wallet-1010601_640How much do you know about the life cycle of money? When cash enters your wallet and leaves your hands, you become part of a continuous cycle.

Federal Reserve notes, as bills of American currency are technically called, are printed only at two U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) facilities: one in Washington, D.C., and one in Fort Worth, Texas. Only 12 Federal Reserve Banks exist, and small- and medium-sized banks have to pay these Federal Reserve banks for cash withdrawals.

In 2014, the BEP delivered 6.6 billion notes to the Federal Reserve. If that number sounds like a lot of cash, it is. However, 90 percent of that cash replaced bills already in circulation.

Speaking of circulation, did you know that the bill with the longest lifespan is the $100 bill? This denomination typically stays in circulation for 15 years. By contrast, the $50 bill has the shortest lifespan, remaining in circulation for only 3.7 years.

Today, more and more monetary transactions don’t involve physical currency. When you make an electronic transaction at a bank, such as by transferring money between two accounts, no physical money gets exchanged. However, if you’re trying to move money between banks, such as when you’re figuring out how to send money online, the banks themselves will usually have preset arrangements for money transfers. Sometimes money transfer operators will come into play.

We’ve teased out enough facts to get talking about money. Now explore the infographic that follows to learn more about where your money comes from and how it circulates in our financial system.

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