Beach viewI just returned from 2 fantastic weeks in one of my favorite places; Huatulco Mexico.  This was my view for 2 weeks! This was our 4th time at the same hotel and I must say that I could have easily stayed another couple of weeks. Wayne and I both agreed – next vacation south will be minimum 3 weeks!

If you have been in Mexico then you know the word ‘barter’. The locals love it and they have mastered the art of it. I know many people do not like going to Mexico just because of the fact that they are going to be asked to buy different items by the locals. Whether you are on the beach or walking through town, it’s inevitable.

Do you just accept the price they tell you or negotiate? Well you should be negotiating; they expect it and welcome it. I was looking for a particular soccer outfit for my grandson. I knew what it was worth because I had bought one a couple of years ago – it is more expensive than a t-shirt because it looks like an official Mexican soccer uniform. I knew that I did not want to pay more than $300 pesos for it (approx. $23 Cdn.)

I find it in the market and ask the owner of the store how much; “$480 pesos” she replied, and the game started. I went in with a maximum price that I would pay, so I told her that I would give her $300 pesos. She went on and on about material and different clothing….and went down to $450. “I will give you $300” I tell her. “How about $400?” she replied.

Well the game went on until she said “$320 is the best price I can give you.” I said “Okay fine, No thanks” and then I started to walk away. Once I was outside her store she came running out and said, “Come back, okay I will give it to you for $300 pesos.” We both won because she got the sale and I got the soccer outfit.

The point of my story is that I had a plan of what I was going to pay and I stuck to it. Do you do that at in your everyday shopping? This is where people get themselves in trouble by over spending on an item or more common; buying something on a whim. “But it was on sale Shari! 50% off I could not afford not to buy it!” My answer; “If you did not plan on spending that money then it was 50% more than you were going to spend”

When it comes to spending money, discipline and a plan are the two keys to your success. It’s okay to spend money – in fact I love spending money, but the key is to have a plan. It’s not fun waking up to Visa bills in January after the holidays – or any time for that matter – and wondering how you are going to pay for it.

A little planning can go a long way to eliminating stress about money.

Happy Holidays!



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