How To Cope With Covid-19 While Overseas

You already heard or read about it somewhere. As of this writing, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are infected with Covid-19. Thousands were already dead since the virus was discovered late last year. Worse, millions around the world are unsure as to what will happen and how to recover when all of this is over.

This includes you.

You might be worried of the future since your bread and butter is temporarily halted. Because of the lockdown imposed by the government where you are located, you cannot work – and no work means no pay as well. Surely, you are more worried about your family back home, who is also dependent on remittances.

Times like this can be stressful. You might be anxious and has this urgency to go home but you can’t because of the imposed lockdown. The government, as much as they want, might not recommend repatriation because of the increased risk.

While this may be easier said that done, here are some tips to help you cope with coronavirus even while overseas:

Tip No. 1: Observe Proper Hygiene

Regardless of where you are, hygiene is a must. Covid-19 can be spread easily if we don’t practice proper hygiene, especially when going out.

Wash your hands regularly, sanitize and disinfect your home, and keep yourself clean at all times. Some say wearing a mask is not helpful, but you’ll never know who you’ll interact with so it’s better to have some protection. It won’t hurt if you use gloves, too, especially when going out.

Tip No. 2: Practice Social Distancing

This is a must. Close contact is among the easiest ways to spread the virus. As much as possible, practice social distancing or at least one meter away from other people.

Avoid crowded places. If possible, bulk up as much as you can to minimize your trips outside and increase your chances of catching the virus.

If you know someone who is sick, regardless of the cause, then it is best to stay away from that person – for now.

Tip No. 3: Maximize Technology

You could be missing your family now more than ever. Unfortunately, you cannot go home because of the risk.

Thankfully, there’s technology. Unlike decades ago, all you need is an Internet connection and Facebook account, and you can talk to your loved ones back home. Make sure to keep them updated of your situation because surely, they are worrying about you, too.

Tip No. 4: It’s Time To Bring Out Your Emergency Fund

We cannot stress enough the importance of having an emergency fund. Again, you’ll never know what will happen so it is best to be prepared.

The issue with imposed lockdowns means you cannot work as much as you want to. This could affect your current money status since you still need some to survive. If that’s the case, then you will need to use your Emergency Fund since, well, the situation is considered as emergency.

Tip No. 5: Take Care Of Yourself

Unfortunately, Covid-19 is deadlier on elderly people and those who are immuno-compromised or with underlying medical conditions. Even if you don’t have hypertension or diabetes among many medical conditions, this doesn’t mean you will be spared from contracting the virus.

That being said, make sure to take care of yourself not just for your own sake but also for your family. Get sufficient amount of sleep, exercise as much as you can, and eat healthy. A strong immune system is what people need these days and you need that as well.

Soon, this will be over and everyone could go back to their normal lives. While we all wait for that day, brace for impact and stay as healthy as you can.

6 Tips In Adapting To A Foreign Work Environment

Working abroad comes with tons of challenges, both personal and external. You have to deal with homesickness and carry the burden of ensuring that you will provide a better future for your family.

Apart from that, there is another challenge you have to deal with: foreign work place.

Starting a new job in the Philippines can be daunting. Can you imagine what it feels like to work to a new company that is thousands of miles away from home and with co-workers who don’t speak your language?

Not to worry because here are tips that will help you adapt to your foreign workplace and get along with your co-workers:

Tip No. 1: Always Do Your Research

This is important and the first thing you need to do before you go overseas.

Before you leave, read and learn as much as you can about your country destination. The PDOS will cover the basics but keep yourself informed as much as you can. Learn about their culture, way of life, traditions, clothing choice, and even food.

Research about work etiquette, too. Some countries prefer shake hands as a means of introduction while others like to bow. Some cultures are specific when it comes to introduction, so make sure to look into it as well.

The more you know, the easier for you to adapt because you know what to expect.

Tip No. 2: If Unsure, Then Ask Questions

In Filipino culture, oftentimes, asking questions is a sign of weakness. People assume and expect that you know until your mistake blows up.

Thankfully, other countries are not assuming. In fact, they will appreciate it more if you are honest about your limitations and willing to ask questions. Ask for help if you are not familiar about anything.

Just make sure to pay attention and remember what they say so they don’t have to repeat themselves.

Tip No. 3: Be A Good Observer

Again, you are in a different country. The things you are used to back home may not be the same as what others are doing in your work place. You might even be shocked with the things they are used to.

