4 Ways to Get You Out of the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle

Do you often find yourself left with almost nothing every end of the month? If yes, then you are in financial trouble. You might be stuck in the same situation prior to your work overseas, but the difference now is that you are earning in dollars. Still, it’s no excuse to use all of your salary and rely on what you’ll receive the following month.

You don’t have to live from paycheck-to-paycheck anymore. In fact, now is the perfect time to get out of this cycle since you are earning more than what you earn back in the Philippines.

What can you do? Here’s what:

Know your financial situation. 

We constantly stress the need to budget and there’s a reason for it. Still, if you follow budgeting properly and still end up almost empty by the 30th, perhaps it’s time to assess where you are financially situated.

How will you do that? Look into your and your family’s lifestyle closely. Are you constantly sending money and/or balikbayan boxes full of goodies to them? Do you often ride a cab instead of walking or riding more affordable public vehicles? Is shopping part of your budget?

These little things could eat up a lot, which also explains why you are living from paycheck-to-paycheck.

Tip: Make it a habit to list all of your spending. This way, you can check what areas you can cut back and make the necessary adjustments. 

Differentiate needs from wants. 

Needs are non-negotiable – food, electricity, water, shelter, and your kids’ tuition fee. On the other hand, wants are something you can live without – shopping, new phone, annual vacation, Netflix subscription, and the list goes on.

Why should you differentiate? It allows you to prioritize your spending, thereby maximizing your savings. When you differentiate needs from wants, you have a closer look at areas you can cut back and establish alternatives that is not too heavy on your budget. In the end, you will be able to save more, which you can allot for important things such as savings or Emergency Fund.

Practicality is key. 

Now that you established needs from wants, the next thing you need to do is to become more practical.

Practical is defined as “reasonable to do or use.” This means you get to differentiate what is good and affordable for you without spending too much. For instance, you saw the latest Nike basketball shoes retailing at $10, but there is somewhat similar style for half the price. Of course, you need to look into the quality as well since this will define whether it’s a practical purchase or not.

In other words, practicality is about cutting back on luxuries. Look for cheaper alternatives that are of good quality. Don’t settle.

Look for income-generating opportunities. 

It was said that to attain financial freedom, you need to have more than one income stream. That’s true. In fact, you can’t just rely on your existing job, especially if you want to get out of the paycheck cycle.

What should you do then? Don’t be afraid to look for other income opportunities. Take a second job, venture into online selling, rent extra space in your apartment, or do freelance worker. There are tons of opportunities you can try. It’s just a matter of finding something you can be committed to.

In case you need extra cash, Balikbayad is here to help. Send your loan application online for pre-approval and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Get to Know Debt a Little Bit Better

Debt – how much do you know about it?

For many, debt is evil. It restricts you, prevents you from growing your money, and leaves you under financial obligation for many years. Some even call it as “multo” because it haunts you even during your sleep. For others, debt can be good – as long as you used it for the right purpose.

So, what exactly is debt? What situations led you to being in debt?

Debt, defined. 

According to online website Investopedia, debt is the amount of money you borrowed from another person or entity. Individuals, small business, and even large corporations borrow money from banks or other lending entities to finance bigger purchases they can’t normally afford given the existing cashflow.

There are many kinds of debt:

  • Credit card debt
  • Consumer debt or money your borrowed to purchase or pay off items that depreciate or with no substantial resale value. Examples are buying a new phone or payment of medical expenses.
  • Mortgage debt, which is secured by any type of asset such as house, car, or deposits.
  • Investment debt or a type of financial obligation that you take in order to generate cash flow, free up funds, and build wealth. For instance, you borrow money to purchase stocks or renovate a property that you will put up for rent.
  • Business debt, which is money you borrowed to start a business.

Regardless of the kind of debt, one thing is for sure: you will pay for a specific amount plus interest on a given date. In case you are unable to pay, the lender can foreclose the mortgages asset or worse, file a collection case against you and garnish whatever asset is under your name – which you don’t want to happen.

On a simpler level, why are you in debt? What attitude led you to being in debt?

Sources of Debt

Source No. 1: You spend tomorrow’s income today. 

