14 Simple But Creative Ways To Save Cash During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic taught us many things – the importance of having an Emergency Fund or savings, learning how to value non-material things, how to be resilient, and the list goes on. Aside from these, the pandemic taught us how to adjust our lifestyle to be able to save more, especially now that there is a halt in overseas work.

The truth is there are tons of ways on how we can save cash during challenging times like this. In case you are looking for ideas on how to do it, then let this list guide you.

Creative And Effective Ways To Save Cash

  1. Set a budget – for everything. This is a must. Pandemic or not, having a budget is important because it helps you keep track of how much money goes in and out every month. This will also give you an idea on what expenses you can get rid of for extra cash.
  2. Grow your own food. Having your own fruits and vegetables backyard will help you in saving money instead of buying them from the market or grocery. Herbs are popular nowadays, but you can also plant calamansi, pechay, ampalaya, and other veggies in your own home.
  3. Unplug. Did you know that standby appliances could still consume electricity by as much as 10 percent? This could be added to your total electric consumption, which also means higher bill. Therefore, unplug unused appliances since it also promotes electrical safety and prevents the possibility of fire.
  4. Go for energy-efficient appliances. Even if they are in use, consumption cost will be lower, which means you get to save from electricity, too.
  5. Be mindful of your water consumption. Turn of faucet when not in use, use a glass when brushing teeth, use a pail when washing your car or watering the plants, and check for any leaks. Simple steps could go a long way when you save water. This will help reduce your water bill as well.
  6. Reduce alcohol intake. Yes, we all need to unwind but drinking alcohol could eat up a chunk from the income. Limit, if not get rid of it to be able to save more.
  7. Take advantage of sales and deals. 10.10, 11.11 – these are dates many are looking forward to because of sale and great deals online. If you NEED to buy something, then take advantage of these sales and promos so you could save more. P20 savings or free shipping fee are still savings.
  8. Let the light in. Opening your windows and letting the sun in is a good way to keep your home well-lighted. Take advantage of it since it saves electricity, too.
  9. Easy on takeouts. Cooking can be a tedious task but think about this: you get to save more. As much as possible, reduce your food deliveries.
  10. Always stick to essentials when doing the grocery. It’s tempting to buy the food you see in the supermarket, but do you really need it? As much as possible, stick to essentials. This is where you will appreciate growing your own food because you can skip certain items since you have them on your backyard. This means more savings, too.
  11. Cancel subscriptions you don’t need. Who doesn’t want entertainment? After all, we all need something to distract us from the negativity in the outside world. Still, if this form of entertainment is charging you with an amount that doesn’t suit your daily needs, then it might be best to cancel that subscription. There are many ways to keep yourself busy without breaking the wallet. But if you really need that streaming, then at least consider sharing. This way, you only get to pay half of the price.
  12. Make your own coffee. Who needs P180-worth of coffee anyway?
  13. Keep your bills. Doesn’t it feel good when you see P500 in the drawer that you accidentally forgot? If you have extra bills, then consider “hiding” them. This could come in handy during emergency.
  14. Don’t forget the coins. Surely, you have lots of coins lying around the house. Put them in a coin bank and use it. You might be surprised to find out that the coins lying around is worth a lot.

These are just simple adjustments but could benefit you in the long run. At this point, we need to think of ways to maximize and stretch the money we have, and these tips could help us become more mindful and careful with our spending. This could lead to bigger savings, too.

Job Opportunity: How To Become A Contact Tracer

Finding a job during this time won’t be easy. Even if you want to work, there is no assurance that a company will hire you, despite your qualifications. Unfortunately, this pandemic affected most business, with many forced to close down to avoid incurring further losses. Until there is a vaccine that could put an end to the Covid-19, it will take time before we can all go back to our normal lives.

What can you do? Putting up your own business while waiting for deployment is a good idea. Apparently, there are many who are already venturing into this and it won’t be long before the market gets saturated.

If you’re looking for a good way to earn extra, then consider becoming a contact tracer.

