We are about 2 months away from embarking on our adventure to live in another country. Since we are planning to supplement local schooling with home schooling, life – the twists and turns we are experiencing and are yet to experience – are ALL learning opportunities readily at our disposal.
We’ve already discussed the difference in costs to run a house with Gregory – why not give him the whole picture? During our 1-1/2 hour car ride today I decided to chat with him about the Cost of Living and generalities of how it works.
There are aspects of our life which are considered “costs”. Each aspect is calculated using a base: Housing; Transportation; Taxes; Health Care; Consumables…etc. Estimates are provided based upon samples – as an example how much gas the average car uses, with an average commute distance to work, with average extra curricular travel in the car considered. The person looking at these figures has to consider whether they are choosing to drive an economy car or a gas guzzler (that would be choice). But there is always a base line calculated using an average or median place. Most programs are then able to provide you with a direct dollar-for-dollar comparison between one location and another.
There is more to it, but I’m talking to an almost 10 year old – while I wish to expand his knowledge I wish to maintain a maximum level of interest.
Between the 3 of us we talked it through until we had named off each of the aspects we spend money on in order to function here on a monthly basis. Then…since we had already discussed housing…I figured we could move onto food; something our growing little man is always interested in “consuming”.
Before we started though…he pulled out the Spanish book we are working with and asked about the Costa Rica colon. Woo Hoo! Another opportunity. We chatted about the difference in currency exchange. How it may say a high number but it depends on what it buys – so we tend to start out by converting to what we are familiar with to understand what the amount represents. In this case 100 colon is worth approximately 25 cents.
Back to food! I started out by explaining how the same grocery items may cost a different amount in each country. It depends on local produce available versus where they need to bring food in from – how far and at what premium, if any. For cost of living, there would typically be a “shopping” list of specific items which are then tallied and compared.
Gregory has agreed to work together with me on an exercise. We will put together our list of products we like to eat, and then we can enter it into a spreadsheet on the computer (had to pause and explain this is just a computerized version of columns of information like he does in math – he got it – YEAH!). Once we get to Costa Rica we will then have a document to fill in and compare what it cost to get similar food items (if available). We will then have our own comparison for cost of living.
The additional bonus is Gregory now has a project to do for his Cub Scouts “computer” badge . Love multi-tasking while doing one task!