“May sweldo naman sa katapusan,” you might say. In fact, you feel confident that you can get by every month because you know that you will get your salary. In case you fell short before the end of the month, you decided to borrow money since you can pay it by the 30th anyway.

That is a wrong mindset. Spending money you don’t have yet – even if you will get them at the end of the month – is the reason why you and many other people are in debt. Advancing tomorrow’s income is a big no-no.

Source No. 2: You and your family keep up too much with the trend.

 Many OFW families are guilty of this. Earning in dollars allows you to earn more, which means you can now afford the things you say no to before. Since you are away from your family, the way you could think of to make your presence felt is to send them things they asked you to buy.

What if you can no longer afford it? You take a second (or even third) job. Or you apply for a loan and promise to pay for it by the end of the month. See, it’s a never-ending cycle.

Source No. 3: Sudden change in lifestyle. 

This is in relation to source no. 2. The sudden change in lifestyle allows you and your family to live the life. Apparently, the problem lies when your contract ended and there is no immediate job waiting for you. The bigger problem is you and your family refuse to change your lifestyle and live simply. To afford the things you were used to, you resorted to borrowing – one of the bad reasons for getting a loan.

Source No. 4: You don’t have a defined long-term goals. 

Long-term goals are crucial in attaining financial freedom. It keeps you focused and grounded because you are saving up for something. You become more hardworking as well because you know that after all the sacrifices, you will be able to afford a new house or car. Without these long-term goals, you will continuously live in the present and not worry about the future. This creates a vicious cycle of borrowing and before you know it, you are buried in debt.

5 Steps to Build Financial Freedom Even After Your Work Abroad

There are many reasons why you decided to work overseas – to send your kids to a good school, have a house you can call your own, sufficient savings that will last you for years, and a small business that will sustain your everyday needs among many others. Whatever you hope to achieve, it will fall under one big umbrella and that is financial freedom. 

Here’s the thing: the term “financial freedom” may be easy to spell, but it can be challenging to make it happen. Still, this doesn’t mean you cannot achieve it. It may not guarantee 100 percent success, but these six steps could help.

First, get out of debt. 

At one point in your life, you can’t help but borrow money from lenders. That’s okay, especially if you used the proceeds for important purchases. Nonetheless, if you really want to say that you achieved financial freedom, then you need to get out of debt so you could focus more on savings and investments.

To guide you better, check out this post to help you get out of debt.

Second, set aside a budget for your Emergency Fund. 

Emergency fund is important. You’ll never know what could happen, so it’s better to be prepared. This is essential because you can use the emergency fund in times of, well, emergency.

Ideally, the fund must help you sustain at least two to three months worth of your income. This is enough to help you get through in case of loss of job, sudden expense, and illness among others. Remember, the purpose of the fund is for emergency expenses only. Buying a new phone or tablet is not part of the emergency list.

Here are tips to help you set up your Emergency Fund.

Third, prioritize long-term savings. 

Don’t just settle with having an Emergency Fund. Another fund you need to have is long-term savings account.

It’s not the savings + remittance account you set up before you left for your work overseas. Long-term savings is a separate account that could serve as your Retirement Fund. You may opt for the typical savings account, but you might want to consider long-term time deposit for higher interest rate. You can deposit anytime plus the interest earned is cumulative, thereby allowing you to earn more.

Tip: In case you prefer the typical savings, make sure that this long-term savings account should be in passbook only. Having an ATM can be tempting and makes it easier for you or your family to withdraw, thereby defeating the purpose.

Fourth, make long-term investments. 

They say that to be able to achieve financial freedom, you need to have more than one source of income. That’s true. Opening your own business, no matter how small it is, might be your go-to option, but keep in mind that this could be risky. You are your own boss and managing a business is not as easy as it sounds.

To minimize risk, you might want to look into investments. There are many options – mutual fund, UITF, stocks, and bonds. Each of them comes with its own risk and benefits, so it is best to explore your options and understand them before putting your money into it.

Fifth, it’s time to make those large purchases. 