But first, what is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is the process of identifying, evaluating, following up, and managing individuals that could have been or were exposed to the Covid-19 virus. If conducted effectively, contact tracing could:

  • Interrupt ongoing transmission
  • Lower the risk of spreading the virus
  • Inform and alert individuals who are at risk of getting the infection
  • Offer preventive care or counseling

As of this writing, the government allocated P5-billion for this and are currently open to hiring 50,000 contact tracers. 20,000 will be deployed in Luzon while Visayas and Mindanao will have 15,000 contact tracers each.

What does it mean to be a contact tracer?

According to the World Health Organization, a contact tracer has three main responsibilities:

  • Identification

As a contact tracer, you need to identify the possible individuals that the person with Covid-19 came in contact or interacted with. This includes members of the family, friends, co-workers, and even people in the places s/he went to.

  • Contact Listing

This responsibility covers creation of list of all contacts of the infected person. Consequently, those included in the list will be notified regarding the status of the person with Covid-19 as well as what they can do in case of close contact. Contact tracers must also provide necessary information on how to prevent transmission.

  • Follow Up

Contact tracer must also monitor symptoms and follow up contacts for possible signs of infection.

What do you need to be a contact tracer?

  • Ability to collect data
  • Understands and respects the concept of patient confidentiality
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Can explain Covid-19 clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand
  • Must have ethical and professional conduct
  • Ability to conduct interviews while maintaining patient confidentiality
  • Must be resourceful in collecting, locating, and communicating not just with the infected person but also individuals with possible exposure

Application is open to ALL, although applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Health-related course will be given priority.

Is there a required training before you can become a contact tracer?

As of this writing, TESDA is offering an online course for contact tracer training.

With the help of the Department of Health and other health industry experts, TESDA was able to develop a training program that equips potential tracers with necessary skills needed for the job. The aim is to provide “world class and competent human resources for contact tracing.”

The training program will run for 15 days, which includes both online and face-to-face learning.

You can access the free training here.

How much can you earn?

Contact tracers have a salary grade 9, which means you can earn at least P18,000 every month.

Take note that the job is only temporary. although the agency is pushing for one year employment. Nevertheless, this is a good source of income in the meantime.

Where to Apply

The Department of Interior and Local Government, including its regional offices, are responsible for handling applications of potential contact tracers.

Are you interested? Simply visit the DILG office near you to apply because who knows, you might be qualified.

How To Manage Finances With Your Spouse At The Time Of Pandemic

As a couple, it is normal to share everything together. This is part of sharing a life together. By sharing, this also includes finances.

Pre-pandemic, you and your spouse have a game plan – you work overseas and send money back home while s/he will attend to your growing family. Then, there’s a side business, too, for additional income.

Unfortunately, the pandemic changed your – and everyone’s – financial game plan. All of a sudden, you were repatriated with only separation benefits on your pocket. Then, you start to wonder what will happen to your family? How can you manage your finances now that you are unemployed?

We hope these tips help:

Tip No. 1: Be Honest About Your Situation

There’s no point in lying or sugarcoating your current situation. At this stage, you need to be honest about what is happening. Have a formal communication where you can both talk about:

  • The family’s current financial situation
  • Any existing loans
  • Other possible sources of income aside from remittance
  • Adjustments to be made by every member of the family
  • Strategies on how your family can “ride it out” until you can go back to your work overseas

It won’t be easy to lay everything on the table but this is the only way. Do not keep any secrets and just inform each other about any money concerns later on when everything blew up to your faces. You need to know what is happening so you and your spouse could create a more effective budget and come up with solutions on how you can address the situation – together.

Tip No. 2: Know Your Needs Before Wants

The pandemic took a toll in everything we know is normal. In fact, it affected everyone, big and small, rich or otherwise.

Now that we need cash more than ever, it’s time identify as a couple what your family needs. These are non-negotiable essentials like food and a place to stay, so make sure budget is allotted for that. Then, make a list of the things and expenses you can dispense with. At this time, needs must come first because this will help you and your family survive the tide.

Tip No. 3: Review Your Finances

Aside from identifying your needs over wants, it’s also a must to review your finances.

Make a list of all your existing loans as well as monthly expenses. This will help you identify which expenses you can eliminate. At the same time, you can check what loans need to be paid first based on either the earliest due date or higher interest rate.

Again, honesty is important to be able to manage your finances effectively. This will also help you devise a proper plan on how to ensure continuity even during the pandemic.

