As of now, there are estimated 10 million Filipinos working around the globe, including me working as seaman. From nurses, doctors, dentist, singer, entertainer, engineers, waiters and waitresses, seaman and sea woman, and even caregiver and maids. Some of them almost spend their life working in foreign countries, leaving their own family and serving other people. It is the truth that hard to accept because of our want to give a good future for our family. But despite of our hard work and working for a long time, many of us don’t have savings and investments.
Here are some of the reasons:
1.) Most of us are financially illiterate.
Most of us are knowing how to earn money and how to spend it easily. But in terms of savings, we don’t have any idea and even we do not want to learn this. People, especially Filipino are good at spending, after they got their salary, they are so busy going to the mall for shopping.
2.) Most of us are “Galante”.
Pasalubong for our family and relatives are good if you have extra money for this, but as this time it is not actually necessary. Most of us always buys some expensive chocolate, perfumes, soap or whatever that we can give to our family and relatives. Some of us are giving cash. Oh, common it is good, but when you do it every time you go on vacation, later on you will end with nothing.
3.) Not paying ourselves.
When say paying for ourselves what is meant to you? Buying latest gadget, buying expensive dress, or eating in class restaurant? If your perception is like this, it’s wrong; maybe you can call it reward to yourself. When you say paying for yourself it means, you are saving something for your retirements. You must follow the 80/20 rule, 20% of your savings and investments and then you spend the rest 80% for whatever you want. Try to apply this prosperity in your life:
Income- Savings= Expense
4.) Most of us are “ Sunod Sa Uso”.
I remembered when my first time working as an OFW in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia back 2007 as a waiter, as I observed most of the Filipino have the latest cell phone and laptops. I can’t imagine this cell phone almost the cost of our one month salary, and not only that, almost every month have latest gadget coming out to the market so every month they are also changing their phones. I compare us to the Indians, they are just using the very cheap phones, and they never change it, unlike what Filipino did. Would you think we can save money in this lifestyle, we are just wasting our time and money.
5.) Sending all the salary back home.
Because we are receiving fewer salary most of it, we send home. We are just keeping some, for our allowance. Almost just a day after we got it, we go directly to, money transfer to send to our family. They are waiting for it, and we received a lot of messages from them reminding us that they don’t have an allowance, exam is coming, they need to pay tuition, etc. Almost every month same situation, got a salary, sends the money, work for the month again, get salary then send again.
6.) Most of our family is not informed how to use money wisely.
This is the reason even we send more money in our family it is still not enough, after receiving your remittance after a few days, all of it is gone. They don’t know how to budget the money. They buy the things even they don’t need it. They are always thinking that we have money for them. And almost most of them are relying on you, they are thinking that you are a bank every time they need, you must give. Sometimes if you don’t give, most of them are angry at you, Oh my God, this life.
Being a worker outside in our beloved country is not easy, sadness, loneliness, sickness, boredom, and sometimes some of our kababayans go home in a wheelchair and the worst some are dead already.
Ask yourself, what will happen when the time comes that you near to retire, but when you look into your bank account and its nothing left. What will happen if your children never help you when you got old? Who will take care of you, when you got sick, who will buy medicine for you?
Make yourself educated about finance because it will help you save time for working. Try to read books, attend some seminars, and watch videos how save and how to invest your money. There are many resources available in the internet. Pay yourself first before sending all your money in your family, before you buy the latest gadgets for yourself. Live below your means, don’t overspend. And the important teach your family how to budget, informed them to use the money wisely. Teach them to value whatever you send them no matter how big or small it is.