Ideally, you should be doing the first four steps before you even think about buying your own home or car. This is because the first four steps give you enough time and leverage to invest into something bigger while reducing the risk of losing everything you worked hard for.

Once you achieved the first four steps, go ahead and make that large purchase. Still, take it one purchase at a time. Give yourself a few more years to save up before buying again.

You can do it!

Build Your Wealth with These 5 Simple Steps

Every person in the planet wants to live a comfortable life – a decent place you can call your home, provide quality education for your kids, a stable job or business that provides sufficient money, and food on the table. If budget permits, it would be great if you have investments for added cashflow.

Still, all of these will be possible if you start building your wealth as early as now.

Here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Know your financial standing. 

This is the first step in building your wealth. Before you think about investment and retirement, you need to know where you are first, at least in terms of financial standing.

How can you do this? List down your assets, investments, and source/s of income. And then, divide them into two columns: passive and active income. Active income is something you are working hard for like your monthly income and side jobs. On the other hand, passive income means you don’t necessarily give your 100 percent attention but it is still income-generating. This includes investments (stocks, mutual fund, etc) or property for rent.

Once you established where you stand in the financial scale, it will be easier for you to identify what areas you need to focus on to build wealth.

Step No. 2: Determine your financial goals. 

This is another tricky part. You keep saying that you’ll work hard for your family to buy a house or earn at least a million, but how soon do you plan to achieve it?

To build wealth, it is imperative to determine and define your financial goals and keep it as specific as possible. In line with this, you need to establish how much money you are willing to risk for investment and other methods of income that could help boost your fund. You also need to decide how much percentage of your income are you willing to place in a fund. These tricks will help you determine your financial goals in a quantifiable manner.

Step No. 3: Learn to invest wisely. 

Do you really want to grow your money? Apparently, saving is just one of the many things you can do to build your wealth. You also need to consider investing because it helps increase your wealth.

There are many investment options available, so make sure you explore your options. You can also start for as low as P5,000 to P10,000, which is a good amount to experiment on.

READ: Investment Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Ask if you don’t understand anything since investment can be overwhelming especially for first timers. Avoid borrowing money for the sake of investing since it will take time for you to enjoy your investment and getting buried in debt is the last thing you need. More importantly, diversify. Don’t just limit on one investment option or one stock alone. You’ll never know what could happen, so better be safe and sure.

Step No. 4: Avoid committing financial mistakes.


To be able to build your wealth, you need to avoid these common financial mistakes:

  • Living an extravagant lifestyle just because you are earning in dollars.
  • Not setting aside a portion of your income for savings or emergency fund.
  • Giving in to every demand of your family and relatives.
  • Premature acquisition of assets or buying properties without clear and sure payment plan.
  • Falling for investment scams.
  • Practicing pasikat mentality.

Step No. 5: Be wise when borrowing money. 

Loans are not bad. In fact, there are situations where it’s okay to borrow money. It’s how you use the proceeds that puts borrowing in a negative light.

Therefore, be careful in submitting a loan application without thinking twice and evaluating the need for such loan. The purpose must be legitimate such as acquisition of property to be converted into an income-generating asset or to finance a start-up business for additional income. This way, even if you borrowed money, it will be compensated by the income you will earn from the business or property.

Speaking of loan, Balikbayad offers loan facility for OFWs to help you finance your cashflow needs. We understand your situation, which is why we are here to help and make borrowing easier and convenient for you.

To Buy a House or Rent First? That is the Question

Why do you want to work overseas? To earn more money? To provide a better future for your family? To help you pay the bills? OFWs will come up with hundreds of reasons on why they want to go overseas, but surely, you will find a common answer. One of them is to buy a house they can call their home.

The idea of owning a house is exciting. It also encourages you to work harder because of the goal you want to achieve. Apparently, owning a house is not that simple. You have to consider other options such as renting as you save for this house goal.

The question now is this: when should you rent first and when is the right time to buy a house? Read on to find out.

Rent if ….

