For many people, the $50 bill is special. It is a bill that makes them think twice about spending it instead of saving it. Many will tell you holding one is akin to having a piece of American history.
But what about this currency gives it that slight edge above the others? And, is it better to follow your impulse to save or spend these bills?
Why Is the $50 Bill So Revered?
The $50 bill has been redesigned several times since its introduction in 1861. It was updated to reflect Grant’s likeness in 1913, after which it seemed to carry more gravity, becoming a piece linked to history.
For some, spending the $50 bill is a way to honor America’s past, keeping its history alive even within commerce.
Why You May Be Tempted to Save That $50 Bill
According to psychology, the larger the denomination, the more valuable it feels to you. Larger denominations like the $50 bill can feel so helpful that you hit a mental barrier that makes you pause before splitting one for a minor purchase.
This barrier is what inadvertently steers you towards saving the bill rather than spending it.
There May Be Collectors After Your $50 Bill
Most $50 bills are not worth more than their face value. However, there are always exceptions.
Bills that have unique serial numbers — like star notes or repeating digits — can sometimes catch the interest of collectors. Before you spend that bill, it may be worth checking to make sure you’re not giving away a valuable collector’s bait.
A Big Bill for the Big Boys
Also, there’s a saying that the bigger the denomination, the louder the statement you make.
There’s a certain satisfaction, pride even, in carrying and using $50 bills. They’re usually linked with larger transactions and are often used to make a statement during purchases. For some, flexing that $50 denomination can be a deliberate choice in a bid to make an impression.
Why Some People Would Rather Not Have a $50
Despite their value, $50 bills sometimes trigger suspicion, becoming an inconvenience in everyday spending. This is because cashiers tend to scrutinize them more intently than $20 bills. If you want smooth transactions, you need to consider keeping $50s out of your wallet.
Why You Should Spend a $50 Bill
Like any other bill, a $50 bill is legal tender and supposed to be spent. If you use them in your daily dealings, however, rarely, you’re circulating them. The more people use them, the more common they become, reducing the novelty as well as the challenges of spending them.
It Used to Be a Scarce Bill to Come By
It is a relatively scarce bill to come by, but there is currently no sign that the $50 bill will be removed from circulation. In fact, in current times, the relative scarcity in daily cash flow has lessened as more $50 bills have hit the streets.
This is due to the government taking action after making an interesting realization about the country’s people.
Why Are There More $50 Bills?
Yes, the $50 bill has traditionally been less popular, but the U.S. Federal Reserve Service has realized that people have started giving more importance to saving money, and they find it more convenient to save larger bills.
During the pandemic, Americans started moving around with more cash, so the Fed opted to raise the rate of $50 bills, printing as much as 756,096,000 in 2022 alone.
The $50 Bill Before the Pandemic
Before the pandemic hit, the $50 bill was considered one of the rarest bills ordered in recent years. It was second only to the $2 bill. However, between 2021 and 2022, the Fed has ordered more $50 bills printed than $10 and $5, which means the daily rate is on the rise.
As of 2022, 8.5% of U.S. banknotes were $50, compared to the 3.5% it was back in 2019, before the pandemic.
A Piece of History
Whether or not you spend your $50 bills is up to you.
You could use them in your daily transactions or tuck them away for safekeeping, but never forget that these notes are more than just paper or ink. They are a piece of the history our founding fathers fought for and are always ready to be used as you please.