bitcoin_digital_currency_hits_record_high_price_before_flash_crash.html">record high of $266 in April 2013</a>, and currently <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/price/">trades at around $137</a>, making many <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-10/meet-the-bitcoin-millionaires">early investors into millionaires</a>.</p> <h2>Why Buy Bitcoin?</h2> <p>This all may sound like a crazy system that only hard-core computer geeks would try &mdash; or worse, some kind of fraudulent scheme. And it&#39;s true that many of the people I have met while writing about bitcoin are computer programmers. But bitcoin does have advantages that could appeal to anyone &mdash; if the downsides aren&#39;t too much for you.</p> <h2>Advantages</h2> <p>Bitcoin users point to a number of advantages bitcoin has over regular currencies.</p> <p><strong>Tiny Fees</strong></p> <p>If you want to send money to family overseas through Western Union or other companies, <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-08/will-migrant-workers-drive-bitcoins-mundane-future">fees can amount to 9% or more of the amount you&#39;re sending</a>. But you can use an online wallet to transfer bitcoin to another person&#39;s online wallet for just a few cents.</p> <p><strong>Privacy</strong></p> <p>Depending on what wallet app you use, you can transfer bitcoin without sharing as much identifying information as credit cards or bank accounts require. Some people call bitcoin anonymous, but because bitcoin transactions can be viewed publicly, <a href="http://anonymity-in-bitcoin.blogspot.com/2011/07/bitcoin-is-not-anonymous.html">it is sometimes possible to figure out who people are on the system</a>.</p> <p><strong>Potential Investment</strong></p> <p>Many bitcoin enthusiasts just hold onto their bitcoins, because they believe that the value of the currency will keep going up. Remember that there is a limited number of bitcoins in the system &mdash; so the theory is that if the crypto-currency&#39;s popularity continues to grow, the price will keep growing as well. Some people make money by <a href="http://btcinkh.wordpress.com/">day trading bitcoins</a> &mdash; buying when the price dips in the hopes that it will bounce back again.</p> <p><strong>Merchant Advantages</strong></p> <p>If you operate an online retail business, chances are you pay about <a href="http://www.cardfellow.com/blog/average-fees-for-credit-card-processing/">2.5% of everything you take in</a> to credit card companies. Some merchants have started taking bitcoins just to avoid those fees. Other merchants chafe at credit card company rules &mdash; especially the fact that credit cards can force merchants to issue a refund even if they don&#39;t think the customer deserves one. With bitcoin transactions, only the merchant can decide to issue a refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund on Non-Refundable Goods</a>)</p> <p><strong>Liberty</strong></p> <p>A lot of people who collect and spend bitcoins like the fact that it is not a government-issued currency. If you feel like the government has too much influence over your life, using bitcoin can be a small way of rebelling.</p> <h2>Disadvantages</h2> <p>Before you jump in, keep in mind that bitcoin is still relatively new and that it has a lot of challenges.</p> <p><strong>Volatility</strong></p> <p>The price of bitcoin moves around so much that the few <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/getting-paid-in-bitcoins/">people who get paid in bitcoins have their salaries pegged to the dollar</a> or other national currencies. Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/already-bigger-than-some-currencies-bitcoin-can-get-bigger-gavin-andresen-says/">Gavin Andresen warns, &quot;don&#39;t invest your life savings in bitcoin unless you&#39;re willing to lose your life savings, because it is highly volatile and risky.&quot;</a></p> <p><strong>Legal Uncertainty</strong></p> <p>This is a biggee. As governments grapple with how to regulate this new virtual currency, they have <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/23/feds-seize-another-2-1-million-from-mt-gox-adding-up-to-5-million/">frozen and seized accounts at companies such as bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.</a> If something like this happens to a company that&#39;s storing your bitcoins, you could have trouble accessing them.</p> <p><strong>Theft Risk</strong></p> <p>Hackers can steal bitcoins from your smartphone or computer if you&#39;re not using adequate security measures &mdash; <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/101036995">a crime that experts say is probably growing</a>. Even <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/250-000-worth-bitcoins-stolen-net-heist-980871">bitcoin companies have been robbed</a>. And good luck explaining to the local police that someone cleaned out your bitcoin wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-more-scams-everyone-should-know-about">More Scams Everyone Should Know About</a>)</p> <p><strong>Limited Places to Spend</strong></p> <p>This is probably the biggest reason that most people don&#39;t have any bitcoins. Compared to the number of merchants that accept dollars &mdash; every business in America, since it&#39;s legal tender &mdash; the number that accept bitcoins is tiny. You can&#39;t pay utility bills or taxes in bitcoins. <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/foodler-bitcoin-orders-growing-by-30-percent-a-month/">You can order pizza</a>, but <a href="http://www.coindesk.com/rentalutions-enables-us-residents-to-pay-rent-in-bitcoins/">paying your rent in bitcoins can be challenging</a>. Bitcoin enthusiasts I have interviewed spend a lot of time convincing merchants to start accepting the virtual currency.</p> <p><em>Do you own bitcoin? Have you considered buying bitcoin?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-should-know-about-bitcoin">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-everything-you-need-to-get-started-with-bitcoin">Here&#039;s Everything You Need to Get Started With Bitcoin</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/counterfeiters-beware-heres-how-the-new-100-will-ruin-your-day">Counterfeiters Beware: Here&#039;s How the New $100 Will Ruin Your Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cracking-the-infamous-mcdonalds-monopoly-game">Cracking the Infamous McDonalds Monopoly Game</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs alternative currency bitcoin currency Thu, 14 Nov 2013 11:24:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1096004 at http://www.wisebread.com Counterfeiters Beware: Here's How the New $100 Will Ruin Your Day http://www.wisebread.com/counterfeiters-beware-heres-how-the-new-100-will-ruin-your-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/counterfeiters-beware-heres-how-the-new-100-will-ruin-your-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash-5378287-small.jpg" alt="$100 bills" title="$100 bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The $100 bill is popular with people all over the world, and not just drug dealers and corrupt government officials. