"Well, if you don't need money, then you certainly don't need mine!"
Money was a medium of exchange used to facilitate transactions of goods or services.
Money in the 21st century sense was not used on 24th century Earth. The exact nature of the Federation economy is difficult to describe; while money had not entirely ceased to exist, it did not play the central role in the lives of Federation and Earth citizens that it once did. The descriptions given by various Federation citizens are as follows:
- Kirk told Spock about 20th century Earth: "They're still using money. We need to get some." Later on, while Kirk was having dinner with Gillian Taylor and was unable to pay in the restaurant, Gillian asked sarcastically, "Don't tell me they don't use money in the 23rd century," and Kirk told her "Well, we don't." (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
- Leonard McCoy responded to Chang's constant quotations of William Shakespeare during the battle of Khitomer that "I'd give real money if he'd shut up." (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
- Kirk said to Picard "This is my house, I sold it years ago." inside the Nexus, referring directly to the sale of his former home. (Star Trek Generations)
- Picard tries to explain to Ralph Offenhouse from the 20th century that there would be no need for his law firm any longer: "A lot has changed in three hundred years. People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of 'things'. We have eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions." (TNG: "The Neutral Zone")
- When Lily Sloane asked how much the USS Enterprise-E cost to build, Picard tells her "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century... The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity." (Star Trek: First Contact)
- When Nog suggests that Jake should bid for a baseball card in an auction, Jake says "I'm Human, I don't have any money." Nog replies "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement." Jake says "Hey, watch it. There's nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." Nog then replies "What does that mean?" Jake responds "It means we don't need money!" Nog quickly points out, however, that Jake wouldn't be able to bid or borrow. (DS9: "In the Cards")
- Jake: (big smile) "I sold my first book today." Quark: "Really? How much did you get for it?" Jake: "It's just a figure of speech. The Federation News Service is going to publish a book of my stories about life on the station under Dominion rule." Jake then confirmed Quark's suspicion that he was not paid. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")
- Tom Paris says about the significance of Fort Knox: "When the New World Economy took shape in the late 22nd century and money went the way of the dinosaur, Fort Knox was turned into a museum." (VOY: "Dark Frontier")
However, money was not totally abandoned by all Federation citizens and some individuals, such as Carter Winston, acquired vast personal fortunes during this same period. (TAS: "The Survivor") Money also continued to be used on many other alien worlds, and for certain limited purposes in the Federation itself, especially when dealing with non-Federation members. Additionally, the crew of the USS Voyager, faced with severe resource limitations after being flung into the Delta Quadrant, treated rations on replicator and holodeck use as money and traded these amongst themselves.
- When preparing to fight the Klingons on Organia, Kirk said "Well, the Federation has spent a lot of money on our training..." (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")
- Rishon Uxbridge referred to her husband Kevin Uxbridge as a "starving student" when she first met him. (TNG: "The Survivors")
- Quark sold his damaged shuttle Quark's Treasure for scrap, in the Sol system, and was given enough to pay for passage back to Deep Space 9. (DS9: "Little Green Men")
- The Bank of Bolias was a major financial institution, and Bolarus IX, a Federation member planet, apparently has a market economy. (DS9: "Starship Down", "Who Mourns for Morn?")
- When he first entered Starfleet Academy, Benjamin Sisko beamed back to his home in New Orleans so often that he later claimed to have used up a month's worth of "transporter credits." (DS9: "Explorers")
- In 2373, Quark indirectly caused damage to a cargo bay. Quark was informed that he would have to bear the cost burden for the repairs. (DS9: "Business as Usual")
- During the 2020s, the United States of America used credit chips as a form of currency. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I")
- When Kathryn Janeway told Kes the story of Tuvok and the Vulcan master he bought a meditation lamp from, she included the bit about how the price was doubled when he discoved they were with Starfleet. (VOY: "The Gift")
- When Quark rescued Gaila from a Federation Starbase after his arrest on Thalos VI, he had to pay a fine before he could be released. (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")
- Benjamin Sisko threatened Quark to collect on four years "back rent" that was unpaid. (DS9: "Bar Association")
- Quark's Bar would extend credit to its patrons, including Federation citizens and members of Starfleet.
- On numerous occasions, Starfleet officers have gambled to win latinum at Quark's Bar, including Julian Bashir, William Riker, Jadzia Dax.
- On Pollux IV, after Pavel Chekov suggested that Apollo feeds off some external power source, Captain Kirk tells him that he's earned his pay for the week. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")
- Darsek (Klingon Empire)
- Dirak (Karemman)
- Dorak (Barkon IV)
- Federation credit (United Federation of Planets)
- Dollar (Canada)
- Dollar (United States of America)
- Franc (France)
- Frang (Takar)
- Isik (various)
- Gold-pressed latinum (various)
- Lek (Cardassian Union)
- Lita (Bajoran Provisional Government)
- Pound (Great Britain)
- Quatloo (Providers of Triskelion)
- Reichsmark (Germany (1924-1948))
- Renn (Mari)
- Scudo (Italy)
Ronald D. Moore commented: "By the time I joined TNG, Gene had decreed that money most emphatically did NOT exist in the Federation, nor did 'credits' and that was that. Personally, I've always felt this was a bunch of hooey, but it was one of the rules and that's that." (AOL chat, 1997)
At least once, Kirk commented to Scotty, "You just earned your pay for the week!" (Season 2 "The Dooms Day Machine") It is not known whether this was a simple vestigial idiom or an error of the episode's writer. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine") A similar comment was made to Chekov, again by Kirk. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")
This article uses material from The Economy of Star Trek and The Economy of the Federation, and Usenet articles by Timo S. Saloniemi. There are non-canonical references to Federation citizens receiving allotments of Replicator Credits (to provide food and other material needs) and Structure Credits (for housing and storage) in some Trek-derived works.