In light of all of the financial woes today I thought it only appropriate that I blog about Australian currency today! Today the exchange rate is a low low 74 cents which means if I transfer $100 Australian dollars to the US it will only be around $74. Not good for us when we have US bills and a mortgage to pay but hopefully it will come back up a bit.
The Australian money is colorful and it makes sense! The bills come in different sizes and colors as do the coins. The bills vary in size and increase slightly in size as the denomination increases. they come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. They are made of polypropylene polymer plastic which translates to waterproof and un-tearable!!! Go through the washer??? No worries!
The coins are 5 cent, 20 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1 dollar and 2 dollar. The dollar coins are gold in color and the others are silver. the 50 cent piece is interestingly enough 12 sided! They also go according to size with the smaller gold coin being the $2 coin and the larger one being the $1. The smallest of the silver coins is the 5 cent coin.
There are no pennies here so cash transactions that come to less than 5 cents are rounded up or down to the closest 5 cents. If you pay by credit card or check they use the exact cents.
There is a 10 % sales tax called GST for Goods and Services Tax that is included in everything that you buy. So if I bought a singlet (tshirt in the store) and it was $20 I would pay that—$20. No fooling around with trying to figure out the tax on it which is kind of nice in my book! There is no GST on food from grocery stores and on some medical expenses I believe.
So there is your money lesson for the day! The thing that took me the most time to get used to was that if I use money out of our bank account and use what I consider a debit card it is really a savings card and you have to hit savings on the screen. And you have a limit on how much you can spend in a day also which makes no sense to me since the money is there!!! I think you can raise the limit and I am sure that there are other ways to get to your money but I have not asked the right questions yet and so far we have been fine with what we needed to do but it is just a little different than what we are used to doing in the US where if you have the money in your checking account you can use your debit card until it is gone–no limits!
Ta ta for now!