A handy spreadsheet for calculating foreign currency values

travel

I decided to take a bit of this long weekend to prep for yet another overseas trip (this time to Sydney, which I really like!).

Digging into my Travel (real-space, not electronic) folder, I found a plethora of Australian bills and coins from my last trip, along with a ton of other bills and coins from nine other countries.  Eeep!  After sorting them all out, then I wondered:  how much is all of this worth?

$368.89 as it turns out.  Nice! (especially if I can find a local bank to actually change the money with little fees and decent rates, but that’s another issue).

Then I began thinking… hmm… if I prettied this spreadsheet I made and generalized it a bit, it might be useful to other folks, too!  So here it is:

As you’ve probably noticed, that sheet—while actually reflecting my newfound wealth AND updated in near-real-time—is read-only for you.  Bummer.  But fear not!  You can load the full document here, select FILE, then COPY, and voila!  You now have your own neato spreadsheet.  And by the way… you only need to change the stuff highlighted in yellow; the rest should be automatically computed for you.

A couple things I found fascinating in building this sheet:

  • GoogleLookup flawlessly looked up the currency code from the countries specified!  Formula:  =googlelookup(A1,“currency code”) (A*=each country name).  Took a little experimenting for me to figure out the right search phrase 😀
  • And then there’s the neato Google Currency Conversion lookup thing.  Formula: =GoogleFinance(CURRENCY:CUR1CUR2) where CUR1 is the original currency and CUR2 is the currency you are converting to.  Thanks to a helpful comment on Friendfeed from Daniel Dulitz, I realized I could use CONCATENATE to make this more generalizable / non-hard-coded for both currency values.

Hope you find this useful, or at least interesting 😀

12 comments… add one
  • Steve Dec 11, 2009

    Cool, at first I thought whats the point as currencies update in real time, then when I got near the post it all becomes clear! Good effort, a self updating spreadsheet!

  • Joann Pham Dec 13, 2009

    can u add India currency rupees in this?

  • John Smith Jan 21, 2010

    Thanks it is really useful. It is just a shame that I don’t have $386 laying around the house. I imagine that I could scrape together about $20. Still the Google look upcode is handy

  • wedding bands Feb 15, 2010

    This currency look up spread sheet very useful. Can you please add all currencies?

  • Adam Feb 15, 2010

    John and Steve, glad you like it!  Joann, Wedding Bands (wow, what an interesting name, Mr. or Mrs. Bands!)… you can simply copy the spreadsheet (go to FILE, then COPY) and then add in any currencies you like 😀

    And John, having that money laying around sounds a lot more awesome than it actually is.  The local banks have large fees on exchanging currency, and none of them will take coins! 🙁

  • Mike Apr 5, 2010

    This is a great spread sheet and something that can become very handy.  I have noticed that it is not quite as easy as you think to look up currency conversion.  I did something similar to this for my current stock portfolio where the cells were linked to the 20 minute delayed quote. 

  • ohn Apr 5, 2010

    Nice tipp – it really shows your excel skills and the idea with the google lookup is great. always did it manually within the google search.

  • Soham May 14, 2010

    Nice use of google spreadsheets.

  • trincas May 16, 2010

    I think (after seeing your spreadsheet) that google spreadsheet has lot more potential, it can be used in many diif kind of cases. Very nice tip.

  • Theem May 25, 2010

    Waiting for another post.

  • Matt Jun 1, 2010

    Did you say the banks will not accept foreign coins? Thats crazy! i thought that was the idea of a bank???

    Anyhow nice spreadsheet. It has given me some ideas for my excel sheets and i like the idea of stock sheets that regularly update with a 20 minute delay!!! thats awesome.

    Matt

  • ThatAdamGuy Jun 12, 2010

    Thanks everyone for the notes; glad you’re finding the spreadsheet useful and/or intriguing 🙂

What do you think?