That being said, make it a habit to observe. Pay attention to how your co-workers are, especially the locals. Your research may not say a thing or two about how work is carried out in your work place so make sure you see how your co-workers are handling the work.

Tip No. 4: Learn Their Language

English may be the universal language but don’t assume that everyone knows how to speak it. In fact, you will have co-workers who won’t even make an effort to learn English.

This is why it is important to do your research. Make list of the common words and greetings in their local language. Make sure you practice proper pronounciation so people will understand you easily. This will make it easier for you to connect with them and vice versa.

Tip No. 5: Take Time To Explore

It’s not easy to make friends with someone who grew up with a different culture than yours. While you are still familiarizing your new environment, keep an open mind and start exploring the area around you. This will give you a better understanding of the new place and culture you are in.

Take this opportunity as well to build rapport with your new colleagues. Ask about must visit spots and recommended restaurants you can try. Who knows, they’ll give you a free tour.

Tip No. 6: Connect With The Filipino Community

Filipinos are everywhere so make sure you use that to your advantage, especially if you are the new kid on the block.

You will most likely have Filipino co-workers and it will help you a lot if you co-worker will guide you. If you are the lone Filipino in the workplace, then that’s fine, too. You will meet fellow Filipinos in the country where you’re working, so be friendly and say hi.

It will make a difference if you have the Filipino community backing you up. They will give you tips, do’s, and don’ts that you can remember to make working easier and enjoyable for you.

They’re a good source of connections as well, just in case you need a side job.

Adapting to a new environment, especially a foreign one, will not be a walk in the park. Take it one day at a time and you’ll get better eventually.

7 Signs You Should Leave Your Job Overseas

They say OFW life is not for everyone. That could be true. Can you just imagine battling with homesickness and living in a foreign country you’ve never been to?

Being an OFW requires tons of sacrifices – starting from the application process to adjusting to your new life overseas. Even going back home can be stressful as well, especially if you cannot present the required documents.

Nonetheless, there are instances that tell you that it’s time to go home even without finishing your contract. As much as it hurts to leave early, you have no choice.

Here are signs that tell you that you need to leave your job:

Sign No. 1: You Are Sickly

There is a reason why employers require medical exam. They need to know that you are physically fit to handle the job. Otherwise, your application will be rejected.

If you notice that you are becoming sickly up to the point where you cannot fulfill your job properly, then it’s probably best to go home. Your employer will most likely terminate your contract since you are not physically fit for the job.

Sign No. 2: Your Mental Health Is Suffering

Aside from being physically fit, OFWs must also be mentally fit.

Being away from your family could take a toll in your mental health. Some might be depressed, will experience homesickness, or will get paranoid. While it’s normal to be sad and feel worried, what employers don’t like is when these emotions are taking a toll on the job.

Perhaps, OFW life is not for you.

Sign No. 3: You Experience Abuse

This is a serious situation. Abuse, in whatever form, is and will never be tolerated. This could mean verbal abuse, bullying,

If you experience abuse from your employer or even your co-employees, then it’s best to go home. Make sure you coordinate with the Philippine Embassy since they have a Repatriation Program that helps distressed Filipinos into going back home.

Sign No. 4: You Were Scammed

Sometimes, it’s not your employer’s fault as to why you need to go back home. Sadly, illegal recruitment is still prevalent and if you happen to be a victim, you need to consider going back to the Philippines.

First, illegal recruitment is prohibited by law. Second, this would mean that you are an undocumented OFW. If the officials in the country where you’re working finds out that you don’t have legitimate papers, then consequences will follow. Some will put you in jail while others may have you deported.

The bottom line is be more careful and vigilant. Pay extra attention to the agency you are dealing with and check its status in the POEA website to see if it is a legitimate and licensed recruitment agency.

Sign No. 5: You Don’t Have Enough Opportunity For Growth

Surely, you don’t want to do the same things over and over. As much as possible, you want to improve and get better in your chosen career path.

But if you notice that you’ve been doing the same job, or you’re not given the opportunity to showcase your skill, or your voice doesn’t matter, or there is limited room for improvement and growth, then it’s time for a check.

Perhaps, there is a different path somewhere around the world where you will be able to thrive and showcase who you are.

Sign No. 6: The Salary Is Not Enough

Let’s face it. The real reason why you sought greener pastures outside the country is because of the amount of money you will make. You have tons of responsibilities and you want to make sure that you will be able to do something about those.

