Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Current Currency Correction

The Swiss franc today is at $1.08.  When my Girl Scout troop originally budgeted our Switzerland trip the cost was 97¢, but a few months ago when I priced everything again the rate was $1.23, so I'm not going to complain.  I purchased about $200 in Swiss francs over the summer so we wouldn't arrive empty handed, and last week I foraged through hubby's and my shoebox, kept in the closet, full of discarded foreign coins.  There must have been hundreds of rupees, yens, liras, German marks, and Swedish kronor, but only 8.42 in Swiss francs.  At least we'll have some coins to pay the toilet lady at the Zurich train station if we need to.

My daughter asked me the other day, "Why don't we just get a whole bunch of Swiss francs, and then if we don't use them, convert them back to dollars?"  I explained the game to her - how you lose money with every conversion and transaction.  Remember how tricky it was before the Euro?  Every country had their own currency and you had to constantly figure out how to exchange enough money at once so as not to incur too many transaction fees, but not to exchange too much and have any left over.  Once on a flight home from Europe, the flight attendants passed around a hat allowing for passengers to toss in any unwanted coins.  They were going to donate them to charity.  I thought it was a terrific idea.

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