Being an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) takes a lot of courage and determination, as it requires one to sacrifice for the sake of earning money in order to provide for the needs of the family. OFWs have to face the consequences of working overseas, such as–being miles away from home, separation from loved ones, missing family gatherings and birthdays. On a positive note, being an OFW gives you the experience to live and explore in a foreign country. Aside from that, it gives you the opportunity to work in a diverse community with different races and cultures. Lastly, it gives you the firsthand experience on understanding a professional workplace in a global perspective

According to the Philippines Statistic Authority, there are over 2 million OFWs around the world. Due to the fact that FIlipinos are hardworking and well-rounded individuals, this makes Filipinos to be well-appreciated in the work field. Therefore, giving FIlipinos the opportunity to work overseas with the hopes of achieving financial stability and providing for their families, at the same time. However, not all OFWs are able to manage their finances well. In reality, some are able to handle their finances well, and some are not able to grow their savings. This leaves us the question, why? Here are 5 money mistakes that you, yourself might be committing.

  1. Not making a budget plan
    FIlipinos choose to work overseas mainly because they want to earn money in order to pay their bills, and other household expenses. However, not establishing a concrete budget plan will result in spending your money for unnecessary expenses. The purpose of a budget plan is to be able to get hold of your monthly expenses so you can properly allocate your salary to the needs of the family and be able to put some into your savings.

    Make sure to create a budget plan for your monthly expenses and don’t forget to set aside emergency funds, just in case some unforeseen circumstances arise.
  2. Oversending
    Not all OFWs give so much thought on the amount that they send to their families as it is their way of providing for their families. It is their own family, after all and who can resist family, right? However, they tend to send so much that they forget to put some into their savings. As an OFW, you have to consider that there are financial challenges that might come in your way too, so make sure to leave a little for yourself.

    How to correct this? Make a budget plan and strictly stick with it. You can also talk to whoever you are sending the money–it can be your parents, your wife or someone who you know you can trust with money. That way, they can handle your remittances wisely, while you are working overseas.
  3. Impulse buying
    Now that you are earning more than your salary before you worked overseas, you can now buy the things that you couldn’t afford before. The shift in lifestyle will be influenced by your salary, and it is going to be hard to control as you develop a mindset that it is okay to treat yourself every once in a while, which will eventually turn into a habit.

    How to correct this? Don’t fall for it, it’s a trap. Keep in mind that long-term investments are way better than impulse buys. Make a clear distinction on your wants and needs. Every time you feel the urge to buy something, ask yourself whether you want it or need it. By doing so, you will be able to handle your finances well.
  4. Showing off
    The thing about being an OFW or balikbayan is that people in your home country automatically think that you are rich, which puts pressure on OFWs who are working real hard to earn money. Whenever OFWs take a vacation in the Philippines, relatives and loved ones expect pasalubongs, such as chocolates and luxurious stuff– branded shirts, wallets, bags, shoes. Aside from this, most of the time, balikbayans shoulder the expense of parties or road trips to catch up with relatives and also, as a well-off family member. But, is it really necessary to do this?

    There is nothing wrong with going out and spending money for your loved ones. However, grand celebrations and endless blow outs are not necessary. Keep in mind that no matter how big you spend on them, it won’t make up for the lost time. It is better to spend a huge amount of money in investments so you can guarantee financial stability in the future for your family.
  5. Not preparing for retirement
    You have to keep in mind that you are not going to be an OFW forever. Part of your savings should be allocated for your retirement plan, even though you still have plenty of years to spare. Think ahead, and plan for the future, so when that time comes, you will be able to enjoy the fruits of all those years you worked overseas, away from your family.

So, how many of these 5 common mistakes have you been committing?