Suppose you go to a store and buy $120 worth of groceries. You write a check. Where is the money?  But let’s consider this transaction more carefully: you write the check, the store lets you leave. The check doesn’t clear for three to five days. During that period the $120 is in their checking account because they deposited the check, and also in your checking account because the check hasn’t cleared yet. Is the money really there? If the checking accounts pay interest, both of you are earning interest on this money at the same time – that’s about as real as money can be. When you write a check, for a few days you have created new money. But no one writes checks anymore (except the little old lady ahead of me in line at the checkout who inscribes her checks with painfully intense calligraphy).