Most Filipino families resort to have one of their family members work as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). And there is a mentality, amongst Filipinos that going overseas will and can solve all of the problems in the household, especially financially. Truth be told, it’s not always the case, and there are OFWs who would yes, go back home as millionaires and some would go home empty-handed. Here are a few things we’ve listed down for you so you can be smart with your finances:
SET A GOAL
You need to be clear with yourself, what’s the main reason why you went overseas? Is it to pay debts? To sustain for college fees? To save up money for an investment back home? You need to be specific, so you know what goal you need to accomplish. An example is set a mark on your savings, you’ll need to save up P100,000 by the end of this year, so when I go home, I can start a small business.”
Setting a goal will make it easier for you to choose a budget structure.
KNOW YOUR BUDGET
Before anything else, it’s important to establish a structure of budgeting. Know what structure would work out for you and make it work, the traditional Budgeting structure involves, dividing your income with your expenses and whatever is left will become your savings. There are new structures you can apply, depending on your lifestyle and needs. Say for a single OFW with no major family commitments, the 50-50 structure would work out for them, 50% for their expenses the other 50% of savings and investment. OFWs with family responsibilities, on the other hand, will need to make a modified structure, an example is applying the 80-10-10 structure, 80% expenses (house expenses, college fees, debts to pay, 10% savings and other 10% investment. You don’t need to attend financial seminars to be expert with budgeting, you just need to adjust what you think would work out with your family’s lifestyle and never ever omit the percentage for savings and investment.
AVOID BEING GALANTE
I know this can be a buzzkill for OFWs who loves to give pasalubongs to their family when they return home. It’s okay to give gifts to immediate family members. But you are not obliged to give gifts to everyone in your barangay and clan. Filipinos have this mentality of asking pasalubongs to someone who just came from abroad. Have a specific budget for sharing, always remember your goal why you’re an OFW.
GET SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNTS
This is to get things organized, you should have one bank account for your expenses, and a different bank account for your emergency fund and investments. This will avoid mix-ups with your finances, and so you can always keep on track of your money.
Remember that an OFW has a shorter career span compared to those who are working back home, and not all get retirement benefits from their employer. Start now and be smart managing your finances so you can have a more secure retirement.
For more feel-good articles about OFWs, share and follow OFW Update.