Tip No. 4: Make Necessary Adjustments

Now that you are both aware of the current financial standing, it’s time to make adjustments as a family.

This means you need to forego certain expenses like takeouts or online shopping. You and your family must also be mindful of your consumption, especially when it comes to water and electricity. Adjustments must be collective and not just done by one or two persons. Otherwise, you might have a hard time riding out this pandemic if you stick to your old ways.

In other words, work as a team.

Tip No. 5: Look For Other Means Of Income

You and your family survive with remittance, until Covid-19 happened. Income is limited and let’s face it, money is an issue.

That being said, come up with ways on how you can improve your standard of living. Look for other means to earn money either by applying for job or putting up your own business, regardless of how small it is. You might know someone who is looking for your services, so take advantage of your network.

The bottom line is both you and your spouse, together with the kids, must help each to be able to survive this pandemic.

If you’re looking for an easier way to finance your business, then you should know that Balikbayad is here to help. You can apply online and we will get back to you as soon we can.

What Happens If You Cannot Pay Your Loan On Time?

Covid-19 affected everyone’s lives, mostly in a bad way. Businesses are closing. Livelihood is lost. Job opportunities are gone. You find yourself either on your way back to Philippines together with other OFWs who were repatriated or staying in the country – in the meantime – while waiting for deployment.

Since your employment overseas was postponed, you might be worried about a lot of things including the loans you have to pay.

That being said, what happens in case of delay in loan payments?

First, Let’s Define Loan Default

Every loan contract specifies loan details, including loan term and penalty clause. Loan default is when you are unable to pay your monthly loan payments for a certain period. This is different from loan delinquency wherein loan is unpaid for a long time.

Usually, lenders, particularly large banks, give up to 90 days grace period before they can tag a borrower in default. After 90 days and no payment is still given, your account will be classified as “in default.”

When this happens, the following situations follow:

Situation No. 1: Debt Will Pile Up

This is the most obvious effect of non-payment of loans. Your loan is continuous, which means interest will accrue. You also have to pay for penalty fees and other charges, which don’t come cheap. Some charge penalty fee for every day the loan remains unpaid.

This simply means the principal amount won’t decrease but the charges are continuously increasing. Your P5,000 loan could double or even triple and you won’t even notice.

Situation No. 2: Involvement Of Collection Agency

Lenders have dedicated department or group of people in charge of collection. They will send collection statements and demand payment of loans. Apparently, this will only last for a certain time. After a given period, unpaid accounts will be sent to collection agencies, who will now demand payment of loans. Oftentimes, these agencies are more aggressive compared to lenders.

Situation No. 3: Foreclosure Of Assets

One of the worse things that could happen to someone is seeing your hard-earned assets taken from you. Lenders don’t want this to happen, which is why foreclosure through public auction is the last resort.

Sadly, lenders will be forced to take your car or house if you are unable to pay your loan. Still, this is their way of recovering from their losses for lending money.

Don’t be complacent. You will still have to pay for the balance in case the cost of your property is not enough to cover the loan, including additional charges.

Situation No. 4: Poor Credit Score

Credit score is crucial, especially when you apply for a loan. This shows how financially responsible you are as a borrower. The lower your score, the higher the chances of getting your loan application rejected. Even if your loan application is approved, you will be given a higher interest rate.

There are many actions that will warrant a low credit score. This includes non-payment of loans.

Loan Default At The Time Of Pandemic

As of this writing, the Credit Information Corporation urged banks not to declare loan defaults during the pandemic (1). The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also gave banks until March 2021 to reclassify their respective borrowers’ past due loans. This way, borrowers will have time to keep up with payments and prevent them from defaulting.

Still, don’t rely on this alone. If you have existing loans, then talk to your lender immediately. Discuss and negotiate what can be done so you can slowly pay for your debts and avoid being in default.

A debt is still a debt. Even if there is pandemic, you still have to be responsible for your loan. Pay it little by little instead of none at all.

How To Start Your Small Business

Covid-19 pandemic affected everything – livelihood of the people, way of life, and even the country’s economy. OFWs were also heavily affected. Many Filipinos abroad were sent back since their companies reduced workforce, temporarily closed, or decided to shut down to minimize losses. A lot of Filipinos who were about to go to their country destination were unable to leave due to travel restrictions.

