Janine's Perspektive


Money exchange with Walutomat.pl

Before we moved to Poland I investigated the best and cheapest possible ways to convert money without losing huge amounts due to the bad exchange rates most banks would offer.

In an internet forum someone mentioned walutomat.pl and I checked it out further. Initially I tried it with a small amount of money (in case it was dodgy) but it worked fine and I have used it ever since and their service is great and you always get the best exchange rates as it is the “live” rates and not some kind of strange always-in-favour-of-the-bank-rate. You are exchanging your money with real people and walutomat acts as a safe guard in the middle.

A few things have to be in place before you can use walutomat though:

– You have to have a Polish residency bank account (this cannot be a passport account with a foreign address on! Our account was and the money was transferred back without exchange)

– You will have to have at least two accounts (of the above mentioned). One in PLN and one in the original currency (in my case GBP).

Ok, if that’s all given, then you can start using Walutomat.

1. Step: Register with Walutomat on walutomat.pl. You have to tell them your bank account details for both accounts (both currencies) in the area of Konta bankowe, a sub-section of Moje dane.

2. Step: Load your Wallet (wpłata środków do portfela)


Go to “wpłata” on the left hand side. Choose the currency that you have (this has to match the account currency!). So in my case this is GBP. Select your bank from the list and select “inny” if it is not on the list.

My bank is not on the list, so I go to “inny” and press “Dalej“. I cannot say if the process is totally different if your bank is on the list. Feedback welcome!

You will then get a screen with your specific details for the transfer you will have to do from your bank account:


Then use these details to do the transfer from your Polish foreign currency bank account. With my bank, this transfer is actually a “International transfer” otherwise the bank would do the conversion into PLN before… and that’s what we are trying to avoid here, right? But your bank will charge you a small fee for this as this is seen as an international transfer.


Select the transaction currency. Again in my case this is GBP.

For the Beneficiary Account Number you use the Numer konta w GBP from Walutomat.

For the SWIFT you use the Kod BIC (Swift) from Walutomat.

For the Beneficiary Address you use the Adres odbiorcy from Walutomat.

For the Payment Title you use the Tytuł przelewu from Walutomat. Try not to forget this, as this helps them to sort your money as fast as possible.

Transaction Currency, again is GBP in my case.

For the Charges paid by  I select share and I think this is what Walutomat recommends.

Fill in the amount (GBP) and confirm the transfer.

3. Wait for the money to arrive in your Walutomat account. I normally get a text message to my mobile and an email. So when you sign up. It’s worthwhile telling them a phone number. It mostly takes around 1 day but might be faster if you bank is on their list.

4. The next part is in my opinion the most fun part! You get to “play” with money! 🙂

When the money arrived you will see it in your “Stan portfela“.

You then go to Zlecenie wymiany on the left hand side.


In the amount field for Chcę sprzedać you type the amount you wish to exchange (or tick the box Wymień wszystko to exchange everything available). Make sure you have the correct currency selected in the drop-down next to it.

Chcę kupić is the currency you wish to buy.

Minimalniepo kursie is the exchange rate you are prepared to accept. I find it quite exciting! You will see the live-rate (Aktualny kurs średni) below the green button and a list of previous exchanges in your selected currency pair. You can tick Dopasuj do istniejacych ofert below the rate filed and this will just give you the next available rate but maybe not the best. You can use the rate shown as live-rate but you might have to wait a little while for your exchange to go through… sometimes it happens within seconds after you confirmed or it takes some time (especially if the rate is a little too much in your favour). I have asked for a too high rate (in my favour, of course) and the transfer wasn’t going through at all. So I stopped it and started again. As far as I can see, there was no fee for this which is great!

After you decided on the fx-rate you are willing to accept press the green Akceptuj button and get a cup of coffee. 🙂

When you are back, the exchange might have already happened and the money is now sitting in your Stan portfela in the currency you wanted it (PLN in my case).

