Wednesday, July 29, 2015

on
ENZO'S POINT. Being an OFW is temporary. Whether we like it or not if our employers say it's our time to leave, all we could do is pack our bags and go back home. The worst scenario would be for us to return empty handed. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority's Survey on Overseas Filipinos, from April to September 2014, there were 2.0 million overseas workers who sent cash remittances to their families and only 35.2 percent of them were able to save from it.

Why does it seem to be too difficult for an overseas worker to save? Here are my TOP 5 reasons:

1. The traditional ' PINOY PASALUBONG'. With our occasional homecoming while still working overseas, overspending is a daunting reality. The inevitable preparation for the big return is not just exhausting. What with the 'pasalubongs' we have to think about for each of the members of our family including our friends and neighbors and almost everyone in town, it can surely be cash-draining, too. Think about those imported chocolates, branded clothing, souvenier items, entertainment showcase and the list goes indefinitely.

2. The ATM. The moment we're home, we become an instant cash machine because everybody expects us to spend for everything even from the least expenditure there is.

3. The GRAND TRAVELER aka the BIG SPENDER. Then, for the reason that we want to make the most of our time while in the country we indulge in luxurious trips, go on an endless shopping spree or dine in expensive restaurants  convincing ourselves that we deserve them because we've worked hard for years and to treat ourselves with a little ( I mean little?) luxury is not bad at all.


HOME WORKS. Building a comfortable home is not as easy as it seems to be. It takes years of savings
and some loans here and there.
4. The PROJECT. An OFW's constant aspiration is to have something authentic as a token of those hard-earned cash from abroad. We invest in our dream posh cars, spacious lots for those dream houses we've wanted. Not bad, right? However, according to 'investing' experts, these properties are part of our dead investments because they don't yield us returns. But again, if we think of comfort, then these things become just worth spending.

5. The 'CARPE DIEM' ATTITUDE. 'Seize the day!', That's what we tell ourselves when we are at the height of comfort and pleasure; we don't want it to end, so we spend without considering about tomorrow. In fact, we spend and spend without limits because we think about the salary we are going to receive by the end of the month, or the belief of 'money will come,  memories matter' and before we realize it, we ran out of cash and that's when the problem starts.


***

In our perspective as overseas workers, we simply can't take the blame of overspending because while it is true that earning those cash took years, we just cannot overlook the fact that when we see our loved ones happy, we forget all the hardships we endured. It doesn't matter whether our savings have just gone down the drain and eventually dried up. Sadly, upon our return overseas, we work and work again to save up for the future and the same history will repeat itself once we decided to go for another big homecoming.

Of course, it's just a matter of DISCIPLINE, right? But again...imposing 'discipline' on ourselves isn't the easiest thing to do or maybe...it's only ME. 

12 comments:

  1. I agree with your list. Mostly with the relatives thinking that since you work in a different country then you're full of cash.

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    1. And if you don't give them what they ask for, they will say 'you've changed'. Sad reality!

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  2. This is the reason why I do not really ask for pasalubong from OFW friends. I would gladly accept their gifts but I do not ask for it. Life away from home is hard and those are hard earned money that I hope they spend wisely for themselves or set aside for their future.

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    1. Yes, Kat. Many OFW needs a lot of learning when it comes to spending wisely.

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  3. im not sure what ofw means. saving can be hard in general but we just need to learn to control our spendings

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  4. My mom is an OFW, so this isn't news to me. You are right on point with this list of why savings are a bit of an impossibility for her haha. Now that I have a family of my own, both my husband and I chose not to go the OFW route and make the same mistakes our parents did. Yes, my inlaws are OFW's too and are not looking good financially.

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    1. It really makes me sad knowing more stories about failed venture overseas. But then again, there's more to learn and I hope I will learn from all these stories.

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  5. Many Filipinos are "makapal muka" they think if their relative is an ofw, he/she is rich.

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  6. The problem with most of the OFWs is that they get to have a bigger responsibility that could extend up to remote relatives. I think some OFWs also need to save a bit for the future.

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  7. it is not bad to splurge on something you've worked hard for... just make sure you keep a part for the future. Investing your money while earning is also a good way in ensuring your future.

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