Use Those Greenbacks: Picking Up a New Skill
For this post, I just wanted to make an observation. One of the things all expatriates should be doing while here in Argentina is taking advantage of the overvalued dollars they're holding on to. The key with Argentina is that you need to learn to buy locally.
Buying the Right Things
What do I mean by buying locally? Simple, buy stuff that's made here and that doesn't have an international price. If you walk into an electronics store, you're going to get overcharged no matter what you buy. All the stuff is imported. That means you're paying the international price, plus 21% VAT, plus an import tariff. The final price ends up being at least 50% higher than what you'd pay at home (and sometimes even more).
In general, food and household products are cheaper here, but not if you buy the imported brands. The same goes with furnishings for your house. If you buy imported, you'll pay a lot more. Even the locally made stuff is not incredibly cheaper.
The one market that is 100% local is services. That's the very best buy that you're going to make here. If you've ever wanted to learn an instrument, pick up golf, tennis, or some other sport, or take a class, this is where you should be doing it! The fact is, a golf instructor in Buenos Aires can't sell his services to Europe. He has to sell them to residents here. Its a local market.
I just recently started using a personal trainer at the gym -- something I did once or twice back in the states, but would never consider using on an on-going basis due to the expense. Well, here in Argentina it is possible because the fee you're paying is literally one-fifth of what you'd pay in the U.S.
Next up will be working on my tennis and/or golf game -- I've always wanted to improve. I've also been considering classes for photography, dancing, flying, and sailing. I'd be interested to hear what kind of classes and skills the rest of you are picking up, if you'd like to comment.