I remember a few years ago, I watched a video on some website where they aimed to track a twenty dollar bill. They wrote a tiny message asking whoever had the note to send them an email with its location, the time and date they had the bill.
It was marginally successful. I think they got a response every three weeks or so and plotted out the note’s rough path on a map.
Interesting? Sure – but there are better ways to track your money now.
This is a website for all readers based in the US or Canada. How does it track money? It works by tracking the serial numbers on paper money.
When you first go to the website, you’ll see the form on the homepage. The idea is that you’ll take whatever paper money you have handy and enter in its details.
If this is the first time the bill has been recorded into the system then you’ll be accredited with entering it. If it has a previous history on the site then you’ll be brought to the bill’s page. An example of such a page can be seen below.
It’s basically a list of all the entries for said bill giving the date and time, location, length of time since previous entry, distance travelled, average speed per day and the option to send an email to the user who entered a status update for the bill.
You can also view things like the top 10 bills (bills with the most entries), top 10 users, states etc… Public forums and a store are also available.
This service was inspired by ‘Where’s George’ and was launched soon after the Euro currency was introduced in 2002. It works on the same principal as Where’s George (serial numbers and note tracking) and is basically an EU version.
Firstly, you have to register before you can enter in a note. When you enter the necessary information (you need the serial number and short code – help on finding these is also available on the site), you’re told when and where the note was printed. If the note has been previously entered into the system then you’ll be taken to a screen like the one on Where’s George which gives you details of the notes whereabouts, time, dates, distance, etc.
You’re also given a map as you can see in the screenshot above. Most notes that have multiple entries will only have two, however there are a few with several entries enabling you to see their journey across Europe. The example above was first logged in Germany and then logged in Austria having travelled 728km (over a period of two years!).
To the right of the screen you can see the current top user leaderboards. Some have entered in hundreds of thousands of notes. The website is used widely on the continent in countries such as Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, however the website is available in dozens of European languages.
Both of these websites have very active communities and they’re great for seeing how your money travels the world!
Image Attribution: TW Collins