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-100-this-week">10 Ways to Save $100 This Week</a>)</p> <p>In places where the local currency is prone to inflation or currency controls, the dollar is widely viewed as an attractive alternative. Places where the banking system isn&#39;t viewed as sound, actual cash money is an obvious alternative. When those two places overlap, the $100 bill is very popular as a safe way to store wealth. Popular enough, in fact, that nearly two-thirds of all $100 bills are held abroad, according to <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2012/1058/default.htm">Federal Reserve estimates</a>.</p> <p>This is a big subsidy for the U.S. Every one of those $100 bills got overseas by someone providing $100 worth of goods or services to someone in the U.S. For as long as the bill remains overseas, it amounts to an interest-free loan of $100 to the U.S. economy.</p> <p>Maintaining this situation, where the U.S. gets a $500 billion interest-free loan, depends most particularly in confidence in the security features of the $100 bill. A lot of that currency is being held by individuals who don&#39;t trust their own governments or their own banks, and those people need to be able to verify that a $100 bill is genuine on their own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash</a>)</p> <p>Fortunately, the new $100 has security features to make that easy.</p> <h2>New Security Features</h2> <p>There are two new security features, both immediately obvious when you look at the new $100.</p> <p><strong>3-D Security Ribbon</strong></p> <p>A broad blue ribbon is woven into the paper, just to the right of Franklin&#39;s face. As you tilt the bill, images of bells will change to images of 100s, and the images will move up and down and back and forth in the ribbon.</p> <p><strong>Bell in the Inkwell</strong></p> <p>The image of an inkwell is printed in copper-colored ink, and within the inkwell the image of a bell is printed in color-shifting ink, that will change from copper to green. The result is that as you tilt the bill, the image of the bell will appear and disappear within the inkwell.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/100bill-bellinkwell.png" /></p> <h2>Plus Some Old Security Features</h2> <p>Several of the old security features you&#39;re used to are still viewed as effective and have been retained on the new bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-counterfeit-money">How to Spot Counterfeit Bills</a>)</p> <p><strong>Portrait Watermark</strong></p> <p>On all the bills larger than the $5, the watermark is the same as the portrait on the bill &mdash; on the $100 that&#39;s Benjamin Franklin:</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/100bill-portrait.png" /></p> <p><strong>Security Thread</strong></p> <p>On all the bills larger than the $2, there&#39;s a security thread running vertically through the fabric of the bill. On the $100, it runs between Ben&#39;s face and the Federal Reserve seal, and says USA 100:</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/100bill-securitythread.png" /></p> <p><strong>Color-Shifting Ink</strong></p> <p>On all the bills larger than the $5, the denomination on the lower right of the front of the bill is printed in color shifting ink. On the new $100 the color shifts from green to copper as you tilt the bill:</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/100bill-colorshift.png" /></p> <p><strong>Microprinting</strong></p> <p>All the new notes feature microprinting, which is hard to reproduce without genuine engraved plates and printing presses. On the new $100 there are repeated &quot;USA&quot; along the bottom of the note in Franklin&#39;s jacket. It says, &quot;The United States of America&quot; along his collar, &quot;USA 100&quot; around the blank space containing the watermark, and &quot;One Hundred USA&quot; along the golden quill.</p> <p><strong>Raised Printing</strong></p> <p>All US currency is printed with a technique called &quot;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intaglio_(printmaking)">intaglio</a>&quot; that leaves the ink on the surface of the paper, giving it a distinctive feel.</p> <p>The Treasury&#39;s <a href="http://www.newmoney.gov/">newmoney.gov</a> website has videos, posters, and brochures on using the security features of all the new US currency.</p> <h2>What Took So Long?</h2> <p>Originally scheduled to be issued on February 10th, 2011, the new $100 was delayed almost three years by production problems printing the new bills. Now, with ample supplies of the new currency on hand, the Federal Reserve will start fulfilling bank orders for $100 bills with the new bills today.</p> <h2>Your Old Notes Are Still Good</h2> <p>The Treasury and the Federal Reserve have a policy that US currency remains legal tender forever. Your old $100 bills are still valid currency, whether they&#39;re series 1996 bills (with the large Franklin portrait and the green-to-black color-shifting ink) or pre-1996 bills (with the smaller portrait and no color-shifting ink).</p> <p>Although the pre-1996 bills are still legal tender, that does not mean that you need to accept a bill in payment if you have any doubt about its authenticity. They are much harder for an individual to authenticate &mdash; tough to do without a magnifying glass, an ultraviolet light, and a magnetic ink detector. If someone wants to give you a $100 bill, and you lack those tools, don&#39;t hesitate to tell the guy that you want the bill authenticated at a bank before you accept it.</p> <p>With the new bills, though, checking their authenticity is something anyone can do in just a few seconds. It&#39;ll be good to have these new bills in circulation. Unless you&#39;re a counterfeiter.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been passed a counterfeit note? How did you find out?