How To Manage Your Income As An OFW

OFW Money Management

We hail them as our modern-day heroes: our beloved overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who selflessly make the sacrifice of leaving their homeland to provide for the needs of their families and secure their future. They also help boost the Philippine economy through their remittances. 

Our other countrymen often have the impression that having a job abroad is all fun and glamour because many OFWs live in beautiful countries and send dollars as well as balikbayan boxes filled with branded clothes, basketball shoes, and chocolates to their loved ones. But a lot of us know nothing of what’s happening behind the scenes. 

Maybe we’ve heard their sob stories in the news, from our colleagues, or as depicted in local films. Most OFWs work like a horse just to send their children or siblings to school. They miss important occasions and milestones—birthdays, graduation days, Christmases, weddings—and endure years of loneliness and homesickness to earn a decent income to support their family. Unfortunately, some of our kababayans get maltreated or abused by their employers while others suffer from racial discrimination and poor working conditions.

After braving all their hardships in a foreign land, many Filipino migrant workers dream of going back home to reunite with their families and enjoy the fruits of their labor upon retirement. However, there are still OFWs who do not have enough savings or investments after spending years abroad, and worse, some of them get buried in debts. 

As an OFW, you don’t want all your hard-earned money to go to waste or your sacrifices to be futile. How can you manage your budget well and make better decisions about your finances while avoiding common money mistakes? In this list, we compiled some useful tips on how our unsung heroes can attain the financial security that they deserve. 

Define Your Long Term Goals

Defining Long Term Goals as OFW
Defining Long Term Goals as OFW | Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Here’s the reality: being an OFW is not forever. Eventually, you will have to come back to the Philippines once your contract ends, so make the most of your time abroad to save for the future. Prepare yourself for life after working overseas. Maybe you’ll choose to go home for good and enjoy an early retirement.

The possibility of losing your job due to unexpected circumstances like retrenchment or illness should also be taken into consideration. Setting clear and realistic goals that serve as your guide in making your financial decisions will bring you a step closer to achieving them. These goals can be about your career, business, family, or personal life.

Do you plan to open a coffee shop after 10 years? Buy your own house after 5 years? Get married to your fiancé in two years? Retire at age 55? Your goals will keep you on the right track and will help you avoid overspending on things that provide instant gratification. It’s fun to live for the moment, but it’s wise to strike a balance by giving priority to your own and your family’s future, too. 

Communicate your Plans with Family

Communicate with Loved Ones as an OFW
Communicate with Loved Ones as an OFW | Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

It should not be a one-man team. Just because you’re earning dollars does not mean that those who are at home can just lavishly squander the money you’re sending them. It’s essential to share your goals with your loved ones to make them understand your reason for leaving that’s beyond money—it’s about making your dreams come true as a family. They will not only appreciate your sacrifice but also have a better grasp of the situation and in turn, support you in attaining your financial goals.

This can ease the burden off your shoulders and help them manage their expectations when it comes to the financial support you provide. If you’re open and transparent to them about your goals, chances are, they will learn how to save and be more responsible in handling your remittances instead of wasting cash on buying unnecessary things.

Allocate a Portion of Your Income for Savings and Emergency

Savings and Emergency Funds
Savings and Emergency Funds | Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

Now that you’re earning a huge sum of money, it can be tempting to spoil your loved ones with expensive gifts, luxurious vacations, and the latest gadgets. You may even be sending them all your income without saving a part of it for yourself. Even though your main motivation in working as an OFW is to provide for your family, you still have to set aside a percentage of your earnings from your own savings account.

You don’t want to work day and night abroad only to come home empty-handed, so start saving for your retirement as early as now. Aside from your savings account, having an emergency fund will also come in handy for unexpected expenses like medical bills, job loss, or home repairs. It is recommended by most experts to save three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. This financial buffer can keep you afloat in times of crisis and prevent you from getting into massive debts. 

Stick to your Budget and Avoid Debts

OFW Budgeting
OFW Budgeting | Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Manage your money well by drafting a concrete budget plan for your monthly expenses and following it religiously. Through this, you can allot a portion of your salary to your savings, your family’s needs, your expenses, emergency fund, insurance, and investments. It is important to live within your means and be mindful of your spending habits, especially when you’re working abroad where the urge to splurge on holiday sales and discounts is too hard to resist.

Owning a credit card has its perks such as convenience and accumulating reward points, but you also have to use it wisely and sparingly to avoid paying hefty charges or falling into debts. Make sure that your family is also sticking to the budget and living a modest lifestyle. Usually,

OFWs are asked to shoulder the expenses for family outings and neighborhood feasts, bring home extravagant pasalubong, or throw grand parties to please their relatives. You must learn to nicely decline these unnecessary requests and allocate the money instead to more important priorities like education and investments.

Invest your Money Wisely

OFW Investments
OFW Investments | Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Learn how to make money work for you instead of you working for it. Aside from understanding and applying financial skills like budgeting and saving, financial literacy also involves knowing to make smart decisions about investing. There are various types of investments that you can choose from such as mutual funds, stocks, index funds, and bonds.

You can also invest your hard-earned money by starting a business. There are risks involved in investments, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and make sure to do in-depth research first before making financial choices. You don’t want to fall prey to common investment scams that target OFWs.

