5 Investment Options You Can Start for as Low as P10,000

Investment Options You Can Start for as Low as P10,000

Where do you put your hard-earned money?

For many OFWs, money is saved in the bank through your savings accounts, which also serves as a remittance account. Some will decide to open a time deposit, which allows them to earn a little bit higher than savings account.

If you want to be wiser about your money, then you need to start considering investment options.

According to Investopedia, investment is economically defined as “purchase of goods that are not consumed today but are used in the future to create wealth.”

In simple terms, it helps you grow your money.

Decades ago, investment are for the rich. Some options even require you a huge amount of cash to be able to have one. Today, the story is different. Investment options are not accessible to everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, to help ordinary Filipinos build their wealth. In fact, all you need is P10,000 and you can start your investment journey.

Below are your options:

Mutual Fund

Mutual fund is a type of investment wherein money from various investors is pooled into a common fund. This common fund is managed by professional fund managers, who in return, will invest the fund into different securities.

The best part is you can start with as low as P10,000. 

Read: How to Invest in Mutual Funds

Unit Investment Trust Fund or UITF

UITF is similar to mutual funds, except that the former is offered by commercial banks.

The good news is investing in UITF is safe because banks are supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The better news is that you can start investing in this with only P1,000 on your wallet. Not bad, right?

Government Securities

These are investment options offered by the government such as Retail Treasury Bonds and Treasury Bills.

The good thing about this type of investment is that aside from low minimum amount of P5,000, it is guaranteed by the government. After all, do you really think the government will run out of money?

However, don’t expect too much on interest since the return may be slightly higher than time deposits.

Stocks

If you are looking for high-return type of investment, then investing in stocks is a good idea. This is because when the company is earning, the value of the shares increases. The best part is the value of shares typically increases over the years. You can also start investing with P5,000 on your account although this may prevent you from buying high-valued stocks.

The issue with investing in stock market is that the risk involved is higher. When the company is not performing well, their value decreases, which means the price of their stocks decreases too. You could potentially lose a big amount especially if you’re not too careful on where to invest.

Government Savings

Another good option to invest your money at is through government savings.

PAG-IBIG has MP2 savings program that allows you to deposit at least P500 every month. On the other hand, SSS has a PESO Fund wherein the minimum monthly deposit is P1,000.

Since these savings program are guaranteed by the government, then you don’t have to worry about losing your hard-earned money.

Just make sure you are a member of SSS and PAG-IBIG to be able to avail of these savings programs.

READ: PAG-IBIG MP2 Savings vs. SSS P.E.S.O. Fund

So, which among these investment options are you ready to say yes to? Remember, if you start early now, you’ll be able to reap more benefits later.

Money Lessons Every Parent Must Teach to Kids – Now

They say parents are the child’s first teacher. That’s true. In fact, what you show to your children now could have a huge impact on them as they get older. This includes how you handle money and finances at home.

The truth is teaching money lessons to kids can be tricky, especially when you are miles away from home. Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Read this post and let this help you teach money concepts to your kids – and hopefully, you’ll adapt these too:

Money Lesson No. 1: Get to know the Philippine money a little bit better.

You can’t teach addition and subtraction immediately. Before you teach them about how to handle money, you need to educate them about what Philippine money is.

Introduce the peso denomination, including the people and places in front and at the back of the money. If you could tell stories and a bit of history about the Philippine money, then indulge your little ones with that. They could easily appreciate money because they know and understand the stories behind it.

You could use real money or play money when introducing this concept.

Money Lesson No. 2: Play money games.

It’s not enough that you teach your kids about denomination and who are the heroes imprinted on the money. Kids are kids and after a few minutes, they might forget about what you told them.

Therefore, make learning more exciting. You could try guessing game or sorting games. During your vacation back home, try pretend play by transforming your room into a grocery store or restaurant and money will be used to pay for the items bought.

The bottom line is the more you make learning fun and exciting, the more they will remember it.

Money Lesson No. 3: Explain how money is earned.

Being OFW is tough. Aside from the sacrifices you have to make by leaving your family to work abroad, you will also be partly responsible for the needs – and wants – of your extended family. Because of this, your children might think that earning money is easy.

Change that mentality by explaining to your kids how money is earned, which is by doing valuable work. Tell them that no one will hand you millions of pesos simply by sitting and waiting. In fact, make your kids understand that the reason why they are experiencing what they have is because of the hard work you need to do overseas.

