Australian banknotes don't grow on trees, y'know. Instead, there's a set, finite amount of each denomination available for Australians to use. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently broke down the hard numbers - and you might be surprised by the scarcity of some banknotes.
During yesterday's Reserve Bank Board Dinner detailing the RBA's historic interest rate cut, governor Philip Lowe showed off a new-and-improved $20 banknote that will be entering circulation next week. According to Lowe, demand for banknotes in Australia is still strong with the stock of banknotes on issue, relative to the size of the economy, close to the highest it's been in 50 years.
Back in 2013, an irate motorist in Adelaide attempted to pay his traffic fine with nothing but loose change. The video of the incident went viral and online debate raged over whether the council was entitled to refuse the payment.
As we explained at the time, there are legal restrictions when it comes to paying for goods and services with coins - but how many is too many? This video has the answer.
So how many banknotes are actually in circulation for every Australian? Here's what Lowe had to say:
All up, there are 14 $100 notes on issue for every Australian, 30 $50s, and 7 $20s. That makes for around $3000 worth of banknotes on issue for every Australian.
In other words, if you've ever sat on more than $3000 in hard cash - or more than seven $20 notes - you've gone over your 'official' allotment. Of course, hardly anyone is in possession of this many banknotes at once, so there's always enough physical money to go around.
Lowe also discussed the RBA's recent efforts to track down the whereabouts of all this cash. According to its estimations, around a quarter of Australian banknotes are used to make legitimate day-to-day transactions. Up to 75 per cent are held as a store of value - "in safes, under beds and at the back of cupboards, both here in Australia and elsewhere around the world."
Another 4-8 per cent are used in the shadow economy, either to hide transactions from the tax office or to undertake illegal transactions. The remainder are either accidentally lost by the holder or destroyed through vandalism, misadventure and natural disasters.
You can find out more about the status of Australian banknote and the new $20 bill at the link below.
Most of us have copped a parking fine at one point or another — whether guilty or innocent, it usually leaves you simmering with impotent rage. One disgruntled Adelaide man has attempted to exact some petty revenge on his council by paying a parking fine in five and 10 cent coins. He also recorded the entire incident on video...