Financial Mistakes Of Expats
As a fellow traveler, I understand the allure of exploring new lands and being captivated by their charm. But I also know how easy it is to overspend and fall into the trap of assuming everything is cheaper abroad. I made the same mistake when I first went overseas, spending as if I were back home in the US. However, I quickly realized that I needed to be smarter about my finances and identified five key mistakes I was making. By taking action to address these missteps, I was able to significantly improve my financial health and enjoy my travels to the fullest.
Not having a budget
**I currently do not use any budgeting tools. I personally think they are labor intensive and cause you to try to micromanage yourself. The goal is to make enough money where you don’t have to worry and live far below your means ( Which is easy to do in Latin America. I simply know how much things typically cost a know now much is in my account every month.
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»» On to the rest of the article.
When you're out exploring the world, having a budget is key to making the most of your travels. Overspending on fancy restaurants and expensive souvenirs might seem like a good idea at the time, but it's all fun and games until you run out of money halfway through your trip. That's where budgeting comes in.
Planning your budget doesn't have to be a daunting task. Start by figuring out your priorities for the trip, be it an epic adventure, luxury accommodations, or simply trying as much local street food as possible. Once you've determined your must-haves, calculate how much you can comfortably spend on each category.
One easy way to keep track of your expenses is by using a budgeting app. These handy tools allow you to log every penny you spend on things like transportation, meals, and activities. They can even send alerts when you're nearing your spending limit, ensuring you don't overspend in one category and end up regretting it later.
Remember, having a budget doesn't mean you can't have fun. It's all about finding a balance between enjoying your trip and being mindful of your spending. So whether you're backpacking through Southeast Asia or staying at a five-star resort in Europe, having a budget will make your trip more enjoyable and less stressful. Plus, you'll be able to save some cash for future adventures – or a round of drinks at the local dive ba
Airbnb vs. Renting Local
As I travel the world, I've come to realize that many shrewd landlords are renting out mediocre apartments on Airbnb to expats for a hefty price tag. Let's face it, your acquaintance Juan or Alejandro aren't paying $2,000 a month for their humble abodes. And their landlords? Well, they're rubbing their hands together with glee as they make off with the cash.
Of course, some cities have more reasonable Airbnb prices than others, especially in rural areas. But, relying on Airbnb long-term is not the way to go. It's fine for a temporary solution, but it's a risky strategy in the long run.
One way to find better deals is by reaching out to the locals. You could try contacting Airbnb hosts and negotiate lower prices for monthly stays paid in cash. I've managed to strike a deal with all my previous Airbnb hosts by proposing this arrangement after staying with them for a brief period. They don't have to pay the company fees, and they might not even report cash payments to the taxman. It's also essential to build trust with them.
Facebook Marketplace is actually a very good place to find local apartments. If you happen to come to Mexico Inmuebles24 Is also a great resource to find furnished places
Whenever I'm looking for accommodation in a new city, I avoid renting on Airbnb for more than a month. I keep my initial message simple, stating that I might be interested in extending my stay if things go well. This way, I can negotiate a better deal later on.
If you save on housing expenses, you can use the extra cash to indulge in some of life's guilty pleasures. After all, there's no shortage of booze, women, or whatever other temptations you may crave in your destination of choice.
Vices, vices, vices
Living in a developing country can be like stepping into a new world, with a sense of liberation and a whole new set of rules to navigate. You may find yourself with a newfound sense of freedom, one that you might not have experienced back home. It can be thrilling, exhilarating, and, at times, even dangerous.
One of first trips abroad many years ago was to Germany. I went a little wild, and there was hardly a moment when I was sober. I roamed the city, drinking beer, flirting with girls, and trying to get lucky. It was a wild and unforgettable time that I'll always cherish. However, I quickly realized that such excess could become a problem, and it's not just alcohol that's cheap in developing countries.
The temptation to indulge in cheap drugs, sex, and other vices can be overwhelming for some, leading to a cycle of overindulgence and addiction that can spiral out of control. It's like watching a rock star who suddenly becomes rich and famous, only to fall victim to their own excesses. Expats in developing countries face similar challenges, and it's essential to maintain a level of self-control and awareness to avoid falling into the abyss.
While it's okay to let loose and have fun, it's important to keep in mind that there can be a price to pay for indulging in vices without moderation. So, if you find yourself in a developing country, go ahead and enjoy yourself, but remember to keep your wits about you, and don't let your vices get the best of you.
Buying groceries at bougie supermarkets
Achieving savings in developing countries can be quite challenging, and it's a struggle that I myself am still working on. However, it's no secret that locals in these countries typically shop at outdoor markets to buy groceries, which can be up to 75% cheaper than supermarket prices.
Of course, this requires some haggling skills and perhaps knowledge of the local language, which can be daunting for those used to the convenience of home. But don't be discouraged. Embrace this as a challenge and a chance to live like the locals do. After all, if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us.
I've personally found great success in shopping at local markets. For mere cents, I've been able to purchase a kilo of fresh vegetables, a kilo of beef for less than $4, and cleaning products for next to nothing. The vendors at these markets are often regulars and can become quite familiar with what you like, making future transactions much easier.
To truly immerse yourself in the local culture, consider asking a local woman to take you on a market excursion. Not only will it be a "cute" date idea, but it will also show that you're not just another rich Westerner throwing money around. And let's face it, most high-quality women in developing countries are looking for someone who values their culture and isn't afraid to live like a local.
If you're still hesitant to give local markets a chance, as Jay-Z once said, "I'll forgive your weak ass, hustlin' just ain't you," and wish you safe travels back to the comfort of home
When traveling abroad, it's tempting to hold on to the comforts and luxuries of home. But in doing so, we miss out on the opportunity to truly experience and appreciate the local culture. By seeking to learn from the frugality of those who live in so-called "poor" countries, we can gain a new perspective on life and find ways to save money that we may not have considered before.
It's not about being above the locals or showing off our wealth. It's about immersing ourselves in a new way of life and challenging ourselves to grow as individuals. And in the process, we benefit not only ourselves but the expat community as a whole by refusing to pay exorbitant prices for everyday goods and services.
So keep your designer jeans and fancy apartment if you must, but make an effort to break away from wasteful Western habits and embrace the local way of life. With a little bit of effort and an open mind, you can save money, build your portfolio, and create a life for yourself that doesn't require you to return to the soulless corporate grind of the modern Western world.