Don’t sugarcoat and explain to your kids what the reality is. Let them know the reasons why at times, you can’t give what they are requesting. They will appreciate and value money more because they know the hard work that comes with every centavo.

Tip: Give your child age-appropriate jobs and pay them. For instance, let your child look after the sari-sari store and give him a salary at the end of his shift. This not only teaches the value of hard work but also instill work ethic and discipline at a young age.

Money Lesson No. 4: Teach about the importance of saving.

This is a must. Saving should not just be your sole responsibility, rather a family effort. Now that your kids know what money is and how it is earned, the next thing you need to teach is how to save the money earned.

A piggy bank or saving jar is a good idea but if you want to keep track of how much money is saved, then consider opening a bank account under their names. Give them access to that account but be firm that this is for future use and not for the things they want that won’t last.

Check out this post for a list of savings account you could open for your kids.

Teaching money to your children and instilling good money values will take time. Start now and you will reap the rewards later.

Brand-New or Second-Hand Car: Which One Should You Buy?

Last 2018, the government imposed a higher tax on automobiles upon the passage of TRAIN Law. This means if you plan to buy a brand-new 1.3 Toyota Vios, there is an increase for another two percent excise tax; thus making your purchase more expensive.

Luxury and hybrid cars are generally cheaper, but for ordinary citizens, will you drive a Toyota Land Cruiser that is worth at least P4 million?

In other words, buying a car today is more expensive than purchasing it two years ago.

Apparently, having your own car is one of the things you want to buy as product of your hard work overseas. With the increase in car prices, is it better to go for previously-owned or stick to brand-new – and worry about payment later?

Yes to Brand-New Car

Generally, it is more expensive.

Are you willing to shell out at least P700,000 for a brand-new car? It may not seem a lot for some but for many Filipinos, this is a big amount.

Brand-new cars are generally more expensive compared to going for previously-owned vehicles. Good thing lenders relaxed their requirements and make it easier for potential car owners like you to have their own car.

You need a car – fast.

Brand-new cars have readily available units. All you need to do is to visit the showroom, talk to a sales representative, complete the documents and cash. and you can get your car right away.

If you plan on getting a car loan, then don’t worry as well. Car loans or in-house financing are now faster in approving – or rejecting – auto loans. In fact, some could give you an answer within the day and update you about the status of your application.

Take note that once you made up your mind, there is no turning back. Otherwise, you will be forfeiting the P5,000 reservation fee you paid.

There’s no need to worry about repairs and maintenance.

This is the beauty of buying a brand-new car. The presumption is you are getting a car in good running condition since it is new.

That being said, you don’t have to worry about repairs and maintenance since you are the first owner. You can use it without worrying about breaking down anytime soon and you save yourself a trip to the mechanic to have your car checked.

You don’t have to worry about resale value.

Ideally, cars will stay with you for as long as possible. If you’re looking for a car that will last you and your family a lifetime, then brand-new car is your best bet.

Take note that cars depreciate over time. If what you’re after is reliability and a car that will bring you from point A to B for as long as possible, then buy a brand-new car instead. 

Don’t forget to ask for freebies.

One of the perks of buying a brand new vehicle is the freebies car companies could give you. Some offer free car tint, mats, or a discount on your insurance policy. Make sure you ask your sales rep regarding this to add more value to your money.

Go for Second-Hand Car

Getting a car loan may not be easy.

Some lenders allow car financing but they are specific in year models. If the car is more than five years old, then applying for an auto loan could be challenging.

This means if you plan to get a pre-owned car, you need to prepare your pocket as well. Or, you could also ask the seller if in-house financing is applicable, although we caution you on this one.

You don’t mind if the car is not the latest model.

If your main concern is to bring you to a designated place and back to your home, then getting a second-hand car is not a bad choice at all. Just make sure you maintain the car properly so it won’t give you a headache even if it’s an old vehicle. 

Add cost of repairs and maintenance in your budget.

This is something you should seriously consider. Yes, you did not spend millions on a car but you need to spend few more thousands to ensure that the car is up and running.

Buying a pre-owned car means you might be required to replace car parts, which includes but not limited to:

  • Car tires plus spare tire
  • Battery
  • Brake pad
  • Shocks

You also need to check that all the car locks and windows are working for safety. You may get a car insurance for your car and the good news is the premium is generally cheaper compared to insuring brand-new vehicles.

