Imagine working overseas for 10 years. By now, you should have your own house, sufficient savings to keep you covered during rainy days, and started investing your money to make it grow. Like most Filipinos and despite earning in dollars, you haven’t reached your P100,000 mark yet.
That is not a good sign.
You might argue that a big chunk of your money goes to your family back home and their never-ending expenses. Sure, you want to provide for them and ensure that all their needs (and demands) are met, but this doesn’t mean you should not set aside at least five or 10 percent of your monthly earnings.
Don’t worry. You still have time to fix this situation. Here are simple and effective ways to help you boost your savings:
Tip No. 1: Train your self to be in Saving Mode.
Saving is about discipline and commitment. If you want to be successful in boosting your savings, then you need to train yourself and your mind to make saving part of your system. It’s difficult at first, especially when your family calls you because they need this and that, but you need to be firm in your decision to embrace saving as part of your lifestyle.
Tip: Immediately set aside five to 10 percent of your monthly income every month. Place it in a container that is difficult to open. This will serve as your savings or Emergency Fund.
Tip No. 2: Know where your money goes.
This is also important. Your commitment to savings is the first step, but you also need to know where your money goes so you can make necessary adjustments.
Everyday for the rest of the month, make a list of where your money goes, regardless of the amount. By the end of the month, review your list of expenses and see which ones you can get rid of and what expenses are non-negotiable.
By doing this, it will be easier for you to make adjustments in your lifestyle, which eventually leads to bigger savings. This also leads you to this next tip.
Tip No. 3: Live within your means.
We understand that you want to give the best to your family. Does this mean ending up with zero every month to fulfill their wants? Definitely not.
Therefore, live within your means. It’s normal to feel jealous every time you see fellow Filipinos making it big or showering their loved ones with material things. Instead of trying to keep up with them, use this as your motivation to work harder. Don’t let envy get over your system and think long-term.
Tip No. 4: Involve your family in saving.
Savings should not solely be the responsibility of the OFW. If you want to increase your savings, then this must be a collective effort.
That being said, talk to your family about your financial goals and make sure everyone will do their part to contribute. Explain to them that not being able to send balikbayan box every month or saying no to their request of having a grand birthday party does not necessarily mean that you don’t love them. There are more important things than material possessions and short-term happiness. When you make saving a collective effort, it will be easier for you to increase your savings and reach your goals faster.
Tip No. 5: Monetize your skills.
Are you good at something, say baking, cooking, or photography? Take advantage of those skills by monetizing them.
Offer your services, sell your works online, or ask your friends to refer you to those who might need. Who knows, this could be a start of something big for you.
Tip No. 6: Learn more about investments.
Sadly, many Filipinos are not financially literate. Apparently, lack of access is no longer an excuse. Now that you can find information online, make use of it to educate yourself more about investments, especially during downtime. If there are free seminars about investments, then try attending one.
The more informed you are, the better you will be in making sound financial decisions, which could lead to bigger savings as well.
Tip No. 7: Don’t always resort to loans.
Applying for a loan will make things easier for you. Apparently, there are loans that you don’t really need and push you in the debt pool.
Before you resort to loans, ask yourself if you really need it. Make sure you identify the purpose of the loan. If the money will be used to start a new business or for investment, then that is a good deal. Otherwise, borrowing money to buy new gadgets or so your family could afford shopping is a big no-no.
Speaking of loans, Balikbayad is here to help. Submit your online application now and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. In case you are an Android phone user, Balikbayad now has an app, which you can download at Google Play Store. The app is a more convenient way to apply for a loan when you really need it.