But if you are not being properly compensated considering your skills or work experience, or your employer is stripping your benefits despite what was written in the employment contract, the maybe it’s best to leave your job abroad.

Know your worth because you deserve fair compensation.

Sign No. 7: You Want A Career Change

Here’s the thing about being an adult: sometimes, you still cannot figure out what you want. You’ll only learn about what you really need when you are tasked to do something and you realized that you weren’t happy. You want to try something new because you need not only bigger pay but also the opportunity to try something new.

Plus, you’re getting bored with your job and everything seems like a routine to you. In that case, you need to figure it out what you really want.

Given these signs, do you need to leave your job overseas? Only you can answer that.

Where To Work For First Time OFWs

Working in the Philippines might seem hopeless for you. You want to make sure that you will provide the best life and future for your family so you decided to seek greener pastures.

The question is where. There are tons of countries in need of Filipino workers and the choices could be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. Hong Kong may be an instant choice as well but with the current condition of the city, it is best to explore your other options.

If you are a first-time OFW, then here are some of the country destinations ideal for you:

Singapore

This is recommended especially if you don’t want to feel too far from home.

Singapore is among the best and most stable countries to work in because of their current economic status. Plus, the pay is good, so you will be able to save money in no time. You just have to be competitive, hardworking, and patient because Singaporeans are known for being workaholic.

Language won’t be an issue as well since many Singaporeans can speak English. It is also a haven for expats from around the world, which means communication won’t be a problem.

Technology-related jobs are in demand in Singapore. Marketing, sales, and food and beverage industry have tons of job openings as well that you might want to check out.

READ: OFW Guide to Living and Working In Singapore

United Arab Emirates

UAE is also another OFW-favorite. This immensely-rich country, thanks to oil and gas deposits, are in need of skilled workers who want to advance in their field of expertise.

Healthcare, engineering, domestic work, food and beverage, and BPO are in demand nowadays. The best part is your income is tax-free, so there’s nothing to worry.

READ: OFW Guide to Living and Working In UAE

Taiwan

There is a reason why Taiwan is becoming a popular tourist destination among Filipinos. Aside from food, there’s so much to see in this small but proud country. This is why it’s not surprising why many aspiring OFWs are looking into this as well.

There are tons of job opportunities in Taiwan such as factory work, domestic work, production, and other similar jobs. Plus, Taiwanese are generally not discriminatory and work permit will be taken cared of by your employer.

READ: OFW Guide to Living and Working In Taiwan

New Zealand

No, New Zealand is not all about cows. Believe it or not, there are tons of job opportunities for OFWs that you might want to consider working here. There’s a job waiting in the healthcare industry, tourism, sports, and even electronics.

Plus one since New Zealand also provides equal opportunities, regardless of gender and citizenship.

If you love nature, then this country is for you.

READ: OFW Guide to Living and Working In New Zealand

Canada

Sometimes, it’s not enough that you are working overseas. Eventually, you will miss your family and you would want to be with them 24/7. If you plan to move your family for good to a different country, then Canada is the best choice.

There are tons of job opportunities waiting with competitive employment and healthcare benefits. It’s also easier to secure permanent residency as long as you submit all the needed requirements.

The weather may be more challenging, though, so choose your state wisely.

READ: OFW Guide to Living and Working in Canada

Which among these countries are you most likely to go? Regardless of your choice, make sure you submit all requirements and be truthful about your information.

More importantly, work hard. These countries will provide you with the best opportunities and benefits but if you don’t take your job seriously, then you might end up going home with nothing.

Pay Your Bills Anywhere In The World With The Help Of These E-Payment Platforms

Being an OFW is not easy. Aside from being thousands of kilometers away from home, you have to deal with homesickness, different culture, and money issues.

Yes, money issues. After all, working outside the Philippines is not always a guarantee that you will get a better, more stable life.

This is why it is important to manage your money wisely.

Normally, you would send money back home and let your family do the budgeting, which includes paying the bills. But if you want to be sure, you would do the paying yourself.

The question is how.

Thankfully, there are tons of e-payment platforms that will help you pay the bills wherever you are.

Online Banking Service

This is the beauty of online banking. Aside from allowing you to keep track of your accounts and how much money you have, you can also pay your utilities bills, government contributions, loans, and credit card bills by deducting the said amount on your account.

