How to Print Money Using Your Business


The following is a look at how to print money legally. It is not about printing U.S. currency, but a business strategy for boosting sales and cutting costs. It is about printing something that you will use as currency--the title above is not meant metaphorically.

The first time I saw this done was at a pizzeria where I worked as a delivery driver many years ago. I saw the orange-colored "pizza dollars" used to pay for pizza occasionally, but I didn't think of them as anything more than coupons. Then one day the owner, whom I will call Tom, was at the front counter talking to someone. As I listened in, I realized it was his dentist, to whom he owed $90 or $95.

"How about I pay you with pizza dollars," Tom said. His dentist, who was a regular customer of the restaurant, agreed to take $100 of the orange bills as payment for the debt. Tom took out a stack of them and counted out twenty $5 bills.

Print MoneyCoupons? No. This was essentially a pizza-backed currency, or at least it would be if it was directly denominated in pizzas rather than in a dollar amount of pizzas. In any case, Tom had essentially printed the money needed to pay is bills (and I later saw him pay for other things with these as well). It was a powerful concept if you look at it from several perspectives. To start with, although it would be illegal, there would be tax advantages to the dentist if the pizza dollars were reported as income.

But on Tom's side of the equation, look at what his currency accomplishes. He can pay for things when he is short on actual dollars. And of course he has to provide the pizza later, which has a cost, but the pizza is paid for after all. In fact, by handing out pizza dollars in exchange for other products or services, he is essentially guaranteeing future sales, since the "money" can't be used for anything else.

This could be seen as a form of bartering, but it is more elegant than that. Let's look at a hypothetical example to see how it might work. You own an auto repair business, and so you print up a bunch of "car bucks." You can promote yourself as "Daddy Carbucks" if you like. Now, lets say you need your house cleaned but you don;t want to pay the $80 cash. You offer Marie, your house cleaner, 80 car bucks instead. Because business is slow, she agrees, thus getting business that she wouldn't otherwise have (while you get a cleaning you wouldn't otherwise have). Now, if your profit on the services your business offers are 50% at the margins, it only costs you $40 to get your house cleaned, and you guaranteed the income to pay for it by way of the future redemption of those car bucks.

That's how to print money, but there is more. Marie can choose to wait and use the currency for her own car repairs, but she might also use it to pay for something else. Maybe her cleaning products supplier needs some repair work done, and she can pay for supplies with the car bucks. She might even sell them to a friend for $60, figuring that is enough for the cleaning work she did, and giving her friend a $20 discount on whatever auto repairs he needs.

You can also skip the direct connection to the dollar if you like. If you are a handyman, for example, you might print up bills that are each worth one hour of your time. You can pay for things with them at whatever rate you can negotiate. When times are tough and you need to raise cash, you can trade them for fewer dollars each than you usually make, effectively pre-selling your services to raise money now.

The cost to print money in this way is minimal, and you may even have a computer and printer at home that can do the job. Design the bills to fit four to a page, use a colored paper, and cut them with scissors. They'll cost you about two cents per bill, but they are also reusable as long as they're in good shape when they come back in. Make small-denomination bills, and decide whether to make change in regular currency or print on them "no change made" instead.

Now you know how to print money using your business.

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