Why do OFWs choose to work in another country? We are no stranger to the stories of OFWs who choose to work in foreign countries in order to land a better opportunity for themselves and their families. However, there are some circumstances that even after years of hard work in other countries, many OFWs struggle financially. Some of them even go back home with empty pockets, with almost nothing to show, which is very unfortunate.
To avoid this from happening, we have listed here some of the common mistakes that OFWs make when returning home from other countries. Knowing these mistakes will help you avoid them should you be given a chance to work abroad as an OFW or have family members who are already OFWs.
Mistake #1: Overspending
Living paycheck after paycheck is one of the most common practices of OFWs, even their families. The remittances they receive every month are usually spent on their living expenses plus their wants and likes that seem to never stop.
Sadly, there are family members who are already thinking about the things they want to purchase even before they receive the remittances. And as for the OFW, there is also the tendency to overspend especially if you want to pamper or treat yourself after a long month’s work. Spending without monitoring your money would eventually lead you into financial trouble.
What To Do: You have to be mindful of how you spend your money. Track down the needs of your family and remit money that would be enough to provide for their necessities. Don’t forget to save some of your hard-earned money in a bank or invest it to generate higher returns.
You can also list down your priorities as well as your needs. Your wants can also be fulfilled, but make sure that you do it moderately. Prioritize what is needed, then save and invest the rest.
Mistake #2: No Goals in Mind
You should have your short-term and long-term goals even before you land your job as an OFW. You have to know the things that you have to prioritize as well as the things that you need to achieve, according to your timeline. You will be bound to overspend and put your money to waste if you do not set any goals. Remember that.
What To Do: Pause for a moment and try to envision the future. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve in a year or two; what are your short-term goals? Once you have achieved a short-term goal that you have set in mind, you can then proceed to the long-term goals.
Long-term goals are not that easy to achieve. It also requires time and effort to fulfill. Examples of long-term goals include having a real estate property like a house and lot or condominium, an educational plan for your child or children, and insurance, among others. You need to set these goals in order to guide you and serve as your motivation to work hard for yourself and the future of your family.
Mistake #3: Not Saving Money
Most of the time, the families who receive remittances are not able to save money because they tend to prioritize other things and expenses. The same goes for the OFWs who tend to forget that they are only given a contract that may or may not be terminated in a blink of an eye.
What To Do: You have to talk to your family about your plans and priorities and tell them that you are not going to work abroad forever. You will only be there for a certain number of years, so you both have to help each other in saving as much money as you can.
Meanwhile, for you as an OFW, you have to learn not to live from paycheck to paycheck and allocate a portion of your earnings every month to your savings. You can decide on the amount of money that you will save each month. You should always remember to “Save first before spending”. This would help you a lot.
Mistake #4: Not Investing or Venturing in Business
Being an employee will not make you rich, no matter how long you serve the company. You should also keep in mind that your energy, strength, and capabilities will diminish as you grow older and working will not be an option for you too when you reach a certain age.
Saving money is never enough, especially if you are only saving a portion of your income. This is why a lot of financial experts are advising us to invest our money to maximize its value and yield greater returns.
What To Do: Aside from saving a portion of your income, invest a certain amount to keep your money secured and safe from inflation. Check the different investment options that you could explore and those that could help you generate more profits. It could be investing in mutual funds, stocks, life insurance, or real estate. The list goes on, you just have to choose the best option for you.
Mistake #5: Vacation Here, Vacation There
Because of the time being away from their loved ones, OFWs spend a lot of time and money to bond with their family and friends when they come home for vacation.
OFWs love bonding with their families and friends through traveling. However, some of them do not anticipate how much a vacation in another city or foreign country could cost and how big of an impact it can have on their savings.
What To Do: Always remember that you can spend quality time with family and friends without splurging that much. You have to be mindful of the money that you spend and prioritize your savings and investments over good times and celebrations.
Mistake #6: Too much generosity
The generosity of OFWs does not only end in buying pasalubong. Many OFWs will throw lavish welcome home parties with family and friends. Some are also quick to extend help to relatives who are in need of money.
What To Do: It is innate among Filipinos to extend help to family and friends who are in need. But before doing so, make sure that your expenses, savings, and investments are covered, before even lending your money.
You have to keep in mind not to let your sacrifices be put to waste. You can avoid mistakes but you cannot undo them. Change your bad money habits, set goals for yourself and your family. It is never too late to achieve that bright future that you have been longing for. Make the most out of your time now and spend your hard-earned money wisely.
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