Now there’s an American phrase for you. That cliché is an U.S. invention and is key to one of the perceptions people have of us. According to the “global village,” if all the money in the village was split equally, we would all make $6,200 a year. In reality, the wealthiest 20 villagers make $9,000 a year; the poorest 20 have less than $1 a day. Economic factors help determine the foods people eat, the way they dress, the homes they live in and the patterns of their daily lives. Be sensitive to money habits and understand what drives the country’s economy. Studying up on your host environment helps you blend in and it opens doors. Learn about the economy.
it’s just money
It isn’t something you talk about with people you just met. It’s in poor taste and talking about how much something costs rarely impresses people. There are things more important to people than your net worth, and there are things more important to you. Focus on them. Think bigger than the dollar.
the rumor of the trust fund
You may or may not have more money than many people in the countries you are visiting. If you do, don’t show it off. You’ll regret spending so much, and people will think you are obnoxious. Besides, being flashy with your money is a good way to draw the attention of pick pockets. Some people in other countries think that young adults traveling from the States are nothing but kids who will never work because they have a trust fund to fall back on. Granted, sometimes that is our situation, but no one should act that way. People will find you to be wasteful and disrespectful, especially in third world countries where your monthly disposable income may be more money than some people see in a year. So spend in moderation as you support the local economy. When making your purchases, pay with local currency as much as possible. Carry travelers checks as a back up. and don’t be afraid to use credit cards if they are accepted.
bargaining to save a buck
We may have all heard that when abroad, you should bargain with people. In some countries, bargaining is expected, but in other places, it greatly offends people. Find out before you go shopping what the protocol is on bargaining and negotiating. Either way, you should always pay a fair sum and never take advantage of the situation. Merchants are trying to make money, not lose it.