We know you’re excited to leave for your work overseas. Finally, you can earn more – and in dollars too. At the same time, you get to step in a foreign soil and live there for as long as your contract allows you. No matter how exciting it sounds, there are certain things you need to do first to make sure your departure will be smooth sailing as possible.
1) Check and ensure that all of your requirements are complete.
Can you imagine yourself in the airport with all your baggages in tow, only to realize you left your passport or OEC? That’s hassle, especially if you live in the province.
Create a checklist of everything you need to make sure everything is smooth sailing. Place all the requirements and documents like passport in a separate envelope (with label), so you know where to find them. This avoids rushing come departure date.
2) Learn about your new environment.
Going to a foreign country is exciting. Still, it is important that you get to know your new environment first before anything else. Learn about your country destination, read about their laws, rules, customs, and practices, and teach yourself their common greetings in case you’re not going to an English-speaking country. Find out about their food and look for tourist spots so you know where to go during day-off. More importantly, find out how much basic necessities such as toiletries and food cost. This will help you prepare your budget plan and allow you to leave room for adjustment.
The more informed you are about the country where you’ll work will minimize culture shock. This will make it easier for you to adjust as well.
3) Secure your money.
This is another must. Keep in mind that you will be working overseas, which means you have to regularly send money to your family back home. Although remittance centers can be helpful, there are many OFWs these days who still choose bank-to-bank transfer because of safety and convenience.
Before you leave, set up an account exclusively for remittances, preferably a bank with an online facility. Then, set up a separate account which you will use for Emergency Fund – and make sure no one knows about it. This way, you will be able to secure your money in case something happens.
4) Assign roles and responsibilities to every member of the family.
One of the common cries of every OFW is that they shoulder most, if not all, expenses. This explains why most OFWs go home with an empty pocket because every centavo is sent back home.
You can avoid that by assigning responsibilities to every member in the family. Someone should be responsible for electric and water consumption, savings, budgeting, and even investment. It is also imperative that you educate both your spouse and children about money management so you don’t have to worry too much about money when your contract expires.
5) Prepare yourself in lifestyle changes.
You are going outside the Philippines, which means you might not be able to see and experience the things you are used to, including the weather. This is why it is important to read as much as you can about the country destination to help you prepare for the changes in lifestyle.
More than these tips, always expect the unexpected. This is going to be a different country and you’ll never know what will happen. Don’t be afraid to ask around in case you don’t know or unsure of doing a certain activity. This is going to be a new environment, so expect a big adjustment on your part.