Save Money on Food with the Help of these 5 Tips

Do you know where a big chunk of Filipino families’ money goes to? Believe it or not, food.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, food and non-alcoholic beverages constitutes 42.8 percent of the total household expenditure. This is totally understandable because who doesn’t want to eat, right?

Apparently, whether or not you are here or overseas, food can be expensive. Don’t even get us started with the increasing prices of basic commodities, which explains why the money you sent from abroad are “just enough for day-to-day” living. Still, you can do something to save money on food without actually starving.

Here are some of the things you and your family back home could do:

Tip No. 1: Always schedule and follow a meal plan.

It may be tedious for many but creating a meal plan is the first step in helping you save money on food. This is because meal planning:

  • Helps you organize the dishes to prepare everyday
  • Allows you to maximize food ingredients left in the kitchen
  • Ensures that you buy food items that are only necessary, thereby preventing you from throwing leftovers

Tip No. 2: Make a (grocery) list and (always) check it twice.

Now that you have a meal plan, the next thing you need to worry about is grocery.

Admit it. There are instances when you buy more than what you actually need. If you are serious about saving, then you need to commit to that list and buy only the things that are necessary.

Additional tips when grocery shopping:

  • Compare similar items and choose those that are less expensive.
  • Generic items are always cheaper than branded ones.
  • Always buy regularly consumed items in bulk. This will save you more in the long run.
  • Don’t always settle in supermarkets, especially for meat and fish. Even abroad, food are generally cheaper in the market.

Tip No. 3: Bring your own lunch.

This is applicable if you are not working in a household setting.

Food can be expensive, especially when you buy yours everyday. If you are working in an office setting, then make sure you bring your own food. Preparing your own lunch may be time consuming and tiring, but this will help you save more in the end. The best part is you could allot the money saved on more important things like investment or your child’s educational fund.

Tip No. 4: Be creative and re-create leftovers.

Sometimes, you cooked more than what you can consume. Don’t throw that dish away. Instead, re-create leftovers, which could be your baon as well when you go to work or dinner as soon as you get home.

You can also try cooking base recipes like burger patties or pork chop and let your imagination run wild on how to eat these dishes in various manners.

Nonetheless, do your best to cook only what you can finish.

Tip No. 5: Learn to say “no” to eating out.

You might be asked to eat out with your colleagues or the Filipino community from time-to-time. That’s fine. You deserve a break and have fun after working hard for your family back home.

Here’s the thing: you should learn when to say no to every invitation. Eating out means spending money and if you do this regularly, then you might not be able to save money for the essentials.

The key here is to schedule your eat outs. You may also want to consider potluck every time there is a get together with the Filipino community.

This may be challenging at first but every sacrifice is worth it in the end. Establish your priorities and remember the reason/s why you are overseas in the first place.

5 Reasons You Still Can’t Buy Your Dream Home

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 22.42 million out of the 24.22 million housing units were occupied by households. NCR and Region IV-A have the highest number of occupied units and majority of the households prefer and live in single house (house and lot) over multi-unit residential buildings.

Apparently, only 55 percent of households own the house they are staying at – and your family belongs to the 45 percent who don’t have their own house. Because of this (and among many other reasons), you decided to go overseas where the pay is better than in the Philippines.

Here’s the thing: you’ve been working so hard and yet you still cannot buy your dream home. What seems to be the problem?

Well, these reasons could be why you still don’t have your own house:

Reason No. 1: No Savings Account

You’re earning close to P100K every month and yet, your housing loan is rejected. There are variety of reasons for that and one is you don’t have sufficient savings account.

Lenders look closely not just on the amount of money you are earning every month but also your banking activity. Lenders need assurance that you are financially responsible – and the best way to show that is by having a savings account where you deposit money regularly.

Build your savings account first and make sure you are diligent in depositing money in that account every month. This signifies financial responsibility, which lenders like.

Reason No. 2: Low Income

Yes, lenders pay close attention to how much you are earning – and it’s for a good reason.

