Today, I will be featuring a guest blogger at My Saving Money Tips and a fellow financial advocate at OFW UsapangPiso, Anna “Jing” Santos, to tell her experience as a Filipino who left the Philippines to find better opportunities in Canada. She also shares her quest for financial independence and how she was able to overcome her personal financial struggles.
My Divine Financial Awakening Away From Home
Who does not want a greener pasture? Of course, everyone does! Even animals themselves scout for a new site where they can benefit more. The same thing is true with us humans. We search for a better place to stay and experience life fruitfully and financially prosperous.
One specific example is us, Filipinos. The one great reason why we leave our beloved country, Philippines, is to find better future for ourselves and loved ones. It is also a common practice from all over the world that people go out of their respective countries, either temporarily or permanently, believing they can find a better status somewhere else.
When I was still single, I had a very fruitful and a financially stable career as a Medical Transcriptionist. I would enjoy life every single day, buying what I want, eating out with friends, traveling, etc. But my lifestyle changed when I had a family of my own. As years would come by, our needs would go up that required us to look for extra sources of income due to endless personal needs, growing family, health issues, etc.
Due to the Philippine’s worsening economic situation back then, we decided to try Canada. I knew this was not going to be an easy decision, but I always turn to God for signs and special message. I asked Him that if He would want us to migrate to another country, He would give me clear leads on how to get started. True enough, because I surrendered everything to Him, the application process went through perfectly fine and we flew to Canada as soon as we had our Permanent Resident visas.
Having landed in an absolutely foreign country with culture shock, it required a total adjustment. Everything was new, from people to practices, weather to food, and so much more. I witnessed that it was an entirely different encounter in almost all aspects. From back home, if there’s an emergent need for a piece of tomato, a neighbor was the best source. In here, you would not even have the chance to know your neighbors’ names because privacy matters to them.
This made me think that we have to secure ourselves with everything, especially with finances, because we could not rely on anybody in case of sudden needs and emergencies.
My Financial Struggles
It was a total struggle at first to make ends meet because the cost of living was too high. I thought that we would not be able to survive financially due to endless bill payments and other financial obligations. Housing alone would take more than half of our income which only would leave us a little portion for food and other basic needs. It is not a Canadian practice to borrow money from relatives or friends because they too have adapted the cultural pattern of being private.
So, where else can you go to in times of financial anguish – nowhere else but BANKS! Access to banks here is very easy especially when they know you are generating income of any amount, minimum wage or above – they treat you just the same. The more debts you have, the more they are willing to lend, provided that your credit score is in good standing that explains why credit card use in Canada is extremely important to build good credit history.
The credit history is widely useful in purchases like home, real estate properties, vehicles, major appliances, etc. This plastic object is so enticing that in a matter of one swipe, you’ll get the purchase you want. Because it is so easy to get one and very accessible, consumers, specifically Filipinos, are mostly the biggest victims of the pitfall. I was once one of them. I would waste worth thousands of dollars every month in unnecessary shopping out of impulse and addiction. It was something I thought my reasonable way to reward myself from working hard.
My Financial Awakening
I thought I could not get healed from this vice, until a very meaningful awakening by God’s mouthpiece in the person of Bro. Bo Sanchez struck me. He was talking about spiritual nourishment and financial literacy at the same time. He is specifically focused on investing in the stock market.
This is when I started to get hooked with two new morale-uplifting addictions, saving and investing. I decided to follow his teachings which marked the beginning of my financial rehabilitation 360 degrees. It was an absolute transformation from old to new life where I totally embraced financial awareness.
This is when I experienced my so-called “Absolute Freedom”, being liberated from the bondage of extravagant spending. Not only had it made me saved a lot of money from changing my belief system and lifestyle, but also transformed me in the person that I am right now, closer to God and detached from worldly things, and being able to share to other people and to God’s works the money I have saved.
Because I firmly believe that others out there are still in need of help to get informed about handling finances, I created my personal website to share my saving money tips on almost everything, which are mostly drawn from my personal experiences. I even do personally impart the practice to my own children, family, friends, and relatives.
I hope and pray that my advocacy reaches more for a total shift from a spender to a saver and an investor. It pays to change for the better because God in His Greatness gave us the material things as a means to love and enjoy life and not to destroy it.
Did you like Jing Santos’s financial awakening story? Then visit her http://mysavingmoneytips.com/ blog to read more of her stories and personal finance strategies.
Read more about OFW’s becoming OFI’s (overseas Filipino investors) by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com for free.
Join the OFW UsapangPiso Facebook Group and Forum to learn how to plan your finances the right way and how to grow your money in various financial instruments and investment vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, UITF’s, bonds, money market, real estate, and others.
P.S. 1. Bro. Bo Sanchez has appointed me as a coach for our young and new investors at the TrulyRichClub social site. It’s a fun, learning family with the purpose of “helping good people become rich”. I’m inviting you to join the TrulyRichClub too and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Click here to join!