As a result, OFWs and their families are constantly looking for means to survive.

The government offered financial aid but let’s face it, not everyone can get some help. Even if you qualified for the cash assistance programs, what you’ll get won’t be enough to help you and your family survive for the next weeks.

This is where starting your own business comes in. If you’re wondering how and where to start, then let this post guide you.

Know What To Sell

This is the first thing you need to identify first. Before you get into selling, you need to establish what to sell first.

There are many things you can sell but during this time of pandemic, people resort well to food. If your family could boast one dish, then don’t be afraid and offer it in the market. Or you can create your own to set your business apart from the rest.

Nonetheless, don’t limit yourself to food. Retail is also a good market where you can sell any goods. If there’s a service you can provide, then advertise that as well.

Determine The Budget

This is the next step. Even if you have the perfect product or service in mind, you need to determine how much you’re willing to shell out for this business.

Keep in mind that you need to consider various expenses such as business permits, renovation of the place, or rent. Include this in your budget planning to check if you can start a business while minimizing loss.

If you can, then get a business partner. This will divide everything including budget and responsibilities. Just make sure that you trust the person completely since good relationship is a must.

Find Your Sources

Now that you identified what to sell and determined how much your budget is, it’s time to find your sources.

This is also crucial. There are several sellers that offer a particular raw material so make sure you go to someone who offers the most affordable price. It will take time but scouting for the the most affordable products will give you more flexibility when it comes to your pricing. You might even offer the lowest price in the market.

Make Sure You’re Registered

BIR reminded online sellers to register their businesses and file income taxes if applicable.

Government agencies or entities that you need to apply to for permits are:

  • DTI for business name
  • SEC for partnership entities
  • BIR for tax purposes
  • Local government or respective for the business permits

It’s better to comply with them early on to avoid issues.

Sell Your Products

How do you plan to sell your products? Having a space could help because it helps boost your legitimacy as a seller. Because of the pandemic, not many people are willing to go out and prefer doing their thing online.

Therefore, the easiest way to sell your products is through social media. Facebook and Instagram are effective platforms so make sure to capitalize on that. Don’t forget to take really good, captivating photos to entice your would-be customers.

Are you ready to start your business? It may be small for now but with the right mindset, proper care and attention, and good service to your customers, this will eventually get big.

6 Money Lessons OFWs Can Learn During Covid-19 Pandemic

2020 has been a challenging year – so far. Tragedies and natural phenomenons rocked the whole world. As of this writing, the world is still being challenged in the form of Covid-19.

The pandemic put a halt in everything. Tourism is heavily affected. Unemployment is on the rise. Lockdown policies are still in place, thereby making you unable to work or go to your country destination. Worse, the economy is bleeding, not just in the Philippines but also around the world.

Filipinos are resilient. We will constantly look for opportunities to rise in every diversity. That being said, here are money lessons we all can learn from because of this pandemic:

Lesson No. 1: Emergency Fund Is A Must

Emergency fund is designed for a specific purpose: during emergencies. At times like this, you need this fund now more than ever since, well, this is an emergency.

Ideally, an Emergency Fund must allow you to survive for at least three months. This will cover expenses such as food, medicine, and utilities while you are unable to work.

If you don’t have a separate emergency fund, then your savings will do – for now. The government provides P10,000 cash aid for OFWs plus other forms of help but having this type of fund could help you get through the rainy days.

READ: What You Need To Know About Emergency Fund

Lesson No. 2: Needs Come First

In this kind of situation, needs come first – always. You cannot afford to splurge on things your family back home wants, even if it’s on sale, because you need to be wiser on how you will use your money.

Covid or no Covid, always prioritize what your family needs first. Don’t buy items that will have no value in the long run just to satisfy your family’s requests. Splurging from time-to-time is okay and for as long as budget permits. But at this point, needs will come first.

Lesson No. 3: Invest Your Money Wisely

Investment is process wherein you put your money into something for profit or material results. Unfortunately, a new phone, bags, and shoes are not considered as an investment.

