Being single and in your 20s may be the best time of your life. You can do anything you want and not worry about anything. Apparently, if you are one of the thousands of Filipinos working overseas to help provide a better life for your family, then being single and in your 20s calls for bigger responsibilities. In fact, you hold the title of being the “breadwinner,” who constantly have to send money for your siblings’ tuition fee or your father’s medication.
The question is this: do you really have to work abroad for the rest of your life to sustain your family?
Here are money-management tips you need to remember to help you thrive and succeed:
1) Set a deadline for your OFW life.
There is nothing wrong with being an Overseas Filipino Worker. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to be one forever. Therefore, think long-term and set a deadline for yourself, regardless if you plan to settle down abroad. This will give you a sense of urgency to work harder, mind your expenses, and start investing to grow your money.
2) Always leave something for savings.
This may seem like a broken record, but always have room for savings. Set aside a portion of your monthly earnings for savings, which you can use for emergency situations. You will never know what will happen in the future and having a savings account can help you get back up in case you got a call to go back home.
Consequently, save for yourself. Being a breadwinner in the family entails a lot of responsibilities, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set aside something for yourself.
3) Spend wisely.
These two words often go together – all the time. Earning in dollars can be a big deal and tempting at the same time, but this doesn’t mean you should splurge on the latest gadgets or send a big chunk of your salary to your family back home. Keep in mind that the future is uncertain and learning how to spend wisely can help you adjust in case these uncertainties decided to knock on your door.
In line with spending wisely, make sure you eat, breathe, and embrace budgeting. Be firm to your family when you say that you can only send this certain amount every month. You need to save up for the future and you and your family must agree on how much you can spend every month.
4) Explore your investment choices.
There are tons of investment choices available (learn more about it here). Before you say yes to UITF or stock market, make sure you educate yourself first and know what options are available for you. Research and learn about the ups and downs of each investment choices you can try then decide the best option for you and your family.
5) Don’t be scared to say “No.”
Admit it. Despite alloting certain amount for your savings, you often find yourself sending money to your family back home. Your tito felt short with his monthly amortization and your brother needs to pay for the graduation fee. They’re family, so how can you say no, even if it means working double shifts or taking another job just to make up for it.
The truth is you should learn to say no – and it’s okay. Earning in a different currency doesn’t mean you always have excess cash on hand. Every centavo equates to your hard work and sacrifice, which your family has to understand. Otherwise, you might be forced to look for other means just to keep them happy.
6) Remember yourself.
At the end of the day, you are working not just for your family but also for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with helping family, but you should also teach them how to help themselves. Don’t forget that you have your needs and your future to worry about. After all, you can’t work abroad forever.
Working overseas is also a privilege. Make the most out of it by employing wise money decisions and being conscious with your spending. You do want to settle down in the Philippines, don’t you?