Collect Some Manat
Manat ... when I was in Baku, it was sort of a scarce commodity and as soon as a little was accumulated, did they put it in the bank for safe keeping? No. They put it into USD, United States Dollars.
Apparently the folks of Baku don't have a great deal of confidence in their banks, because there were constant ads on television encouraging people to put their savings in them. They were even advertizing a 12% .... yes, 12% interest rate. Wow....even I considered depositing some at that rate.
I don't know, maybe the locals knew something this foreigner didn't. Such is usually the case. At any rate, a nice little drawer under the TV suited my hosts just fine.
It wasn't even locked. I was proudly showed this drawer stuffed with $100 USD after I generously presented my host with what I thought he'd be thrilled with....a souvenir $1 bill. He sort of snuffed, walked over to the little drawer, opened it and produced several wads of bills....big bills. I was quietly put in my place....once again.
At $30/month for school teaching that must have taken years for them to save. Free housing, free heat, free transportation for the father because he served in the Russian communist army, I'm sure helped stretch the money. (Can you blame him for still embracing communism?)
Buy some Azeri money today.....and then trade it in for dollars (or Euros) and put it in a little drawer under your TV.
Use this handy calculator to see how much it is worth.
Check out Azerbaijan's weekly currency market.