When we first came to the United States in August 2015, it was so tough to spend money on almost everything. Why? Because we often convert US Dollars into Philippine Pesos.
For example, a bottle of soda costs $2. If you convert that to Peso, that is roughly equal to PhP 100. That is expensive for us in the Philippines. And if we kept thinking this way, we would not have been able to drink soda or even eat at a nice restaurant.
Even when we went shopping for clothes or anything in particular, once we started converting to Pesos, it becomes so difficult to spend money. A pair of jeans here costs between $20 to $50. Again, if you convert that to pesos, it’s between P1,000 to P2,500.
This is not to say that things are always cheaper in the Philippines. There are jeans that certainly fall under that price range in the Philippines. But as a general rule, I usually buy pairs of pants in the P800 to P1,500 range.
Thankfully, my wife and I have never been brand-conscious. We don’t really care what brand our clothes are, as long as they fit, they’re clean and comfortable. Heck, I don’t even mind shopping for clothes from Goodwill and other thrift stores.
So here’s an important lesson for us, Filipinos who recently moved to the USA, do not convert dollars to pesos in your head.
I said somewhere in this blog that one of the good things about living and working in the US is that you earn dollars, which has a lot of value in Philippine pesos. The bad thing? You also need to spend dollars for everything you need while in the USA.
The next time you shop or buy groceries, just pay for what you want and need. Be mindful of your personal finances, save money whenever you can and make the most of your money while you’re living and working in the USA.