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/counterfeiters-beware-heres-how-the-new-100-will-ruin-your-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-should-know-about-bitcoin">Here&#039;s What You Should Know About Bitcoin</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cracking-the-infamous-mcdonalds-monopoly-game">Cracking the Infamous McDonalds Monopoly Game</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-immediately-after-losing-your-wallet">10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs $100 c-note currency US Mint Tue, 08 Oct 2013 09:36:04 +0000 Philip Brewer 998087 at http://www.wisebread.com New $100 Bill: Issue Date Set http://www.wisebread.com/new-100-bill-issue-date-set <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-100-bill-issue-date-set" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new-100-image-cropped.jpg" alt="New $100 Bill" title="New $100 Bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After years of production problems, the new $100 bill finally has a date of issue. It will start circulating on October 8th. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/video-on-how-to-spot-counterfeits">Video on How to Spot Counterfeits</a>)</p> <p>I wrote about the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-100-bill-unveiled">new $100 bill</a> back in 2010 when the Federal Reserve first announced that it would start circulating early the following year. But then a problem with the paper creasing caused an unacceptable proportion of defective notes, and the release was delayed. Last week, the Federal Reserve announced that these problems have been solved, and announced the new release date.</p> <p>I covered the new security features in considerable detail in my earlier post, but as security is of paramount importance in the $100, here's a quick rundown of the security features, new and old.</p> <h2>New Security Features</h2> <p>There are a lot of security features on the bill, but there are two obvious new ones.</p> <p><strong>3-D Security Ribbon</strong></p> <p>There's a broad blue band that runs down the middle of the note. It has images of bells that change to 100s and back, and move back and forth and up and down as the angle of the note changes.</p> <p><strong>Bell-in-the-Inkwell</strong></p> <p>Just to right of Franklin and the blue band, in the bottom half of the note, there's an image of a bell printed in color-shifting ink against a copper-colored background in the shape of an inkwell. Looked at head-on, the bell appears copper-colored and vanishes into the background. Shift the angle of the note and the color of the bell changes to green making it stand out against the background.</p> <h2>Old Security Features</h2> <p>The new $100 retains a number of the security features that the new U.S. currency has added over the past few years.</p> <p><strong>Portrait Watermark</strong></p> <p>Like all the bills larger than the $2, the new $100 has a watermark on the right-hand side. The watermark shows the same portrait as the face on the bill &mdash; in this case, Franklin. Hold the bill to the light to see it.</p> <p><strong>Security Thread</strong></p> <p>Like all the bills larger than the $2, there's a security thread. In the new $100 (like the old $100) it's to the left of the portrait and is printed with USA and 100. It glows pink when illuminated with UV light.</p> <p><strong>Color-Shifting 100</strong></p> <p>Like all the bills larger than the $5, the denomination in the lower-right corner is printed in color-shifting ink. Shift the angle of the bill to see the 100 change color from copper to green.</p> <p><strong>Raised Printing</strong></p> <p>Like all U.S. currency, the note is printed using a process called <em>intaglio</em> that leaves the ink on the surface of the paper, giving the note its distinctive texture.</p> <p><strong>Microprinting</strong></p> <p>Several places around the note there are words printed in letters too small to be reproduced by most copying technologies. Around Franklin's jacket collar it says &quot;The United States of America.&quot;</p> <p>Because those are the same as they were, you can go on following the same <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-counterfeit-money">procedures to spot counterfeit money</a> as before &mdash; you simply have the new security features as additional options.</p> <p>Bureau of Engraving and Printing has produced a bunch of material for businesses to use in training their employees who handle cash. Among other things, there's a fancy <a href="http://www.newmoney.gov/newmoney/flash/interactive100/index.html">interactive page with all the security features</a>.</p> <p>Find that, and a bunch of other materials, on their <a href="http://www.newmoney.gov/newmoney/default.aspx">full site on new U.S. currency</a>.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-100-bill-issue-date-set">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-18"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation">Weird Money Facts: 5 True Cases of Unbelievable Inflation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies">Local Currencies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-buy-your-way-out-of-the-rat-race">Can You Buy Your Way Out of the Rat Race?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet">8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance counterfeit money currency security Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:37:01 +0000 Philip Brewer 973780 at http://www.wisebread.com Sinking Dollar: This Time on Purpose http://www.wisebread.com/sinking-dollar-this-time-on-purpose <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sinking-dollar-this-time-on-purpose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dollar-2005-2010.png" alt="Graph of dollar value versus major currencies" title="Dollar Versus Major Currencies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="154" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Fed wants to keep the inflation rate up around 2%, simply because their efforts to boost the economy only get traction when they can push interest rates well below the inflation rate &mdash; something that's tough to do when the inflation rate is as low as it's been.</p> <p>Normally, it's no problem to produce inflation: The Fed just creates some additional bank reserves. The banks respond by lending more money to businesses and consumers &mdash; who spend the money. That extra money out in the economy buying stuff <strong>is inflation</strong>. Rising prices follow directly (unless production is growing even faster than the money supply).</p> <p>Just lately, though, the Fed has been stuck. A lot of businesses and consumers can't borrow, because they can barely service their existing debt. The ones who could borrow don't want to. And many banks have a balance sheet that's too shaky to support much lending, even if they can find a customer who's both willing to borrow and able to pay the debt back. The extra bank reserves just sit there.