Being an OFW can be exciting. The fact that you are earning in dollars makes you more capable of not just buying everything your family wants but also providing them a better life. You are also closer to temptations since you have access to brands that are not normally found in the Philippines.
Because of this mentality, thousands of migrant workers are forgetting how important money is. To make sure you stay on track with your financial goals, here are back-to-basics money principles every OFW needs to know and master by heart:
Always save before you spend.
Is there anything more basic than this?
It is never okay to put savings towards the end of your priority list. In fact, you should automatically set aside a portion of your monthly income for savings and this should also be included in your monthly budget, regardless of how much you are earning.
Keep in mind that the OFW life is uncertain. If you prioritize your family’s bilin instead of saving what you can, you might end up going home with nothing but an empty pocket – and you don’t want that to happen.
Needs versus wants.
It is tempting to buy the items you see in stores and have it shipped back home. Your family will surely love it. But before you go straight to the cashier to pay the items, ask yourself this question: do they really need it?
It sounds like a simple concept, but this is often forgotten by many. You have the tendency to fill your balikbayan box with items that your family don’t really need (like 10 cans each for spam and corned beef). Buy only things that matter. If you want to save more, don’t pressure yourself to send them a box frequently.
Money has time value.
You heard this countless times, “The earlier you save, the bigger the return will be.” That’s true. This is why you should never procrastinate when it comes to saving and investing your money.
Read, explore your options, and educate yourself about the best investment choices for you. Ask around if it helps to give you an idea how different types of investment work. Remember that now is the perfect time to grow your money while you still can and you are able to work. Don’t wait for something bad to happen before you take action.
Assets must be greater than your liabilities.
First things first. Assets are useful and valuable things of economic value that bring you money such as income-earning property while liabilities are debts or obligations you owe someone like loans.
Ideally, assets must be greater than your liabilities for a more secure financial future. This would also mean higher or positive net worth. It is important that you know the difference between the two so you will know how much you owe.
Health is wealth.
You might be wondering why this is included as part of money principles. The answer is simple. When you are healthy, you are mobile and capable of doing things to be able to earn money. You cannot enjoy the value of saving and investing if you are sick.
This is a common issue among OFWs. Most of you work 24/7 to be able to send big money to your family back home. When you do this and rarely get enough sleep and rest, your health is compromised. The next thing you know, you are using the money you earned from your sidelines in treating your illness.
Relax,, take it easy, and get rest. Stick to one-day rest day and your health and body will thank you for it.