Where to Feel Like a Millionaire

International Travel

currency_1A few summers ago, my wife and I found ourselves in Indonesia. While she rested from our long flight, I headed out to find a currency exchange. I headed out with $200 and came back with over two million rupiahs. For the next two weeks, any time we’d spend any money, she’d eagerly ask, “Are we still millionaires?”

It feels good to be a millionaire, even if it’s only an illusion. Below are five countries in which it doesn’t take a lot to become a millionaire and the cost of living doesn’t shatter your delusion:
 
Vietnam ($47.38 = 1,000,000 Vietnamese Dồng)
The dồng was introduced by the Viet Minh government (later to become the government of North Vietnam) in 1946. After Vietnam was reunified, the đồng was also unified, with one new đồng equaling one Northern đồng or 0.8 Southern “liberation” đồng. In 1985, đồng was revalued, with the new đồng worth 10 old đồng.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant ranges from $1.50 to $4.25, with a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant ranging from $11 to $25. In a market, a liter of milk runs around $1.42 and a loaf of white bread is around $0.95. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Hanoi averages around $500 per month, while the same apartment in Ho Chi Ming City averages around $400 per month.
 
Iran ($81.40 = 1,000,000 Iranian Rials)
Iran’s currency has a long and complex history. The rial was first introduced in 1798, ceased to exist in 1825, and was back in 1932. Until 2012, the dollar had different exchange rates, depending where you were buying your currency, including the official exchange rate and the Free Trade Zone exchange rate.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant ranges from $3.50 to $8.00, with a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant ranging from $13 to $32. In a market, a liter of milk runs around $1.00 and a loaf of white bread is around $0.50. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Tehran averages around $775 per month, with the same apartment outside of the city center averaging around $400 per month.
 
Indonesia ($88.22 = 1,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah)
The rupiah has been an internationally recognized currency since 1950 and has been subject to high inflation for most of its existence. Various attempts have been made to maintain the value of the currency, including a fixed rate period from 1971-1978, but all have been abandoned.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant ranges from $1.25 to $3.00, with a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant ranging from $8.50 to $18. In a market, a liter of milk runs around $1.16 and a loaf of white bread is around $0.89. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Jakarta averages under $550 per month, with the same apartment outside of the city center averaging around $200 per month.
 
Belarus ($110.50 = 1,000,000 Belarusian Ruble)
In 1992, the first post-Soviet Belarusian ruble was assigned and replaced the Soviet currency at the rate of 1 Belarusian ruble to 10 Soviet rubles. However, it took about two years before the ruble became the official currency of the country. In 2000, a second ruble was introduced, replacing the first at a rate of 1 new ruble to 1000 old rublei.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant ranges from $7 to $13, with a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant ranging from $30 to $50. In a market, a liter of milk runs around $0.80 and a loaf of white bread is around $0.50. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Minsk averages under $450 per month, with the same apartment outside of the city center averaging around $300 per month.
 
Paraguay ($224.47 = 1,000,000 Paraguayan Guarani)
The law creating the guaraní was passed in late 1943, and replaced the prior peso at a rate of 1 guaraní to 100 pesos. Guaraníes were first issued in 1944 and, at present, are the least valued currency in the Americas.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant ranges from $2.50 to $5, with a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant ranging from $15 to $25. In a market, a liter of milk runs around $1.00 and a loaf of white bread is around $1.00. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Asunción averages under $250 per month, with the same apartment outside of the city center averaging around $150 per month.
 
Currency conversions undertaken September 9, 2013 at http://www.xe.com.
Cost of living figures acquired from http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.

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