OFWs earn in dollars. With the current exchange rate, you are earning more than what you can earn in the Philippines.
Here’s the thing: expenses never end. Even if you are earning in dollars, you end up living paycheck to paycheck because of the many financial responsibilities back home. The challenge now is how to infuse savings and investment when you are working on a low budget.
Don’t worry. Achieving your financial dreams is still possible. What you need to do is to embrace the following money habits:
Spend Within Your Means
Admit it. You’re always tempted to buy the latest gadget or new shoes for your family back home even if it leaves you with almost nothing. You always feel the urge to give them something because you believe that this is your way of showing how much you love them. Plus, you want people to think that you are ahead in life because you can afford expensive things.
Stop that mentality and always spend within your means. Spending more than what you have is a dangerous habit because you might not notice how much money you are losing – even if the intention of those purchases were good.
Stick to the basics to help you save as much as you can.
Know How Much You Spend
Yes, you are spending within your means, but that doesn’t stop there. You need to know how much money is going out of your pocket and the best way to do that is to track your spending.
Every month, plot a starting balance based on the amount of your salary. Then, deduct every expense, regardless of the amount. At the end of the month, the ending balance should not be negative, otherwise, you are spending more than what you actually have.
Make it a habit to check the list and see what expenses you can get rid of. If you want to prioritize saving and investing money, then make necessary adjustments to your lifestyle – and tracking your spending will help you with that.
Schedule Your Shopping
It’s understandable that you want to send balikbayan boxes regularly to your family back home. How often should you do it?
As much as possible, limit your padala to maximum of twice a year. Set aside a specific time and BUDGET to do shopping – and it should NOT be every week. Watch out for sales or promos and take advantage of it so you could slowly fill your boxes. Buying items anytime you want won’t help you financially. Plus, there are other ways to show your love for your family without showering them with material things.
Again, if you will do your shopping, then make sure you stick to a budget. This is important, otherwise, you might end up spending all (or a big chunk of it) of your hard-earned money.
Use Your Time to Do Something Productive
Surely, you have off or rest days. Instead of using that day, take advantage of that time to do something productive.
Perhaps, your off days is the perfect time to start your own retail online store, look for job opportunities for extra cash, or replenish your inventory for your business back home. You can also use this opportunity to learn something new or catch up with past lessons you took online.
The bottom line is don’t put that rest day to waste.
Cook Your Own Meals
It’s tempting to just buy food and make your life easier. If you have a lot of expenses on your plate, then you need to make necessary adjustments starting with food.
Instead of buying food, consider cooking your own meals. Plan your meals at the start of the week. If you don’t mind eating the same viand over and over. cook in bulk to make your life easier.
Any other tips you have in mind? Let us know in the comments section.