Imagine this: you want to buy a house and lot worth P5 million. You are earning less than P100K every month wherein a big chunk of your money goes to never-ending expenses. As much as lenders want to help, they need to make sure that they will be paid no matter what. They need to see that your income could support your monthly amortization.

How can you solve this? Getting another job could be a good idea, but you need to make sure that your health could handle it. You can also try putting up your small business in the Philippines to help you show lenders that there are other income streams that could pay the monthly dues.

Reason No. 3: Rigorous Screening Process of Lenders

At this point, you know that lenders follow a strict screening process before they can approve every housing loan on their desk. Because of this strict process, you can’t get an approval and your dream home has yet to turn into a reality.

You can’t entirely blame the lenders. For starters, they need assurance. Lending you millions is no laughing matter and they want to make sure that they will be paid. This is why they look into every detail to minimize their risk; otherwise, they’ll go out of business as well.

Reason No. 4: Unrealistic Dream Home

Surely, everyone wants to have a house they can call their own. Does that mean a house in Forbes Park or Ayala Alabang?

One of the reasons why you can’t still buy your dream house is because of unrealistic expectations. We don’t mean to crush your dream to live in an exclusive and guarded neighborhood, but you need to make sure that your pocket and financial standing could support it.

Therefore, look for a house that is within your budget. Take note of the maintenance expenses such as repair and association dues since these won’t come cheap as well.

Reason No. 5: Lack of Commitment

You want to have your own place but are you doing something to make that happen? Your dream home won’t become a reality if you constantly send balikbayan boxes back home and give in to the demands of your extended relatives.

You need to be committed to your goal. Consequently, your entire family should be onboard this goal. Everyone’s cooperation is a must and if everyone is not committed to that dream home, then you might spend a decade or more overseas and go home to a rented property.

How to Handle Your Money Better this 2019

Almost three months have gone by. How are things in the financial side doing?

One of the biggest struggles among OFWs is handling their money. Despite the tons of articles and tips we shared in the Balikbayad blog, you seem can’t to figure out why you always end up with zero by the end of the month. You decided to take additional jobs to make ends meet but the money you earn doesn’t seem to be enough. You promised to spend less and pay off debts as much as you can, and yet, you can’t afford to save.

The sad part is your family’s needs are never ending. Every month, you are bombarded with messages, reminding you to send money to pay for a long list of expenses.

Don’t worry. You can still make the necessary changes to make sure that you could commit and achieve your 2019 resolutions. Here are things that you can do to still be better at money before the year ends:

Money Handling Tip No. 1: Don’t be afraid to talk about money.

Fact: not everyone are comfortable talking about money. It could be due to variety of reasons. Perhaps, you don’t want people to know that you have debts under your name or you’re embarrassed to open up and ask help.

If you want to handle your money better, then you need to start being honest about money and not be afraid to talk about it, whether it is good or bad. More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask help when needed.

Since you are willing to talk about money, make sure you discuss whatever money issues with your spouse. This is important because any money concerns is not solely on your shoulders. It is a family and collective effort.

Money Handling Tip No. 2: Check your loans regularly.

Here’s something you should know about loans: they change constantly. You may agree with certain terms since those were the prevailing regulations at the time of your loan application.

Still, times change. Make sure to update your loans regularly, especially interest rates. Banks need to earn from these loans, but make sure the terms are also favorable to you.

Money Handling Tip No. 3: Take it easy on your investment.

Here at Balikbayad, we constantly remind OFWs to be smart with their money. This means aside from saving techniques, we also encourage you to invest. After all, placing your money in various investment options like bonds and stocks could make your money grow faster.

Still, take it easy and take it one at a time. Invest in something you’re comfortable with and not because you were forced to do so. Constantly update yourself with what’s happening in the Philippines so you will know which investment option is worth trying. More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask investment experts. This way, they can help you make a wiser decision.

Money Handling Tip No. 4: Earn what you’re worth.

