One thing I am so tired of hearing is that everything is "cheaper in Mexico". That phrase drives me up a wall, across a bunch of roofs and down one the next neighborhood over. HA! Maybe when you think in US/Canadian terms. Oh sure, it seems cheaper on a surface glance. I've had the electric company out twice to verify no one is jacking my power and my meter works (I still think they lie). They claim it's fine. And sure, I only use about $100 USD each month (at the least), which seems cheap to those US based. However, let's consider what it is I'm getting for that money. 1 fan running 24/7 (minimal for Mexico... my house is still 84 degrees downstairs during the day and 88 upstairs where the fan is running each day. I have thermometers and pictures to prove it), 1 TV that runs while the kids are awake almost constantly (it's one of those energy saver kinds, and no, the kids aren't on it 24/7, but someone is at all times), 1 computer that is my lifeline to sanity and is only plugged in 7 hours a day (the rest it runs on battery) and is also supposed to be energy saving, 1 fridge, during nap time: 1 radio (energy saving, supposedly) and one extra fan, and during bedtime: 2 nightlights (both only 4 watts), an extra radio, and that's about it. I play on the computer at night, in the dark. We use the bathroom, in the dark. I'm not getting my money's worth like I would in the states.
I'm coming up on what we call "Birthday month" (July is big on birthday's too, but as it's my husband's and I as well as our anniversary, we are well prepared to pretend nothing exists and accept just a word acknowledging that it's that day). April is big. I have 2 children's birthdays within a week. Buying toys is huge... "Cheaper in Mexico" becomes a pain in the butt. $30 USD for a $12 USD toy in the states. Clothes cost the same. Electronics at least 3 times more. Dollar stores are really $10 stores (and I don't mean pesos). The kids are learning the hard way to adjust. There are no more "Can I have candy or a cheap toy?" when doing our grocery shopping. And grocery shopping is so much fun. I spend at least $100 USD per week on groceries because there are some things I just can't cut. Diapers must be gotten. After all, he is only 1 and it's not his fault that he only fits 1 brand of diaper in their biggest size available at only 1 store (pharmacy really). Sure, he'll be 2 in a couple weeks, but he's still young yet. Potties, even toddler ones he thinks of as a punishment/time out. The only thing he likes peeing in is his bath. Allergy issues make it harder... what we can live on, he can't.
We have opportunities here that we didn't in the states. I'm grateful for them. Eventually, we won't have to struggle so. I'm grateful for that. I'm also tired of people expecting it to be easier than it is. To them, I invite them to live in Mexico without starting with US/Canadian dollars and discover just what it is to fall in love with a life that is more of a struggle than it seems. Do it with a family and no way out; maybe you will see why I want to throat punch the next person who tells me "It should be easier. I went on vacation and everything is so much cheaper in Mexico." Bite. Me.