Authentic France Travel Tips: French Money Matters – Part 3

This week ties up my French Money Matters advice, and basically consists of three last miscellaneous points that…er…don’t really fit anywhere else.

I suppose if I was more organised I could figure out a way to MAKE them fit, but with the painters here at La Maison des Chaumes Clem has been averaging about 40 minutes per nap. Gives me a huge chunk of time to get everything done, as I’m sure you can imagine…

Seeing as one of the painters just dropped his ladder and that as a result she will certainly be up again any second, here goes;

1. Leave your $100 dollar US bills at home

The counterfeiters have gone out and spoiled the fun for the rest of us! The $100 US bill is so frequently and convincingly faked that they are all but useless over here in France. Even the banks won’t accept or exchange them. Leave them at home and bring your ATM and Visa or MasterCard instead.

2. Vendors at the Market generally only accept cash

Don’t try paying for that artichoke with your Visa card if you don’t want to become the butt of the jokes constantly being flung around between the market vendors. Bring a fistful of euros instead.

3. Realize that Money is as Close as it Comes to a Taboo Subject in France

I have found that North Americans talk about money much more freely and casually than the French. It is not uncommon to have people spin off the price they paid for a new home, or the price they sold their condominium for within the first few minutes of meeting them.

Keep in mind that the French are generally very closed-mouthed about finances, and consider money matters as first and foremost private matters.

If a French person confides in you the details of their personal finances they are either very atypical, or they trust you very much. In the latter case, you should feel flattered.