You may also set up an auto-debit arrangement so you don’t miss a payment every month, especially for those non-negotiable expenses. Just make sure you sign up for an online banking account with your bank of choice to avail of this service.

The good thing about online banking services is that they have mobile counterparts. Simply check and download the mobile app of your bank of choice and make it easier for you to transact using your phone.

In this case, BDO is more convenient. It has partnered with tons of companies, thereby allowing you to pay utilities bills wherever you are.

Bayad Center Online

This is another convenient way of paying your bills. Bayad Center supports various billers including electricity, water, government services, Internet, cable TV, real estate, financial services, tuition fee, and even memorial plans.

Instead of sending remittances back home, you can already pay your bills conveniently through this service. Just make sure you pay on or before the due date since the system won’t allow overdue payments.

Also, there would be cut-off, which means payments must be made before 8:00pm, Philippine time. Otherwise, the payment will be reflected the following day.

You may also download the mobile app to make payment more convenient.

Meralco Online

This is exclusively for Meralco payments. You can either use your credit card, debit card, GCash, Smart Money, or Paymaya to pay for your electric bill. You may also enroll your Meralco account under auto-debit arrangement wherein the bill will be deducted from your bank account every month.

The good thing about this facility is that you are up-to-date when it comes to your billing. Payment will be reflected a few minutes. Also, partial and advance payments may also be made.

Meralco Online has a mobile app that you can download for free.

PayPilipinas

Let’s face it. Even if you are an OFW, you are still entitled to pay government services like SSS and PAG-IBIG. These agencies may have satellite offices abroad but not all OFWs can easily go there since they may be far.

Thankfully, PayPilipinas addresses that concern by allowing OFWs to pay contributions and loans with SSS and PAG-IBIG.

Simply create an account and link your credit card so you can start making payments. They also have partner remittance facilities in the Philippines so you can simply transfer funds in your PayPilipinas wallet.

Moneygment App

The truth is there are many Filipinos who are considered as unbanked or does not have access to bank facilities. This is where Moneygment comes in.

Moneygment serves thousands of unbanked Filipinos including OFWs. You can pay bills such as electricity, water, government contributions, cable TV, credit card, and Internet among others.

You can pay directly from your Moneygment wallet or through fund transfer. it may take one to two working days for the payment to get posted, so make sure you pay before the due date.

Coins.ph

Did you know that there are more than 80 billers listed in this payment facility? From electricity to tuition fee, Coins.ph is a convenient way to pay off those expenses every month.

Still, you need to add funds to your Coins.ph account before you can make any transaction.

There are many convenient and easier ways to pay your bills regardless of where you are in the world. Take advantage of these platforms to ensure that all of your bills are paid on time.

Online Investment Scams You Need To Watch Out For

Technology has its ups and downs. Sure, you can connect with anyone in the world and pay bills wherever you are in the world. Unfortunately, the digital world can be a breeding ground for all things scam and illegal. If you’re not too careful, then you might end up being a victim as well. Worse, you could lose your hard-earned money and surely, you don’t want that to happen.

That being said, here are some of the online scams you need to be careful for – with tips on how to avoid them.

Online Investment Scam

This is very common. Many people are slowly considering and embracing the importance of investing money. Unfortunately and if you’re not too careful, you might end up putting your money in the wrong basket.

Below are the most common online investment scams in the Philippines:

  • Online Paluwagan – Known as onpal, this scheme regulates similar to the traditional paluwagan wherein members will take turns in receiving money from the pooled funds depending on the payout schedule. Facebook is the most common method used by onpal wherein a promise of cash deposit, remittance, or wire transfer is the mode of payment. To be able to earn more, you need to recruit members between one to 90 days. Unfortunately, many onpal members reported that they were not able to receive their money.
  • Fake Online Lending Companies – Borrowing money has never been this easy, thanks to online lending companies. Because of the popularity, scammers are enticing people to join by investing their money in micro-financing or lending companies. The pitch: you get to earn as much as 12 percent every week. This seems like a good idea and those behind the scam will pay the initial returns to make you believe that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, they’ll disappear after.
  • Paid-to-Click Programs – The concept is simple: click on online ads, log-in daily, or get referrals. Then, you’ll get paid depending on your daily turnout. While this seems like an easy way to earn money, you might end up losing more. In fact, you’ll be asked to pay a membership fee or buy advertising products, which will serve as your “share” of the profits. While this sounds tempting, there is no assurance that you will get paid – after all the effort and money you put through.
  • Offshore Stock Trading – OFWs have more dollars than peso on hand. Why not invest it, right? After all, you saw that ad on offshore investment on Facebook, which sounds promising. Unfortunately, this is a classic example of a scam since this type of investment scheme is not allowed to operate in the Philippines.
  • Bitcoin Investment – Cryptocurrency, popularly known as bitcoin, took the world by storm. Like they say, the higher you climb. the harder you fall, especially those who invested their money in this type of currency. It promises as high as 200 percent profit wherein transactions are done through mobile wallets, bank deposit, or remittance companies. The BSP considered bitcoin investment as “speculative and highly risky” that could lead to huge losses. Plus, this type of currency is not backed up any goods, company, or services unlike physical money.