Being an OFW means your salary is based on what was agreed upon and stated in the contract. If you notice that your workload is getting heavier and you are handling more responsibilities than what was agreed upon, then don’t hesitate to ask for a raise. You need to earn what you’re worth and don’t allow yourself to be underpaid.

The same goes with getting side jobs. You want to earn additional income, so make sure you get paid fairly and reasonably. It’s okay to demand for a higher pay, especially when you can back it up with necessary training and work experience.

Money Handling Tip No. 5: Commitment is key.

You will never run out of articles telling you to do this and that to achieve financial freedom. At the end of the day, commitment matters.

If you are serious about being more responsible with your money, then you need to be committed in doing it. If you commit yourself to save more, then make sure you save more. If you commit yourself to investing your money, then do whatever you can to put that hard-earned money in your choice of investment.

All of these tips are useless if you cannot commit.

OFW Success Stories that Truly Inspires You

Many Filipinos dream to work overseas for variety of reasons. You want a better life, provide a better education for your kids, financial security, a place you can call your own, and the list is endless.

Unfortunately, being an OFW is not forever. You need to make the most out of your stay because as soon as your contract ends, you have to come back home and look for another job.

Don’t lose hope. Check out these stories of former OFWs who turned into entrepreneurs and hopefully, this will inspire you.

Rebecca Bustamante: From being recruited to a multinational recruiter

A native from Pangasinan, Rebecca Bustamante decided to leave her hometown and went to Manila at an early age of 18. From there, she took jobs like sales lady and factory worker to make ends meet.

One year after, she decided to test her fate and became a domestic worker in Singapore. She was able to study Accounting at the Open University of Singapore Institute of Management. She also tried her luck in Canada where she became a nanny. At the same time, she enrolled for graduate studies at Ryerson University, which paved way to her work in Mary Kay Cosmetics and the Canadian Embassy.

At present, Bustamante owns a multinational recruitment company, Chalre Associates, and sought after training consultant.

Dina Dela Paz: From domestic helper to a respected beauty and skincare expert

Have you heard of a skincare brand Diana Stalder and Dermaline? Believe it or not, this is a brainchild of a former OFW, Diana Dela Paz.

Dela Paz graduated with a degree in Medical Technology from Centro Escolar University. In 1988, she went to London and worked as a domestic helper to a Jewish family. Thankfully, the family was kind to her and allowed her to take short courses on facial procedure and skin care during downtime.

When Dina got back from London and armed with the knowledge she gained while she’s in there, she put up Dermaline Facial Center. Eventually, the brand evolved and became known as Diana Stalder Face, Body, and Skin Care Center. She also established Dermablend, a line of skin and beauty products, from anti-aging to whitening.

Myrna Padilla: From human trafficking victim to owning a BPO company

Everybody has its own story that defined who you are as a person today. For Myrna Padilla, her’s is nothing short of extraordinary. She was a victim of human trafficking at an early age and found herself homeless in the busy streets of Metro Manila.

Later on, Myrna was able to work in countries like Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. During her stay in Hong Kong, it was her alaga, Jonathan, who taught her how to use the computer. Since then, she started Mynd Consulting and offered bug testing and QA services to American clients.

Fast forward today, Myrna Padilla and Mynd Consulting offers various services from virtual programming, virtual assistants, social media management, and WordPress services among others.

Eden Zaniega de Castro – Villa: From household service worker to environment-conscious business owner

Villa started out similar to many OFWs working in Hong Kong – a household service worker. When she got back to her hometown in La Union, Eden took a risk and started to open her own arts and crafts store – David’s Well Crafts and More. It was an environment-conscious business that sells handicrafts and trinkets made from items found in nature.

Her break came when her products were discovered by SM during a trade fair in La Union. Since then, her products are sold in Kultura and with the help of OWWA Loan, she was able to grow and expand her business.

You might say that these chances are one in a million. That could be true. You’ll never know unless you try, right?

Go ahead. Take risks. Make that leap. If you need financial assistance, Balikbayad is here to help.

