5 Bad Money Habits Every OFW Needs to Get Rid of

Achieving financial freedom is undoubtedly at the back of the mind of every working Filipino, especially OFWs who are based thousands of miles away from home. By keeping this vision in mind, OFWs can muster the strength and courage to push through the hardships and sacrifices needed to thrive in a foreign country in order to provide for their families and loved ones back home.

While the vision has always been there and the ability to produce wealth is on hand, many OFWs still struggle to create decent savings and important investments to achieve their vision of financial freedom. As it is, the equation won’t make any sense if there are far more factors which cause a person to lose money than he or she should be gaining from working abroad. Here are some of the 5 bad money habits every OFW should avoid:

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class LaTunya Howard, Public Domain

5 Bad Money Habits OFWs Should Avoid

1.      Inconsistent in Saving Up.

If you’ve ever had any form of financial training in the past, you should know that money is a finite resource. Meaning, money is something that we can’t hold onto for very long, because our needs don’t become smaller as we get older. Therefore, it’s important for all of us to focus our time and effort to save up.

And while there are many important things to take care of at present such as paying the bills and other monthly expenses, the value of saving up does not come with the amount you start with, but in your consistency in doing so. With your savings fund, you are one step prepared to becoming financially secure in the future.

2.      Dependent in One Source of Income

Sure, you want to save up, but sometimes there isn’t just enough to go around for everything that you need to take care of in your life overseas and even for your family back home. If you notice that you are spreading your resources or finances very thin, then maybe you need to add another stream of income to help cover your other expenses.

By adding other sources of income, you can remain consistent with your savings, and be more financially secure when an emergency comes up at work, which could affect your primary source of income, and continue to be able to provide for your personal and family’s needs.

3.      Excessive Spending

So you’ve decided to build your savings and you are able to establish another source of income, but if you cannot control the amount of money you spend, especially on lavish luxuries then everything will be for nought.

The only way for a person to control his or her spending is by keeping things in perspective and by setting their sights on their priorities all the time. Proper accounting of expenditures would also help a person identify which expenses are putting a big hole in their finances.

4.      Oversharing or Lending to Family or Relatives

We Filipinos believe in the phrase “family first” but just like in point #3, oversharing or always lending money to family or relatives whenever they need it would also prove to be a huge hole in your pocket that would be hard to shut off as relationships are on the line.

But, learning to say “no” every now and then would be good training for you and your dependents on how to deal with money matters in a mature and practical manner. This will also prove helpful in keeping your savings and financial priorities in check.

5.      Accumulating Debts

If at first you had to borrow money from other people to help you realize your plans of working abroad, never forget to repay your debts to these people as soon as you can because while you recognize and appreciate their help, you do not want to give them the authority to manipulate you into doing point #4 on the principle of “utang na loob.”

Also, if you have any outstanding loans from the bank or other lending firms, be sure to have all of these properly accounted for because a debt unaccounted for can accumulate interest, and will resurface as a bigger problem that could even jeopardize everything that you have saved up and worked for through the years.

By recognizing these “bad money habits,” hopefully OFWs and every working Filipino will make informed decisions and choose to be on top of their finances in order to realize their goal of financial freedom.

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