Here’s the good news: there are several ways where you can protect yourself and your hard-earned money from online investment scams. The first thing you need to do is to check, read, and understand what you’re investing for.

Also, the company must be registered and authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission to operate as an investment or lending company. Having a legitimate and registered company name is different from being allowed to operate and conduct investment operations. It must be explicitly approved by the agency.

Regularly check advisories issued by the SEC. The agency releases statements on the latest investment scams as well as companies involved in it. Keep in mind that ignorance excuses no one. Visit the website from time to time and see the latest news.

More importantly, don’t easily fall for ads that promise big returns. Return of your investment will take time, not days. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, then it is not true.

5 Steps On How To Register With PAG-IBIG Online

In 1978, the PAG-IBIG, which stands for Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industria at Gobyerno, fund was established by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1530. Now known as Home Development Mutual Fund or HDMF, the agency aims to address the need for national savings program and affordable shelter financing for Filipinos, including Overseas Filipino Workers, both land-based and seafarers.

PAG-IBIG offers several benefits to all its members. This includes:

  • Savings through PAG-IBIG Savings I and Modified PAG-IBIG II Savings
  • Short-Term Loan through its Multi-Purpose Loan
  • Housing Loan, which has lower interest rates compared to banks and with more flexible payment terms of up to 30 years

Before you can enjoy these benefits, you need to be a member first. Once you become a member, contributions must be made religiously to be able to avail of any of these.

The good news is you can be a PAG-IBIG member easily. Here is a step-by-step procedure on how you can enroll as a new member with NO issued PAG-IBIG Membership ID or MID number:

Step 1: Visit the PAG-IBIG Fund Online Registration System

First things first. Make sure that your browser, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome has the latest version. Otherwise, the system won’t work.

Once you ensured that your browser is up-to-date, go to PAG-IBIG’s Online Registration System website. You can visit it by clicking this link.

Step 2: Fill Out The Pre-Registration Form

Supply the information being asked. Make sure that your name is according to what was written in your birth certificate. Then, click Proceed.

At this point, the system will check if you already have an existing online account with PAG-IBIG. If there is no duplicate account, then you can proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Complete the PAG-IBIG Membership Form

This can be quite extensive. On this step, you will be asked to supply information such as:

  • Name as how it appears in your birth certificate
  • Mother’s maiden name, which you can see in your birth certificate
  • Birthday and place of birth
  • Government-issued ID numbers like TIN or SSS
  • Spouse’s information
  • Complete address
  • Contact information like email address and mobile number
  • Heirs, who will become your beneficiaries in case of death
  • Employment information such as employer, employment status, and employment history

Before you click Submit Registration, make sure all of the information is correct and complete. You can click the Back button to go back to the previous tabs to make the necessary changes in your application form.

As soon as you’re done, click Submit Registration.

Step 4: Print The Member’s Data Form or MDF

Once you submit your online application form, it will display the Successful Registration Page. This informs you that you successfully registered with the HDMF Online System. Read the instructions carefully and take note of what you need to do to get your RTN.

RTN is important since you will use this as your reference when paying your contributions in lieu of your permanent PAG-IBIG number. Make sure to take note of this otherwise, contributions might not be credited to your name.

Then, click Print MDF. This will serve as proof that you registered with the PAG-IBIG system.

Step 5: Verify PAG-IBIG Number

After two working days, you can finally request for a permanent PAG-IBIG number. All you have to do is to send a text message in this format:

IDSTAT RTN BIRTHDATE in mm/dd/yyyy format

You can send it to 0917-8884363 for Globe and TM and 0918-8984363 for Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers.