Affordable Buffet Places to Celebrate Graduation

It’s graduation season. Surely, you’re excited to go home and see your child walk up on that stage and receiver his/her diploma. After all, this is a culmination of all your child’s hard work and effort in (and out of) school and a start of a new chapter in life.

A graduation gift will do, but in Filipino culture, every celebration comes with food. It’s okay to cook food at home but if you want to treat your family on this momentous occasion, then eating out will make things more convenient. By eating out, we mean buffet where everybody leaves with full tummy.

Here’s the thing: buffet restaurants are often expensive. If you want to treat your family while you’re in the country without breaking the bank, then here is a list of buffet places, aside from Vikings, that are within your budget:

Tramway (P268 / head – Banawe ; P289 / head – Timog, Shaw, and Roxas Blvd.)

If you want less than P300 per head, then this once-a-Cantonese restaurant is your bet.

Started in 2001, Tramway offers Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese dishes to satisfy everyone’s cravings. Feast your eyes (and your tummy) because you’ll never run out of dimsum and sushi among others. The best part is you can treat your big family since Tramway has the most affordable buffet package.

Quezon Buffet Restaurant (P499/head – Weekdays ; P599/head – Weekends and Holidays)

Surely, you miss Filipino food. If you’re into Filipino – Spanish cuisine, then Quezon Buffet Restaurant in Fishermall will surely satisfy your cravings. The restaurant serves dishes like paella, boneless lechon belly, sisig, and even spanish sardines stuffed tomatoes.

You’ll definitely love the ambiance of the restaurant too, which is perfect for your pictures.

Sweet Inspirations P420/head – Shangri-La, Katipunan, and Hemady Square branches)

Does your family love Mongolian rice bowls? Then this place is heaven for you. Aside from ala carte menu, Sweet Inspirations has crEATe All-You-Can buffet where you get to enjoy Mongolian rice bowls for three hours. You’ll have a wide range of meats, vegetables, and sauces without worrying about MSG and food extenders.

Charaptor BBQ (P490/head – Kamagong St., Makati and Mall of Asia)

If you prefer something grilled, then you might want to try Charaptor located in Makati and Mall of Asia.

Charaptor is a charcoal barbecue buffet that lets you cook in real charcoal grill. There are tons of food choices too – from squid, chicken, pork, mussels, and cold cuts among others. Don’t worry since there are kiddie plates available for the little ones in case they’re not into grilled food.

Cabalen (P298 or P398/head, depending on the branch)

Cabalen has been around for decades and among the most sought after buffet restaurants in the metro. Over the years, Cabalen remained true to its Kapampangan roots by offering dishes from Pampanga. You’ll still find a variety of Filipino food, but make sure you leave some for lechon.

Cabalen has branches in West Avenue, TriNoma, SM North Edsa, Market! Market!, SM Mall of Asia, SM Fairview, SM Megamall, Alabang Town Center, Robinson’s Manila, and Glorietta 1

Shaburi (P399/head)

In case Japanese food is your thing, Shaburi in Uptown Mall might not fail you.

Shaburi is a shabu-shabu buffet that comes with a wide range of meats like pork, beef, and wagyu. Sushi rolls and seafood are served as well, so make sure you try them.

It is best to call first for reservation to ensure your seats.

Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot (P688/head – Lunch every Weekdays and P888/head – Dinner and Weekends at SM Mall of Asia and Cubao branches ; P638/head – Weekday Lunch and P738/head – Weekday Dinner and Weekends at SM Southmall branch)

If you prefer a buffet place that is more affordable than Vikings but still under Vikings concept, then Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot could be your go-to place.

Unlike Vikings and The Alley by Vikings, this restaurant is everything hotpot that you could customize according to your own liking. You can also choose from a variety of fresh and healthy ingredients – from veggies to broth to soup paste to protein. Don’t worry since you’ll still find food choices from the original Vikings menu.

So, which buffet place makes you hungry?

Money Management Strategies for OFW Couples

No one said that OFW life is easy. In fact and in spite of the money you are earning, it is going to be one of the toughest parts of your life because you are in a foreign land and away from your family. What makes it even more challenging is making sure that your hard-earned money is spent properly.

