Category Archives: Economics

Mid-month Updates

2020 has been a rough start, but nothing we can’t handle. So here’s the latest from the Flores ranchito.

Vehicles

January 1 my new-to-me motorcycle decided it wasn’t going to start. It was something electrical, but what it is specifically had him baffled for two weeks. It turns out, the previous owner had done some electrical “upgrades” that crossed some wires. Taking those out and replacing the box where all the wires meet seems to have done the job. It still needs a new front light and gas gauge, but it runs yet again.

January means paying for the “contribución materia vehicular impuesto” or vehicle tax. In comparison to last month, this month was a walk in a park. All we had to do was take our tarjetas de circulacion to the Institute de Seguridad Social del Estado de Guanajuato (ISSEG) pharmacy. Each moto costs $135 pesos this year and the truck was $487. It goes up every year.

Inflation

Speaking of things going up, the garafon (jug) of water from Santorini now costs $36 pesos, 2 pesos more than December and 6 pesos more than last January. Those refillable water stations that are springing up all over town are looking more and more attractive at 12 pesos a refill. However, I just don’t know how filtered the water is and where the water comes from in the first place. Is it hooked up to the town water supply? Because that water runs through miles of hot copper pipes isn’t drinkable at all! 

The internet also went up with no notification whatsoever. That meant we had to make two trips to town to pay the bill since our payment didn’t cover the increase the first time around. Our Blue Satellite internet fee is now $399 pesos. The satellite internet is under a 2-year contract, so theoretically it shouldn’t go up until the end of that period, but who knows? 

Stores in town are charging for plastic bags now as well. It’s nominal, at the most $1 peso per bag, but I wasn’t prepared my first day shopping of the new year and hadn’t brought my own. I’ll know better for next time. Some places, like Mexico City, have prohibited the use of single use bags, which is a good thing overall.

Gas has gone up. Soda will now cost 1.26 per liter. Alcohol prices will go up an estimated 4.5% excluding beer, aguamiel and pulque. It will cost more to ride the bus and leave Mexico by plane. But it’s just how things work–the hike in the daily minimum salary to $123.22 pesos ($6.50 USD) has to be balanced out somehow. 

I’m not an economist but speaking from experience, it’s awfully hard to manage on $123.22 pesos per day.

Animals

The last baby goat of this batch was born the first week of January. The moms of the kids born in December have gone into heat, at least if Stinky Chivo’s romancing is any indication. So we expect another crop of goats in June or so. 

We still have too many animals. Terry and George are still not friends. My husband didn’t prepare as well as he normally does regarding food during the long, dry season, so that’s been a weekly expense. 

Health Care

As it is now a new year, I needed to go and make an appointment at the hospital to see my doctor in May. I’m not sure how things will go when it’s time for my appointment since INSABI took over for both IMSS and Seguro Popular on January 1. There have been reports of formerly covered individuals needing to pay from everything from gauze to surgeries once covered by the national healthcare policies. 

If it comes down to it, I’ll be able to piece together something by getting my own lab work done at a private lab and having the doctors next to the pharmacy write me a prescription if I need a dosage change. Otherwise, I can buy my medication over the counter at Farmacias Similares. It will add to expenses, and we’ll have to cut other things out, but I’ll make it.   

So I’m feeling a bit frazzled and it’s only mid-January. I’ll need to take some time out and set up a more restricted budget for this year. How are things where you live?

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Driving Hazards, Economics, Health

2019 End of Year Recap

Where did 2019 go? I had some amazing experiences, including several firsts, this year that just made time fly by. Allow me to recap my adventures briefly, if you would.

In January, I chose the word ORGANIZE as my one-word description. I won’t say that I was uber-organized this year despite my 5-year calendar and my blogging planner, but I didn’t feel as overwhelmed as often and that’s saying something because look at all I accomplished this year! 

Early in the year, I took on another content writing job. Some weeks I find the topics tedious, but other weeks, they are not so bad. It certainly helped keep my income up since I cut back on my online teaching hours considerably. I also started reviewing books for Reedsy Discovery and have been enjoying that experience as well. 

I most certainly stretched myself beyond my comfort zone in 2019. I submitted my Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico book to the Ultimate Bundles people and was accepted. I participated in my first podcast with Expat Mama Kimberlee Thorne-Harper. I also became an online presenter for the Work Freedom Summit. 

I created two online courses on CourseCraft. Surviving Voluntary Exile: Overcoming Common Obstacles to Making a Successful Life Transition and Book It: Everything You Need to Know to Publish Your Book on Amazon.

I reworked both the One-Year Blogging Planner and the International Event and Special Occasion List. I compiled a book edition of Surviving Voluntary Exile: How to overcome common obstacles to making a successful life transition and created a journal A Woman’s Survival Journal: A Guide for Making the Most of Your Life in Mexico.

