Can you explain to me the impact money will have on the future (or my future. I am 16 years old)?

The framers of the U.S. Constitution would be amazed — possibly, flabbergasted — at all the predictions for the future of money. Now 214 years after Congress built the first mint in Philadelphia, the nation's capital at the time, the forward looks run from total elimination of paper money in favor of credit cards to transaction-recording chips implanted in consumers' hands.

Certainly, online banking, ATMs, digital cash, and E-Money have exploded into reality and into our daily routines in recent years. Whatever form money might take in your future, one thing is certain: You'll need a roof over your head, food and water to stay alive, and clothes to cover you. Those are just the basics, of course. To provide for yourself, you'll have to find a way to earn an income.

So, the simple answer to your question is that money will be part of an exchange for you. You'll trade your talents, time, and energy for a payback that you can put toward the stuff you need to survive . . . and the things that you decide you want beyond the basics.

Here are a few fun money facts:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces paper bills adding up to about $635 million each day.
  • Paper money is made of 75% cotton and 25% linen.
  • A $1 bill is expected to be worn out after 22 months; a $100 bill (the largest denomination in circulation since 1969) has a life span of 60 months.
  • Martha Washington is the only woman who's been portrayed on a currency note ($1 silver certificates in the late 1800s).

By the way, as you imagine what's coming up in your future, consider this quote from an unknown author: "The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."