What is the best thing about working overseas? Is it the opportunity to go in a different country, which you only get to see in pictures? Is it the ability to travel? How about the chance of earning in dollars, which means bigger cashflow for your family every month?
Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: you want to make the most out of your stay abroad. The opportunity is already there and within your reach, so why not live in the moment, right? After all, when you get back in the Philippines, it will be back to the old life.
Still, this doesn’t mean you should spend most of your hard-earned money shopping and keeping up with the latest gadgets. Otherwise, you might end up having nothing in case of rainy days.
Why do many OFWs live the one-day millionaire life? Here are some of the reasons:
With the popularity of social media these days, it is easy to see what others have that you don’t. You know the latest trends and whose friend has it already. If you don’t give in, you feel left out because you can’t relate to what they are talking about.
As a result, you felt the sudden need to belong, so you gave in to temptation – even if it means using a portion of your savings.
Did you know that showing off is the enemy of simplicity, practicality, and frugality? Boasting what you have sends a certain impression to people that you are “rich” because you are capable of spending money on expensive, yet non-important things. Little do they know that it took you months and skipped a lot of meals to be able to afford the things you are showing off.
Keeping up with the Joneses
You will always have this friend or neighbor who can buy expensive things. Because you felt the need to impress people, including people you don’t really like or are jealous off, you also spend money on stuff you don’t really need.
For instance, you saw a colleague who went to Hong Kong and checked in at the Disneyland Hotel with his entire family. You suddenly felt that need to go on a vacation as well the next time you go back to the Philippines, so you have something to show off.
The problem with this is what if the time comes when you can no longer buy material things just to keep up with your friends or neighbors? You might end up getting buried in debt just to maintain the lifestyle you are aiming for.
You don’t want your family to feel that you left them behind. Since you can’t be physically present in every milestone in their lives, you try to compensate it by showering them with gifts and giving them everything they want. This way, you can make up for the time lost – while compromising your savings.
You pass by the mall on your way home when you saw “Buy One, Take One” on the rack. Or a free item when you purchase something worth this much. That’s a steal, right?
Well, not exactly. Businesses can be creative in coming up with gimmicks just to entice customers to buy from them. If you’re not “strong enough” to resist temptation, you’ll end up buying a lot of things you don’t really need and justify it with an excuse not worth it.