I get paid from South Africa into the UK and get to choose which day of the month I want to be paid.

I was wondering whether avoiding month-end might give me a better chance of getting a better rate (approximately, of course).

Sorry if this sounds silly. I know very little about foreign exchange, but assumed the normal laws of supply and demand might apply and that month-end might be a time of high-demand for salaried workers.

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    It's easy enough to look up historical day to day rates and see if there is any detectable monthly cycle. My guess is there won't be. For one thing if there is a change in volume it may well be symettrical; i.e. you're getting paid but is the guy in SA being paid by a Brtiish company. For another anything predictable tends to get arbitraged away by the market. Oct 16, 2015 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


I got historical data for GBP/ZAR here, going back to 2000 (you need to register to download it).

I then divided the closing price on each day by the average closing price for the whole month.

I don't know if it's statistically significant, but there does seem to be a very small effect with higher rates (i.e. more ZAR for 1 GBP) at the end of the month: on average for the last 10 days of the month, the rate is ~0.3% higher than for the first 10 days of the month. So from your perspective (receiving ZAR and wanting GBP), the the start of the month might be a marginally better choice for actually doing the exchange. But do consider any other factors, e.g. if this will involve delaying the payment, any effect might be cancelled out by the loss of interest.

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