</p> <p>But it's looking like the Fed has found a channel to produce the effect it wants: the exchange rate.</p> <p>You can see in the graph above the two recent dollar lows &mdash; one in the early days of the recession and then another in the early days of the recovery. Just lately the dollar has been plummeting again. That's inflation too. In fact it is the very definition of inflation, which is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-little-inflation-be-good">the money becoming less valuable</a>. (Rising prices are merely the symptom.)</p> <h2>Weakening the Dollar</h2> <p>Normally, the Fed (and the Treasury) like a strong dollar. It's good for consumers &mdash; a strong dollar means that imports are cheap. It's also good for most businesses. Exporters don't like it, because a strong dollar makes their goods less competitive overseas. But because the US imports so much of its fuel, a strong dollar is a win even for many businesses that export a lot of what they produce.</p> <p>At the moment, though, the stars have aligned such that there's a lot of support for a lower dollar. That gives the Fed the opportunity to produce the inflation it wants &mdash; by weakening the dollar overseas.</p> <p>Fed officials have been talking about &quot;additional accommodation&quot; and &quot;further purchases of longer-term Treasury securities&quot; for some time, and the <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20101012a.htm">minutes of the most recent Fed meeting</a> show that they've been thinking about it for weeks. Judging from the hints so far, it looks like the Fed is going to buy a few hundred billion dollars of longer-term Treasury securities over the next few months. That will produce some inflation in the usual way (even though, as described above, that channel is mostly blocked). It will also push down longer-term rates, which has the knock-on effect of making the dollar less attractive to investors who want to hold bonds. That may make a few businesses and consumers a little more able and willing to borrow and spend. It also makes it less attractive for foreign holders of bonds to hold bonds in US dollars. (That's why the dollar has been dropping so fast just lately.)</p> <p>And it's that falling dollar that's the real channel for this effort to have its effect. A less-valuable dollar is exactly what the Fed is trying to produce. That will lead to rising prices (initially for imports, but very soon for everything). Normally, its most immediate effect &mdash; rising prices for oil and other commodities &mdash; would make any effort to push down the dollar too unpopular to consider. But, just at the moment, there's something of a political consensus that we need to to push the dollar down. (Mainly, there's a general sense that we need to push the dollar down against the Chinese yuan, but that's very hard to do directly. However, it's very easy to push the dollar down in general. Then it will be somebody else's problem to get the details right as far as relative changes versus the yen and the euro and the Canadian dollar.)</p> <h2>What it Means, What to Do</h2> <p>It's pretty tough for Americans to protect themselves against a falling dollar.</p> <p>Shifting some of your savings into some foreign currency is an option, but that's fraught for several reasons.</p> <ol> <li>It negates the one big advantage of holding cash, which is that you can always use it to pay your bills. (I know exactly how many dollars I need to pay my rent from now until my lease runs out. I can only guess how many euros I'd need.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It exposes you to exchange-rate risk. (If the dollar recovers sharply, you could lose a lot of money.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It exposes you to other risks that you're probably not adequately familiar with &mdash; foreign institutions that might be credit risks and foreign legal systems that might or might not protect your interests &mdash; and to costs that might be significant compared to your investment return.</li> </ol> <p>For most people, though, the loss of value in your savings is insignificant compared to the lost of value in your income (which is probably almost entirely in dollars). The only real way to fix that is to get some additional income in euros or yen or yuan &mdash; but that's not practical for most Americans.</p> <p>If you're not an American, you're stuck facing the flip-side of this. Your currency is strengthening, which is great to the extent that imports will be cheaper, but bad to the extent that your (and your neighbor's) livelihoods depend on selling things to Americans.</p> <p>There are two bright sides to this.</p> <p>First, a falling exchange rate usually translates into rising prices only gradually. That's not true of commodities like oil, but for other goods, the manufacturers, importers, and retailers usually take most of the loss, at least for a while &mdash; in order to keep their market share and maintain good relations with their own suppliers and customers. So, expect the price of consumer goods to lag changes in exchange rates.</p> <p>Second, for the reasons described above, the Fed isn't completely insane for wanting this. Rising inflation will let the Fed's policy moves gain some traction. A weaker dollar will boost U.S. manufactures. A recovery in the U.S. economy will yield benefits to everyone.</p> <p>I don't think those benefits will exceed our losses, but they do exist.</p> <p>After diversifying your income internationally (always hard to do, but worth attempting), your next best move (for Americans) is to find ways to reduce purchases of imported goods. Just using less is always a good idea &mdash; the less fuel you burn, the less you have to buy with your weaker dollars. Where you can't (or don't want to) reduce your consumption, source as much of what you buy locally as possible.</p> <p>And, since those are all good things to do anyway, you can understand why producing a falling dollar isn't a mistake this time. They're doing it on purpose.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sinking-dollar-this-time-on-purpose">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-100-bill-unveiled">New $100 Bill Unveiled</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/us-banks-and-the-tokyo-drift">U.S. Banks and the Tokyo Drift</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-a-donald-trump-presidency-could-impact-your-wallet">6 Ways a Donald Trump Presidency Could Impact Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-can-you-buy-for-1-these-days">What Can You Buy for $1 These Days?