  • The rent is low and you can afford to pay for it every month.
  • You still don’t have sufficient budget to buy your own house and cover all the expenses attached to it such as additional repair or renovation and buying furniture.
  • You don’t have additional source of income that could help cover the expenses. Check out this post to see some of the side jobs you can do.
  • There is no plan of retiring in that particular area and you can’t even commit to staying there for the next 10 years. This means you set a deadline for yourself and your family that you will only stay there for a maximum of five years, which is enough time to help you save for a new and own home.
  • The place where your family in the Philippines is located is conveniently situated near establishments like school, market, and hospital. Again, the intention is only to live in that particular area for a short-term while saving up for your dream home.
  • There is an intent to relocate and retire in the province.
  • The responsible choice is to wait for a few more years because the cost of owning a house could leave you bankrupt, thereby jeopardizing the future of your family.

Buy if ….

  • You have sufficient income stream that will cover the cost and expenses of buying a home. This means aside from the purchase price of the house and lot, you can also afford to pay new furnishings, appliances, and some minor repairs in your new home.
  • You can afford and keep up with monthly amortization. Take note that this must be paid religiously every month, otherwise there is a risk that the property might be foreclosed and taken away from you.
  • There is willingness to pay for real property taxes every year.
  • There is an intention to live in a particular area for good.
  • You and your family want to be in control of the home, with no landlord limiting you of what you can do in the house, which includes repainting the walls.
  • Privacy and the comfort of your family is among the biggest considerations.

Here’s a tip:

Surely, you want a place you can call your own. To help you save money for your dream home, anticipate the costs that come with owning a new home. Add monthly amortization fee, insurance, property tax, and cost of maintenance, and then set aside an amount equivalent to or at least close to it every month. If possible, open an account specifically for it so you don’t have to use it. This gives you enough time to save up for the house while reducing the risk of availing for a Home Loan.

12 Tips to Lower Your Electricity Bills (and Save Money Too!)

Being an OFW means you are the breadwinner. This also means you are in charge of almost all, if not all the expenses, back in the Philippines. While some expenses can be eliminated (read: fastfood or trip to Starbucks), there are non-negotiable expenses you have to deal with every month. This includes electricity bill back home and even in your place overseas.

Obviously, you need electricity, so you cannot eliminate it completely. The good news is you and your family back home can do something to at least decrease your electric bill and save money in the process.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Make it a habit to check the energy rating of appliances before buying. Go for appliances that are more energy-efficient. The higher the energy efficiency ratio (EER), the better the energy saving performance feature for the appliance. It could be more expensive than appliances that are less energy-efficient, but you can save more in the long run because your family is able to reduce electric consumption.

2. Iron clothes in bulk by scheduling a specific day every week. Consequently, iron clothes that require low temperature then move from there. Keep in mind that iron takes more electricity when you just opened it. You or your spouse can also use fabric conditioners to reduce the number of clothes to be ironed.

3. Put on the timer if you plan to use the air-conditioning unit at night. This will automatically turn off the unit that could translate to additional savings,

4. Go for LED lights instead of incandescent lights. LED lights last longer and are more energy-efficient compared to its counterparts.

5. Use thick and dark colored curtains on your window to stop the heat from going in and penetrating the room. This is a better option that putting dark tint on your windows since you can simply open the curtain in case you need additional lighting inside the room.

6. Switch to induction cooker since majority of the heat is transferred to the cooking vessel instead of putting it into waste. You get to save extra cash as well since you don’t have to buy gas. Also, use flat-bottomed pots and pans since they are easier and faster to heat.

7. Charge gadgets wisely and efficiently, preferably when the battery is critically low. At the same time, avoid leaving gadgets plugged overnight.

8. Always unplug when the appliance or charger is not in use. Even if an appliance is turned off, it still consumes electricity, which leads to higher electricity bill. Unplug.

9. Regularly maintain home appliances by getting it checked to ensure efficiency. Appliance companies have dedicated maintenance team, so make that call and schedule maintenance.

10. Get rid of appliances that are less energy-efficient. The 90’s refrigerator may be working fine. but it is consuming more electricity, which could contribute to higher electric bill. The same goes with air conditioning units.

11. Do not place heat-generating appliances like television or lamps near the air conditioning unit. The heat coming from these types of appliances will be picked up by the unit’s thermostat, thereby increasing its energy consumption.