Stocks could be a good form of investment since the value appreciates over time. Companies give dividends several times a year, which means additional income. In case budget is an issue, time deposit or UITF could be a good place to start.

If you want something more tangible, then place your hard-earned money on properties. This way, you can have a place you can call your own.

The bottom line is be wiser. Banks and other financial institutions offer various forms of investment to help you grow your money.

Lesson No. 4: Look For Alternate Source Of Income

Your job overseas may be giving your family a comfortable life back home. Still, don’t be complacent. Having alternate source of income, whether in the Philippines or wherever you are, could help you a lot since you have additional buying power.

Teach your family to start something as well. Cook well-loved family dishes and sell it online. If any member is good at something, then consider monetizing that skill. Freelance or online jobs could be a good source of income as well.

More than anything, this pandemic is teaching each and every one of us to go out of our comfort zone and work harder.

Lesson No. 5: Borrow Wisely

There’s nothing wrong with borrowing money, especially if you need it to fund your existing business or thinking of buying a family home. But if you are borrowing money to extend your wallet to buy material things, then you need to evaluate your priorities.

Borrow money only if it will help you in the long run.

Lesson No. 6: Live Simply.

One thing this pandemic taught us is how to live a simple life. You’ll realize that at the end of the day, material things don’t really matter.

Sure, it will make you happy but at the end of the day, what matters most are food on the table, decent clothes to wear, roof above the heads, and a comfortable life.

What have you learned during this pandemic?

Online Investment Scams You Need To Watch Out For

Technology has its ups and downs. Sure, you can connect with anyone in the world and pay bills wherever you are in the world. Unfortunately, the digital world can be a breeding ground for all things scam and illegal. If you’re not too careful, then you might end up being a victim as well. Worse, you could lose your hard-earned money and surely, you don’t want that to happen.

That being said, here are some of the online scams you need to be careful for – with tips on how to avoid them.

Online Investment Scam

This is very common. Many people are slowly considering and embracing the importance of investing money. Unfortunately and if you’re not too careful, you might end up putting your money in the wrong basket.

Below are the most common online investment scams in the Philippines:

  • Online Paluwagan – Known as onpal, this scheme regulates similar to the traditional paluwagan wherein members will take turns in receiving money from the pooled funds depending on the payout schedule. Facebook is the most common method used by onpal wherein a promise of cash deposit, remittance, or wire transfer is the mode of payment. To be able to earn more, you need to recruit members between one to 90 days. Unfortunately, many onpal members reported that they were not able to receive their money.
  • Fake Online Lending Companies – Borrowing money has never been this easy, thanks to online lending companies. Because of the popularity, scammers are enticing people to join by investing their money in micro-financing or lending companies. The pitch: you get to earn as much as 12 percent every week. This seems like a good idea and those behind the scam will pay the initial returns to make you believe that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, they’ll disappear after.
  • Paid-to-Click Programs – The concept is simple: click on online ads, log-in daily, or get referrals. Then, you’ll get paid depending on your daily turnout. While this seems like an easy way to earn money, you might end up losing more. In fact, you’ll be asked to pay a membership fee or buy advertising products, which will serve as your “share” of the profits. While this sounds tempting, there is no assurance that you will get paid – after all the effort and money you put through.
  • Offshore Stock Trading – OFWs have more dollars than peso on hand. Why not invest it, right? After all, you saw that ad on offshore investment on Facebook, which sounds promising. Unfortunately, this is a classic example of a scam since this type of investment scheme is not allowed to operate in the Philippines.
  • Bitcoin Investment – Cryptocurrency, popularly known as bitcoin, took the world by storm. Like they say, the higher you climb. the harder you fall, especially those who invested their money in this type of currency. It promises as high as 200 percent profit wherein transactions are done through mobile wallets, bank deposit, or remittance companies. The BSP considered bitcoin investment as “speculative and highly risky” that could lead to huge losses. Plus, this type of currency is not backed up any goods, company, or services unlike physical money.

Here’s the good news: there are several ways where you can protect yourself and your hard-earned money from online investment scams. The first thing you need to do is to check, read, and understand what you’re investing for.

Also, the company must be registered and authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission to operate as an investment or lending company. Having a legitimate and registered company name is different from being allowed to operate and conduct investment operations. It must be explicitly approved by the agency.