This is where money management strategies comes in. This is crucial because this could dictate the financial future of your family such as budgeting your daily household expenses, paying off loans, or the amount of savings you have.

Here comes the challenge: what type of strategy should you follow considering that you are thousands of miles away from home?

Here are some options:

Money Strategy No. 1: “It’s On Me” or Relying on One Income

This is the most common setup among OFW families wherein one works abroad while the other one stays at home and takes care of the kids. In this setup, the main income earner, which is YOU, pays for all expenses at home. You set up an account, transfer money online, and your spouse will withdraw from the said account in the Philippines, On the other hand, the other spouse is responsible for budgeting the money you send – utility expenses, grocery, kids’ allowance, tuition, and so on.

The not-so-good aspect of this setup: it could cause misunderstanding and financial woes to the couples, especially when the money is not well-accounted for. You might tend to question where the money goes and constantly remind your spouse the sacrifices you have to make just to make sure that every expense will be paid. On the other hand, the non-earning spouse feels less dignified and may accuse you of not trusting him/her.

To fix this, both must do your best to be transparent and accountable as to where the money goes. Be clear that the money you sent is for a specific expense only and must not be used for unnecessary purchases. You should also encourage your spouse to look for additional ways to earn such as getting a freelance job or putting up a small business. Additional income could mean a lot in helping you manage expenses back home.

Money Strategy No. 2: What’s Mine is Yours, What’s Yours is Mine 

This is another common setup among families, including OFW families. In this set-up, money earned is pooled in a common fund and said fund will be used to cover all expenses at home. This works especially when both spouses are earning since you don’t need to keep track of each other’s contribution in the family as long as you know how much each other is earning.

Here comes the not-so-good part: in case you have trust issues, then this setup won’t work for you. This is because both will constantly nag about where the money goes and whether or not the money you deposited on the said account is used for the said purpose. There is also a tendency to compare since naturally, you will be earning more, which could also cause resentment.

How can you address these issues? Start by enumerating the expenses you have to pay for every month, set up a specific budget for each, and agree on a spending limit. It is also important to consult with each other before making a purchase, regardless of the amount. This way, you can keep your spending in check.

Money Strategy No. 3: One Works, The Other One Saves 

Let’s say your spouse has work but income is irregular. On the other hand, you are sure that you are getting this amount every month.

How do you strike a balance? The spouse with a stable income is in charge of expenses while the other one takes care of savings and investment. This is an ideal setup because there is a higher chance that you will be meeting your financial goals since both parties are contributing, regardless of the amount.

The issue would be when one loses her income. Thankfully, there are tons of ways to help the other spouse earn money. If saving is consistent, then the money saved may act as a buffer to help one get back on its working feet.

The Bottom Line

These three money strategies will work but at the end of the day, it will all depend on you and your spouse. Before you leave the country, sit down and discuss how BOTH will handle the expenses and the strategies you will use to ensure that nobody goes home hungry.

More importantly, be committed and disciplined. Any of these strategies won’t work if you are not serious with how you will handle your money.

So, which one is your money strategy?

7 Practical Graduation Gift Ideas to Give to Your Kids

Few days left until March. This means it’s graduation season again. This also means you are obligated to give something to your kid as a reward for all the effort and hard work done not just during the school year but for the entire time s/he is in school.

Apparently, giving gifts means you need to spend (again). Surely, your kids will ask you things like new phone, or a tablet, or a trip somewhere they haven’t been before. If you’re on a tight budget, giving them what they want could hurt your wallet.

What’s your alternative? You can still give your kid a gift, but instead of giving in to their demands, you give them something more practical and useful.

Here are some practical graduation gift ideas you can give:

Your Child’s Own Bank Account

Saving for the future is not solely your responsibility. In fact, it is everyone in the family’s responsibility. For your graduation gift, why not open a bank account under your child’s name? This could be her personal savings account, which she can use for whatever purpose, hopefully, something useful. Giving your kid a bank account too also teaches the importance of saving and becoming more responsible with money.