5. Go to Wypłata on the left hand side and select the currency you now have and want to transfer back to your account. In my case… yawn… this is PLN. My Walutomat account is empty at the moment, so I cannot show you a screen shot. But it is pretty straight forward. Just type in your account details and transfer the money.

That’s it! Sweet.

One other thing to note if you are self-employed! You get a Faktura VAT (VAT Invoice) for the exchange fee (very reasonable by the way and a LOT less than the bank fees!) if you go the Opłaty i prowizje on the left hand side. There should be a little “Faktury” on the right hand side and you can save it as a PDF.

Let me know if I have forgotten something or if something doesn’t make sense.

366 Projekt auf der Zielgeraden – 366 project nearly completed

Ist es tatsächlich schon der 23.01.2013? Somit fehlen noch 9 Fotos (inkl. heute). Ich habe durch das Projekt dieses Jahr wirklich intensiv wahr genommen. Es war lang, aber so lohnenswert! Ich bereue es nicht und freue mich über diese Erfahrung. Bei der Arbeit durfte ich einen Blog-Post über mein Projekt schreiben und es wurde an mehrere tausend Newsletter-Abonnenten geschickt. Das war ganz schön aufregend und auch irgendwie unheimlich. Ich hatte Angst, dass die Kommentare gemein sind, aber sie sind echt freundlich und nett!

Hier geht es zum Blog-Artikel auf Deutsch und hier bei Interesse auch auf Englisch.

Is it really the 23.01.2013? That means there are only 9 photos missing (incl. today) and I will have completed my 366 project. I definitely experienced this year very intensively through doing this project. It was long but equally worthwhile! I don’t regret doing it and I am glad for the experience. I was asked to write a blog post at work about my project and it was emailed to many thousand newsletter subscribers. That was exciting and also terrifying! I was scared that the comments would be mean but they are all nice and friendly!

Here is the blog post in English and if you are interested also in German.

366 Projekt – Tag 275 | Day 275

Wszystkich Świętych bzw. Allerheiligen Feiertag in Polen. Unsere Freundin hat us heute zu einem Spaziergang auf dem Friedhof eingeladen. Hörte sich zuerst etwas seltsam an… aber als wir dort waren, waren wir fast sprachlos. ÜBERALL tausende Kerzen und Lichter. Wunderschön und wirklich besondere Atmosphäre.

Wszystkich Świętych - Allerheiligen - All Saints' Day

All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Świętych in Polish) in Poland. Our friend invited us to a walk on the cemetery today. Sounded a little strange at the beginning… but when we were there, we were kinda speechless. Thousands of candles and lights EVERYWHERE. Beautiful and a very special atmosphere.


366 Projekt – Tag 274 | Day 274 – Anti-Halloween

Heute ist Halloween. Ich mag Halloween nicht um ehrlich zu sein. Ich verstehe es auch nicht wirklich. Als ich ein kleines Mädchen war, haben wir im Kindergarten oder zu Hause eine Laterne gebasteln (sicher auch mal gekauft) und sind dann damit durch’s Dorf gelaufen und haben bei Bekannten Leuten (das Dorf war schön klein und man kannte eigentlich fast alle) geklingelt und es wurde ein schönes Lied über das Laterne-Gehen gesungen und wenn die Leute dann Süßigkeiten im Haus hatten, gab es auch mal welche. Wenn nicht, war das auch schön und gut. Man freute sich über das schöne Licht und über fröhliche Kindergesichter.

Irgendwann schwappte Halloween dann über den großen Teich und auf schwups laufen Gespenster und Fratzen durch die Gegend und springen aus irgendwelchen Gebüschen und erschrecken einen. Wenn irgendwo geklingelt wird, dann gilt “Wehe, wenn man keine Süßigkeiten hat”… dann gibt es Stunk. Schade.

Somit dachte ich mir, dass ich einfach mal wieder ein Lichtlein anzünde und es in die Dunkelheit fahren lasse.

