The Future of Money

All is Full of Love
From Bjork's video, All is Full of Love
In the future we might even teach robots to love, but that's not really the point of this post.

Earlier this week I had a dream about the future. First off, I don't really remember my dreams, I might remember a few dreams each year so this was a something worth noting. But secondly, this is the first time I think I have ever had a dream that could be somehow related to personal finance. I'm starting to think that maybe my thoughts of escaping the workforce are really becoming too much these days, but I think that's a whole different post for some other time.

So in my dream I knew it was a hundred years in the future. I don't think I was there, I was just witnessing other people talking about how things used to be in the early 2000's. They were describing these concepts of paper money to each other as if it were a teaching class. "So back then they used to exchange slips of paper instead of using credits like we do today." So some people asked the person explaining about how this paper worked, "wouldn't it get ripped?", "so they had to carry it around all the time?"

The idea of paper money just didn't make sense to them, in the future no one carried money around, they all just were scanned (by a thumbprint or a biometric scanner of some sort) and their credit account was deducted the proper amount. Why would you need to carry money around with you?

When I woke up I thought it was a strange dream to have, the focal point was on the idea that paper money was a hassle to use, easy to lose and that it could be destroyed so easily. I'm not sure why I would have dreamed such a thing, I haven't been watching a lot of sci-fi movies or anything lately, but I do agree with my dream. The future is in credit(s), not carrying paper money. It may be generations before a shift takes place but I already see it happening. More and more people carry credit cards. How often does someone buy a new TV with cash? My guess is 1 out of 10 times or less. How do you buy tickets to a concert? Online, very few people actually physically go to the box office ahead of the show and purchase them in cash (side note: I will do this at some venues because I hate the extra $9 ticketmaster charge, but I still use my credit card), not very many.

Ideas that started as Science Fiction have become true, many many times over. Things like submarines, the internet, satellites, cell phones, and even..... credit cards. We're already starting the shift away from paper money. Visa is "everywhere you want to be", and if not then you can use MasterCard or some other type of credit card. Once we can make a biometric scanner easy and affordable I think people will want to switch to using them. I mean, who can fake your DNA? It's such a common idea in movies that I'm sure companies are working on a way to make it happen. Just don't be surprised when it does.


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