Author Topic: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician  (Read 2440 times)

jafr1284

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First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« on: January 30, 2020, 01:49:22 PM »
Hi everyone,
I got my first job out of school. I have been offered a job in Toluca Mexico. The contract is for 6 months. My income will be $1300 USD a month plus housing. I am moving from NYC and I think cost of living is about 70% less than where I am now. Im not looking for advice on choosing a different career path or telling me to find a job that pays a real salary in the US. I am doing what I love and will save at least half my income. I am moving in 2 weeks. I live a very frugal life right around the poverty line in NYC since I'm in school. My plan is to just pack one large suitcase. I have a car at my parents house I am going to sell. I currently owe my parents money for school and need to pay them back.  If any of you have any advise about Mexico or anything please chime in! Would love some feedback.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 07:30:08 PM by jafr1284 »

Home Stretch

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Re: First Job
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 07:18:02 PM »
Uh... How are you going to pay your parents back if you make $15,600/year, even in Mexico?

Even if your rent is $300 USD/mo, you're still going to struggle to cobble together any sort of savings, especially since you're re-paying USD with MXN.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: First Job
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 08:08:13 PM »
Congrats on your first job and doing what you want to do with your life. Immerse yourself in the culture. If youíre not already fluent in Spanish work on that and challenge yourself to not use English. Stay frugal and look for other opportunities to grow your income. Enjoy!

DirtDiva

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Re: First Job
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2020, 06:38:32 AM »
What an amazing opportunity! Iím jealous.

$1300 will go a very long way in Mexico, especially with no housing expense.  Spouse and I ate 2 restaurant meals per day with many beers for $27 per day, so I think you would struggle to spend more than $400 a month on food and could probably do it for more like $100 (or less) if you cook at home and keep it simple.

We found that the people we met were kind, friendly, and very tolerant of our efforts to speak Spanish.  I agree with the suggestion to immerse yourself in the culture and the language. 

And please let us know how itís going for you! I want to live vicariously!

ETA:  you might want to change your subject line to add ďin Toluca MexicoĒ to draw comments from posters more experienced with living and working in Mexico.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 06:40:19 AM by DirtDiva »

reeshau

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Re: First Job
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2020, 10:42:20 AM »
Are you actually being paid $1300 USD per month?  Or, are you getting paid 26,000 pesos a month, and you did the math?  I ask because the peso has devalued 50% in the last decade or so.  This has had significant impact on families I know that move money across the border--for better or worse.  But if you are working for any length of time, I would consider what of your expenses are in USD and what are in pesos.  And I would not keep any large amount of money in pesos, anyway--so you will want to research money transfer services, and be prepared to use them.

Also, do you know how you will handle health care when there?  Do you have a significant health conditions that may require specialist care?

BicycleB

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Re: First Job
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 04:11:01 PM »
My understanding (may be wrong) from reading articles is that if you're not careful, you could owe two sets of income tax - both Mexico and USA will tax you on the same income!

However, the countries have traditionally had a tax treaty to prevent this; as an individual, it appears you can avoid double taxation by filing the proper paperwork. What paperwork and what effect it will have depend on details of your employment and your residence status.

https://brighttax.com/blog/the-united-states-mexico-tax-treaty-for-expats/

 

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Re: First Job
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 05:15:22 PM »
Have you traveled much in Mexico, or do you know anyone there?

I have family in Mexico, and it was extremely helpful to know locals in order to stay safe and figure out day to day living.

What kind of advice are you looking for?

jafr1284

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Re: First Job
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 07:29:17 PM »



Uh... How are you going to pay your parents back if you make $15,600/year, even in Mexico?

Even if your rent is $300 USD/mo, you're still going to struggle to cobble together any sort of savings, especially since you're re-paying USD with MXN.
Hi,
I appreciate the concern but it is better than nothing. They are actually paying my rent. It might take a while to pay them back but the idea is to use the job to get experience and then hopefully get a job back in the US with a US salary.

jafr1284

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Re: First Job
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 07:35:03 PM »
What an amazing opportunity! Iím jealous.

$1300 will go a very long way in Mexico, especially with no housing expense.  Spouse and I ate 2 restaurant meals per day with many beers for $27 per day, so I think you would struggle to spend more than $400 a month on food and could probably do it for more like $100 (or less) if you cook at home and keep it simple.

We found that the people we met were kind, friendly, and very tolerant of our efforts to speak Spanish.  I agree with the suggestion to immerse yourself in the culture and the language. 

And please let us know how itís going for you! I want to live vicariously!

ETA:  you might want to change your subject line to add ďin Toluca MexicoĒ to draw comments from posters more experienced with living and working in Mexico.
Thanks for the info. Yeah I'm super excited about the food. Gonna learn what is best locally and learn how to cook it at home. I am working on my Spanish, I took 3 years in high school so I have a decent start

jafr1284

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Re: First Job
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2020, 10:38:56 PM »
Are you actually being paid $1300 USD per month?  Or, are you getting paid 26,000 pesos a month, and you did the math?  I ask because the peso has devalued 50% in the last decade or so.  This has had significant impact on families I know that move money across the border--for better or worse.  But if you are working for any length of time, I would consider what of your expenses are in USD and what are in pesos.  And I would not keep any large amount of money in pesos, anyway--so you will want to research money transfer services, and be prepared to use them.

