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Currency

A currency is a country’s official legal tender, that is its official money. In Hungary that is the Forint. The currency is at the same time also a system, where different countries’ currencies’ value change in relation to one another. Currently there are about 60 currencies in the world, but it sometimes happens that several countries use the same name for their currency – for example there are several Marks and Dollars.

The most known currencies

Typically, the most know currencies belong to countries that are otherwise important for the global economy. The official currency of the European Union is the Euro, the Dollar for the United States of America, the Pound for Great-Britain, Yen for Japan and Rubel for Russia.

Currency exchange

As we previously mentioned, the value of different countries’ currency change in relation to one another, so we can exchange from one currency to another. The Forint is weaker than the most famous currencies – you can know that from the fact that you need more Forints to buy one from a different country’s currency. If we take Euros as example, you have to pay about 300-310 Forints to get your hands on one Euro. This only affects most people when they travel – if we do, we have to pay attention to the fact that countries with stronger currencies also tend to have higher prices. This is why a can of coke costs 180 Forints in Hungary on average, which is a little more than half a Euro, but in a richer, western country it can cost up to 1.5-2 Euros, which in Forints is about 450-600. Currency exchange offices indicate several exchange rates. When you want to buy foreign currency for Forints the sale price is used, when you want to exchange foreign currency to Forints the purchase price is used.

How to save money for a holiday?

Going on vacation on your own money is one of the best feelings in the world – you do not depend on your family, you can go anywhere you want and spend on anything that you want. Because of all the freedom, it is easy to overdo it and spend too much, but do not worry! You can read up on the typical pitfalls in our financial guide.

  1. Pay attention to the currency! As you could read earlier, different currencies are used abroad and you must pay attention. First of all, do some research on the internet about your destination – about the costs, such as fees for museums, beaches, transport or food. Taking that into consideration calculate how much money you need during your stay, and calculate using an online exchange tool how much money you are going to need. After this you must exchange currency in a post office, bank or currency exchange office. Pay attention if you travel to a country which does not have an often-used currency (not Euros or Dollars). It is worth inquiring weeks before the trip, since the currency exchange office may need time to acquire said currency. You may have to inquire in more than one currency exchange office for certain currencies.
  2. Save up and plan ahead! Most destinations abroad are sadly more expensive than Hungary, so you will have to spend more there than at home. For this you should plan well in advance where you travel and how much money you will need, because you may need to start saving up money month in advance. It is also important not to spend all your money on the trip since after returning you will still need money until the next salary.
  3. Take out insurance! Travel insurance costs a few hundred Forints a day and it can protect you from serious expenditure (both you or your family) in case of an accident. Look around on the internet for the available options and select the one that fits best for you trip. You should not leave this for the last moment. Also, get a European Union health insurance card! This can be acquired in any Office of Government Issued Documents and provides free emergency care in every European Union member state. It takes one minute to get and can save you from all health-related financial dangers!

4. Capitalize on being a student! There are many benefits to being a student abroad too. Just like at home, in many countries public transport is cheaper as a student, not to mention that almost every museum and gallery has reduced fees for students. Furthermore, in many major cities (such as Paris or London) the government owned museum and galleries are almost entirely free under the age of 25-26. Could you imagine that you could just walk into the Louvre any time you wanted and looked at Mona Lisa?