Money, Money, Money…MONEY!

After 2.5 weeks, we’re still trying to wrap our heads around our new money…the Kuwaiti Dinar. AIS gave us a settling allowance…in cash! When we had it in our hands, it didn’t seem like very much. But then when we started doing the conversion, we realized it was a lot!

On our first trip to the grocery store during orientation (more to come soon), we were quite confused by the prices. We’re still in the process of adjusting and trying not to constantly convert to US dollars in our heads. The Sultan Center is one of the major grocery stores here. Other notable ones are Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour. We’ve found a Sultan Center that is very close to our gym (again, more to come soon!) and we can easily stop on our walk home. It has quickly become our favorite place to grocery shop!

Receipt from our first trip to the grocery store (Sultan Center).

5 fils = $.02
10 fils = $.04
20 fils = $.07
50 fils = $.18
100 fils = $.35
1/4 dinar = $.89
1/2 dinar = $1.78
1 dinar = $3.55
5 dinar = $17.75
10 dinar = $35.50
20 dinar = $71

There are 1000 fils in 1 dinar (like there are 100 pennies in 1 dollar). One dinar is about 3.55 dollars. We’ve heard it doesn’t fluctuate much. The smallest bill is 1/4 dinar (250 fils); the biggest (that we’ve seen) is 20 dinars.

Arabic side of the dinar bills.

English side of the dinar bills.

Front side of coins (fils).

Back side of coins (fils).

The coins are incredibly small and range from 5 to 100. They also don’t have any numerals on them that we are used to seeing…so we’ve had to quickly learn some Arabic numerals!

After shopping for a couple weeks, we’ve noticed that many shops don’t have enough coins & small bills to make change and prefer you to have exact change. When you don’t have exact change, they usually round in your favor or take less money because they don’t have small coins in their drawers. We get our first paycheck in a couple weeks and we’re eager to start budgeting and figuring out what all this crazy money stuff actually means 🙂