When I moved to the US for the first time for education, I used to compare the prices in USA with prices in India, which is my home country. It was NOT just me, I noticed the same thing with many of the students as well. Also, when I started to work and got acquainted with H1B visa or L1 visa holders, who came to US for the first time, I could see everything doing the same thing. Let me share my thoughts why NOT to compare prices and how it could hurt you.
General Human Perception about Money and Prices – Comparison
When we were new to America, the first thing we used to do, whenever we go out to eat at a restaurant would be doing the math and comparing prices….for instance, we would think of a Dosa in America priced in America dollars translated to Indian rupees… So, a Dose of 8 Dollars would be looking to us like 500 Rupees…same case with the entire menu, we would be thinking too much about the price of it and never enjoy it…The human perception says that if I send that 500 rupees, my family can eat many Dosas ( at least few)…It used to be the same case everywhere for the first few months….I would never enjoy anything because of the price consciousness. This is general human tendency, anyone would be doing the same thing as it the perception and our mind thinks of it instantly…. Later after few months, I realized something fundamentally wrong in my perception and the way I look at things
Why NOT to compare prices in America with Your Home Country ? What’s wrong with Comparing prices ?
It is fundamentally wrong to compare the prices of anything between any two different countries. Because, the stuff you get in US is made with raw materials either imported or produced in the US. So, the cost would be high depending on the goods. Also, the service cost of labor is in US Dollars, so the cost would be more. For some of the goods/food like Gasoline, clothes, electronics, etc. the price would be much cheaper in US. It is not fair to do comparison of prices and limit your spending even on necessities and your basic wants in life.
There is a saying “When you are in Rome, be a Roman”, similarly, when you are in America, be an American in terms of looking money in Dollars like American. Do NOT get caught in the comparison and ruin your peace of mind. It could be tough to get out of it for the first few weeks, but you need to make a constant effort to get out of it. If it costs X dollars for something, it just costs X dollars, that’s it…NO comparison with your home country currency.
How was your experience when you landed in the US for the first time?
Do you still do the Math ?