Also, do you know how you will handle health care when there?  Do you have a significant health conditions that may require specialist care?
I was quoted at USD but I will be paid in pesos. My plan is to save some pesos for spending $ and deposit the rest to a Mexican bank and transfer to Ally Bank in the US. I am healthy, and I will have health insurance since I'm technically a government employee.

jafr1284

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 04:43:11 PM »
Hey everyone,
I have made it safely to Toluca and have started work. This place is amazing. Beautiful weather, nice people, amazing food, and best of all its extremely cheap. Its so cheap to eat fresh food here. A taco costs 15-20 pesos (less than a dollar) and many veggies I could not afford in the states are plentiful, ripe and affordable here like mangos and avocados. There are large parks nearby and plenty of things to see. My Spanish is coming along too. Im not conversational but know enough to buy things, ask for directions etc.

I just have one issue...
The town is pretty dangerous at night. I live in a neighborhood where people are robbed if they are out at night. It is pretty dangerous to bike in general because of aggressive taxi and bus drivers here and even more so because of robberies and kidnappings. I feel far less safe cycling here compared to manhattan. I have been having to take ubers at night which are usually only $2 but still its annoying to have to rely on a car. Any thoughts? I have been biking the day and taking uber if I have to go somewhere at night.

Villanelle

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 08:37:25 PM »
Hey everyone,
I have made it safely to Toluca and have started work. This place is amazing. Beautiful weather, nice people, amazing food, and best of all its extremely cheap. Its so cheap to eat fresh food here. A taco costs 15-20 pesos (less than a dollar) and many veggies I could not afford in the states are plentiful, ripe and affordable here like mangos and avocados. There are large parks nearby and plenty of things to see. My Spanish is coming along too. Im not conversational but know enough to buy things, ask for directions etc.

I just have one issue...
The town is pretty dangerous at night. I live in a neighborhood where people are robbed if they are out at night. It is pretty dangerous to bike in general because of aggressive taxi and bus drivers here and even more so because of robberies and kidnappings. I feel far less safe cycling here compared to manhattan. I have been having to take ubers at night which are usually only $2 but still its annoying to have to rely on a car. Any thoughts? I have been biking the day and taking uber if I have to go somewhere at night.

What do the locals and people you work with suggest? 

reeshau

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2020, 03:31:41 AM »
Hey everyone,
I have made it safely to Toluca and have started work. This place is amazing. Beautiful weather, nice people, amazing food, and best of all its extremely cheap. Its so cheap to eat fresh food here. A taco costs 15-20 pesos (less than a dollar) and many veggies I could not afford in the states are plentiful, ripe and affordable here like mangos and avocados. There are large parks nearby and plenty of things to see. My Spanish is coming along too. Im not conversational but know enough to buy things, ask for directions etc.

I just have one issue...
The town is pretty dangerous at night. I live in a neighborhood where people are robbed if they are out at night. It is pretty dangerous to bike in general because of aggressive taxi and bus drivers here and even more so because of robberies and kidnappings. I feel far less safe cycling here compared to manhattan. I have been having to take ubers at night which are usually only $2 but still its annoying to have to rely on a car. Any thoughts? I have been biking the day and taking uber if I have to go somewhere at night.

What do the locals and people you work with suggest?

If you are in any way identifiable as an American / not local, you will be a prime target, over and above the typical local experience.  If you have other ex-pat coworkers, they would be good to ask.  But anywhere in Mexico, safety is key; do not mess with it trying to save a couple of bucks.

I'm more familiar with the US border area, but there are plenty of hair-raising stories.  When I visited plants there, we would end the day at 3 pm to make sure we were back across the border by dark.  (given long lines)

MayDay

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2020, 05:24:10 AM »
My sister lives in Mexico and is fluent. I believe she would advise you to take the uber or stay home. She has had multiple safety scares, and a coworker was kidnapped (and released safely) so she doesn't mess around.

Perhaps with time you can build some social connections and travel as a group on foot? Or eventually move to an apartment closer to where you need to travel at night.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2020, 06:52:44 AM »
I too would err on the side of caution. The presumption is that foreigners are rich and prime targets, so if youíre out and not protected, youíre at risk. If the locals donít do bikes, donít do a bike. Good luck.

jafr1284

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2020, 09:42:42 PM »
Ok some updates to this adventure!
I have effectively been temporarily laid off due to the virus. Since public gatherings are not safe, we can not play for audiences. Since I don't have an actual contract of anything concrete, my boss advised me to move back to the US to weather this out (him saying might as well go because you are probably not getting paid) Depending on how long this thing sticks around I could be looking at work until this summer or later in September if they ask me to come back here. I booked a flight using chase points from a signup bonus and will be moving back in with my parents. My expenses should go down to about $150 a month while I wait this out. While post Juilliard plans did not originally involve me moving back in with my parents, this is the best move for now. Looking forward to using the time off to practice music, work out, and search for a job!
Cheers

BicycleB

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Re: First Job in Toluca Mexico as Musician
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2020, 10:34:13 PM »
Good clear update. Best luck going forwards!