The Dollar

Reporter: Cassie Silver

Every day we hear about how our dollar's doing - and every day you could richer by simply knowing what to buy when it's up and when it's down.

Richlist Editor at The West, Neale Prior says the first thing to watch is shopping online. "You think you're getting a good deal in US dollars but maybe it's not that good a deal after all"

With one Aussie dollar buying 93 US cents Neale says you can be stung at the virtual checkout with commission and conversions. "I get a shock when I get my credit card bill when my daughters been online shopping and oh no that $50 outfit has actually cost $58 and it's not good."

So a calculator is every shopper's best friend, Neale says "I hate to sound really boring but if you're online shopping you need to understand exchange rates." and the dollar sure has gone up and down since it was floated in 1983.

Back in April 2001 the dollar dived as low as 47 US cents. Nearly 10 years on in October 2010 the Aussie dollar reached parity for the first time. Just 2 years ago the dollar sky rocketed to a record $1.10 currently it's hovering around 93 cents. With experts agreeing it's unlikely we'll see any new record highs in the near future.

Economics lecturer at Murdoch University, Ranald Taylor says while our dollar is strong it's time to upgrade. "We should take that opportunity to upgrade into new technology buy new equipment import newer techniques or production"

For families, a new car and electronics could be on the list and as for tradies it's time for new tools, "buy a better circular saw for instance you can cut wood at a faster rate."

A high dollar means domestic holidays are out and overseas trips are the go. For overseas travellers - don't stress shopping around for daily difference in rates, for the small amount you'll save it's not worth it

Neale says the safest bet is to go half and half, "anyone worried about the dollar falling should really be changing half their spending money before they go away so at least they don't have to worry about the dollar falling while they're on holiday."

Remember every time you change money you are stung with a fee. Don't convert currencies more than once, if you need euros, change straight to euros. "Every time you go from Aus. dollar to us dollars or us dollars to euros you're paying commission. One two three percent and every time you do that the banks keep getting richer."

Pluses with a strong dollar include low petrol costs and more jobs.As for the cons, it means less tourism in Australia, University's suffer due to lack of foreign students and local businesses struggle to compete with online bargains.