Where Your Money Goes After You Spend It – Infographic

by Hank Coleman

Have you ever wondered what happens to your money after you spend it? Do you assume that cash just passes hands until being deposited into a bank? Or, that electronic transactions disappear into thin air? Where does your money go after you spend it?

The reality is, all currency is part of an intricate cycle. When it comes to cash, that cycle begins at designated printing facilities in the United States and ends between three and 15 years later when it’s taken out of circulation.

The life expectancy of cash depends largely on the type of bill it is. For instance, dollar bills have a life expectancy of 5.9 years while twenty-dollar bills have a life expectancy of 7.7 years. Over this time, bills can pass hands 55 times each year, and travel multiple miles every day.

Electronic money is slightly different. When you purchase an item with your debit card or receive a paycheck that is directly deposited into your bank account, the change is only recognized by numerical adjustments to your bank account. Many people also prefer to send money electronically because of how quick and convenient it is. Plus, learning how to send money online is so easy these days, anyone can do it.

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These transactions may make it difficult for you visualize how electronic money fits into the currency cycle, which is understandable. Just know that regardless of how you spend, borrow, send, or receive money, it all plays an important role in our money system. If you’d like to learn more about how your money moves, check out this infographic. 

Where does your money go?

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 581 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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