12. Choose appliances in your home wisely. Manufacturers these days are becoming more conscious in designing and making their product. Most incorporate energy-saving features, so in case you need to shop for an appliance, don’t just stop with the energy efficient ratio but also ask for its features that could help lower your electric bill.

Keep in mind that your bill won’t magically decrease over night. These saving techniques take time before they are converted into habits. Practice discipline and everyone in the family should be committed to it.

Savings Account versus Current Account: What’s the Difference?

One of the basic things you need to do before you leave for overseas work is to open a bank account, preferably with remittance feature. This way, it will be easier for your to transfer money at the cheapest cost. Plus, you get to have a savings account as well, thereby making it easier for you to save.

Apparently, there are two types of deposit accounts: savings and current account. Learn about the difference between the two and find out the best one for you.

Savings Account

Savings account is the most common deposit account opened not just by OFWs but by many people. This type of account is often used to save and safekeep your hard-earned money to help meet both short- and long-term financial needs. You can also choose between passbook or ATM (or both, depending on the bank).

Advantages of Savings Account

The good thing about opening a savings account is that it is cheaper to open, with some banks allowing P500 to open an account. For OFWs, banks do not have initial deposit requirement (except for BDO, which requires you to deposit P100), which means you can easily and conveniently open an account.

Savings account is also cheaper to maintain, with a required maintaining balance of P2,000 or P3,000. If you plan to get a savings account with remittance facility, maintaining balance is waived by banks, which is an advantage for you since you get

READ: Savings Account for OFWs

Aside from this, savings account, whether a regular savings account or account intended for OFWs, has the ability to earn interest, which ranges from 0.1 to 1.5 percent, depending on the bank. It may not be that big compared to other investment options, but it’s better than nothing, don’t you think? Nonetheless, banks require a maintaining balance to earn interest, so it’s best to take note of that.

Disadvantages of Savings Account 

Apparently, there is a limitation imposed on savings account. Daily transaction limit is strictly imposed, so make sure to ask about it and take note of it.

Also, the medium of payment is limited when you have savings account. In fact, you are only allowed to use ATM or debit card (ideal when making purchases) and over-the-counter payments.

Checking Account

A current or checking account is a type of deposit account used to pay frequent money transactions like payment of tuition fee and bills. This type of account is also required to repay loans by issuing post-dated checks.

Advantages of Checking or Current Account

Having a checking account is ideal for payment of financial transactions since check payment is still the preferred method, especially in business. There is also no limitation as to how many checks you can issue and the amount you can withdraw from the account. Compared to cash, check is safer to carry around. There is also an overdraft facility, which is helpful in case of emergency and you have limited cash with you.

One of the biggest advantages of having a current account is it allows you to separate business transactions and expenses from your personal ones, especially if you have your own business.

Disadvantages of Current Account 

On the other hand, don’t expect to grow you money in checking accounts since this is typically zero interest. Some banks offer interest, but you need to meet their maintaining balance required to earn interest. It is also expensive to open and even more expensive to maintain since the required amount is minimum of P5,000.

You also have to be careful when issuing checks since bounced checks come with penalty fees and worse, imprisonment. It could also cause a negative effect on your credit score, so make sure not to issue checks when your account has low value.

Which one should you get? 

It depends on your needs and financial goals. If your aim to have an account dedicated for savings and remittance, then a savings account will do. In case you plan to put up a business, having a checking account is a must to facilitate transactions more conveniently.

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Things for the Balikbayan Box

OFW life is not easy. Yes, you are earning in dollars and more than what you can earn in the Philippines, but with bigger earnings come bigger responsibilities. You need to make sure that your family is financially secure and at the same time, will have food on the table. You take the burden of paying everything – from bills to tuition fee and even medical expenses of your relatives.

Apparently, it doesn’t end there. There will always be a sense of longing and guilt feeling, which you compensate by sending a balikbayan box with love. Surely you mean well, but one of the reasons why many OFWs don’t have enough savings is because they spend up to the last centavo buying something for the family. Worse, this “something” might not even last for at least a year.