I was able to get a fourth and final solar panel for our home, new glasses for myself and my son, and a motorcycle with my hard earned coins this year. My son and I were also able to spend a month with my family and friends in Pennsylvania and meet a long-time online BFF which wouldn’t have been possible without the online work I’ve found. Red and Terry joined the Flores Ranchito. And my son passed algebra 2 in his online classwork. 

Of course, not everything was peachy keen. I didn’t finish all the projects I began this year. My son is finding geometry challenging and may need to retake the course. I wasn’t able to visit my friend in Tennessee even though I really wanted to. I still have chronic health isssues and so do my parents. Our Puppy was poisoned and our hearts are still aching because of that. We didn’t have a bumper crop of goats. The crops didn’t do well and feeding the animals through the dry season is difficult. 

Overall, though, the good outweighed the bad in 2019 and I am grateful. How was your year?

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Filed under Blogging, Economics

Failing at Your Own Business–Online Summit Presenter

I know you are probably thinking “Give it a rest already” the Work Freedom summit is OVER. But, to be true to form, I must write and share my latest epic income-generating disaster. 

If you’ll remember, I participated in the Work Freedom Summit a few weeks back. I spoke about publishing eBooks, something I know a bit about. Of course, I could have also presented information on freelance content writing, teaching ESL online, affiliate marketing, creating online courses, blogging, overcoming insurmountable obstacles, and finding your passion. However, when the hosts got around to my application, apparently everything had been taken but the eBooks topic, so it was a take it or leave it situation.

So let’s talk about the interview first. I thought it went ok, until I went to share my slides. Just before the call, I had been practicing and forgotten to reset the slides, so I began with the end in mind or something. Being flustered, it took me a few minutes to even figure out why the slide I was looking at wasn’t the title slide. To make matters worse, instead of typing 1 and hitting enter to return to the title slide, I SCROLLED through them backwards looking in panic for the title slide. 

Then there was that oversight on my part about the link to the handy worksheet I had prepared. I was supposed to send the host a copy of that document erroneously believing that it would be included in the bonus section or at the very least, a pdf link after my bio. Nope. It appeared absolutely NOWHERE because I FORGOT to send it!

So today, feel free to download this document about the steps on How to Turn Your Blog into a Book (which is an upcoming eBook).

Another issue that I’m sure was all in my head was that I sort of felt like the kid sister in this whole experience. You know, the one mom said you HAD to let tag along but you really didn’t want to because somehow I was left off the initial contact list and missed the first few communicants from the presenters. Then I was supposed to get an email to check my profile page but didn’t so had to ask the host about it. But it all worked out.

I was able to attend a few of the sessions during the summit and listed those in a previous post. I just wanted to make a commentary on the communication styles of the presenters here.

With one notable exception, the women presenters participated in a dialogue with the host and the men expounded their thoughts at the host. I know that’s not really a new observation on the differences between male and female communication styles, but seeing it in these back to back sessions really brought it home to me. The communication styles also influenced how I, as a female observer, absorbed the information presented. I was more interested in, hence felt like I learned more from, the dialogue rather than the pontificating, naturally. 

I also noticed that not one of the presenters in the sessions I attended used slides! WHAT? I thought that conducting my session as a class would be the most natural way to provide the information to viewers and as a consequence, spent some time on slide creation. ALL of the presenters were just talking heads, no additional graphics, nothing in the background to spark creative interaction, NOTHING! They might as well have been podcasts (which I also recently did for that first time and you can find that here.)

Now for the nitty gritty. It would have been nice to have received some monetary compensation for my time and effort in promoting, but as no one signed up for the paid version of the Work Freedom Summit via my affiliate link, I earned a big fat goose egg. I’m not as disappointed as you might think, since I went into this as a learning experience rather than expecting to make the big bucks, but still….

Those are the negatives. There were some positives about this experience, however.

First, I learned that I could do this! Remember how I mentioned in a previous post that participating in a video summit was something way beyond my comfort zone? Well, it was, but I did it anyway. And it wasn’t so bad. Neither was sharing a graphic with MY picture on it all over social media. I mean, it wasn’t my favorite thing in the world to do, but I did it!

I also picked up a few useful tidbits from the presentations that I am planning on implementing beginning in the new year. So my time spent in viewing wasn’t wasted at all. (And neither will yours be if you choose to get the lifetime access pass now available. Wink Wink, Nudge nudge) 

Lastly, the summit deadline made me get on the stick and finish the publishing course I’ve been working on. It’s live. You can see it here: Book It: Everything You Need to Know to Publish Your Book on Amazon.

I’m looking for Beta Testers for the course before I make a big deal over it. If you, or anyone you know is brave enough to self-publish or has already self-published, I’d love for you to give me feedback on the material I’ve provided in this course. Please contact me with the form below.

All in all, my first summit presenter experience was a mixed bag of tricks. But I can say, I’ve been there, done that, and it’s time to move on to another venture. 

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Filed under Economics, Education