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News currency dollar value exchange rates Fri, 15 Oct 2010 13:00:05 +0000 Philip Brewer 262299 at http://www.wisebread.com New $100 Bill Unveiled http://www.wisebread.com/new-100-bill-unveiled <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-100-bill-unveiled" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new-hundred-2.jpg" alt="New $100 bill" title="New $100 bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="105" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though ordinary people hardly ever receive or spend one, with the number of $100 bills in circulation in the billions it's worth putting the effort into making them extremely secure. With that in mind, the US Treasury today announced a new $100 bill with new security features.</p> <p>The new bill still looks a lot like the old bill. It still features a portrait of Benjamin Franklin (although the portrait is bigger and is no longer surrounded by an oval) and it still has a vignette of Independence Hall on the back (also bigger and no longer surrounded by an oval). Like the other new currency released in the past few years, the new $100 is subtly colored. (The color isn't considered a security feature, but does make the bill more complex to counterfeit.)</p> <p>There are two new security features:</p> <h2>3-D Security Ribbon</h2> <p><img width="47" height="143" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/3d-security-ribbon.jpg" />Running down the front of the bill, just about at the center, is the 3-D security ribbon: the bill's most obvious new security feature. &nbsp;</p> <p>It's a broad blue ribbon running just to the right of Franklin's face that displays images of bells and 100s that move and change from one to the other as you tilt the note. It's woven into the paper, not printed on top.</p> <h2>Bell in the Inkwell</h2> <p><img width="131" height="54" align="right" alt="Bell in Inkwell" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/bell-in-inkwell.jpg" />At the bottom, just to the left of the color-shifting number 100, is the other new security feature: A copper-colored inkwell &nbsp;decorated with an image of a bell printed in color-shifting ink. Like the color-shifting number, the bell changes color from copper to green when the bill is tilted, so the image disappears and reappears against the copper-colored background.</p> <h2>Existing security features retained</h2> <p>Three of the existing security features were considered still effective and have been retained:</p> <ul> <li>The watermark with a portrait of Benjamin Franklin that matches the image on the front of the bill.</li> <li>The security thread is the same as with the older $100 bills&mdash;the same place (to the left of the portrait), the same image (USA 100), and same color of glow under ultraviolet light (red).</li> <li>The color-shifting numeral 100 in the lower right corner of the front of the bill (now,&nbsp;like the other redesigned bills,&nbsp;copper-to-green rather than green-to-black).</li> </ul> <p>Because those are the same as they were, you can go on following the same <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-counterfeit-money">procedures to spot counterfeit money</a> as before&mdash;you simply have the new security features as additional options.</p> <p>The Treasury's <a href="http://www.newmoney.gov/">newmoney.gov</a> website has a video with the security features in action.</p> <p>The new bill will start circulating on February 10th, 2011.</p> <p><em>[Updated 1 October 2010: The Federal Reserve announced that they were </em><a href="http://www.newmoney.gov/media/release_10012010.htm"><em>delaying the release of the new $100 bill</em></a><em>, because of production difficulties. They don't yet have a new issue date.]</em></p> <p> <meta charset="utf-8" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-100-bill-unveiled">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies">Local Currencies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clams-cheese-and-bread-why-we-call-money-what-we-do">Clams, Cheese, and Bread: Why We Call Money What We Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-switch-banks">How to Switch Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Debit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-money-laws-you-may-have-broken">7 Weird Money Laws You May Have Broken</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Financial News $100 bill banknotes currency money Wed, 21 Apr 2010 18:59:45 +0000 Philip Brewer 37836 at http://www.wisebread.com New $5 bill starts circulating today http://www.wisebread.com/new-5-bill-starts-circulating-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-5-bill-starts-circulating-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Series2007_NoteFront_5_0.jpg" alt="New $5 bill" title="New $5 bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="107" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The new $5 enters circulation today with a ceremonial &quot;first spend&quot; at the gift shop of President Lincoln&rsquo;s Cottage at the Soldiers&rsquo; Home in Washington, D.C.&nbsp; The various Federal Reserve Banks will also start providing new $5 bills as they fill orders for cash from banks.&nbsp; Some banks should have them in a matter of days, although it'll probably be several weeks before you start seeing them.</p> <p>Having written about the <a href="/new-5-bill-unveiled">new $5</a> when the design was unveiled back in October, I wanted to let you know the new bills are actually out there, as of today.</p> <p>Of course, old $5 bills remain legal tender and should spend just the same.</p> <p>The treasury is trying to use every avenue to get the word out, including bloggers.&nbsp; (I got email from their advertising agency mentioning my earlier post and inviting me to the event at the Lincoln Cottage!)&nbsp; I guess this makes sense--the more people know that the new bill is coming, the less confusion there'll be.&nbsp; Also, the more people know about the new security measures, the tougher it'll be for counterfeiters.</p> <p>With that in mind, here are the new security measures:</p> <p>There are now <strong>two watermarks</strong>--a large numeral 5 on the right where there used to be a portrait of Lincoln and three smaller 5s in a column to the left:</p> <p><img alt="Watermarks on new $5 bill" title="Watermarkrs on new $5 bill" width="305" height="90" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/watermark_5.jpg" /></p> <p>The <strong>security thread</strong> has been moved to the right of the portrait:</p> <p><img alt="Security thread on new $5" title="Security thread on new $5" width="227" height="89" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/securitythread_5.jpg" /></p> <p>The idea behind both the changes is to make the bill more different from higher denomination bills, so it'll be easier to <a href="/how-to-spot-counterfeit-money">spot counterfeits</a> made by bleaching out a $5 and printing a counterfeit $50 or $100 bill on the paper.