Whoever said that being an OFW is easy is definitely not an OFW. You carry the burden and responsibility of providing and ensuring a better life and future for your family. At the same time, there is pressure to sustain the lifestyle you provided to your family.
Apparently, this is just one of the MANY problems you will encounter as you go through this rollercoaster ride. Below are other “problems” most OFWs go through and surely, you can relate to all of them:
Being away from your family is no joke. During the first few months, you might end up crying and wanting to go back home because you miss them so much,
How to solve it: Remember why you are working overseas in the first place. Use it as your motivation to keep fighting instead of giving up. The good thing about working overseas today is that there are various tools you can use to communicate with your family back home. Maximize that especially during your downtime.
This leads you to another issue.
2. Long distance relationship
You’ve seen it in TV shows and movies. It’s either the OFW or the spouse left back home (or both!) has another partner. You both blame it on the distance because you cannot be with your partner anytime of the day – and this could create an issue in the relationship. Homesickness could lead to infidelity as well, regardless of how hard you fight against it.
How to solve it: A strong foundation-slash-marriage helps a lot to ensure that no infidelity will take place. Also, set aside a strict and specific time of the day to talk to your spouse. Talk about how both of your days went, any problems encountered, and just reconnect with each other. Maximize video messaging tools and constantly remind each other of why you are doing these sacrifices.
3. Not enough savings
“Madaming gastos sa ‘Pinas eh,” said most OFWs. Because of the never-ending expenses, you are unable to set aside money every month for savings. You have personal expenses as well and living in a foreign soil means higher cost of living too.
How to solve it: Discipline plays a crucial role, so make sure you pressure yourself to save. You’ll never know what could happen the next day and you have to be prepared for it. Also, teach your family to save as well. Saving is not solely your responsibility, so make sure everyone does their part.
4. Too much unpaid loans
There is nothing wrong with borrowing money. What makes it wrong is when you use the money you borrowed for the wrong reasons like buying a new gadget or for shopping. Worse, these borrowed money accumulate and the next thing you know, a big chunk of your income is used to pay for these loans.
How to solve it: First, you need to know how much you owe, so list all of your loans, regardless of the amount. Indicate the due date and interest rate for each loan. From there, you can check which loans should be paid first, preferably the one with higher interest rate OR early due date. At this point, forget about savings to pay for the loans. This will make it easier for you to save if you don’t have to worry about debts. Once you paid off a big chunk of your loan, then you can go back to saving again.
5. Unforeseen circumstances
This includes political crisis in the country where you’re working, sudden mass lay-offs, disasters such as typhoon or earthquake, or war. These circumstances are beyond your control but could greatly affect your employment overseas.
How to solve it: There’s no better way of solving this than to be prepared for it. Set up an emergency fund the moment you step your foot on foreign soil and try to save as much as you can while you still can. Consider getting a sidejob or encourage your family back home to put up a small business to help augment financial needs. Preparation is key and in instances where you need to go home immediately, all of your preparations will be worth it.
Which one have you experienced so far?