As the saying goes, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” It’s also wise to invest in an insurance plan to protect you and your family from financial distress when unforeseen events happen as you build your wealth.

Real estate is another type of investment that can help OFWs generate passive income. OFWs can buy properties such as houses, apartments, or condominium units to rent out to tenants or resell for a profit. It’s a dream come true to have a piece of property that you can call your own as a concrete reminder of your hard work and sacrifice. It can also serve as your retirement home, your family’s permanent residence, or a vacation base. 

Invest in Condo Properties in Davao City

Davao, a vibrant city in the southeastern part of Mindanao, is considered a melting pot of diverse cultures and peoples. It’s an ideal investment destination for OFWs because of its favorable business climate, robust economy, and big-ticket infrastructure projects. This cosmopolitan city is also the heart of trade, commerce, tourism, education, and finance in the Southern Philippines. 

This bustling urban center is an attractive residential hub in the Philippines where you can have the best of both worlds: convenient modern living and charming rural lifestyle. So if you’re looking for an affordable condo in Davao, you’ve come to the right place.

Northpoint Davao | RFO Condo for sale in Davao

RFO Condo in Davao - Northpoint Davao - Camella Manors - A pine-filled condo community
RFO Condo in Davao – Northpoint Davao – Camella Manors – A pine-filled condo community

Northpoint by Camella Manors, a resort-themed condo peppered with green spaces, gorgeous landscape, and luscious pine trees, is nestled in the heart of Metro Davao. 

Northpoint, an RFO condo in Davao, is the first and only vertical pine community in Mindanao. It’s a British-Kiwi-themed condo property located at JP. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City.

Imagine waking up to an array of imported Caribbean pine trees from New Zealand, which gives a natural Kiwi touch to the beautiful British architecture of Northpoint. And they’re not just there for aesthetic purposes; these trees give off a good dose of health benefits too, providing an average volume of 78,000 pounds of oxygen each year.

This 3-hectare project area has five residential towers: Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, and Bradford. From the top floors, you can revel in the picturesque view of Samal Island while drinking your morning coffee. Residents will surely fall in love with Davao’s breathtaking attractions and cityscapes.

Another notable detail about Northpoint is that it is built on solid bedrock. Its soil structure has a foundation that can withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Of course, your condo living experience won’t be complete without enjoying Northpoint’s posh amenities with your loved ones. You’ll have access to the salinated pool, kiddie pool, fitness gym, sky courts, atriums, kids’ playground, clubhouse terrace, and function area. For your safety and peace of mind, 24/7 security is also provided.

Returning OFWs can also go fine dining with the family without leaving Northpoint’s project area through The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge, an old heritage house turned restaurant that offers various Asian-European fusion dishes. 

Northpoint is only a 2-hour flight away from Manila and a 15-minute ride from Davao International Airport. It is considered as a “10-minute community,” where residents can easily go to business hubs, places of worship, health centers, universities, malls, and an upcoming commercial strip of its own.

Northpoint may have high potential returns on investments due to its strategic location in Southern Mindanao’s regional center. It was also hailed as the Best Residential Development in Davao during the Philippine Property Awards 2016. 

Ready to make Northpoint your next home in Davao City? A site or online tour can be arranged once you booked an appointment. For reservations and inquiries about the property, please visit the Camella Manors’ official website

Camella Manors Frontera | Pre selling Condo for sale in Davao

Pre selling Condo in Davao | Camella Manors Frontera
Affordable Condo in Davao | Camella Manors Frontera

Meanwhile, OFWs who are looking for a pre-selling condo in Davao can opt to buy a unit in Camella Manors Frontera, a resort-style condo village located at the heart of an emerging business district in Tigatto Road, Buhangin, Davao City.

Frontera stays true to its Spanish name that means “border” as it offers excellent frontier living where residents can experience the comforts of a condo lifestyle and a nature-inspired ambiance. From there you can have a magnificent view of Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. 

This condo for sale is also ideal for travelers, young professionals, students, families, and investors who want a medley of city and suburban living.

Frontera is only a 2-hour flight away from Manila, making it accessible for both domestic and foreign visitors. It is surrounded by leisure hubs, lifestyle centers, and other business establishments. Convenience is truly the name of the game as residents of Frontera can purchase their daily essentials in a commercial strip that will serve as their one-stop-shop.

Also within reach are Davao City’s tourist attractions, major infrastructures, churches, hospitals, schools, malls, and parks. Residents also have the perk of using the lifestyle amenities in the community. There’s the meditation garden, infinity pool, picnic hubs, sandbox play pit, alfresco fitness park, clubhouse lounge, jogging trails, kiddie pool, amphitheater pews, event hall, and pocket park.

The condominium also has 24/7 security and an electric perimeter fence to keep you and your family safe.

This project that covers a 1.8-hectare area will have six 7-story buildings with 143 units per building. Frontera offers studio and 1-bedroom units. Building 1 is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023. It is open for official reservations. 

Investing in a real estate property located in a rising business hub is a wise choice. Residents can also avail the Vista leasing services and rent out the unit to generate passive income. Ongoing infrastructure projects near the property can cause the land value in this area to appreciate. 

All set to come home to the Davao borders? Go to the official page of Camella Manors for inquiries and reservations.

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