My alternative to Halloween

Today is Halloween. To be honest, I don’t like Halloween. I don’t really get either. When I was a little girl, we made lanterns at kindergarden or at home (maybe even bought one) and we walked through our village and knocked on the doors of peoples that we knew (the village was nice and small and we knew most people). We sang a nice song about walking with a latern and if the people had some sweets at home, they would give us some. If not that was fine. Everyone enjoyed the pretty lights and the happy faces of childreen.

At some point halloween came across the big pond and suddenly ghosts and ugly faces run around and jump at you from the hedges to scare you. If they knock on peoples doors they better have some sweets, otherwise there is trouble or ‘trick’.  What a shame.

So I thought today, that I would light a light again and let it sail into the darkness.

Teenager pout – Teenager Schnute

I have observed some strange phenomena for a while now and I don’t like it. Yesterday I walked through the beautiful Oliwa Park in Gdansk and I saw two teenage girls taking pictures of each other. That’s fine… BUT I noticed that they often changed their lovely smile into some weird pout before the other pressed the shutter release. What’s that all about? It doesn’t look very nice in my opinion and if I was the person taking the picture I would not take it unless they would stop pouting. It looks incredibly cheap and in fact not very pretty. I can imagine where this comes from but all I can say…. Girls, please Stop it! I don’t think you often know what kind of message you communicate with this. You can smile, look serious or cheeky but don’t pout! If you look at fashion magazines you will very rarely see models pout (and if, the pictures are done at a very high quality with a very professional feel to it). Rant over.

Ich beobachte seit einiger Zeit ein seltsames Phänomen und es gefällt mir überhaupt nicht. Gestern bin ich im wunderschönen Oliwa Park in Danzig spazieren gegangen und sah zwei Mädels, die sich gegenseitig fotografierten. Kein Problem hier… ABER ich stellte wieder ein mal fest, dass sie häufig ihr wunderschönes Lächeln in eine seltsame Schnute verzogen bevor die andere den Auslöser drückte. Was soll das? Meiner Meinung nach sieht das wirklich nicht gut aus und wenn ich die Fotos machen würde, würde ich nicht abdrücken. Es sieht so extrem billig aus und überhaupt nicht hübsch. Ich kann mir schon vorstellen, woher das kommt, aber alles was ich dazu sagen kann, ist….. Mädels, hört auf damit! Ich bezweifle, dass ihr wisst welchen Eindruck ihr damit vermittelt. Ihr könnt gerne lächeln, ernst gucken oder frech, aber bitte zieht keine Schnute. Wenn ihr euch die Modells in Mode-Magazinen anschaut, werdet ihr sehr selten eine “Schnute” sehen (und wenn doch, sind diese Bilder qualitativ sehr hochwertig und vermitteln Professionalität). So, genug gemeckert.

Gdansk – Nice places

We have been in Gdansk for nearly 6 month now and I want to write down the places we have been to and maybe even the places I would really like to go to.
Hopefully I can come back to this list and see what I still have to look forward to:


– We have been to the beautiful Gdansk Zoo Oliwa
– We watched a EU-cup (Germany-Greece) match at the PGE Arena
– We have been to the beaches at Brzeźno, Sopot, Jelitkowo and even at dog beach in Gdynia. Maybe some more…
– We have had amazing hot chocolates at Wedel, Mount Blanc and probably will have many more in the months to come.
– We had some great food at Cyrano et Roxane, Thai Thai and Hashi Sushi
– We have been to some nice bars and cafes: Stacja de Luxe, Gdanski Bowke, Tekstylia, Café Absinthe,


– Walk in the famous Oliwa Park (this should actually happen this weekend)
– Seeing my first ever opera @ Opera Bałtycka
– Go to a concert (preferably piano) in the Filharmonia Bałtycka
– Visiting the Peninsula Hel
– Visiting Malbork Castle
– Seeing the upside-down house
– Hopefully some city breaks to: Poznan, Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw
– Have some more Polish food… preferably cooked by Polish people

366 Projekt – Tag 265 | Day 265

Schlicht und schön… finde ich.

Simple but I like itSimple and pretty… I like it.