OFWs Can Save Money While Working Abroad. Here’s How.
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) can and will earn a more decent wage compared to jobs offered in the Philippines. Higher wages means more money, and that means more purchasing power.
However, once this newfound people tend to over spend, thinking that at last they have the power to buy whatever that is within their reach. But oftentimes, this attitude just leads to a bad budget allowance, leaving them with as little money in the end.
Fortunately, they can shake off this attitude by following some steps that will help them identify their needs and effectively budget their money. Here is our list of five ways that OFWs can practice to save money while they are working abroad.
A quick review: anything that falls under food, shelter and clothing are needs.
Extravagant items like designer shirts, the latest shoes, new watches, gaming consoles, toys, or just about any other material things for personal effects, as these are already wants. As are frequent dining at fancy restaurants or cramming the fridge with food that might just as well be garbage in the long run.
OFWs must practice delineating what their needs are from their wants. Of course they are entitled to have personal effects; however they should not overly do it, such that it is having an effect to their long term financial status. One rule for needs is identifying things that have long term usage value.
Allot different budget allowances
When pay checks arrive, OFWs can allot three “cans” that they can use to segregate their budget allowances. One goes to themselves, one for their savings, and the third for remittances. They are free to allot whatever percentage goes into each, as long as they can live up to that budget allocation. If they think they can live with 50% of their paycheck, it is perfectly ok. Just do not forget to leave breathing space for savings and what you need to send back to the Philippines.
Do not over-remit and do not handle expenses of those outside your family
OFWs work hard to send money for their families; in fact they can minimize their personal spending abroad and have a great portion of their salaries sent to their families.
Oftentimes, they are not in control on how this money is spent, and most of the time their remittances handle other expenses way beyond what is it originally intended for. For example, their remittances might be used for a medical expense of a distant relative, and sometimes not by their immediate families. OFWs should not then feel obliged to handle expenses outside their budget’s jurisdiction. It is not their bound duty to handles a distant cousin’s expenses.
Do not spend too much on the balikbayan box
Of course an OFW will be sending goodies back home, and sooner than they can, they will purchase a balikbayan box and slowly fill it with things. Sometimes, things that are not necessary.
The most practical way to fill this box is to wait for sales. When a sale comes, expend a small amount of money you have extra (do not dip into your savings) and add it to the balikbayan pile.
Remember, one main point of the box is to augment the basic needs of your family back home. They already have their remittances, these good will just fill in and will help them on parts to decide to save on money too.
Having said all these, it is high time that an OFW live a modest lifestyle. But not too frugal in the sense that they are scrimping for nothing.
Finding a good space to live in comes in first. Rental houses are good, and especially so if they find housemates to share the house rent. Have a budget allowance for food and clothing, but not to binge or use extravagant apparel.
A modest lifestyle means more spending capacity but in a calculated approach, targeting only the bare necessities. Practicing all these tips are also ways of living the modest life. Once an OFW practices these and mastered its flow, financial freedom will be their reward.