10 Amazing Facts About Money You Probably Didn't Know

Making it rain surprising facts.

You carry money in your wallet and keep some in your bank, but how much do you really know about those Benjamins? 

Well, if you're going to spend your whole life around money, you might as well learn the ins-and-outs. Here are ten amazing facts about dollars and cents that even your bank teller might not know:


1. Early humans used blood and bat poo as money.

via morgueFile.com

Before the invention of bills, ancient civilizations utilized numerous other commodities as currency. The list includes animals, shells, blood and bat guano (poo). Imagine sticking that stuff in your wallet.

2. Cash is not paper. It's cotton.

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Forget about the "old money doesn't grow on tree" saying. Cash is really made from cotton and linen fibers. And original money, around the time of Ben Franklin, had to be repaired with a needle and thread since it was cloth.

3. The idea for the first ATM was conceived in a bathtub.

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Inventor John Shepherd-Barron dreamed the concept for the first ATM while in the bathtub during the 1960s, and there were no ATM fees. Now, if only they can install ATMs in bathtubs.

4. Cash contains traces of the flu virus... and cocaine.

If you thought your toilet seat was dirty, it turns out your money is worse. Paper money can transfer the flu virus for over two weeks. If that wasn't scary enough, it turns out 90 percent of U.S. bills contain cocaine traces. As a public service announcement: Wash your hands after touching money, puh-lease! 

5. There are more credit cards than people in the U.S.

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If you don't own a credit card, chances are you know someone who owns one or more. 175 million Americans have credits cards, with each person owning an average of five. That represents over half the current U.S. population. 175 million times five equals way more credit cards than actual citizens.

6. More Monopoly money is printed annually than real money.

Monopoly Money

7. The average lifetime for most U.S. bills is under eight years.

Some symbolic message about money and death and stuff.

When P.J. O'Rourke said: "It's better to spend money like there's no tomorrow," he had a good point, at least for the actual cash. The average lifespans for some U.S. bills: less than six years for a $1 bill, over four years for a $5 or $10 bill, eight years for a $20 bill and less than four years for a $50 bill. That means your cash has a shorter lifespan than most of your pets.

8. There's a lot of U.S. money outside the country.

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As of June 2015, there are approximately $1.37 trillion in circulation. If you're wondering where in the U.S. is all of that currency, you might want to look beyond our border. It seems that two thirds is overseas. That's a lot of lettuce.

9. Americans are drowning in lifetime interest payments.

via morgueFile.com

Even though interest rates are at an all-time low, Americans are still paying for it big time. Over the course of a lifetime, the average American pays $600,000 in interest. Better start saving.

10. Replacing bills with coins can save the U.S. big bucks.

Canadian. Found this in my change. Thought it was a loonie at first. USA has dollar coins now?

If you still love dollar bills as your currency, you might want to re-think that. If the U.S. were to replace dollar bills with dollar coins, they could save around $5.5 billion over 30 years. This is a plan worth looking into.

(H/T: FactSlides)

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