How to make the most out of your plummeting pound
The plunging value of the pound can make it disheartening to think about how little bang you may get for your well-earned buck in the aftermath of Brexit.
But here are some tips to make your pound go a little further:
Places to visit:
There is no need to fear poor exchange rates if you go to Gibraltar, a British Overseas territory on Spain’s southern coast. You can use your pound, shop in Marks & Spencer and enjoy a slightly warmer October climate of around 20 degrees centigrade.
It’s not part of the EU (although not through lack of trying) but direct flights are still only under four hours. £1 will get you 3.78 Turkish Lira at the moment, so a 330ml Coca Cola will be 53p. And the taxi rate per km is about 53p too.
If you fancy something a bit further afield, try Indonesia. Flights in the middle of November are around £400 but when you get there, it can be fairly cheap. Street food costs just a few pounds while meals in restaurants can be under a tenner.
Booking an all-inclusive break somewhere means you can pay for most things upfront in sterling so you can forget about exchange rates. “It can take a weight off your mind if you’re worried about mounting costs while you’re away,” according to Sally Francis, of MoneySavingExpert.com
A weak pound means you will get less foreign currency. Here are three ways to make sure you get the best deal:
Get a specialist overseas credit card that doesn’t add a sterling exchange fee to ensure you get a good rate. Options include Creation Everyday, which has no fee for cash withdrawals (but interest is charged at 12.9 per cent representative APR until you pay it off in full) or Halifax Clarity, which also does not charge a fee for cash withdrawals. But the interest rate is 18.9 per cent representative APR even if you do pay it off in full.
Avoid using your debit card abroad because high street banks can add even more fees to overseas spending.
Don’t get currency at the airport – rates tend to be worse because bureaux know you’re a captive customer. Before you get to the airport, use a travel money comparison site such as TravelMoneyMax to find rates. “It can be the difference between an extra meal out on your holiday or not,” says Francis.
A weak pound is actually a great time to renew your eBay or Amazon account and start selling again – to people overseas that is.
Just as a weak pound is better for exporters than importers, a weak pound is better to sell your unwanted items to people in other countries because they need less currency to buy the same goods. eBay expert Dan Wilson said: “The weak pound means people can still make attractive margins and yet also price their wares competitively to US and EU buyers. There’s no doubt that sellers considering the US as an overseas marketplace are already taking advantage.”
If the Unilever/Tesco/Marmite debacle is anything to go by, tensions between suppliers and retailers could mean we start to see higher prices for well-known branded products in supermarkets.
“To combat that, consider switching to unbranded alternatives – many can’t tell the difference but what you will notice is savings on your shopping bills,” says Francis. And don’t forget to do price comparison checks online to make sure you get the best deal.