Illustration Credit to: Reimounde of RLR Imaje Digital Photography
In a few months, my Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) husband and I will make a big decision that will surely bring significant change in our life.
Going home for good is something that must be thoroughly considered before finalizing everything. Aside for the reason that my son is entering his 11th Senior High School year, there are apparent situations that compel us to take this option into account.
Despite the predicament, we are still looking at the bright side of the situation. We feel blessed to consider going home for good as an option and not out of desperation.
Working abroad has both advantages and disadvantages. Many OFWs enjoy the privilege of earning bigger outside the Philippines. They are able to establish their future back home. However, you cannot disregard our kababayans (fellow Filipinos) who are not lucky to be in the same situation.
Some encounter different forms of abuses.
Some meet accidents.
Others get involved with unpredictable and uncontrollable circumstances which result to losing their jobs.
These are uncertainties in working abroad that force them to go home regardless of their readiness.
However, it cannot be denied that there are some OFWs who do not experience such misfortunes yet they are not confident to return home for good. They are not ready to respond appropriately to every risk of the situation.
The hesitation is mainly due to lack of money to sustain a quality life in the Philippines. Sadly, many OFWs are overwhelmed by the pleasures brought by earning more and fail to observe proper finance management.
WHILE you are still comfortably working abroad, the following are some tips, based on my family’s experiences (good and bad), to make you ready and worry free to go home… whether it is by choice or not.
1. Building an emergency fund
Having the discipline to keep a certain amount regularly will definitely pay off during untoward circumstances. This amount will help you sustain the regular expenses or support the unexpected expenditure. It will save you also from the painful consequences caused by borrowing money from lending companies or other people.
Be mindful that this extra money must be used for unanticipated necessary things and NOT for buying impulsive wants.
2. Securing insurance
It is mandatory that all OFWs be covered with insurance abroad.
Unfortunately, all privileges end upon cessation of work as well. Therefore, it is very important to consider getting an insurance that takes effect even when you go home.
In spite of the failures of some insurance companies to fulfill the agreement stated in the policy, its significance to every individual’s welfare remains.
Moreover, thinking that insurance is an investment makes more people confused and undecided.
Its main purpose is to protect you against further loss. It will not make you rich. Rather, it will prevent you and your family from getting poor brought by uncertainties of life.
For instance, if you are the bread winner of the family, it is important that you secure yourself a life insurance. This will help your dependents meet their needs while recovering for your loss. If you want to protect your house from a fire accident then secure a non-life fire insurance to have money to rebuild your house.
A comprehensive understanding of the different forms of insurance will help you become careful in choosing the appropriate coverage. By doing so, you will never regret the amount of money you spend for it. It is also advisable to study the company’s reputation and assets prior acquiring one.
3. Continuing education and skill enhancement
Another effective armor against sudden loss of job is to be equipped with different skills that may be used alternatively to earn money.
Taking advantage of the spare time and money for further education does not only open the doors to many earning possibilities but it helps build your confidence as well in dealing with unpleasant situations.
Regardless if you undergo a formal education, a workshop or do self-learning, gaining new knowledge is the common end-result. Your advanced skill prepares you to face new endeavors in your country.
However, it is very important to put everything you learn into actions to get desirable results otherwise it is just an empty learning.
Investing, by definition, is putting your money in something offering potential profitable returns as interest, income, or appreciation in value.
Because of rampant scams, many people become reluctant to open their minds about the privileges of correct investment.
Since any form of investment is accompanied by certain risks, acquiring the right financial education minimizes the chance of losing your money and gives you the ability to filter the fraudulent ones.
Furthermore, you develop the understanding that not all properties can be considered as investments. Unless the possessions generate income then they may be regarded as investments. Otherwise, they are simply liabilities. For this reason, it is important to recognize first what is your goal before purchasing a property.
If your purpose is to make money work for you while in abroad then acquiring paper assets is a good option. Through some online stock brokers like COL Financial and BPI Trade they provide you the direct access to purchase shares from legitimate companies like Jollibee, SM, PLDT, Ayala and many more. It requires a small amount to start and easily liquidates your asset when you need it. However, if you prefer the financial professionals to manage your investments then Mutual Fund, UITF or ETF is the one that suits you.
Aside from paper assets, there are other forms of legal investments that may bring you potential returns like investing in real estate or establishing your own business.
No matter what form of investment you engage with, it’s a rule of thumb that their effectiveness is dependent on the person’s determination to learn the principles, to understand the risks and to execute the knowledge accordingly.
5. Choosing a Simple and Debt-free lifestyle
The overwhelming life abroad, oftentimes, leads to making wrong priorities in life.
By keeping your family’s lifestyle simple and staying away from debts especially the credit card compounding interests , you can better appreciate the real necessities in life and never focus on the things that hinder you to save money effectively. Eventually, saving becomes a habit and you will enjoy life pleasures without neglecting important matters that give you security.
These strategies are very essential to accumulate funds from the basic salary and be able to afford the privileges mentioned above.
6. Establishing connections among inspiring people.
Meeting new people can help you overcome the loneliness of being away from your family.
By joining various organizations abroad, you may discover people who can help you boost your potential. If you enjoy more staying at home, the social media is a channel to find people who can educate and help you reach your goals financially.
Whether offline or online, there are many people who are willing to share their blessings to help others to be achievers like them. You just have to be cautious in identifying the authenticity of their intentions.
These are some qualities of people whom I considered mentors and significantly guide my family towards achieving our goals.
a. They are generous in sharing their knowledge, expertise, and not afraid to admit their mistakes committed prior reaching their success.
b. They are patient and polite in attending to your questions regardless how simple they may seem.
c. They understand your undertakings as a starter and never take advantage of your ignorance.
d. They remain as boosters in the midst of negative social issues.
e They believe in your capabilities and defy your weaknesses.
f. They are not limited as finance educators. They teach how to value life, relationships and spirituality as well.
g. Finally, they walk the talk. Practicing what they teach and their consistency build their credibility.
Whatever country we stay, there are unwanted situations that we may possibly encounter.
Time, money, talents and good health are God’s given-resources that we can use to make us equipped individuals in facing adversities. So use them wisely before it’s too late.
May this year bring you and your family the peace, happiness and abundance!