We mistakenly think that when a product that seems cheap to us is expensive in other countries, it’s just the way it is. Unfortunately, it’s not. So what causes this relative difference in value for the same product? In today’s episode with Halle Eavelyn, she talks about her trip to Colombia to illustrate today’s topic – the relative value of money. The Colombian peso was worth a lot more than the US dollar a long ago, but what caused its gradual rate increase? Tune in to know more and learn a little bit about the history of money.
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The Relative Value Of Money
For this episode, I brought props receipts from my recent trip to Colombia and also did the math. I pre-did some math so that I can talk to you about this because there were some amazing money lessons for me in Colombia.
First of all, one of the things that I did in Colombia was I got to have an Executive Mobile Checkup. The reason that I had that checkup is that I haven’t had any health insurance for a few years. Somebody that goes there all the time suggested that while I’m in Colombia, I should go ahead and have everything looked at, OB-GYN, gastrointestinal, and all the things. This may be a little bit of extra information that you don’t need, but when I get a mammogram, I normally get an ultrasound as well because I have fibrocystic tendencies in my boobs. I’ve had a biopsy done before. There were no problems and everything was clear, but they like to do an ultrasound every year.
I had insurance for several years and every time I go, it’s an extra $500 to do this ultrasound. It’s been frustrating for me. While I was here at this doctor in Colombia, I went ahead and asked them, “Would you go ahead and do an ultrasound because I know that you guys are going to look at my X-rays and say, ‘We want to do the ultrasound?’ Let’s skip to the chase.”
As we got in there and they were like, “We need this extra.” I said, “They already did it.” They were so pleased because we were doing this battery of tests and different doctors and we were able to get it all done in half a day. The bill then came. The bill for the entire experience, all the OB-GYN, pap smear, mammogram, ultrasound, gastrointestinal review, stress test, and the doctor to review all of this with us, nutritionist, regular GP checking your reflexes, heart rate, and all of that stuff, all of that was the same $500 that would’ve for the extra of the ultrasound. For the ultrasound, it was $30. That was such a shock to me, but almost not as much of a shock as the cafe down in the street.
I was at the hospital. I’m dealing with Colombian Pesos. I have dealt with Mexican Pesos, Cuban Pesos, and Spanish Pesos, and so this is my fourth peso and it blew me away. I ordered a small pastry called pastel queijo and the receipt says Col$ 6,400. I ordered a café con leche. There are a lot of good coffees in the world, but any time you’re anywhere where you can get a café con leche, please do it, including Miami. My café con leche is coffee with milk, but it’s so wonderful. You need to have one. It was Col$ 4,900. My total bill was Col$ 9,400. There was a tax of Col$ 1,800. My total bill ended up being Col$ 11,300. That’s translated into approximately $3.
I thought there had been a mistake. I went back and did the math on it and know my lovely little pastry from this glorious place like the French bakery quality good. It was super beautiful, very high-end looking, and lovely. My beautiful pastry was $1.45. My delicious café con leche was $1.14 because of Col$ 4,400 and change to the US dollar. Colombia was not always like this. Colombia, at one time, had a much lower rate than the dollar.
[bctt tweet=”If we say, “This thing has value,” it then has the value we assign to it, but only because we all believe it. Money is a story that we all agree to believe in.” via=”no”]
The Colombian Peso
This was not always the case. The Colombian Peso was worth a lot more against the US Dollar. What started the devaluation was in 1931, they abandoned the gold standard as the United States did in the early ’70s. Thank you, Richard Nixon. They ran out of money at Fort Knox. When they say, “More gold than Fort Knox,” that’s no gold in Fort Knox. It was easier to control everything if you had an unlimited printing press. If it was backed by the gold standard, you had to limit the amount of money because it was based on how much gold there was. Now, you are not having to worry about that at all. You can print as much money as you would like.