Regularly check advisories issued by the SEC. The agency releases statements on the latest investment scams as well as companies involved in it. Keep in mind that ignorance excuses no one. Visit the website from time to time and see the latest news.

More importantly, don’t easily fall for ads that promise big returns. Return of your investment will take time, not days. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, then it is not true.

Be (More) Financially Literate With These 6 Tips

According to the Financial Capability Survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, many Filipinos were able to answer only three out of seven financial literacy questions. Worse, only a small chunk of the Filipino population perfected the questions.

What does this mean? Many Filipinos don’t know the meaning of concepts of compounded interest, investment, or the effect of inflation on prices of basic commodities. Because of this, BSP and DepEd are pushing to include Financial Education in the K to 12 curriculum.

If you’re no longer in school, then that’s fine. There are still ways to educate yourself and keep yourself in the loop when it comes to financial matters with the help of these tips.

Tip No. 1: Make sure to attend PiTaKa.

Thankfully, the BSP understood what financial illiteracy means especially for those who have no 24/7 access to information. By partnering with BDO Foundation, the agency launched its PiTaKa, Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman, which aims to boost OFWs financial knowledge. In fact, it is part of PDOS and will also be shown during the General Orientation for OFW families.

Through this course, you will be taught how to save regularly, spend money wisely, and tips and ideas on how to increase your income.

It may not make you financially literate overnight, but at least you have ideas on how to improve your financial standing.

You can learn more about this program through this post.

Tip No. 2: Read up.

There are tons of materials from books and resources available online. Take advantage of those information by reading as much as you can.

Familiarize yourself with various concepts like mutual funds, return of investment, and interest. Books and newspapers are good places to start but if you want faster info, then make sure you have an Internet connection. Simply type the concept you want to learn in the Google search bar and you will be shown tons of articles regarding that. Make sure you read posts from legitimate sources to ensure that you are getting information from someone reliable.

Tip No. 3: Watch financial videos.

If you’re not into reading, then watching videos about financial concepts could be helpful.

Videos are more straightforward and easier to absorb. All you need is to type on the search bar what you want to know and you will see videos related to that. Similar to articles, choose videos made by legitimate and reputable sources.

Some companies conduct webinars about certain topics, including financial management. Take advantage of that by joining those webinars. The good thing about this is that you can immediately address concerns and questions since someone is talking in front of you.

Tip No. 4: Download financial management apps.

Believe it or not, financial management apps are more than just for plotting your income and expenses. It could also give you a better understanding on the concepts since there is a practical application involved.

You may not notice it but it’s really helpful.

Tip No. 5: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Asking questions, especially on those concerns you don’t fully understand, is not a sign of weakness. In fact, there is nothing wrong with asking.

The articles and videos will help boost financial literacy but if you want financial concepts to be explained, then make sure you talk to someone who understands. Take advantage every time you go to the bank. Clarify something. Ask questions. Admit that there certain concepts you don’t understand. It’s okay.

Tip No. 6: Start now.

Procrastinating is among the worst habits you have, especially when it comes to money. If you are serious about improving your financial literacy, then you need to stop making excuses and work on it now.

Take it one at a time since financial concepts can be overwhelming. If you understood already a certain topic, then move on to the next.

The bottom line is you start to take control and commit yourself to learning more – now.

Keep in mind that ignorance excuses no one. Take advantage of the information available online and make the most out of it. All you need is an Internet connection and there’s so much you can learn if you allow yourself to be informed.

6 Tips On How To Get Back To Saving Again

Christmas season is over. This means no more making a list, checking it twice, and sending balikbayan boxes back home. This also means you need to get back to taking control of your finances and saving for the rainy days.

Admit it. It’s hard to get back to saving especially after the holidays. Apparently, the reality is there are mouths to feed and you need to be prepared for what could possibly happen.

To help you back on track, we made a list of tips on how to help you get back to savings again.

Tip No. 1: Evaluate your expenses.

Before you get into saving, you need to see where your hard-earned money went.

Make a list of every expense you had over the holidays – gifts, food, activities you did with the family, and every eat-outs in restaurants. If you can include the cost for each expense, then much better. Make sure you include whether you used cash or credit card when you made a purchase.