Is there anything more practical than this?

A Nice, Durable Bag 

Bag will always be a staple in everyone’s life. Whether your kid is heading to college or on his way to look for a job, he will need a durable bag to bring with him. As much as possible, keep it simple and could easily adapt to any given situation.

Does it have to be branded? It depends since not all signature bags automatically mean they are durable. More than the brand, look closely into the material and how it was made. Check the size and if there is enough room for all of your kid’s stuff. .

Journal 

In this digital age, there are only few people who print pictures and actually write about what happened to them. Bring it back by giving your son or daughter a journal. Plain journal is recommended so they could personalize it according to their own liking.

Laptop 

Speaking of digital age, kids these days can practically do anything after making clicks on the keyboard. As your graduation gift, consider giving your son or daughter his or her own laptop.

Before you say “ang mahal naman,” you should know that there are laptops that are within the budget. In fact, you can get a new laptop without shelling more than P20,000. Simply settle for basic laptops especially if s/he will use it for school or work.

If budget permits, you can buy a laptop bag too.

A Nice Watch 

Mobile phone will tell you what time it is, but does your child have to get the phone all the time to check the clock?

It could be tempting to buy a smart watch, but we know how technology is these days and how fast it involves. Sure, you can do a lot with it, but nothing beats the classics. We suggest that you go for a timeless, classic piece that your son or daughter can use at any occasion.

Coffee Maker

Who doesn’t like coffee? If you noticed that your son or daughter loves coffee, give him/her a coffee maker for a cup of fresh brew every morning. 3-in-1 coffee is packed with sugar and going to Starbucks or any other coffee shops for a cup of Joe is not recommended and costly.

Don’t forget to add the beans.

Investment

Aside from his/her own bank account, starting an investment portfolio for your kid is also recommended.

Compared to savings account, investment options like mutual funds or stocks earn more. In a few years, you could already double or triple your money. This could also be a good start for your kids to consider investing as early as now.

So, what are you planning to give to your graduating kid?

6 Excuses that Stop You from Saving More

Before you leave for your job overseas, you promised yourself and your family that savings, among many others, will be on top priority. After all, you need to save for the rainy days and having a dedicated account for savings will really help a lot.

Let’s face it: saving money can be challenging. Even if that is your goal, you always come up with tons of excuses that stop you from saving. These excuses echoed by many OFWs include:

Excuse No. 1: My family needs money. 

Whatever happens, you will always be responsible for the finances back home. You feel that it is your responsibility being the family member who earns more. Blame it on the family culture as well wherein members of the clan feel responsible and obligated to help everyone, even if they are your extended relatives.

Unfortunately, this excuse is the most common and most abused excuse uttered by many OFWs. No matter how much you feel the urge to save, it’s just too hard to say no to your family. Still, there is something you can do about it. It will only take a lot of courage and commitment to say NO to all their demands.

Excuse No. 2: It’s still to early to save. 

You’re only down to your first month overseas. Since your contract is for two years, you still have 23 months more to save, which means you still have time. The next thing you know, your contract ended and you barely have money on your account to help you and your family sustain for at least three months.

There’s no such thing as “too early to save.” The best time to save is now and only now. As soon as you stepped into foreign soil, saving should be on top of your mind.

Excuse No. 3: “My kids / spouse will love this.” 

Being overseas can be tempting. Apart from earning in dollars, you have access to beautiful things that you can’t find back home – most of the time, sold at a cheaper price. You want to share a piece of your life to your family so you always end up buying tons of stuff for them.

It’s okay to spend, but do you always need to send balikbayan boxes every quarter? Limit your spending on material things since these won’t last anyway.

Excuse No. 4: Enrolment Season

Apparently, education in the Philippines is not cheap, especially if you are aiming to send your kids to reputable schools. Once the enrolment season starts, your commitment to savings is forgotten because this “expense” must be paid first.