You may also call the PAG-IBIG hotline at 8-724-4244 to inquire regarding your PAG-IBIG number.

Tips To Remember When Registering Online:

  • Make sure to provide correct and complete information when filling out the online application form. Incorrect information will lead to delay, which means you won’t be able to avail of the benefits.
  • Take note of your RTN and PAG-IBIG ID number. This way, you are sure that the contributions you made will be credited to your name.
  • Payment is not necessary. In fact, registering as a new member is for free.
  • Don’t worry about documents. All you need is to fill out the application form to register as a new member.

The best part is OFWs can become PAG-IBIG members even if you are miles away. Convenient, don’t you think?

Be (More) Financially Literate With These 6 Tips

According to the Financial Capability Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, many Filipinos were able to answer only three out of seven financial literacy questions. Worse, only a small chunk of the Filipino population perfected the questions.

What does this mean? Many Filipinos don’t know the meaning of concepts of compounded interest, investment, or the effect of inflation on prices of basic commodities. Because of this, BSP and DepEd are pushing to include Financial Education in the K to 12 curriculum.

If you’re no longer in school, then that’s fine. There are still ways to educate yourself and keep yourself in the loop when it comes to financial matters with the help of these tips.

Tip No. 1: Make sure to attend PiTaKa.

Thankfully, the BSP understood what financial illiteracy means especially for those who have no 24/7 access to information. By partnering with BDO Foundation, the agency launched its PiTaKa, Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman, which aims to boost OFWs financial knowledge. In fact, it is part of PDOS and will also be shown during the General Orientation for OFW families.

Through this course, you will be taught how to save regularly, spend money wisely, and tips and ideas on how to increase your income.

It may not make you financially literate overnight, but at least you have ideas on how to improve your financial standing.

You can learn more about this program through this post.

Tip No. 2: Read up.

There are tons of materials from books and resources available online. Take advantage of those information by reading as much as you can.

Familiarize yourself with various concepts like mutual funds, return of investment, and interest. Books and newspapers are good places to start but if you want faster info, then make sure you have an Internet connection. Simply type the concept you want to learn in the Google search bar and you will be shown tons of articles regarding that. Make sure you read posts from legitimate sources to ensure that you are getting information from someone reliable.

Tip No. 3: Watch financial videos.

If you’re not into reading, then watching videos about financial concepts could be helpful.

Videos are more straightforward and easier to absorb. All you need is to type on the search bar what you want to know and you will see videos related to that. Similar to articles, choose videos made by legitimate and reputable sources.

Some companies conduct webinars about certain topics, including financial management. Take advantage of that by joining those webinars. The good thing about this is that you can immediately address concerns and questions since someone is talking in front of you.

Tip No. 4: Download financial management apps.

Believe it or not, financial management apps are more than just for plotting your income and expenses. It could also give you a better understanding on the concepts since there is a practical application involved.

You may not notice it but it’s really helpful.

Tip No. 5: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Asking questions, especially on those concerns you don’t fully understand, is not a sign of weakness. In fact, there is nothing wrong with asking.

The articles and videos will help boost financial literacy but if you want financial concepts to be explained, then make sure you talk to someone who understands. Take advantage every time you go to the bank. Clarify something. Ask questions. Admit that there certain concepts you don’t understand. It’s okay.

Tip No. 6: Start now.

Procrastinating is among the worst habits you have, especially when it comes to money. If you are serious about improving your financial literacy, then you need to stop making excuses and work on it now.

Take it one at a time since financial concepts can be overwhelming. If you understood already a certain topic, then move on to the next.

The bottom line is you start to take control and commit yourself to learning more – now.

Keep in mind that ignorance excuses no one. Take advantage of the information available online and make the most out of it. All you need is an Internet connection and there’s so much you can learn if you allow yourself to be informed.

6 Tips On How To Get Back To Saving Again

Christmas season is over. This means no more making a list, checking it twice, and sending balikbayan boxes back home. This also means you need to get back to taking control of your finances and saving for the rainy days.

Admit it. It’s hard to get back to saving especially after the holidays. Apparently, the reality is there are mouths to feed and you need to be prepared for what could possibly happen.

To help you back on track, we made a list of tips on how to help you get back to savings again.

Tip No. 1: Evaluate your expenses.

Before you get into saving, you need to see where your hard-earned money went.