You can change that without compromising the “need” to send balikbayan box back home. Here are questions you need to ask yourself first before shopping for the box’s contents:

Do they need this? 

Everybody needs clothes and shoes, but do you really have to buy these items frequently? The shoes you bought for your son six months ago still fits so there’s no need to buy one. Plus, you spouse doesn’t need bottles of perfume good for the next three years.

Unless you plan to turn this into a buy-and-sell business, evaluate the need for such item first before buying. Otherwise, you could be wasting your hard-earned money for something your family won’t use anyway. Quality over quantity.

Is it part of the budget? 

There is a reason why budgeting it important. It allows you to allocate your money to make sure you will last and at the same time, make you conscious of your spending habits because you can easily see which areas you can cut down.

Before shopping, look into your budget first to see if it can accommodate another expense. If not, don’t purchase an item – yet – even if it’s on sale.

Can I afford this item? 

Do you know why many Filipinos are living in debt? There are many reasons, but one of them is relying heavily on credit such as credit card or loan. There is nothing wrong with applying for a loan if you use it properly and for the right reasons like putting up your own small business. But if you apply for the purpose of buying a new phone or laptop for your kids, then you need to re-think your priorities and avoid buying items you can’t afford to pay in cash.

The best thing you can do is to walk away. That’s fine. It only means your money deserve something better and more worthwhile. Better yet, save up for it.

Is this the best deal? 

There are stores that carry the same item but for a different price. Before you buy anything that is really necessary, make sure to shop around and compare prices per store. Some stores charge higher and the goal is the get the best deal (or cheapest price) for bigger savings. There are stores that offer free add-ons or discounts, which you should take advantage of as well.

It doesn’t matter if one store is more expensive by $2. That’s still $2-worth of savings and you shouldn’t say no to that.

How is the quality of the item?

The biggest department store in your place is on sale, so you decided to check it out. Sure, you get clothes and shoes for half the price, but how is the quality? Are you willing to pay for rubber shoes with 80 percent price tag but the soles look like rats chewed on them?

There’s nothing wrong with buying on discounts, but make sure to check the quality of the items first. You want to save, but if saving involves compromised items, then it’s best to leave them on the rack and wait for better opportunities.

At the end of the day, don’t feel pressured to shop for your family as often as you can, especially if it means compromising your savings. More than the material things, what your family wants is your safety and good health, so focus on that.

5 Common Investment Mistakes Every OFW Needs to Avoid

Investment is not as easy as it sounds. Yes, it helps increase your earnings (even doubles or triples your money), but it will always require knowledge, time. commitment, and more importantly, patience.

That’s not all. You’re always bound to make mistakes, which could affect your financial strategies. If you’re not too careful and vigilant, you might even lose the money you worked hard for.

Don’t worry. The market may be difficult to predict but there are some things you can control, such as avoiding these investment mistakes:

Mistake No. 1: Not educating itself about what investment is.

Don’t take investment for granted. Its purpose is to grow your money, but it needs time, discipline, knowledge, and a lot of patience to make it work to your advantage. If you really want to make it work, then it is imperative that you know what investment is.

One mistake people make (not just OFWs) is that they don’t understand what investment truly means, including the variety of ways on how you can earn. You can change that by keeping yourself informed. Maximize Internet and find out everything you need to know about investing you money. The more informed you are, the better the chances of making your investment work for you.

Just in case you can’t understand certain terms or how a particular investment option works, don’t be afraid to ask. Clarify your concerns instead of saying yes on something you don’t understand. Otherwise, there is a bigger possibility of losing the money intended for important expenses, say your Retirement Fund or kids’ educational plan.

Mistake No. 2: Putting all eggs in one basket. 

Here’s something you should know about investment: there is always a risk involved. It will only differ on the type of investment you chose, but risks will always be a part of it.

Therefore, diversify your investments by putting your money in different assets such as bonds or stocks. This way, you don’t lose your money “one time, bigtime,” so make sure you spread it out evenly.

“But I just want to invest my money in stocks or UITF,” you might say. That’s fine. If you plan to get UITF, make sure you go for Peso Balanced Fund (learn more about it here.or invest in various companies to keep your portfolio diversified.