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-5-bill-starts-circulating-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-5-bill-unveiled">New $5 bill unveiled</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet">8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carry-some-cash">Carry some cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation">Weird Money Facts: 5 True Cases of Unbelievable Inflation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance counterfeiting currency Thu, 13 Mar 2008 14:28:00 +0000 Philip Brewer 1913 at http://www.wisebread.com Local Currencies http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/local-currencies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/silver-and-gold-coins.jpg" alt="Gold and Silver Coins" title="Gold and Silver Coins" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Because the advantages of trade (lower prices) fall into the hands of the person making the decision (the buyer), there&#39;s a constant tendency to move toward freer trade, unless there&#39;s some sort of institutional pressure in the opposite direction.</p> <p>The government is one source of institutional pressure. It can impose tariffs or create a vast array of other trade barriers--import quotas, local content rules, regulations designed to favor local producers, rules on the movement of capital and labor, etc. There are also non-governmental institutions structures intended to favor localization. One is local currencies.</p> <h2>History of local currencies</h2> <p>Local currencies are reinvented all the time.</p> <h3>Tokens</h3> <p>At my local &quot;Taste of Champaign&quot; (a community event where restaurants set up booths in the park), the organizers sell &quot;tickets&quot; which are then used to buy food. This provides <strong>security</strong> (the actual cash money is all in one central location), <strong>convenience</strong> (prices are all in whole numbers of tickets, so there&#39;s no need to make change) and <strong>profit</strong> (tickets are sold in packets of 5, so some people will go home with unused tickets). Disney World does much the same thing. Subway and bus tokens fall into this category as well.</p> <p>Tokens have always been used to promote <strong>customer loyalty</strong>, much as prepaid gift cards are used now--the business has your money, so they&#39;re pretty sure you&#39;re going to come back. Things like frequent flier miles and frequent customer punch cards also serve this purpose.</p> <p>When there has been a shortage of money, such as during a deflation, businesses would try to use tokens as a way to <strong>conserve cash</strong>. The proverbial &quot;wooden nickels&quot; that you&#39;re not supposed to take are an example. The business would make change as usual, but include a wooden nickel--which it would accept as five cents in a future transaction. Sometimes those wooden nickels, especially if issued by local store that was viewed as sound and sold a wide range of merchandise, would actually enter the local circulation, with other shops accepting them and then either giving them out in change or redeeming them at the store where they had been issued.</p> <h3>Beyond tokens</h3> <p>Local currencies in larger denominations are sometimes issued by a major employer when it can&#39;t get its hands on enough cash to meet payroll. Sometimes called &quot;scrip,&quot; this was usually intended to be redeemed in legal tender once the cash shortage was over, but could circulate as money, with local businesses accepting the scrip as payment, since the alternatives were either to offer credit or to do no business at all. </p> <p>Local currencies were also sometimes issued by local governments, which would agree to take the scrip back for payment of taxes, giving it a definite value.</p> <h2>Modern local currencies</h2> <p>For the past sixty years, modern central banking has made the sort of deflationary panic that led to money shortage nearly unheard of. (We&#39;ve been much more likely to face inflation instead.) However, local communities still suffer from the other downsides of globalization that I talked about in <a href="/trade-versus-localization">Trade versus localization</a>. In particular, the profits made at chain stores and the like are drawn out of the community. There&#39;s a movement to resist that, through the use of local currencies.</p> <p>The basic idea is to have a currency which is only of value locally. The big chain stores won&#39;t take it, so it won&#39;t be drained out of the community that way.</p> <p>To make the currency valuable, someone has to accept it as payment, which is why currency issued by governments and large local businesses are typically more successful than others. But it&#39;s possible to bootstrap a local currency without any such support. Any group of people that gets together and agrees to accept a local currency can make it work, and there are plenty of successful examples.</p> <p>Why would you accept local currency when you could hold out for dollars? Generally, only if you were pretty sure someone else would accept the local currency when you wanted to buy something. Most businesses that sell actual things (where the supplies probably need to be bought with dollars) can&#39;t afford to accept local currency (or can only accept it for a fraction of the transaction), but local currencies can be pretty appealing for people who offer services and who want to buy services--especially among people who are chronically under-employed.</p> <p>For example, an aroma therapist can take local currency from clients who would otherwise be unable to afford the services. The therapist can then hire a dog walker who can then go to a massage therapist who can then hire a babysitter, etc.</p> <p>Perhaps the most commonly cited success is <a href="http://www.ithacahours.org/">Ithaca HOURS</a>, a local currency used in Ithaca, New York. That local currency is denominated in hours, with a goal of encouraging people to value the labor involved in doing the work (although there&#39;s no rule that says you can&#39;t charge more or less than one Ithaca HOUR for one hour of labor). The Ithaca HOURS website includes a directory of people who have agreed to accept them in payment, and although there are plenty of yoga instructors and spiritual counselors, there are also accountants and bakeries and roofing contractors.