Friday, February 18, 2011

Nous sommes dans l'argent//We're in the money

I often wish it wasn't so important for my life. But, alas, it's necessary: money. Cash. Bucks. Loot. Moola. (Did you know the word pelf used to mean money? I like that. "I won the lottery. Now I'm rolling in the pelf!")

L'argent. Depending on your outlook, it makes the world go round or it's a necessary evil. 

And though I use my debit card for almost everything now, cash is still necessary for some occasions (like paying my electricity bill. Really? You don't have to ability to take a card? It's 2011! Hovercraft are supposed to be right around the corner).

I don't know about you, but I'm always interested in cash from around the world. I still have some bills and coins from a trip to the Bahamas when I was four.

France uses euros, like the rest of the European Union. For an American, Euros are colorful and shiny compared to our predominately green currency. (Although we've also been adding colors lately!)

This was a ridiculously difficult picture to take. My money+wind= risky.

Just as a reference, a euro is usually worth a little more than a dollar. Right now, you could get $1.36 for 1€ or .73€ for a dollar.

It's the coins, though, that I find most interesting. In the States, most of our coins are equivalent to less than a dollar. Dollar and two dollar coins exist, but they're rare. The euro system uses more coins: 2€, 1€, .50, .20, .10, .05, .02, and .01. My purse can get really heavy sometimes with all those coins.

That's a lot of coins to figure out. But at least they say how much they are worth in numbers, not just letters. Here's an experiment for those of you in the states: Pull out a nickel right now, pretend you can't read English, and try to determine how much that coin is worth. I didn't realize it until I brought some American coins into class to show my students, but our coins only say “Five cents” or “A quarter.” A little confusing, non?

 My biggest problem is the same problem I always have with money: it disappears too quickly. I'm used to coins being worth less than a dollar, so spending them is not a big deal. They've always felt like extra, inconsequential money. Here, if I spend coins with the same nonchalance, I could quickly spend 10€ with just 5 coins. Just another one of the surprise mental adjustments I've had to make. 

Hope you're having a great Friday!


  1. I know what you mean about money disappearing too quickly. Sometimes it seems like budgeting is a full time job in itself!

    It's cool seeing foreign money. Thanks for posting these photos! How are you enjoying France? I've always ALWAYS wanted to go!

  2. amen sister! how are we doing on that budgeting thing together??? haha.

    also, i really like your pic of the 2euro zoomed in.