A regular part of our travels is sorting through left over coins. Try as we might to spend all the currency before we leave a country either by putting it into the tank, exchanging it at the border or (the kid’s favourite) spending it on special foods.
We always seem to find extra coins in pockets or corners or…. So, a natural part of our homeschooling is to sort through the coins and put in small ziplock backs labeled with the country. Now we put the smaller bags into one larger bag of the continent. Alot of times the kids will count the money in each bag and put a small piece of paper in with the amount. The bag goes into the safe and comes out when we return or when we meet someone going the opposite direction we make an exchange of currencies. It is always nice to have enough for a loaf of bread, or coffee or a pay toilet when coming into a new country, as we always say.
Hannah is our bookeeper. At first we did an XL document on the computer. Now that she has her own ipod we have put Xpensilite on it. We save receipts in a metal box on the dash. She takes the receipts and enters them into her ipod and converts the currency back to USD. She takes photos of any that are over USD 50 in value. She seems to really love doing this and she does it well.
We have changed to an ipod app for pocket money as well, called “allowabank”. Abi keeps her home currency in USD but the others keep their home currency in NZD. Every purchase must be converted to their home currency.
The world is quite small for our kids. They grew up understanding multiple currencies. They also understand different economies. Just crossing a border bread can go up to 10 times the cost of the previous country. We were poor in Germany, we are rich in Bulgaria. However we have the same amount of money. It is one thing to know this in your head. It is another thing entirely to know how it feels.