Feb 10 2012

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Speak Spanish-Save Money

Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Speak Spanish – Save Money

Learning Spanish to save money tends to be more nebulous than other money-saving tips because it’s hard to put a dollar amount on how much you can actually save every week or month. But I do know that learning a little Spanish can help your life in so many ways, over and above just saving money. By learning a little Spanish, you can have a richer, fuller life in Costa Rica. You’ll be less isolated and not confined to the Expat or English-speaking world. There are a lot of wonderful people out there and 80% don’t speak English.

Even though there is little bargaining in Costa Rica as there is in other countries, like Mexico for example, there is a tendency of some to charge foreigners more. Speaking some Spanish puts you in the know and these events occur less frequently. There may be a “Tico price” and a “Gringo price.” What do you think can make the difference? Speaking Spanish. If they think you’re savvy, you’ll often get the lower price.

So, here are some ways that speaking Spanish may lead to saving money:

  • Be able to question prices and ask why.
  • Ask for a cash discount at the pharmacy, health food store, restaurant, hotel and many other placesBargain at the feria (weekly farmers’ market)
  • Ask questions at the car mechanic and authorize only the work you want done
  • Ask for a lower price at hotels and tourist attractions
  • Be more well-liked by the locals, therefore taken advantage of less (this one can save you thousands per year)
  • Locals are more likely to protect you, and advise you when prices are out of line.
  • Have a lot more fun!
  • Be more confident

Don’t rob yourself…learn a little Spanish.

In that light, we promote a great online Spanish course. It’s the one I bought for my wife, Gloria. Visual Link Spanish did what it advertised. Within the first hour, Gloria was speaking in complete sentences over a variety of topics. It also appealed to her learning style – it teaches using multi-sensory methods: you see it in pictures, you listen to the words being pronounced, you speak the words, you write them, & you repeat them. It gave her a 750 word vocabulary and allowed her to speak in both present and simple future tenses. It was enough to get her started communicating in a Spanish-speaking country.

For those of you who don’t think you’d be any good at languages, or that you’re too old, then Visual Link Spanish is for you. But don’t take my word for it, try 11 free lessons by clicking here, and then decide.

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