Whether or not you buy a brand-new or pre-owned vehicle, the choice is yours. What matters most is that it is within your budget and the car is exactly what your family needs.

5 Financial Emergencies Every Family Should Be Ready For

If worries are equivalent to money, then surely, many Filipinos are millionaires these days. Unfortunately, worry does not equate to growing your money. In fact, worry does involve money, which means you need to prepare for these concerns before it even happens. Otherwise, you might end up in debt and lose what you have just because you didn’t prepare early.

This is not just a Pinoy problem. In fact, this is a global problem. Every family, regardless of the race, should be concerned.

Before it’s too late, here are the most common financial emergencies you and your family should prepare for:

Emergency No. 1: Natural Disasters

Apparently, the Philippines experience more than 10 typhoons every year. For the past few years, the PHIVOLCS is warning the Filipinos about the impending earthquake or “The Big One.”

In other words, natural calamities will always happen. These calamities could lead to destruction, which eventually leads to loss.

Nothing beats early preparation when it comes to natural disasters. Having an Emergency Bag with food, water, and basic supplies could separate life and death in case disaster happens. Having an Emergency Fund is also helpful since your family could use it to get started. Getting an insurance coverage for your car and home could also help, although this could mean additional expense.

Emergency No. 2: Job Loss

OFW life is unpredictable. You’ll never know when disaster or political turmoil will struck the country where you’re working. There is also a possibility that you might be sent home due to variety of reasons such as redundancy, bankruptcy, and even co-workers stabbing your back.

This is why we always stress how important savings and investment are while you are still working overseas. You earn more, which means there is a higher chance that you could save more. Make the most out of your time there by working hard. If your health and body permits, get another side job or put up a small business back home for your backup.

Emergency No. 3: Medical Issues

Who doesn’t get sick? Everyone in the family, including you and most especially you, will experience weakness from time-to-time. If you don’t take care of yourself, then all of your savings might go to medical expenses.

Having a dedicated Emergency Fund could help address any medical emergencies. If you can’t fully commit to your P100 per day savings, then at least get yourself covered. There are several insurance companies that offer health insurance coverage to OFWs like you. Take advantage of that because who knows what’s going to happen to you, right?

Of course, prevention is always better than cure. Eat healthy, sleep well, get some rest, and learn to say no to things presented in front of you. Remember, health is wealth.

Emergency No. 4: Home Repairs or Renovation

Let’s say the roof is leaking or the pipes in the kitchen were busted. You could either fix it immediately or not worry about it until it gets worse.

Clearly, you are for option number one.

It’s hard to predict when home repairs are needed, which is why it is important to be prepared for it. Your Emergency Fund plays a crucial role in this, so make sure it has sufficient funds to cover for the expenses.

Emergency No. 5: Business-Related Expense

This is applicable if you have an existing business.

Having your own business, no matter how small it is, could help you a lot while you’re still working overseas. It helps augment finances back home and the burden does not necessarily lie on your shoulders alone.

Of course, maintaining a business could also mean costs. You might experience shortage in your cash flow, which could translate to inability to buy new supplies or late rental payments.

The good news is there are financial institutions like Balikbayad that could help you on this arena. You could borrow up to P500K with low interest rate and minimal requirements. Simply fill out the online application form and a Balikbayad representative will get back to you as soon as possible.

The bottom line is preparation. These emergencies may or may not happen but at the end of the day, what matters most is how well and how early you prepared for it. You can do that starting now.

Digital Banking for OFWs: Yay or Nay?

At this day and age, almost everything can be done with just several clicks. Believe it or not, you could pay your bills, do some shopping, transfer money, and make reservations among many others online.

Because of this, banks are slowly transitioning to digital or online banking. After all, it is more convenient to do transactions online. Instead of going physically to the bank, all you need is your phone and Internet connection to do what you have to do.

Apparently, not everyone are willing to join the bandwagon and go digital. Many are scared of potentially losing their money, a concern that is totally understandable. If you are an OFW, then digital banking will make your life easier.

In fact, here are the pros of digital banking:

You can bank anytime, anywhere.

This is, by far, the top reason why you should go digital when it comes to banking transactions.

Picture this: you are on your way to work when you received a message from your wife back home about an emergency. They need the money and you don’t have time to look for a bank or remittance center where you can send cash.