Make a list of every expense you had over the holidays – gifts, food, activities you did with the family, and every eat-outs in restaurants. If you can include the cost for each expense, then much better. Make sure you include whether you used cash or credit card when you made a purchase.

You need to not just see but also understand where your money went as well as your spending habits for the past two months.

Be truthful on this. Acknowledge that you may have spent more than your budget. The important thing is you are willing to make it right the following year.

Tip No. 2: Know how much you owe and how much is left.

The next thing you need to look into is your current financial status, also known as your reality check.

Did you borrow money from someone? Did you use credit card in purchasing those items for Christmas? How much money did you withdraw? What fund did you use to finance those purchases?

You need to see how much money you have left. At the same time, you need to check how much money you owe, whether to a friend or the credit card company. This will keep you grounded and make it easier for you to make adjustments as you get back to spending. Plus, you will have an idea on how much you need to replenish given the expenses over the holidays.

Tip No. 3: Stick to needs – for now.

There is no more reason to splurge – for now. Take that time as an opportunity to get back to saving. You can do this by making sure that you stick to the basics and avoiding things you don’t really need. This way, you can give your wallet and bank account a time to breathe.

Make sure you relay the message to your family back home. After all, they won’t be needing new clothes anytime soon, right?

Tip No. 4: Get back to your budget.

Remember how much we emphasize on budgeting? If you already have one, then make sure you get back to that so you could set aside money for your savings.

If you don’t have one, then now is the perfect time to do it. You can check out this post to guide you through the ins and outs of budgeting.

Tip No. 5: Find ways to boost your savings.

If time and health permits, then you might want to consider getting a side job for additional savings. It doesn’t have to be grand, as long as it pays well – in the meantime.

Having a side job or a business is a good way to increase your income. In return, the money you earned may be deposited to your savings account. Who knows, this account could pave way for bigger things such financing your own business.

Tip No. 6: Encourage your family to save, too.

The obligation of saving is not just your responsibility. In fact, it is the whole family’s. Your commitment to saving should transcend to your family and make this effort together. When you do so, you will be able to reach your goals because everyone is helping.

Are you ready to get back to saving?

4 Reasons Why You Should Have A Budget

Admit it: now that you’re working overseas, life is easier and money is not that much of an issue. You get to earn more than what you can earn here and your family back home is happy.

Still, this is not an excuse to splurge and do whatever you want with your money. In fact, now is the perfect time to have a budget.

You might ask why. Here’s why:

It Stops You From Overspending

Earning in dollars can be overwhelming. Finally, you can buy things you cannot normally afford and send it back home to make the family happy. But, there is a danger in that. You’ll never know how much money you lost or worse, you might later on realize that everything you worked hard for is gone.

This is where budgeting comes in.

Having a budget allows you to allocate your finds to more important expenses such as monthly amortization, tuition fee, and savings. By having a budget, you’ll be able to avoid buying unnecessary things since the money is already allocated.

It Encourages You To Save

One of your goals upon working overseas is to be able to save more money. Thankfully, budgeting could help you with that. Since you already assigned a specific month for savings, you have the obligation and commitment to deposit that amount to your account.

Another advantage is that through budgeting, you will be able to increase your savings because you know how much will go to specific expenses. Furthermore, you are sure that enough amount is allotted to savings instead of saving only what is left.

As a result, you don’t need to withdraw funds every time you need to spend on something, thereby protecting your hard-earned money.

It Makes You Feel More In Control Of The Money

Do you feel that your hard-earned money just brushes into your palm? If yes, then it means that you are not in control of your money – and it’s not a good sign.

Having a budget will make you feel more in control and mindful of your money because you know exactly where it goes. You won’t feel guilty as well when you spend on something because you know that your money is properly allocated. In fact, you are able to track and prioritize your spending without wondering what happened to your money. This will also stop you from overspending.

It Helps You Achieve Your Goals

Working overseas is not forever. This is why you have to make the most out of your stay to ensure that you can give a better future for your family. In fact, by the end of your contract, you wanted to have at least a cushion for your dream home.

But how can you do that if you don’t know where your money goes?

This is why budgeting is important. Through budgeting, you can prioritize your spending and focus more on things that really matter – savings, your kids’ educational fund, a dream house, and the list goes on. Since you can track your spending, you will have more flexibility in adjusting your daily expenses. This will make it easier for you to achieve your goals and maximize your stay abroad.