To exchange or not to exchange

Blog by Rîon-Jensen Brown

It has been said that ‘worrying’ is a universal currency spanning generations, so when my relatives say us youngsters have nothing to worry about, it does make me raise my eyebrow. With the school summer holidays well underway, record-breaking sunshine and plenty of things to do you wouldn’t think there would be anything for us youngsters to worry about.

Other than my European family holiday I plan on using my £21.42 nimbl pocket money to buy new equipment for my guitar, treating myself to lots of deserts, sweet treats and more as strategised in my last blog Summer Spends or Summer Bends, but here are a few of the things I’m worried about (even during the summer holidays):

  •         When am I due a phone upgrade?
  •         Will my pocket money be paid this week?
  •         What will my school work and exams be like in my new school year?
  •         Will I get that new guitar or watch that I was promised?
  •         How much money do I have left in my nimbl account?
  •         How many euros will I get for £50 when I go on holiday this year? 

Hanging onto my last question almost all my closest friends and cousins are either on holiday abroad or about to depart for their holidays, so understanding exchange rates is essential (unless you’re like my family who exchanges their currencies at last minute at the airport and gets charged hefty commission fees for doing it there – a big no-no!), all could be avoided if they planned properly.

Exchange rates?

In simple terms, an exchange rate is how much it costs you to exchange one currency for another. So, our GBP (£) currency needs to be exchanged for the local currency of the country that you are planning on going to. For example, you could be visiting the USA, where they use Dollars ($) or South Africa where they use Rand (R) or Spain where they use Euros (€), you get the point. As simple as it sounds, based on where you do your exchange rate, can determine how much you end up getting for the exchange.

For example; if I decided to go to Greece, where they spend Euros and it’s €1.20 to £1 (made up figure), this means that for every £1 you exchange, you will get €1.20 back. So, if I exchange £50.00, I would receive back €60.00. This would make the pound the stronger currency, as you’re getting more than one euro for each of your pounds. This is not always the case, but as long as you know how to work out how much money you get for your £1 it’s a good guide.

Some places charge a commission for making the exchange (I know – the cheek of it!), which is usually a flat fee of a few pounds, not forgetting other charges such as handling fees. It can get very complicated, but as long as you plan in advance and exchange your money carefully, you will get the best deal. I must add, however, when my mum got charged commission, she got more foreign currency for her pound than when she exchanged with no commission, so it’s not all bad, and is worth shopping around.

This is why maths is really important and my campaign to make lessons more relevant to daily life is important. Please click/sign here if you agree!

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