</p> <p>While Ithaca HOURS are actual, paper bills that change hands, there is no need for physical notes. Many other systems, such as <a href="http://www.gmlets.u-net.com/">LETS</a>, <a href="http://www.timekeeper.org/whatis.html">Time Dollars</a> , and <a href="http://www.timebanks.org/">Time Banking</a> are essentially a bookkeeping system--a central registry keeps track of who has (or owes) some number of dollars or hours.</p> <p>Nearly all of these systems are designed so that holdings of local currency earn no interest. (Some are even designed so that holdings actually decline in value.) The point is for the money to actually circulate, promoting commerce. When there are productive assets sitting idle, that actually works. (This fact is why inflation is often welcomed in the early stages. It goes badly awry, though, if there isn&#39;t ample productive capacity sitting idle.)</p> <h2>Private money</h2> <p>There&#39;s a completely different kind of money sometimes called &quot;private money,&quot; often backed by gold or silver, which is very nearly the opposite of local currencies.</p> <p>One example of private money is <a href="http://www.e-gold.com/">e-gold</a>, an internet payment system that denominates accounts in terms of ounces or grams of gold or silver. One account holder can pay another in grams, ounces, dollars, euros, etc., and the system converts the payment into a specific amount of precious metal (if necessary) and moves that amount from one account to another.</p> <p><a href="http://www.libertydollar.org/">Liberty Dollars</a>, on the other hand, are actual, physical gold and silver coins (and some paper money as well). </p> <p>Because precious metals are universally recognized, private money does not have the &quot;local currency&quot; effect of increasing commerce.</p> <h2>Legality and taxes</h2> <p>In the United States, there&#39;s no law that requires people to use dollars. (The legal tender laws require that you accept dollars in settlement of a debt that&#39;s denominated in dollars, but since 1975 it has been legal to write a contract that requires settlement in gold (or Ithaca HOURS) and courts will enforce it.) Anybody can create any currency they want, as long as they don&#39;t pretend that it&#39;s US dollars or make them look so similar as to violate the counterfeiting laws. </p> <p>As far as the IRS is concerned, any sort of economic transaction probably involves income on one side or the other (and probably both). If a handyman builds a new porch for a dentist and the dentist puts braces on the handyman&#39;s kid, the IRS expects that each person would pay taxes as if he&#39;d been paid in cash for the services. Since no actual cash is changing hands, it&#39;s easier as a practical matter to fudge around the edges in terms of exactly how much income is involved, but the taxes are still owed. With local currencies, the situation is roughly the same--you need to pay taxes (in dollars) on the value of whatever income you receive, but it&#39;s up to you to keep track, to decide what the dollar equivalent is, to report the income, and to send in the payment.</p> <p>Let me note that I don&#39;t use any local currency or private money system. Do your own research and use your own best judgement before choosing to do business using any of these systems.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/having-a-baby-nine-financial-considerations-for-new-parents">Having a baby? Nine financial considerations for new parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks currency local money Tue, 23 Oct 2007 21:10:30 +0000 Philip Brewer 1316 at http://www.wisebread.com New $5 bill unveiled http://www.wisebread.com/new-5-bill-unveiled <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-5-bill-unveiled" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Series2007_NoteFront_5.jpg" alt="Face of the new $5 bill" title="New $5 bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="107" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div style="float: right; margin: 1em;"> <script type="text/javascript"> digg_url = 'http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/smartspending/archive/2007/10/11/how-to-spot-counterfeit-money.aspx'; </script> <script src="http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </div> <p>The US Treasury today unveiled a new $5 bill, with security features intended to make it harder to bleach out a $5 and use the paper to counterfeit a $100 bill.</p> <p>Until about ten years ago, a growing form of counterfeiting was bleaching out $1s and printing $50s or $100s on the paper. For the past ten years, though, new large-denomination notes (but not $1 or $2 bills) have had security features to make this harder:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/portrait-watermark-10.jpg" alt="Hamilton portrait and watermark from a $10 bill" title="Hamilton portrait and watermark" width="300" height="245" align="right" />A <strong>watermark</strong> that is visible when you hold the bill up to the light, showing an image that matches the portrait.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u203/securtity-thread-20.jpg" alt="Security thread from a $20 bill" title="Security thread" width="73" height="248" align="left" /> A <strong>security thread </strong>embedded in the paper and is visible when you hold the bill up to a light, showing the denomination of the bill and an image that&#39;s unique to that bill. </p> <p>Both the security thread and the watermark are actually part of the paper, meaning that it is impossible to copy them using any sort of printing technique. This provides some real security. </p> <p>Now that people are getting used to seeing the security features, counterfeiters have started having trouble passing paper that doesn&#39;t have them. Since the $1 and $2 bills don&#39;t have them, it&#39;s no longer practical to use the old bleach-a-$1-bill technique for getting paper for counterfeit hundreds. The $5 bill, though, does have these feaures, and even though it&#39;s a more expensive source of paper, counterfeiters have been using them.</p> <p> The security features on the new $5 have been changed to make that less successful.</p> <h2>Changes</h2> <p>The new $5 has the <strong>security thread moved to the right of the portrait</strong>, to make it more different from the $100.