I am not singling out Colombia. I am using it as an example because I have receipts and personal experience with this and we’re also going to talk about some other countries in which I also have personal experience. I want you to understand the erosion of this. In 1931, Colombia decouples itself from the US Dollar, and it has been on a downward slide ever since. In 1994, the Colombian Peso was worth six times what it is worth now. That’s how we end up with Col$ 11,300 for coffee and a pastry.
I want you to know this. The coffee itself, 100% Colombian single-origin coffee with milk is $1.14. The pastry itself is $1.45, about 1/2 to a 1/3 of what I would have found in the United States. It’s good, premium, and excellent. It’s a French and Spanish combination. I love the owner, but it’s not cheap. I would’ve paid $12 instead of $3 for my pastry and my cafe latte which is about the equivalent of their café con leche. This has to be the manipulation of pricing, the manipulation of us, and our perceptions.
We have insurance here in the United States, but we are also ripping people off like crazy because the insurance companies are not paying what the actual charges are. Take a look at your medical itemized bill the next time you get your insurance charges and see how much you’re paying. You will see exactly what I’m talking about. It’s completely different. The hospital bill is $3,000. The insurance only allowed $300. They only paid 80% of that. They sent the hospital $240 for a $3,000 charge. What’s going on here? It’s this deeper manipulation.
That was obvious to me because I was able to get six doctors and every medical test that I could possibly want. By the way, I am at the peak of my health. I was able to do that for $500. This all started because I went to Mexico for that biopsy because the hospital called me the day before, and they said, “You haven’t used any of your $3,000 deductible.” I said, “How much will my biopsy be?” They said, “$3,000.” I said, “Please cancel that.”
What I did instead was I got on a plane. I went to Mexico. The only place I’ve ever been treated as well was the hospital in Colombia, but I had everything I possibly needed, including the nicest warmest people. I waited zero minutes in Mexico for every stage. The doctor met me in the lobby. I stayed at a five-star hotel overnight. I was given transport to and from my biopsy. The medicine that I needed was right there a few minutes later. All of that was approximately half of what they would’ve charged me to go down the street from my house.
I had insurance at the time and I never got sick. I never needed to use my deductible. They wanted $3,000 because they were going to be billing the insurance company more than that. The $3,000 was my portion for a needle biopsy. If you’ve ever had one of those, it takes about five minutes and involves a little bit of lab work, but why would it be that expensive? Other countries don’t bother asking that question. They don’t charge you that way.
Let’s talk about some other specific examples. In general, we are visiting the relative values of money. I’m sharing all of this with you because I want you to wake up to the fact that the way that people are telling us is because people are telling us it’s that way. It’s not necessarily true. It’s not necessarily in our best interest. It’s not necessarily always been that way. Therefore, it doesn’t need to continue to be that way.
I have visited Bali fifteen times leading tours. I’m headed to my 28th tour in Egypt because I love getting to lead spiritual tours around the world. You can go to the Transformational Tours website if you want to see information or get on our mailing list. It’s ToursAndRetreats.com. When I’ve been to Bali or Egypt, the average income for a person in those countries is about $400 a month.
I have family members right now that are living in Serbia. In Serbia, the average annual income is $6,000. Serbia is a European country. It is not a little tiny island off of the coast of Indonesia. It is not a country in Africa. It’s Western Europe, but it is part of Europe and yet $6,000 annually. It’s a little more than Bali and Egypt. It’s a little under $5,000 on average but think about trying to live off of that in the United States.
[bctt tweet=”It is time for us to make different choices about our money. If we rely on the old white guys to figure it out for us, they are too busy putting all this money in their pockets to help.” via=”no”]
During the pandemic, the government thought we could live off of those types of numbers because that’s the taxes that they were cutting for everybody unless you were applying for PPP or whatever their other programs were. For the average citizen, they were like, “Here’s $1,000 for the next few months.” They were treating us for a while like we were in Bali, Egypt, Serbia, or Colombia. Everything is valued relatively.
