Primitives for working with money and currencies in Python
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Primitives for working with money and currencies in Python


This fork of python-money (rooted at poswald/python-money) is significantly different than other versions in the family tree. If you plan on using it, please be aware that it most likely won't be a drop-in replacement.

We have made several changes to be more conservative about operations, remove implicit conversion of currency, remove global state, added a postgres specific field, and a py.test based test suite among other changes.

You are free to use this version but please look at other forks as well as they may better suit your use case.


You can install this project directly from the git repository using pip:

$ pip install -e git+

You do not have to specify the version number but it might be a good idea.


This application contains several classes and functions that make dealing with money easier and less error prone.

Currency Types

The Currency class can be used to represent a type of Currency. It contains values for the currency's code, ISO number, name and the country it's used in. For example:

Currency(code='BZD', numeric='084', name='Belize Dollar', countries=['BELIZE'])

There is a dictionary of all ISO-4217 currencies:

>>> from import CURRENCY
>>> print CURRENCY['GBP'].name
Pound Sterling

Money Class

The Money class is available for doing arithmetic on values in defined currencies. It wraps the python Decimal type and gives you several convenience methods. Using this prevents you from making mistakes like adding Pounds and Dollars together, multiplying two money values or comparing different currencies. For example:

>>> usd = Money(amount=10.00, currency=CURRENCY['USD'])
>>> print usd
USD 10.00

>>> jpy = Money(amount=2000, currency=CURRENCY['JPY'])
>>> print jpy
JPY 2000.00

>>> print jpy * usd
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<console>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/python-money/money/", line 79, in __mul__
    raise TypeError, 'can not multiply monetary quantities'
TypeError: can not multiply monetary quantities

>>> print jpy > usd
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<console>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/Users/poswald/Projects/python-money/money/", line 137, in __gt__
    raise TypeError, 'can not compare different currencies'
TypeError: can not compare different currencies

>>> print 1 % usd
USD  0.10

>>> print usd * 5
USD 50.00

>>> print (usd * 5).allocate((50,50))
[USD 25.00, USD 25.00]
>>> print (jpy * 5).allocate((50,50))
[JPY 5000.00, JPY 5000.00]

Default Currency

This package assumes that you have a preferred default currency. Somewhere in your software's initialization you should set that currency:

>>> from import set_default_currency
>>> set_default_currency(code='USD')
>>> print Money(amount=23.45)
USD 23.45

If you don't you will get a non-specified 'XXX' currency:

>>> print Money(amount=23.45)
XXX 23.45

A Note About Equality and Math Operations

The way equality is currently implemented, USD 0 is not equal to EUR 0 however, USD 0 is considered equal to 0. This means you can only compare similar currencies to each other, but it is safe to compare a currency to the value 0.

Comparing two differing currencies is undefined and will raise a money.CurrencyMismatchException. Prior versions of this project would do an implicit conversion to a 'base' currency using a defined conversion rate and perform the operation. We believe this is unexpected behavior and it is better to let the user do that conversion themselves for the cases where they know they are comparing differing currencies.

Similarly, we take a conservative approach to certain math operations. For example, Money(10, 'USD') - Money(3, 'JPY') is not allowed due to differing currencies.

Both Money(3, 'USD') * Money(3, 'USD') and Money(9, 'USD') / Money(3, 'USD') are undefined. There are 3 conceivable ways to handle division:

Money(9, 'USD') / Money(3, 'USD') # Money(3, 'XXX') # where 'XXX' denotes undefined currency
Money(9, 'USD') / Money(3, 'USD') # Decimal('3')
Money(9, 'USD') / Money(3, 'USD') # raise money.InvalidOperationException

We have chosen the last option as it is the most conservative option. You can always emulate the first two by using the underlying amounts:

Money(9, 'USD').amount / Money(3, 'USD').amount # Decimal('3')
Money(Money(9, 'USD').amount / Money(3, 'USD').amount) # Money('3', 'XXX')

This makes the intention of the code more clear.