Mistake No. 3: Undefined financial goals. 

It’s easy to say, “I want to invest” or “I want to grow my money,” but for how long and for what purpose?

This is another common investment mistake committed by many. Consequently, not many people realize the importance of defining financial goals according to term.

The next time you say you want to grow your money, ask yourself first about what you plan to do with it and how soon (in months or years) do you want to achieve it. Consequently, define and characterize your goals into short, medium, and long term. This will serve as your reminder on when to stop and when to keep waiting in order to make those financial goals happen.

Mistake No. 4: Investing without any emergency fund. 

There’s nothing wrong with investing. What makes it wrong is that you invest without preparing for what might happen in case you lost your money.

Keep in mind that the market can be volatile. One day you are earning and the next day, you are losing your money. Without any emergency fund, you might end up losing a big chunk from your account and it will take time before you get it back.

Therefore, establish not just an Investment Fund but also an Emergency Fund. The Emergency Fund will keep you covered in case something happens to your investment.

READ: How to Establish your Emergency Fund

Mistake No. 5: Not knowing how to manage or assess risks. 

Investment always comes with risks. In fact, that’s what makes it exciting. The problem lies on how you handle those risks.

One of the common investment mistakes made by OFWs is not understanding the risks associated with investing according to level of tolerance (conservative, aggressive, or balanced). Identify the risk you are willing to take and then work from there. There are many investment choices you can choose from according to your risk level, so choose based on where you are most comfortable.

The world of investing can be overwhelming in the beginning. You’re going to be fine. Just read up, keep yourself informed, and start small – for now. You’ll learn more about it as you go along this journey. Good luck!

Every OFW’s Guide to Investing in the Stock Market

Have you invested your money already? No, this does not include savings account. By investment, this means you place your hard-earned money in a certain financial product for a specific time, thereby allowing your money to earn more than what you initially placed.

READ: Best Investment Options for OFWs

There are tons of investment options available that you can try. In case you are willing to take that risk in exchange of higher returns, then you might want to consider putting your money in the stock market.

Below are things you should know about the stock market plus tips on how to get you started:

Facts about the Stock Market

1. A stock market is a place that allows you to buy and sell stocks from Philippine-listed companies, which represents your “ownership” in a particular company.

2. There is only one stock market that facilitates transactions and is called Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

3. There are two ways on how to earn from the stock market: price appreciation and through dividends. Price appreciation is the increase in value per share of stock, thereby translating such increase as profit. On the other hand, dividend is the distribution of earnings (stocks owned x amount of dividend) to every shareholder in the form of cash or additional stocks. Dividend is given at least once a year but some companies could give as much as twice or thrice a year.

4. You don’t need a big amount to start investing in the stock market. Believe it or not, you can have as little as P5,000, which is already a good amount to familiarize yourself with how the stock market works. Eventually, you can increase your investment to allow you to buy more stocks.

Tips in Investing in the Stock Market

  • Educate yourself about how the stock market works. Know the companies worth investing (also known as blue chips), check the price per share of the companies you are eyeing for (preferably for the last three months)), and keep yourself informed with what’s happening in the Philippines since this will likely affect the prices of stocks.
  • Establish how long do you plan to put your money in the stock market. Stock market can be addicting, especially if you see that you are already earning, so make sure to put a limit on it.
  • Choose a licensed firm and/or stock broker, particularly accredited by the PSE. This is a must because it is through them wherein you will course your stock transactions.
  • Register your account online. Unless years ago where every transaction is done over the phone, you now have the ability to decide and do things on your own (and instantly too!) because of the online tool. This is convenient since you are working overseas and you don’t need a “middleman” to do the buying and selling for you.
  • Think long-term when investing in the stock market. Keep in mind that the price per share appreciates (or depreciates) in a matter of days to years. Hold on to that number of shares you have if you want bigger returns.
  • Do NOT put all of your money in the stock market. The returns may be higher, but the stock market can be risky as well. The key here is to invest a certain amount that will not cripple you and at the same time, willing to lose.

Don’t worry, there are more posts related to investing in the stock market, so stay tuned.