The AUD is often referred to as the “little Aussie battler”. Well, it’s certainly winning some battles right now. And if currencies do fight battles, then October 14, 2010 may well have represented Australia’s 1066. Because on that day one Australian dollar was equal to one American dollar. Parity!
The Australian dollar is also very strong against the Great British Pound right now as well and I was reminded of this when I got a comment from Sandra on my post called where’s all my money gone? She’s lived here in Australia for yonks but went back to the UK the other month for a holiday. Sandra couldn’t get over how cheap food was in England.
But as I said in my reply to her comment, three years ago she would have been paying 50% more for everything than she is today. It’s no wonder everything appears cheap.
Around the time my visa was granted (August 2007) an Australian dollar was worth about 40 pence. Today an Australian dollar is worth about 62 pence. BIG difference!
A bit of AUD history.
Australia used to deal in pounds shillings and pence, but Australian ones. They were different from GBP. Wikipedia’s AUD page explains it much better than I do. But here’s what I love.
In 1965 when Australia wanted its own currency, they toyed with a few names. The austral, the oz, the boomer, the roo, the kanga, the emu, the digger, the kwid, the dinkum and the ming. Me, I would have wanted it called the redback!
The ming would clearly have been a peach of a name and was only in the running because it was the nickname of the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies. But he preferred the name the royal and that’s what the new Australian currency was to be called.
Except nobody really liked it, so instead it became the dollar, the Australian dollar. Bit boring after all those great suggestions, don’t you think?
Looking through history you’d have to go as far back as February 1985 for the last time the Australian dollar was worth over 60 pence GBP, but it has been much higher than that.
In October 1976 one Australian dollar was worth 78 pence!
But let’s return to today. Right now, Australia is an incredibly expensive place for holidaymakers to visit, especially from the UK and the USA. And for those hoping to emigrate here? Clearly this is not a good time to do that if emigration means selling your house and exchanging all your savings into Aussie dollars at current rates.
But does all this make Australia an expensive country to live in? No, of course not! Australians and residents of this country who are earning Australian dollars do not notice any real difference, although technically imported goods (we have quite a few of those) should become cheaper for us. So our cost of living should actually go down.
If anything, now is the time for Australians to strongly consider going abroad and having that holiday of a lifetime. It may never get cheaper.
Looking to Exchange YOUR Money Soon?
If you’re looking to transfer money abroad or exchange your hard earned pounds into Aussie dollars sometime soon, you need to find somebody prepared to swap their AUD’s for your GBP’s.
Ahh, that’ll be my bank then won’t it? Not necessarily.
Your bank will change your money for you, but you will almost certainly be better off using a money transfer company.
My best tip for you would be to open an account in preparation of the exchange, because you can’t just open these accounts immediately over the phone. In these days of money-laundering you will need to provide certain proofs before your account is approved.
There’s nothing worse then seeing a favourable exchange rate go to waste whilst you go through the procedure of proving who you are.
There are some popular names in the money transfer market, like Ozforex, Forex and Hifx. But I have come for some time now, been working closely with a UK company called TorFX.
TorFX have been awarded D & B Rating 1, they offer some of the best rates in the market and provide a great service. Read more about them on my page about Currency Exchange.