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Foreign Currency in a Spreadsheet
Old 03-31-2007, 03:37 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6
Foreign Currency in a Spreadsheet

Hello everyone,

So about half a year ago, inspired by this board, I built myself a personal budget thingie excel spreadsheet, endlessly improving it ever since. Maybe I'm crazy, but I find adding new graphs, options and statistics to be real fun. I basically got hours upon hours of entertainment, polished my excel skills and got to know my money a lot better, and all for free.

There are still a few points where I'm not satisfied, though. The major one is what to do with foreign currency? Most of my money is in USD and naturally, I track all income and expenses in USD as well, but I also have a sizable chunk of money in Euros.

So every month I have 100 dollars in income, 80 dollars in expenses(arbitrary numbers of course) and another 10 euros in income. In the quest of perfection, I want to have two fields totaling my income and expenses for that month. What do I do with the Euros?

Do I use the exchange rate of the day the Euro income came in? But then stuff won't balance. If the Euroollar rate falls, my NW(in USD) will increase, but it won't be reflected in the monthly income/expenses fields.

Do I always use the latest exchange rate? This way the above problem is solved, but having the income of past months fluctuate is pretty weird. It also means that the income field will not represent fairly the situation at the time, since it partially depends on future exchange rates.

Or do I track Dollars and Euros separately, giving up on having a single monthly income field? That might be the most financially exact solution, but it would mess up all my pretty graphs!

Are there other solutions to this problem? Or improvements over the ones I thought of?

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Re: Foreign Currency in a Spreadsheet
Old 03-31-2007, 04:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 699
Re: Foreign Currency in a Spreadsheet

I'm not sure I completely understand the issue, but here is what I do, if it is of any reference.

In general, I track all currencies separately. For monthly budget purposes, I convert all balances and transactions into one currency at the end-of-the-month exchange rate. Close enough for my purposes. For my daily portfolio tracker, I convert currencies every day, or rather every time that I check. (The frequency of checking fluctuates with my current interest level.) My portfolio tracking spreadsheet gets the conversion rates off the web automatically, along with the prices of portfolio holdings.

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