As an exception to that, we allow diving a Money object by a number:

Money(9, 'USD') / 3 # Money(3, 'USD')

Boolean Evaluation

When evaluated in a boolean context, the Money type behaves similar to the python Decimal class:

bool(Decimal('0'))    # False
bool(Decimal('0.1'))  # True

bool(Money('0', 'USD'))    # False
bool(Money('0.01', 'USD')) # True
bool(Money('1'))           # True

To test for the existence of the objects, compare the value to None:

if amount is None:
    amount = Money(0)


This package includes some classes as a convenience to Django users. These are entirely optional.

Model Field

Add a currency field to your models. This field takes similar parameters as the Django DecimalField:

from money.contrib.django.models.fields import MoneyField

class Thing(models.Model):
    price = MoneyField(default=0, max_digits=12, decimal_places=2)

Now run ./ dbsync or South migrate. Your database table will contain a field for holding the value and a second field for the currency type. In PostgreSQL it might look like this:

price          | numeric(12,2)          | not null default NULL::numeric
price_currency | character varying(3)   | not null

The value you get from your model will be a Money class:

thing = Thing.objects.get(id=123)
print repr(thing.price)
USD  199.99

User Defined Precision of Decimals in Postgres

It can be difficult to represent decimals exactly as the user entered them with Django. If you use postgres, you can preserve the user's entered precision by using the PostgreSQL numeric type. Simply use the InfiniteDecimalField class and the value will be stored as entered by the user without having to define the precision in the model class.


This allows you to store and later retrieve a values like 3, 3.0, and 3.000 without losing the precision. The MoneyField class already extends this by default.


When loading from or serializing to fixtures, the field class expects the values to be specified separately:

    "pk": 1,
    "model": "myapp.mymodel",
    "fields": {
        "price": "123.45",
        "price_currency": "USD",

You may wish to examine the tests for an example

Form Field

The form field used by the models.MoneyField is also called MoneyField

Running Tests

The test suite requires py.test, django and several other libraries to be installed. They will be downloaded and installed automatically when run.

Tests can be run via the script:

$ python test

If you wish to contribute code, please run these tests to ensure nothing breaks.


Due to the way SQLite handles NUMERIC values, a value like 100.00 will be coerced into an integer. This means the user entered precision is lost when saving to the database. The alternative would be to store the value as a TEXT affinity but then ORM comparison operations will break.

If your application always specified the precision, this isn't a problem. If you need to maintain the user's precision, then SQLite is not recommended.


  • Add more currency symbols to Currency class
  • Add number of decimal places to all Currencies. Who wants to help? :-)


  • Version 1.1

    • Python 3 compatibility
    • Fix queryset returning the wrong value when running in Django 1.8
  • Version 1.0.1 (tagged 0.3.3)

    • Add support or the db_column parameter
  • Version 1.0.0 (tagged 0.3.2)

    Note: This fork of the project is now going to be version-managed separate from other forks. This is the first release that we consider to be fully 'production ready' for our purposes. Future changes will follow semantic versioning.

    • Fixed several bugs in mathematical operations
    • Better use of standard python packaging
    • Added a full test suite
    • Added coverage report generation
    • Implement both python 2 and 3 division operators
    • Division now returns Money objects
    • Disable floor division
    • Work toward making the Money immutable so it can safely be used as a field default

    The following backwards incompatible changes were made:

    • Added python 2 and 3 boolean operations. Boolean evaluation of the money class has changed to match the behavior of the Decimal class.
    • Unsupported django ORM lookups now raise an exception that is a subclass of TypeError as recommended by the django docs
    • The InvalidOperationException now extends TypeError instead of the ArithmeticError exception
    • Removed the set_default_currency global function
    • Removed the implicit currency conversion methods: convert_to_default, convert_to, and allocate
    • Removed the custom override of the % operator
    • Removed the currency exchange rate form the Currency object and the related set_exchange_rate() method.
    • The Money.from_string method is now a classmethod
  • Version 0.2.0

    • Fixed an issue with the South introspection rule for MoneyField similar to South #327 You will probably need to generate a new schema migration if you are upgrading.
  • Version 0.1.0

    • Initial version