You need to not just see but also understand where your money went as well as your spending habits for the past two months.

Be truthful on this. Acknowledge that you may have spent more than your budget. The important thing is you are willing to make it right the following year.

Tip No. 2: Know how much you owe and how much is left.

The next thing you need to look into is your current financial status, also known as your reality check.

Did you borrow money from someone? Did you use credit card in purchasing those items for Christmas? How much money did you withdraw? What fund did you use to finance those purchases?

You need to see how much money you have left. At the same time, you need to check how much money you owe, whether to a friend or the credit card company. This will keep you grounded and make it easier for you to make adjustments as you get back to spending. Plus, you will have an idea on how much you need to replenish given the expenses over the holidays.

Tip No. 3: Stick to needs – for now.

There is no more reason to splurge – for now. Take that time as an opportunity to get back to saving. You can do this by making sure that you stick to the basics and avoiding things you don’t really need. This way, you can give your wallet and bank account a time to breathe.

Make sure you relay the message to your family back home. After all, they won’t be needing new clothes anytime soon, right?

Tip No. 4: Get back to your budget.

Remember how much we emphasize on budgeting? If you already have one, then make sure you get back to that so you could set aside money for your savings.

If you don’t have one, then now is the perfect time to do it. You can check out this post to guide you through the ins and outs of budgeting.

Tip No. 5: Find ways to boost your savings.

If time and health permits, then you might want to consider getting a side job for additional savings. It doesn’t have to be grand, as long as it pays well – in the meantime.

Having a side job or a business is a good way to increase your income. In return, the money you earned may be deposited to your savings account. Who knows, this account could pave way for bigger things such financing your own business.

Tip No. 6: Encourage your family to save, too.

The obligation of saving is not just your responsibility. In fact, it is the whole family’s. Your commitment to saving should transcend to your family and make this effort together. When you do so, you will be able to reach your goals because everyone is helping.

Are you ready to get back to saving?

4 Reasons Why You Should Have A Budget

Admit it: now that you’re working overseas, life is easier and money is not that much of an issue. You get to earn more than what you can earn here and your family back home is happy.

Still, this is not an excuse to splurge and do whatever you want with your money. In fact, now is the perfect time to have a budget.

You might ask why. Here’s why:

It Stops You From Overspending

Earning in dollars can be overwhelming. Finally, you can buy things you cannot normally afford and send it back home to make the family happy. But, there is a danger in that. You’ll never know how much money you lost or worse, you might later on realize that everything you worked hard for is gone.

This is where budgeting comes in.

Having a budget allows you to allocate your finds to more important expenses such as monthly amortization, tuition fee, and savings. By having a budget, you’ll be able to avoid buying unnecessary things since the money is already allocated.

It Encourages You To Save

One of your goals upon working overseas is to be able to save more money. Thankfully, budgeting could help you with that. Since you already assigned a specific month for savings, you have the obligation and commitment to deposit that amount to your account.

Another advantage is that through budgeting, you will be able to increase your savings because you know how much will go to specific expenses. Furthermore, you are sure that enough amount is allotted to savings instead of saving only what is left.

As a result, you don’t need to withdraw funds every time you need to spend on something, thereby protecting your hard-earned money.

It Makes You Feel More In Control Of The Money

Do you feel that your hard-earned money just brushes into your palm? If yes, then it means that you are not in control of your money – and it’s not a good sign.

Having a budget will make you feel more in control and mindful of your money because you know exactly where it goes. You won’t feel guilty as well when you spend on something because you know that your money is properly allocated. In fact, you are able to track and prioritize your spending without wondering what happened to your money. This will also stop you from overspending.

It Helps You Achieve Your Goals

Working overseas is not forever. This is why you have to make the most out of your stay to ensure that you can give a better future for your family. In fact, by the end of your contract, you wanted to have at least a cushion for your dream home.

But how can you do that if you don’t know where your money goes?

This is why budgeting is important. Through budgeting, you can prioritize your spending and focus more on things that really matter – savings, your kids’ educational fund, a dream house, and the list goes on. Since you can track your spending, you will have more flexibility in adjusting your daily expenses. This will make it easier for you to achieve your goals and maximize your stay abroad.