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What better way to kick off a New Year than with a resolution to improve your financial well-being? So much of our daily lives and future dreams are affected by our finances, so it makes sense to make financial health a priority.

In God We Trust 

The motto "In God is our Trust" first appeared on the two-cent coin in 1864 as directed in an act passed by Congress in 1862. In 1865, another act was passed to extend the motto to gold and silver coins. A year later, an act of Congress declared that the motto should be placed on all gold and silver coins. "In God We Trust," showed up on paper money in 1957, when it was printed on the one-dollar silver certificate. Between 1964-1966, the Treasury began incorporating the motto into other denominations until it was represented on all denominations.

When we spend money, we want to trust that our hard-earned dollars are well spent. When shopping, it’s best to do some research to not only to compare prices, but how those prices compare to the product’s quality or performance. Here are a few quick tips:

  1.  Use Search Engines. Put keywords into your search such as “review”, “rating”, or “complaint”.
  2.  Read Online Reviews. Go to reputable, familiar sites to read online reviews regardless of where you intent to purchase it. This will give you an idea of how the product will perform or stand the test of time. It also gives you the opportunity to price shop different store sites.
  3.  Do some reputation research. Check sites with user reviews such as Cnet or Amazon. Consumer Report’s website has both reviews of search engines and websites as well as product reviews.

The Bill with the Shortest Life Span is… 

The $10 bill! The lifespan of a note varies by denomination. Many factors are taken into account, including how a particular denomination is used by the public. The $5 and $1 bill tie for second, lasting 5.5 and 5.8 years, respectively.

Like currency, the lifespan of our financial goals depend on what we want to achieve. Typically, financial goals are divided into three categories: short term, medium term, and long term. When setting goals, consider what it is you want to achieve and how soon you want to achieve it. For instance, if you are saving to put a down payment on a car or pay off a credit card early, this would be a short term goal. Saving for retirement or to purchase a home would be a long-term goal. Short-term goals don’t require as much planning as long-term goals. Check out some tips for how to get started here!

 

Are there US bills greater than $100?

Yep! In fact, the $500 and the $1,000 bills were once in circulation. While they are no longer printed, they are still legal tender. And, the largest bill ever printed was the $100,000 bill printed in 1934 as “gold certificates” featuring Woodrow Wilson’s portrait. These bills were only used for official transactions between Federal Reserve Banks.

Looking to grow your savings in 2018? Start with a simple, attainable goal. For instance, if you are looking to save $1,000 by the end of the year, break it up into a monthly or bi-weekly savings amount so that you are more likely to achieve your goal. For example:

“I will save $40 of each paycheck to reach $1,000 by December 31, 2018.”

 

What metals are US coins made from?

In 1792, a law was established the national mint and directed American money “to be made of gold, silver, and copper in denominations of $10, $5, and $2.50 pieces”. Denominations from the nickel to the dollar were composed of silver, and the penny and half-penny were made of copper. Over the years, US coins have changed composition for varying reasons, such as during the Great Depression and during WWII to preserve certain metals during for the war effort.

 

Saving pennies adds up. One way to build a savings habit is to take the loose change (or $1 bills) you receive back from purchases and drop them into your savings account. Check out these other savings tips for finding ways to save a little extra throughout the year.

 

What was used before coins and bills?

Before money became the coins and paper bills we know today, it took many forms, including conch and other shells, ivory, wood, and clay. Sometimes, livestock or grain was used as the measure for what various goods were worth. Before rudimentary currency systems, barter was a common way to purchase and exchange goods by using livestock, grain, and other goods as bartering tools.

 

With today’s money taking the form of plastic and digital methods of exchange, it’s more important than ever to track our spending. Thankfully, we have many digital banking resources like online banking, mobile banking, digital wallets, and mobile check deposit, that help you stay in charge of your money minute to minute. With the flexibility and ease that debit cards and digital banking apps provide, don’t forget to put your money to work for you with a budget and savings plan. Here’s how to get started.