From rolling in the dollars to pinching the dough…

One frustrating thing about travelling in Asia is the low, low ATM withdrawal limits. You can only take out the equivalent of maybe $100-200 at a time, and you’ll be charged as much as $8 or so for the privilege of doing so.

One thing I never got tired of, though, was exchanging New Zealand money for local currency. Handing over a couple of bills and getting back many, many more was always a thrill.

Alas, those days are over. We’re now in Europe, where our dollar is pretty darn weak, and everything is a lot more expensive. It’s quite depressing, actually.

That means pinching pennies, lots of supermarket stops, and looking for deals wherever possible, be it discounts on tickets for the London Eye or tickets to Disneyland Paris.

The MasterCard I’m using (a post on how I’m managing our money while travelling is in the works) lets me store money in different currency ‘wallets’ and lock in exchange rates in the process. This didn’t matter in Asia, because none of the currencies in the countries we visited were supported, but the pound, euro, and US dollar are supported. So I’ve started keeping an eye on currency fluctuations, getting daily updates from XE.com, in order to take advantage of rates when they’re good. Annoyingly, they’ve been quite volatile of late, and the trends don’t look promising overall.

In the meantime, I’ll have to try not to develop too much of an inferiority complex about the New Zealand dollar.

I’ve still got a few posts to come about Asia, so keep an eye out for ’em. Happy weekends, all!

4 thoughts on “From rolling in the dollars to pinching the dough…

  • Reply Frank @ the Wondernuts June 23, 2013 at 13:44

    Ah. Never really run into that problem before. Maybe my bank is different. I can usually take out as much as $999 US and get charged for $5.00 US with no other fees at an ATM. It’s interesting to see rules around the world are significantly different.

    • Reply eemusings July 1, 2013 at 01:53

      Is that in the US? Or are you talking internationally? In Vietnam most ATMS have a limit of 2 million dong (or about $100) since everything is relatively cheap there.

  • Reply Jennifer June 24, 2013 at 19:12

    One thing that should make you feel better is a visit to a supermarket in the UK – our food is a lot cheaper than in NZ so that should help your budget a little 🙂

  • Reply oilandgarlic June 26, 2013 at 06:58

    I feel your pain. Last time we were in Italy, we exchanged U.S. dollars for Euros, and even knowing the dollar is weaker, we were dismayed at the amount we got back. Of course my husband reminds me that at least I did travel through Europe before the Euro and had my chance to be the “rich” American.

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