Through digital banking, you will be able to do banking transactions like transferring funds or paying bills. You can also easily check how much money you have left in your bank account.

Going back to the scenario, you could simply connect to the Internet and send money to your family back home.

Banking fees are reduced.

Every movement in the bank entails cost. In fact, one of the reasons why banks charge higher interest rate or require you to pay processing fees is because they need to cover administration expenses. Banks have to pay for their employees, maintenance and security personnel, banking equipment, and the list goes on.

Digital banking reduces these fees. When you transact online, manpower is eliminated. This is also the reason why they don’t require you to have an initial deposit and maintaining balance, which is good for you.

Paperless transaction is encouraged.

Admit it. You tend to keep receipts and documents given by the bank to make it easier for you to trace your transactions. When you do this, you invite clutter in your room.

This is the beauty of going paperless.

Did you know that by embracing digital banking, you could help rehabilitate million hectares of degraded forest? Who knew this could be eco-friendly, right?

On the other hand, digital banking could be an issue. Here are of the disadvantages of going online:

There are cash deposit issues.

Transferring money is not an issue. What if your bank account has limited funds and your family back home needs the money? Obviously, your phone cannot accept cash deposits, which is one of the biggest concerns for digital banking.

To address this issue, banks partnered with financial firms like DragonPay and Visa to make it easier for you to deposit money. You could also deposit money through Bayad Center, a task that you could do in case you’re in the Philippines.

7/11 is another option where you can deposit money through their digital kiosks. 

You are prone to cyber-attacks.

This is the biggest issue surrounding digital banking. Despite the convenience, there will always be cyber-security issued that could potentially affect your current balance.

The good news is you could do something to protect yourself and your money against hackers.

Here are safety features you need to do and remember:

  • Assign stronger passwords.
  • Change your password regularly, preferably once a month.
  • If two-factor authentication feature is offered, then make sure you enable it.
  • When doing online banking transactions, make sure you connect to a secured network and avoid using public WiFi access.
  • Password should be for your eyes only. Never share it with anyone.
  • Download and use the bank’s official app or website.

Should you go for digital banking? There’s no problem with that. Just make sure you take note of the safety features to protect your account.

Should You Get Your Friend to Guarantee Your Loan?

Let’s say you have a business in mind that you want to do. Or you need additional cash to pay for your medical expenses or existing mortgage. Apparently, you can no longer borrow money from any of your relatives. Borrowing from your friends may not be a good option as well because let’s face it, they have needs too.

What is your next option? You apply for a loan, or a personal loan to be exact.

Here’s the thing: applying for a personal loan means you need collateral to guarantee your loan.

“I don’t have any property or car under my name. Paano na?” or “I have unpaid debts.

Don’t worry. You can still apply for a personal loan as long as you can find someone to guarantee the loan for you. Here’s how and why having a guarantor can help you with your loan application:

  • Guarantor serves as a collateral for the loan you’re applying for. When you have a collateral, this means your loan is secured, which also means you have extra room for negotiating your loan terms.
  • There is a higher chance that your loan application will be approved. Having a guarantor means your loan is secured, thereby giving lenders peace of mind that your loan will be repaid.
  • This increases your credit worthiness as a debtor. This means lenders are willing to give you a lan because there is a lower risk of non-payment.

The next question is this: who should you get as your guarantor?

Your guarantor should meet the following requirements:

  • Must be between 18 and 75 years of age
  • Financially stable, meaning your guarantor is earning stable income every month
  • Has good credit standing, which means no past due accounts or unpaid debts
  • Met the minimum income requirement set forth by lenders
  • Capable of making monthly payments in case of default
  • A homeowner, although this qualification applies to some lenders
  • All other qualifications required by your preferred lender.

The bottom line is your guarantor should be someone of legal age and who could help you pay your loan in case you are unable to do so.

Can your friend be your loan guarantor?

Believe it or not, yes, as long as he meets the requirements needed to be a guarantor. Ideally, your guarantor should be someone you trust like a close friend.

‘Apparently, this could be tricky. Any arrangement that involves money could potentially ruin relationships and surely, you don’t want that to happen.

What does it mean to be a guarantor?

The role of a guarantor is simple: to pay for the existing financial obligation in case the principal borrower is unable to pay due to unforeseen circumstances.

Despite that, guarantor will not have any share on the loan proceeds.

