No discussion of Mexico would be complete without mention of the peso, the official (and only) currency of the country. But wait you say, I use US dollars whenever I go… That may be true in some areas and often at all-inclusive resorts, but despite its common acceptance in Mexico, the US dollar is not a legal currency here.
This can be a hotly debated topic but if the tables were turned and you had hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to your country from say, Japan, and they all wanted to use their Yen instead of exchanging their money, would you find that acceptable? People come up with all kinds of reasons to explain and legitimize this practice but there are more reasons not to. The only reason it is tolerated is because Mexicans are so polite. But if you are considering taking the leap from tourism to moving to Mexico, it behooves you to make an attempt to fit into the society rather than make the society accommodate you. Use pesos and Mexicans will appreciate it.
In recent years the peso has lost much of its value versus the USD and the CAD, making investment in Mexico much more attractive and the cost of living (for foreigners) much lower. But history tells us that nothing is forever, so in making your decision to move, be sure you consider the future. Can you still afford the monthly expenses and will it still be such a good deal if the peso regains some of that value?
Mexico’s economy has been gaining ground in recent years, with important trading relationships, increased tourism and investment, and modernization of facilities. Did you know there’s a high probability the car you are driving was made in Mexico? Or what you ate yesterday was grown here? Cross border trade is very important to all partners and it’s one of the things that makes Mexico an important and desirable destination for many foreigners. On the other hand, if you plan to live in Mexico you should be aware of financial differences. Loans and mortgages are difficult to get and interest rates are high. This can be a good thing if you have some savings to invest, and it’s good to know that Mexico has deposit insurance (with limits of course) just like you’re used to. Many Mexican banks have relationships with banks in Canada or USA, allowing easy transfer of funds.