Blog, Environment, Finance, Stuff, Travel

Care for money bills

Key Takeaway: Did you know that it also constitutes social responsibility to take physical care of your money’s bill denominations? Even a mild defacing of them will render them invalid, and thus needed to be destroyed, and thus needed to be reproduced, thereby ultimately adding financial and environmental costs to society just to keep the fiscal system running smoothly.

A happy day to you, dear readers and purposeful livers!

It’s the start of another week, and for most of us, another work week to take advantage of to live out our higher purposes through the things we do and the work we perform. Today, I’m going to talk about something that all of us use and need, that some of us excessively love, and that few of us pay responsible attention to: money. Or at least part of it: bill denominations.


Janine, my very good friend and the co-founder of Habi Footwear, which I currently work for, was the one who shared this insight to me just last week, and so I credit her as the inspiration for today’s discussion: It is actually socially responsible to take care of your money.

And by that, I don’t mean taking care of your money in the sense that you stop unnecessary expenses, invest, etc. (but that is also responsibility, of another kind and another story) – but taking physical care of the bills.

Most if not all of the world’s currencies use bills now alongside coins, especially when it comes to the higher denominations of those respective currencies. Here in the Philippines, for example, we use bills for the denominations of Php20.00 (~USD0.45), 50.00 (~USD1.10), 100.00 (~USD2.20), 200.00 (~USD4.45), 500.00 (~USD11.10), and 1,000.00 (~USD22.20). So, introduced into the national currency flow, that’s a lot of bills in circulation. Sadly, they are not always taken good care of.

In the St. Pio of Pietrelcina church along Libis in Quezon City, there is a board there that denounces some donations for the poor quality of the bills that were given (“Is this the way you will repay him [Jesus]?”), then with the actual bills placed there to warn future churchgoers to think twice about the money they put in. At first, I wondered what the fuss was all about – then, when I looked more closely, and when Janine told me about it, it clicked.

The bills were of poor quality – therefore, they became unusable (and thus granted the church some leeway to use them for different purposes instead). While local merchants may be all right in using them, banks will not. In fact, even a mildly defaced bill will be considered of no value – and, when multiplied exponentially, has the potential to disrupt the national financial system! The Central Bank will have no choice but to have those damaged bills destroyed (which is done by burning), and issue new ones in their place. It’s both environmentally and financially disruptive.

You may think it’s nothing, what could one bill do? But it’s not just one bill. There are around 100 million Filipinos in the Philippines – and even outside the Philippines, many countries the world over also have in excess of a million people. Imagine what would happen if every single person had just one defaced bill.

And remember, here at TDA, we emphasize personal responsibility – responsibility to yourself, to others, to the environment, to society, and to material goods – including money. It starts with the self – if we cannot do little things well, what more big things? So it’s no excuse to say that your actions alone will not have an effect.

So if any damaged bills enter your possession, don’t damage them any further. And if you have clean bills, ensure they remain such. Your country will thank you for it in the future.

Have a purposeful week ahead!

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