Money only exists because we give it that value. If we said that beads, feathers, paper, jewels, rocks, or tulips, all of which have been money, and paper is still money. If we said that thing has value, that thing then has the value that we assign to it, but it is only because we all believe it. Money is a story that we all agree to believe in. It is not written in the ten commandments that money is going to be coins, paper, or anything or that money will be the way that we exchange our energy. That is something that we have created over a long period of time. It has changed over the years.
The history of money is fascinating. I have read a bunch of different books and articles so that I could begin to share the history of money with my clients and the people who study the crypto basics with me. I want to mention the book The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous. When I had Nat Brunell, who is the host of the podcast Coin Stories and who is a Bitcoin maxi when I had her as a guest on the show, we talked about The Bitcoin Standard and the principles in that book.
The money piece is basically the history of money and it goes all the way back to where and why money was created. The history of money is fascinating and one of my favorite stories, not from The Bitcoin Standard but in general, is that when the Chinese were using a paper currency for the first time that counterfeiters will be beheaded. That’s not too different from the way that we would like to treat counterfeiters now, but they had some rather harsher terms for them before.
What we are seeing right now is that money is being devalued in a variety of different ways. A couple of weeks ago, there was a run on the banks of Lebanon and all of the banks were shut down. Citizens could not get their money. That scenario is still playing out, but it is not the first country to lose its currency to have it totally devalued to the point where there were runs on banks and where they had to shut the banks down, at least temporarily.
For example, we had seen that, Voyager, which is a crypto exchange way overextended, and then when Bitcoin had that huge drop in value from $69,000 to around $25,000 or something. When Voyager went into chapter 11, they also ceased trading. I had a little tiny bit of crypto and Voyager and then the market dropped so precipitously that I went out and replicated it somewhere else. I believe that Voyager will probably reopen at some time and begin to do their deposits again. I certainly hope so because I had friends who had tens of thousands of dollars on Voyager when it went down.
You can pay attention to the signs, but you can’t be certain that this isn’t going to happen to you. I talked last time about this concept of the Goddess of Crypto and this download that I got, but I want to share with you that I truly believe that we are headed for the same experience as what happened in Colombia with the currency being so devalued. They stopped using the gold standard 40 years before we did. It could be another 40 years before this gets as bad.
If you look at Colombia in 1994, and the fact that what $1 would buy then versus what it would buy now, it was six times what it can buy now. Imagine, from 1994 to 2022 is 28 years, that’s where we are now. Over the next several years, we are going to see a lot worse than the fact that my butter costs $3 and now costs $4 and our gas went to $8 or $9 a gallon in Beverly Hills.
Let’s face it. It’s been that much in Europe for a long time. You go to Europe and you look at a gas station, and you think, “That makes sense. It’s about the same as the United States.” No, they’re selling it by the liter and not by the gallon. There’s something like 4 to 5 liters in the gallon. It’s 4 to 5 times as expensive as it is here. All of this stuff is price manipulation.
It takes longer to get the thing from the oil fields or the gas pipeline. Therefore there’s a slight increase in price or it takes longer to truck the thing across the country, sure. The numbers have gone up so fast and for no actual reason that it gives us pause. When it comes to the future of money, please allow it to give you pause. When you are in that sacred divine pause, ask yourself, “How can I learn? How can I educate myself? How can I grow past the limitations that people put on me when I was growing up, when I got married, what I learned in school, my own fears, or any of that?”
It’s time for us to take a stand. It is time for us to make different choices about our money because if we will rely on what I have come to think of as the old White guys to figure it out for us, they are too busy putting all this money in their own pockets to help. That’s all I wanted to share about that. Please use my own experiences as a harbinger for yours. If this episode has resonated with you, please like, comment, and share it with your wives, daughters, girlfriends, mothers, mistresses, or whoever is a woman that you know and love in your life. Let her know. I want everyone to know about this because the future of finance is female. I’ll see you next time.