Who invented Paying Bills? (Invention Timeline Explained)

There’s no denying that the concept of paying bills is a topic of contention for most. It’s a valuable tool of modern society, though you’ve probably wished it weren’t a thing at one point or another. The concept of paying bills is an interesting invention and one that dives deep into human history — particularly with the invention of money.

Ever thought about the history and evolution of paying bills? It’s a fascinating look into history, and one that you won’t regret! Here’s a quick lesson and timeline explaining the invention and evolution of paying bills!

Who invented paying bills?

The financial world changed when Sumeria, alongside inventing the written word, also developed primitive finances and bills. It seems like the first thing people wanted to do when they first created the written word was to use it for financing and trade.

Paying bills’ key contributors (and evolution)

  • Sumerians
    Inventors of the written words and the concept of paying bills

    The Sumerians from 8000 BC were responsible for both the written word and the concept of paying bills.

  • Mesopotamians and Phoenicians
    The Mesopotamians introduced the concept to the Phoenicians

    Around 6000 BC, the Mesopotamian tribes began trading with the Phoenicians, where they introduced the idea of money and paying bills.

  • Chinese
    The first appearance of metal money

    The ancient Chinese were the inventors of metal money, similar to the other civilizations above. They used the money to push the concept of paying bills. They would also be the first to invent paper money, which made paying bills much easier.

  • Greeks
    Made use of metal money

    The Greeks were also known to use metal money early on, and its use for finance naturally evolved over the years.

  • Romans
    The introduction of banks

    The introduction of banks by the Roman empire further reinforced the concept of paying bills. These banks, much like their modern counterpart, would accept deposits and offer all sorts of loans.

When was the concept of paying bills invented?

The Sumerians invented the concept of paying bills back in 8000 BC. It’s a surprisingly early part of history to talk about bills and finances, but humankind always had a fascination for the world of finance and numbers.

A brief history of paying bills

There’s no denying that the very concept of paying bills is crucial in modern society. It was also crucial back in the early days when civilizations were growing to the point where you could no longer trust trades and barters with everyone else. It wasn’t necessarily because people were untrustworthy, but because its growth meant more people who didn’t know each other. It’s hard to trust someone you’ve never met to keep their word, which is where the concept of paying bills got its start.

The invention of finances and paying bills started in 8000 BC with the ancient Sumerians. There needed to be a proper trade system, and the Sumerians also happened to be the inventors of writing, which made finances that much easier to handle. Some of the earliest writings from this era described finances, which shows humanity’s relationship with money.

Eventually, around 6000 BC, the Mesopotamians shared the concept with the Phoenicians, and trading grew exponentially with the help of money. Paying bills would become increasingly commonplace, especially with China’s invention of both metal and paper money in 1000 BC and 800 BC, respectively. Funny enough, the first bank was invented by the Roman Empire much earlier, around 1800 BC. The concept of loans and deposits alongside the paying of bills only grew as time went on.

These days, the world of finance is indescribably large, and it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon. But, so long as modern society exists, so too will the need to pay bills.

Paying bills timeline

  1. 8000 BC
    The invention of the written word and the concept of paying bills

    The world of finance was conceived at the same time as the written word — that’s how badly humankind wanted to build a financial system.

  2. 6000 BC
    Introduction of the concept of paying bills to different locations

    The Mesopotamian tribes shared the concept of paying bills with the Phoenicians, starting an avalanche of progress in the early years of finance.

  3. 1800 BC
    The invention of the very first bank

    With the invention of the banks courtesy of the Roman empire, the concept of paying bills further evolved, as well as the introduction of loans and deposits.

  4. 1000 BC
    The invention of metal money

    The ancient Chinese were credited with the invention of metal money, which persists to this day.

  5. 800 BC
    The invention of paper money

    Not content with the creation of metal money, the Chinese continued to make progress and also invented paper money.

Where was the concept of paying bills invented?

The concept of paying bills started in Sumer, which is located in the southern part of Mesopotamia.

The importance of paying bills

  • Modern civilization as we know it

    It’s common knowledge that without the concept of paying bills, modern civilization as we know it would likely be impossible. It might not necessarily be a perfect system, but it can help usher in a new age given enough time.

  • Came alongside the development of the written word

    The written word is seen as one of the greatest inventions of humankind. It’s telling that such an invention would also include the concept of financing and the paying of bills. The earliest recording of the written word included the trade of a goat, which shows how crucial the concept of money is to both the ancient and modern world.

  • A means to help the growth of a civilization

    While it’s possible to exist on a barter system without money, it slowly but surely becomes less feasible as a civilization grows. Eventually, there comes a time when a financial system of paying bills becomes mandatory.

  • An ever-growing industry

    Paying bills is the by-product of an ever-growing industry. Bills are needed to help society grow, and it’s one of the building blocks of modern progress.

Paying bills by the numbers

  • 1455The year when paper money outgrew its popularity and metal money was once again used throughout the world. Of course, paper money would make its eventual comeback.
  • 1930The year when paper money shed its dependence on gold.
  • 1791The very first bank in the US was established as far back as 1791.
  • 1920The invention of credit cards. Credit cards are a crucial step in the evolution of financing, as it opens up all sorts of opportunities for banks and clients alike. It’s been growing in popularity ever since.

Five facts about paying bills

  • The most important bills to pay

    While everyone undoubtedly has different bills they have to pay, the most crucial bills are as follows: food, water, shelter, and energy.

  • The importance of getting organized

    It comes as no surprise that many people have a challenging time paying the bills. In such cases, it’s a good idea to get organized and write down the things you need to pay. When you put everything onto paper, it might seem a little overwhelming at first, but at least you know what needs paying.

  • How to overcome credit card bills

    There’s no easy way to overcome credit card bills, but it’s crucial to note that you haven’t yet fully bought something until the card has been paid off. Most people think it’s a chore to pay credit card bills as they already have what they want. Keep things in perspective and think before you make a purchase.

  • The importance of paying on time

    Paying on time is crucial, as it shows potential lenders that you’re financially reliable. Good financial behavior is often rewarded with higher loan rates.

  • Why health insurance should be a top priority

    While health insurance is seen as an unnecessary bill to pay for some, your health is one of the few things you know will eventually deteriorate. Therefore, health insurance should be a necessity.

FAQ about paying bills

  • Any tips when it comes to paying bills?

    Nothing helps quite as much as prior preparation. It’s essential to keep things in perspective when paying bills. Take your bills seriously, and avoid unnecessary spending until you’ve dealt with the lion’s share of your bills.

  • What about tips with credit cards?

    As far as the credit card goes, it’s crucial not to make any purchase that you’re unsure you can pay back in the allotted period. It’s easy to get tempted by your credit card, but the idea is to build a good credit score by paying on time.

  • Do you have any saving tips so I can pay bills better?

    You can slash parts of the lifestyle you feel you can live without. Many people tend to spend more than their means, which is why many problems surface in the first place. Consider making changes to what you feel are luxuries, and make sure to write everything down to make those changes easier to accomplish.

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