Aside from this, it’s not easy to find a guarantor who is willing to pay for your loan in case of default. That being said, here are some tips to help you guarantee your guarantor and make him say yes:

  • The guarantee must be in writing. Consequently, it should specifically state how much the guarantor will be liable, if ever, possible circumstances that will make him liable for the loan, and the duration of the guarantee.
  • Guarantee Agreement must be for one year first and may be renewed thereafter. The beauty of this arrangement is that once you can show to the lender that you are capable of paying the loan, then the guarantor may be released from his possible obligation.
  • Make sure that your guarantor gets a copy of all the loan documents, especially the Credit Agreement or Loan Contract and Guarantee Agreement.
  • In case of any changes in the terms of the loan, inform the guarantor right away.
  • Ensure your guarantor that he will only guarantee the loan up to the amount equivalent to the loan amount. This is to give assurance to him that he won’t be made liable for a loan beyond what was agreed upon.
  • Keep your guarantor updated on what’s happening in your loan. This includes any financial decisions involving the loan he guaranteed, any advance payment or availment, and how much money you have among others.
  • Always be visible and easy to contact. Even if you are overseas, make sure you keep communication lines open. Don’t make it hard for your guarantor to contact you.
  • Ensure your solvency, which also includes doing everything you can to pay for your loan.

More importantly, there should be mutual trust between you and your guarantor. If you can’t trust each other, then it is best to move on and look for a new one who could help.

Even if you have a guarantor, make sure and do your best to pay for your loan. Don’t let anyone be burdened on an obligation that benefited you. Again, he is merely a guarantee and a form of security.

5 Practical Tips to Keep in Mind when Starting Your Own Business

It’s not easy to start a business. Apparently, having a brilliant idea that could potentially save the world is one thing. Turning that idea into money is another. After all, the purpose of this idea is that you don’t have to go back overseas to work and provide a better future for your family.

That being said, what does it take to start a business after that brilliant idea came out? What are the things you need to do and remember before you jump into the world of entrepreneur? Do you have to fulfill certain requirements first?

Read on to find out.

Tip No. 1: Establish your capital funds.

This is important. Businesses need funds to make it work. You need capital to buy items for your inventory, pay for licenses and permits, and cover rental and utilities expense among others.

Where do you plan to get those funds?

You could use your savings while working overseas to cover for your business expenses. If you allocated those funds to something else, loan is also another option. You could borrow from family, relatives, or friends – and make sure you pay them back on time. Otherwise, banks and private lending companies could lend you money with interest.

Speaking of lending, Balikbayad is here to help. Fill out our loan application form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Tip No. 2: Location is key.

This is crucial. Even if you have a brilliant business idea, you won’t be able to yield the profits you want if people don’t see you.

Therefore, choose a location that has high foot traffic. This will make it easier for your business to be known since you are physically visible.

If the rent is too high for you, then opt for places where your products are appropriate. For instance, you want to put up a mini convenience store so the location should be near residential places or offices.

Parking space is another angle to look at. Most people these days have cars so make sure that your location has spaces for this.

One of the things you need to have are business documents. It not only makes your business legitimate but also, it could make it easier for you to expand it.

Tip No. 3: Make sure you are registered.

Business documents depend on the type of business you’ll put up. You can go for sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. For this article, let us focus on sole proprietorship since this is most common.

As a sole proprietor, you need to register with

  • Department of Trade and Industry for your business name
  • Barangay where your business is located
  • Mayor’s Office
  • Bureau of Internal Revenue for taxes and receipts

Tip No. 4: Make yourself available online.

Let’s say you can’t afford to rent a space – yet. That’s fine. What you could do is to establish your online presence.

This step is easier because you could create an account on Facebook or Instagram for free. Just make sure you take great pictures and choose the right hashtags to reach your target market.

Don’t forget to share your page to your friends and family so they could help spread the word.

Tip No. 5: Always take one step at a time.

Having your own business is not going to be a walk in the park. There are days when you have sales but there are also times when you can’t close a deal. That’s fine and it’s part of being a business owner. This is why it is important to take one step at a time.

First, establish your online presence. Then upload the best pictures, share your account and urge people to check it out and follow it. Focus on few product lines first instead of going big early on. Don’t aim for expansion when your capital is not enough to support it.

In other words, take it slow. You’ll get there eventually.

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.