We are around week four and this is my collection of leftover change from the different places so far and is growing of course.
So, what is a practical way to manage all of this? It is actually kind of like how we had to manage it when I lived in Belgium, still in the times of Francs and Guilders and Marks.
For me, since shopping is for all intents and purposes off the to-do list, this leftover currency is oftentimes my souvenirs from the various places. We are not planning for loads of excess currency, which would be kind of silly. But, we are not trading in our leftovers. There are several countries using the Euro, but not nearly as many as you think. So Czech, Norway and more still each have their own currency.
I carry in my wallet any currency for my current location, some US dollars, and likely my last location. Periodically I grab out the old currencies and put them away in a safe place. Looking at the wallet photo below, dollars on the left, South African Rand on the right and in the coin area is current currency, Rand.
Keeping the exchange rates handy is a bit of a challenge during fast-moving days. Right now, settled in South Africa for a few weeks, I’ve got the Rand conversion set. But when you need 3 currencies in a single day, it gets to be a bit much. I do have a great currency converter app, but it doesn’t store anything locally, each time it does a call for the current exchange rates. Good for accuracy, not so good with no internet. So, I have a “currency” contact in my Outlook. It has the exchange rates as of just before we left, which in a pinch is enough to make sure we don’t spend a house payment on a dinner somewhere.
I expect to have 5 or 6 more currencies before all is said and done.