What you think becomes your action and your action becomes your habit. There is no difference when it comes to money. Having a wrong mindset about money will lose you money. It’s not a money problem like most of our fellow kababayans working abroad think. But a mindset problem. And Yes, I been in that situation before. You see I work abroad and goes home for a vacation two to three times a year. Three times if I can afford it. I am not a manager or an IT engineer of some sort abroad, I am just an ordinary worker, sometimes I work at the local resto washing dishes, so I can have extra income. Life here abroad is not easy I need to work to stay on top of the bill payments and to send regular monthly allowance for my wife, and son, and my mom back home.
So whenever I go home to our beloved country for a vacation, I plan ahead. That’s what people who don’t have lots of money do, plan ahead before boarding that plane in the airport. “Yung iba nga saka lang mag shopping” the day before their departure, so they end up over baggage.” Hay, wala ka pa nga sa Pilipinas gumastos ka na “ due to excess baggage. Others do their last minute dash sa airport pa mismo. While I can’t blame them, “sabi nga kanya kanyang diskarte lang yan”. Everybody got their own belief and principles when it comes to money management. Everybody got their own excuse. But, I am here to share with you the 4 money habits I did when I go home to the Philippines…..take note, this is before.
1. Feeling Millionaire ( Just a Feeling )
Many OFW thinks this way when they arrive Home. Earning foreign currency is much better than earning peso right. So they think they brought a big amount of money home, and it’s ok to treat themselves in extravagance. It’s not wrong to think this way. In fact, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. However, this often becomes a dangerous belief when one spends more than what they can afford.
I remember before, I use to book a hotel near the airport or in Makati area when I arrive. Feeling sosyal ba. And let my family stay there for the night. While it’s good for some to have bonding and relaxation time, personally NOW, I find it expensive. Now if my arrival airport is in Manila I just book Grab Taxi from the airport and ask to take me to the nearest Bus or FX Terminal in Edsa, Cubao. I stay in Pampanga when I am in the Philippines. And ride FX or Bus in Cubao to go home to Pampanga. My wife and my son just meet me in Cubao. Doing this way I saved on gasoline cost, and toll fee, or even in van rentals if our vehicle is not available at the time of my arrival.
2.Splurging too much on Pasalubong
This is common for OFWs — spending extravagant amounts on pasalubong whenever they come home.
Before I give everybody pasalubong even my kapitbahay and my kapitbahays kapitbahay. Now, I give most of my pasalubong to my son. My son is 5 yrs old and it’s my way of making up for the lost time. I am fortunate that I can go home at least twice a year, but still, it’s different if I am with my son all the time. Unfortunately, I can’t as I need money to provide for my family. And for now working abroad is the solution.
Surely I get comments like “kuripot or madamot “, from friends and even from relatives. But, I don’t mind as my priority now is my loved ones and family, to be honest, it’s not my priority to treat and give pasalubong to the whole barangay and even my friends and relatives when I am back home.
My presence is the best pasalubong I can give. Some of my friends and relatives will not agree on this, for them, it’s still Chocolate and T-shirts.
I also promised my wife and son that I will come home for good soon, that’s why I need to save money. So no extravagant getaway lately, as long as we are together that’s happiness.
While these are meaningful moments when you’re home.Spending the day with your loved ones during these times is more important than the size of the party and the number of guests you have.
It’s nice to have a “Salo Salo” when you’re home. But not at the expense of your bank balance. And the question again is do you got savings? If you work abroad and you don’t have savings then it’s time to rethink, before splurging your money on that party. You might be thinking “ minsan lang naman.” A crisis, may it be personal or a family crisis like a family member get hospitalized also happens “minsan.” What if that “ minsan” comes and you’re not financially prepared?
But, how about we don’t talk about crisis, as talking about it makes you scared. How about tuition fee? Do you got enough money in the bank or under the mattress to pay for your kid’s tuition fee? It’s June already and kids go back to school. My wife reminded me 2 weeks ago that aside from my son’s tuition fee we need to buy him new school gear. New bags, new shoes. I said why can we not use his old ones? it’s still OK, diba.
4.Spending Future Income Today
One of the reasons why a lot of OFW are broke before going back abroad again is they buy on impulse and don’t budget their money. Worse they borrow money on credit cards and from relatives or even friends before their departure. I saw this and hear this many times. “Ok, lang pagbalik ko, doon ko nalang babawain” . The way I look at it is a paycheck to paycheck mentality. Relying on money that you haven’t even earned.
Repeat this several times without proper budgeting, and you will soon find yourself deep in DEBT! Actually, I experienced it because that’s my mentality before. I was in deep DEBT before.
So to my Kababayan OFW who are experiencing money problems, It’s not too late to change. Remember it’s a Mindset problem, NOT a Money Problem.
If you wanted to know the 4 ways I did that helped me motivate myself to pay off my Debt. Download for FREE my eBook below.