This is why it is important to save early. You give yourself enough buffer when the time comes and you need money. You don’t need to take tons of jobs in between just to cover tuition expenses since you were able to save early.

Excuse No. 5: Calamity happened back home. 

The latter half of the year is when the Philippines is plagued with tons of typhoons. If your family lives in low-lying, typhoon-prone areas, then it’s not surprising when you always have to send money back home to help with the repairs.

Believe it or not, you can avoid this. Buying a house in a better location may be the best solution, but we know how heavy this is on the pocket. The best you can do for now is to set aside a Calamity Fund that will cover expenses back home. Government agencies like PAG-IBIG also offers Calamity Loan, which you can avail of – in the meantime.

Excuse No. 6: “I need to start Christmas shopping.” 

In the Philippines, Christmas starts as early as September – and this is something you brought with you abroad. You started filling out those boxes just in time for Christmas. While there is nothing wrong with this, do you always have to splurge just because it’s the Season of Giving?

One or two gifts for every member of the family is fine. More than material things, the best gift that you can give them is the gift of stability. Don’t let this take a backseat and constantly give in to your family’s needs and demands. You need to prepare for everyone’s future and the best time to start it is now.

Savings Account for Your Kids You Should Apply For – Now

There’s no such thing as “too early” when it comes to saving for your kids’ future. In fact, the earlier you prepare, the better because you can get ahead. By the time your kids start school or in the event of an emergency, you already have sufficient amount to cover for these expenses. This is why it is also important that you make the most out of your time overseas where you can earn more money.

Aside from preparing for their future, having a bank account for your kids teaches them the importance of responsibility. At an early age, you are also able to instill the value for money on them and how starting early in savings could benefit them later in life.

Thankfully, banks recognize this demand and came up with facilities that cater to children. That being said, here are the best savings account for your kids:

BPI Jumpstart Savings 

This is ideal for kids between 10 and 17 years old. With initial deposit of P100, you can get a savings account for your child in BPI and BPI Family. If you want the account to start earning interest at 0.25 percent, then make sure the account has at least P1,000 for BPI Family and P2,000 for BPI accounts.

Why BPI Jumpstart Savings?

  • Low maintaining balance of P500 and P1,000 for BPI Family and BPI, respectively.
  • Comes with Guaranteed Savings feature, which protects the funds from unplanned withdrawal.
  • The Allowance Transfer facility allows you to deposit money for allowance according to your schedule.
  • Cellphone reloading is available.

BDO Junior Savers Account

If you really want to start early on savings, then BDO Junior Savers Account might be of help. This can be availed of kids between zero and 12 years old. Similar to BPI, the minimum initial deposit is P100 – and you only need this amount to maintain the account as well. To ensure that you will earn interest at 0.25 percent, P2,000 is required.

Why BDO Junior Savers Account?

  • Comes with ATM card and passbook.
  • In case you have an existing BDO account, you can easily transfer money to your child’s account through online banking.
  • In case your child is seven and above, s/he can already request for a personalized EMV debit card as long as the balance is P2,000.

Metrobank Fun Savers Club

Many savings account for kids are limited to a particular age and will require you to “upgrade” or change by the time your child reaches the maximum age limit. If you want something longer, then Metrobank’s Fun Savers Club is ideal for you. Age limit is between zero and 18 years old and minimum initial deposit is P100. The minimum maintaining balance is at P500 but if you want the account to earn interest at 0.25 percent, then the account must have at least P4,000.

Nonetheless, this account only comes with a passbook and has no ATM option.

Why Metrobank Fun Savers Club?

  • Welcome gift for kids
  • Discounts and privileges from partner establishments like Active Fun and Tom’s World
  • May come with free educational trust benefit worth P50,000 IF you met minimum ADB requirement

Security Bank Junior One Account 

Similar to Metrobank, Security Bank’s Junior Savers facility for kids can also be extended up to 18 years old. Initial deposit is also P100, but minimum maintaining balance is P5,000. The best part is this P5,000 could already start earning interest at 0.5 percent, which is twice higher than the other savings account for kids.

