Future Reflections Special Issue, Vol. 14 No. 2



by Doris M. Willoughby

[PICTURE] This blind woman owns a business and operates a cash register almost everyday.

Do you have some money of your own? Everybody always wishes for more money! Here are some ways to keep track of your money so that you know what you have.


We have four kinds of coins we use a lot: penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. Here is how to tell them apart. Dimes and quarters are rough around the edge (the side). You can feel this with your fingernail. A quarter is a lot bigger than a dime. It is easy to tell a dime or a quarter. A penny or nickel is smooth around the edge. Your finger nail can feel this. Now, a nickel is a little bigger than a penny. But it is not much bigger so this may be hard to tell. Jim keeps a special penny in his billfold. When he gets a new penny or nickel he puts it over his special penny. If it's just the same he knows it is another penny. If it is a little bigger, it is a nickel.

Sometime you may see a half dollar. It has rough edges. It is bigger than a quarter. You may even see a silver dollar sometime. It has rough edges, too. It is the biggest coin.

Paper Money

What about paper money? You may have a one-dollar bill or you may have a "bigger" bill. But if we say it is "bigger," we just mean it is worth more money. It may be worth $5.00 or $10.00 or more. But it is not bigger in size. All paper money in our country is the same size. All paper money feels just the same.

With paper money you need to find out what it is when you get it. If you get it for a present you will know what it is. If you get it for change at a store sometimes you can figure it out. Let's say you give a $5.00 bill for something that costs $4.00. You know you would get $1.00 in change.

But what if you give a $10.00 bill for something that costs $4.00? You may get two bills in change. One would be a dollar bill and one would be a five-dollar bill. But which is which? You should ask the person who gave you the change. You can say, "Which one is the five?"

So now you know which is the dollar bill. You know which is the five-dollar bill. But how will you know after they have been in your pocket?

When you put your money away, think about it. Have a way to keep track. In your billfold you may have different kinds of bills. A lot of people think it is easier to fold the bills. Then you don't have to keep them apart. Some people do it this way:

Don't fold a one-dollar bill at all.
Fold a five-dollar bill the long way.
Fold a ten-dollar bill the short way.
Fold a twenty-dollar bill both ways.

Other people have other ways of sorting their money. There are also fifty-dollar bills and bigger bills. But most boys and girls don't have big bills! That's a lot of money!

A Cash Register

Mrs. Smith has a food store. She needs to keep track of a lot of money. Mrs. Smith is blind, so how does she do it?

Almost every store has a cash register. There is a drawer for the money. The drawer has places for different bills. Mrs. Smith asks people to tell her what kind of bill they give her. Then she puts it in the right place.

But what if someone told a lie? What if somebody gave her a one-dollar bill and said it was a ten-dollar bill? Mrs. Smith thinks about that. She knows most people are fair and do not tell lies. But she notices what people say and do, and she counts her money. She knows if something is wrong. There are lots of ways she can catch somebody who is trying to cheat her. She can sometimes tell by the way a person talks or acts.

Sometimes people ask Mrs. Smith if money should be made different sizes for blind people like her. Mrs. Smith laughs and says "No, it isn't that hard to figure out!"

In Other Countries

This article just tells about United States money. You may like to read a book about money in other countries and about money long ago. People have used some surprising things for money! Some of them are shells from the sea, round pieces of rock, beans, salt, and cows. What do you think of that?