In addition to all the pictures and memories that we bring back from a trip abroad, we also tend to cart along the ‘leftover’ currency that we would have exchanged before our trip. Ever wondered how much of such foreign reserves we may have accumulated over the years?
A quick research showed us that in the UK alone, approximately £390million in unchanged foreign currencies remains tucked in jars and drawers around the country, over 12 months after returning home. This alarming number led us to probe further on the reasons for holding on to such cash. High exchange rates and the perceived hassle of going to a bank or Post Office are the most common reasons given for this.
So what do people tend to do with the extra currency that they are left with?
Many a times the money is used for wasteful airport purchases that include novelty hats and expensive luxury chocolates.
The research also revealed that 78% of those with foreign currency assume that the money has been lying with them for longer than 12 months with almost 10% believing that they still had notes and coins from over 5 years ago. Over 82% of those polled admit to buying items at the airport for the sole purpose of using up foreign currency. The ten most popular items for mopping up money include:
Other spontaneous airport purchases include bath mats, designer watches and even furniture.
Based on this, looks like people will do almost anything to avoid the hassle of dealing with currency exchange. The fact is, it’s no longer necessary to travel with these huge sums as getting the right amount of cash, when and where you want it is easier than ever with brands like Xpress Money widely spread across the globe.