Why Security Bank Junior One Account?

  • It comes with a passbook.
  • Debit card option is available.
  • Easy and convenient account opening since you can get the card and apply for online access on the same day.

PS Bank Kiddie and Teen Savers Account

Kiddie Savers Account is available for kids between zero and 12 years old while the Teen Savers Account is for those between 12 and 18 years old. Maintaining balance is at P2,000 to allow you to earn at 0.25 percent.

Why PS Bank Kiddie and Teen Savers Account? 

  • There is no minimum initial deposit and maintaining balance, thereby giving you more flexibility on the account.
  • It comes with passbook and ATM for In-Trust-For account.
  • Free Personal Accident Insurance equivalent to five time the account’s monthly average daily balance.

Did you notice anything? Savings account for kids are easy and convenient to avail. Go to your trusted bank now to apply – and give your child the gift of security.

How to Get that Dream Home this 2019

One of the many things OFWs save up for is their dream home. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a house they can call their own, right? Plus, shelter is a basic human need and your family deserves it.

Apparently, buying a house is not the same as buying a shirt. For starters, house is more expensive and will entail you to spend at least a million. Second, buying a house means you need to take a lot of adjustments to accommodate this additional expense. Third, don’t even get started with maintenance and real estate taxes.

More than that, at least you have a place you can call your own, no matter what happens. If you intend to make that dream happen this 2019, then you can and you will.

Here are tips to help you buy that dream home this year:

Tip No. 1: Determine the logistics for your new home.

This is the first thing you need to do. Sure, it is the people who makes a house a home, but what kind of house do you plan to buy?

At this point, you need to narrow your choices as to whether you’ll get a house and lot, condominium unit, or a land where you can build your house. Is previously-owned house okay for you as well? Do you want to live in a gated subdivision or non-guarded locations will do?

Consequently, you need to establish the location of your dream home. The price of houses in Metro Manila is expensive compared to settling in nearby provinces. Scout for locations that are near schools or hospitals for added accessibility. Ask around whether the location you are eyeing for is prone to flood or within the fault line, which are important factors to consider.

Also, outline your plans on how you can save and earn more so you could buy your dream home by the end of the year. This way, you can make necessary adjustments and avoid falling short off cash.

Tip No. 2: Create a budget. 

This is a must. You may find the perfect location and the perfect size for your dream home but can you afford it?

This is why it is important to create a budget. This should outline how much are your expenses as well as the money you earn every month. The expenses column is crucial, so look into it closely and see which ones you could forego, say weekly shopping for your family or eating out every Friday night. This way, you could make room for expenses like amortization, especially if you plan to borrow money.

Keep in mind that good saving and wise spending habits are important in making your dreams happen. Set up a budget now and make sure you stick to it.

Tip No. 3: Make those tiny sacrifices. 

It’s okay if you won’t be able to send money every three days or a balikbayan box every other month. That doesn’t mean you love your family less.

It’s okay if you just cook meals at home or refuse to go out with friends every Friday night. You simply know your priorities and that’s what matters.

The point is everyone in the family must do something and contribute to help maximize savings. A little sacrifice goes a long way, which means you might be able to buy that dream home by the end of the year.

Tip No. 4: Look for additional sources of income. 

Your job overseas may be paying you well but don’t just rely on that, especially now that you’re planning to buy a house. At this point, you need to look for additional sources of income to help you fill the Dream House fund.

Your family back home should take responsibility as well. There are tons of businesses they could try without shelling out too much money. This way, raising money for your dream house won’t just be on your shoulders.

Tip No. 5: Try financing. 

Despite the changes in your lifestyle and cooperation of your family back home, the fund doesn’t seem enough.

This is where financing comes in. Banks offer Housing Loan with priority given to Overseas Filipino Workers. Government agencies like SSS and PAG-IBIG also offer housing programs, who have lower interest rates.

The point is explore your financing options, compare rates and other features of the housing loan program, and ask for recommendation before you say yes to one.

Are you ready to get that dream home? Yes you are – and you will.