Friday, December 05, 2008

Your Own Dollars

In today’s economy, I’ve heard of more people putting their money under the mattress. Well, if they are going to do that, why not have it be your community’s currency?

Several towns have developed their own currency, something that was common in the Wild West of yesteryear and made a comeback during the Great Depression, as a way to encourage local purchases. It is perfectly legal to do, as long as you don’t make it look like the real thing and you do the project as a not for profit organization.

Communities can print up their own currency, with serial numbers, anti-counterfeiting details and even pictures of local landmarks or famous (or not so famous) local citizens. The local residents benefit through an advantageous exchange system, say for example a hundred traditional dollars that can be converted into 150 or 200 local dollars.

Ithaca, NY has been doing it since 1991. That’s their currency on the right. Berkshire County, MA started theirs in 2006 and has had about $2 million exchanged for BerkShares.

Looking for something new to do in your community? You might want to research this idea.


Anonymous said...

In the new Warren Buffett book, Snowball, he talks about carrying around money printed by a bank he purchased and that it had the bank president's picture on it.

Do you think you could talk your little bank in Effingham into printing some money of its own? I'd love to have a wallet full of Eff-n bills!

BoomtownUSA said...

I'll take that up with them. I'm certain that it could be a huge moneymaker as everyone would want to have F-n-dollars!

Thanks for thinking of that!