</p> <p>The new $5 still has a watermark, but the <strong>image has been changed to that of the numeral 5</strong>. (Different as the portrait of Lincoln was from that of Franklin, it&#39;s certainly true that a 5 is even more different.) There&#39;s also a <strong>second watermark with three numerals 5</strong>, one above the other, to the left of Lincoln&#39;s portrait.</p> <p>The new bill also follows in the footsteps of other new bills by adding color--the new $5 is a pale purple.</p> <p>The new bills will enter circulation in early 2008.</p><p><em>Don&#39;t miss another tip from Wise Bread. <strong><a href="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=601373">Subscribe to our articles via email</a> or <a href="http://feeds.killeraces.com/wisebread">RSS feed</a>.</strong></em> </p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-5-bill-unveiled">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-5-bill-starts-circulating-today">New $5 bill starts circulating today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-rising-interest-rates-can-help-your-wallet">8 Ways Rising Interest Rates Can Help Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carry-some-cash">Carry some cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-5-true-cases-of-unbelievable-inflation">Weird Money Facts: 5 True Cases of Unbelievable Inflation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance counterfeiting currency Thu, 20 Sep 2007 15:14:05 +0000 Philip Brewer 1186 at http://www.wisebread.com Carry some cash http://www.wisebread.com/carry-some-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/carry-some-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/banknotes.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="128" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recommend carrying some actual cash money. When I do that, a lot of people say, &quot;Why? Everyplace I go takes credit and debit cards.&quot; In fact, I know people who brag about spending no cash at all for weeks or months at a time. A no-cash life may be good for bragging points, but I suggest you carry some cash anyway.</p> <p>I was visiting someone in the hospital last week. Several times I made small cash purchases on her behalf that might not have been so easy to make with a credit or debit card. (I got her a soda out of the machine, for example, and some sugar-free gum at the hospital gift-shop.) There was probably an ATM machine somewhere in the hospital, but I don't know where exactly, and because of the way parking was arranged there, it would have been quite unhandy to have to zip out and go find an ATM elsewhere.</p> <h2>My own history with cash</h2> <p>When I was younger I carried very little cash. I had two reasons for keeping cash-on-hand to a minimum. First, because interest rates were a lot higher, the potential return on an extra $100 in a money market account oughtweighed the hassle of an extra stop or two at the ATM. Second, I didn't have much money--not enough to take a month's spending money out of the bank, if I also had to pay rent out of the same paycheck.</p> <p>I changed my ways during a visit to Germany. I'd brought a few Deutsche Marks (enough for travel from the airport to the hotel), but most of our travel money was in travelers checks. It turns out, though, that in Germany you can't really use travelers checks at stores or restaurants. They're easy to cash at a bank, but we'd arrived on a Friday after the banks were already closed, so we were looking at no more cash until Monday. (This was a while ago. Nowadays you'd just hit an ATM for local currency.)</p> <p>Things turned out okay. The hotel cashed one travelers check, which gave us money for our various small purchases, and we used credit cards for the large ones. Once the banks opened, though, we went and cashed a couple hundred dollars worth of marks to carry around.</p> <p>The thing was, it turned out to be really handy to have plenty of cash on hand. We didn't need to worry if some place took any particular card. We had cash if a traveling companion was short. It was so handy that I continued the practice of carrying a reasonable amount of cash, even after we came home.</p> <h2>Cash for living large (and small)</h2> <p>Times when it's good to have cash:</p> <ul> <li>Buying something from a person, rather than a business</li> <li>When you want to give someone a tip (or a bribe)</li> <li>For very small purchases, such as a pack of gum</li> <li>Purchases from vending machines</li> <li>When you're someplace unfamiliar, such as on a trip</li> <li>Anyplace that doesn't take plastic (Two examples: When I lived in Utah the state-run liquor stores only took cash; when I lived in California the places that towed your car away &quot;at owner's expense&quot; only took cash.)</li> </ul> <p>People give various reasons why they don't want to carry cash. Some people claim that they're more likely to spend money if they have cash than if they have to use a card. That seems unlikely to me, but I can get behind any mental trick people use to help themselves be more frugal. Some worry that it will be lost or stolen. I haven't lost my wallet in more than 30 years, but I'm sure it would suck all the more if I had a bunch of money in it when I lost it. (And it would suck plenty to lose the credit cards and ID.)</p> <p>It's possible to get along fine with little or no cash, especially if you live a circumscribed life (such as on a college campus or campus-like workplace, where you can put everything on a card). But if you live large there are going to be times and places where that doesn't work so well. Money isn't the solution to every problem, and even problems where money <em>is</em> the solution can often be solved with a credit or debit card. But there are some problems out there where the best solution is cash money. When you face one of those problems, it's nice to have some cash.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carry-some-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-get-rid-of-credit-cards-if-stores-give-more-discounts-to-customers-who-pay-cash">Would you get rid of credit cards if stores give more discounts to customers who pay cash ?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weird-money-facts-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-counterfeit-money">Weird Money Facts: 10 Things You Didn&#039;t Know About Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-saving25-place-to-look-for-spare-change">Forget Saving...25 Places to Look for Spare Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-settlement-money">8 Smart Things to Do With Your Settlement Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance banknotes cash credit cards currency debit cards Wed, 19 Sep 2007 14:34:41 +0000 Philip Brewer 1179 at http://www.wisebread.com