How do you count the entire world's money supply? One nation at a time. See more banking pictures. iStockphoto/Thinkstock To make this question answerable in a finite amount of time, let's simplify things and ask, "How much money is there in actual United States dollars?" Since the statistics for the U.S. are easy to come by, we can examine this question in a couple of different ways. The first way to look at it might be, "How much cash is there in U.S. currency?" If you took all the bills and coins floating around today in the world and added them all up, how much money would you have? All of that hard and easily liquidated currency is known as the M0 money supply. This includes the bills and coins in people's pockets and mattresses, the money on hand in bank vaults and all of the deposits those banks have at reserve banks [source: Hamilton]. According to the Federal Reserve, there was $1.2 trillion in the M0 supply stream as of July 2013 [source: Federal Reserve Bank of New … [Read more...] about How much actual money is there in the world?
Savings or money market account
Managing a Money Market Account Like a basic savings account, money market accounts let you withdraw your money whenever you want. However, you usually are limited to a certain number of withdrawals each month. Banks will usually charge a fee (typically around $5) if you don't maintain a certain balance in your money market account. There may also be a fee (typically around $5-10) for every withdrawal in excess of the maximum (usually six) the bank allows each month. Because of these possible fees, you should always shop around and compare what different banks are offering. Things you should look at include: Fees and services charges on the accountMinimum balance requirementsInterest rate paid on your balance With a money market account you'll get a small book called a register (like a checkbook register) where you write in your beginning balance (the amount you originally deposit) and all of your future deposits and withdrawals. This tool helps you keep track of how much money … [Read more...] about How do money market accounts work?
The worsening financial crisis has led people to embrace the concept of saving. See more banking pictures. Sharon Dominick/Getty Images It's a confusing time to be a consumer. The government, the media and every reliable financial indicator tell us that we are up to our necks in an unprecedented global economic crisis. And to make matters worse, they say it's our fault. The root cause of our current financial mess is a decade or more of runaway spending by governments, corporations and -- yes -- people like you. We bought homes we couldn't afford. We maxed out credit cards we didn't need. We buried ourselves under a mountain of personal debt without saving a penny for a rainy day, let alone the torrential downpour we currently face. The result is that we've been seriously humbled. We no longer view the stock market as a risk-free investment. We no longer assume that home prices will continue to rise indefinitely. And we no longer treat saving money as a boring chore, like eating … [Read more...] about How to Know When to Spend and When to Save
The longer you leave your retirement funds in interest-baring accounts, the more money you'll have. ©iStockphoto.com/Joe Belanger Retirement is supposed to be restful, isn't it? But these days, the very idea of retiring is causing a lot of headaches. Many people are holding off on retirement much longer than they originally planned, since the turbulent stock market has meant their savings have taken a hit. So once they do actually get to the point where they're financially secure enough to retire, retirees want to make sure that security sticks around. If you're in the same boat, you're probably wondering what your options are. Sure, it's tempting to just stick your money under the mattress where it's safe and sound. Given the economic problems we've had in the last few years, who could blame you? The trouble is, squirreling cash away isn't actually that safe. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, most home insurers only cover a small amount of cash (in the $200 … [Read more...] about Where should you keep your money after retirement?
Image Gallery: Banking This little piggy might be cute, but he's a poor substitute for the security of a bank account. See more pictures of banking. Hemera/Thinkstock Fires, floods, hurricanes, burglars, you name it -- for cash stashed in a shoebox in your closet, potential threats lurk everywhere. You need a safer place to hide your hoard. Your neighborhood bank is a great place to start. Banks offer a safe haven for your money. They've got fireproof vaults, they're nearly impossible to break into and perhaps best of all, at least in the United States, their assets are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) for amounts up to $250,000. Banks offer your cash security and stability that no shoebox can. You can open accounts for individuals, groups and businesses. There are many types of bank accounts available. The services and features associated with each vary from bank to bank. Regardless of the fancy names you might see associated with different accounts, … [Read more...] about How to Open a Bank Account