OFW’s, Are You Ready To Come Home Anytime?


If at this very moment your amo or employer told you that this will be your last day of work and you will be sent back to the Philippines immediately the next day, what will be your reaction?

Are you ready to say to your amo and to yourself, “It’s fine, I’m ready to go home anytime.”?

Or will you hear yourself say the any of the following:

“I’m not yet ready. Wala pa ‘kong ipon.

“My child is still in Grade 3! Hindi sya pwedeng tumigil ng pag-aaral!

“I just started paying for our house & lot amortization. Paano na ito?

How Ready Are You To Come Back Home, fellow OFW?


I’ve been advocating financial literacy and saving money among OFW’s since year 2000 as part of an NGO. Lack of knowledge about financial instruments was one of the common reasons that I’ve observed back then why most OFW’s come home without any savings. And if they did, all their savings would surely go down the drain in less than a year. A couple of months at least.

This is something that all OFW’s should think over. Working overseas isn’t forever. While it’s comforting to know that you’re receiving quite a good salary today, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to keep your job forever.

Saudization in Saudi Arabia, economic struggles in Europe and Americas, political conflicts between the Philippines and China/Taiwan, violence and unrest in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, etc.

Your company may close down shop. Anything can happen anytime that may bring us back home for good.

We can’t forever rely from the Philippine government to support us financially. We need to stand up and make our decision to lift our own financial conditions.

But we have to learn what we need to learn. We need to be financially-literate for us to be prepared for the the worst thing that could happen to any OFW.

Preparing Yourself for Re-integration Back Home

1) Pay yourself first. As early as now, upon receiving your salary, keep at least 20% as your monthly savings. Do this every month without excuse.

2) Pay all your debts slowly. From the 20% of your monthly savings, keep 1/3 of that to pay off little by little your debts.

3) Build up an emergency fund. Again, from the 20% of your monthly savings, take another 1/3 to keep as part of your emergency fund. The total emergency fund should be equal to at least 6 months of your monthly personal expenses and padala.

For example, if you are spending P5,000 worth of personal expenses every month, and you are sending to your family in the Philippines around P10,000 per month, then P5,000 + P10,000 = P15,000. That is your monthly expenses.

Multiply that P15,000 to 6 months (P15,000 x 6 = P90,000). That is the total emergency fund that you should slowly build up from now on.

4) Get a life insurance. It doesn’t matter for now whether it’s a VUL (variable unit-linked) insurance or a term life insurance. Just get one that could cover at least 10x of your annual expenses. That should be enough to leave your family in peace and security in case you die. Consider also insuring your health. It’s one of the greatest wealth that you should take good care of.

5) Invest in financial instruments. Most OFW’s only recognize savings accounts, time deposits, SSS or Pag-Ibig contributions, and paluwagan/pahulugan as investments. While these are either acceptable investments, they do not give maximum returns for the long-term. With the relatively small interests, an annual average inflation rate of 4% to 6% will only eat up what you will earn from these “investments”.

Others also invest in real estate. While this is a very good long-term investment vehicle, it won’t give you liquidity. What does a liquid investment mean? It means you can easily convert it into cash in times that you really need money. You can’t do that easily with real estate.

Learn how to grow your money in investment vehicles such as mutual funds, UITFs (unit investment trust funds, stocks, retail bonds, and other paper assets. Among these financial instruments, I highly advocate investing in stocks, mutual funds, and UITF’s. Not only do they beat the inflation, they also give bigger returns for your future.

These financial instruments are also not expensive to start investing in. Did you know that you can buy ten (10) Jollibee shares in stocks for less than P2,000? And that if you invested your P2,000 on Jollibee stocks in 2010, it would have grown up to around P4,000 today?

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Secure your children’s education and your retirement by following the steps above that I humbly recommend to you.

No one else can help you but yourself.

Oh sorry. Yes, I’m here to help you out how to start.

Follow my posts about saving, investing, and frugal living by subscribing to BurnGutierrez.Com.

Join the OFW UsapangPiso Facebook Group 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.

Rock your way to abundance!


P.S. 1. Are you an OFW who’s been looking for a investment placement where your money could grow higher than your time deposit accounts? Are you outside of Metro Manila and would like to start investing in mutual funds but have no personal advisors to help you out? Click here so I can help you open a mutual fund account NOW! .

P.S. 2. 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 burngutierrezblog@gmail.com if you have any questions. Click here to join!

P.S. 3. My co-author/illustrator Des Feliciano and I have just launched our “The Adventures of Pepot Kuripot and Dora Gastadora” comic book! It’s arguably the first and only personal finance-influenced comic book in the Philippines. Order your copy now from our website http://pepotanddora.com and have it delivered right at your doorstep. Or you can grab your copy yourself at The Pantry at 07 in Makati City and ilovemilktea in Las Pinas City. Now available also in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the USA! Email des_feliciano@yahoo.com for more details.

P.S. 4. If you are based abroad or just outside of Metro Manila and has been itching to learn more on how to jumpstart your business dreams, join me and my friend, serial entrepreneur Ginger Arboleda, as we take you through a series 2-hour webinars (for 11 Saturdays) that will help you focus on the technical skills and specific things that you have always wanted to know about in order to grow your business. We have come up with 10 sessions with 11 expert lecturers (with 1 FREE session if you enroll in the full program) that will make you a stronger and better entrepreneur. Register here to join the Enter Entrepreneurship Webinar Program now!

P.S. 5. Learn How To Make Money From Foreclosed Properties! We are on our 3rd run of the Usapang Foreclosed Property Investing with Jay Castillo of ForeclosurePhilippines.com! Happening on September 26, 2015 at the SMX Aura, Bonifacio Global City. Click here to register and avail the early bird promo!

P.S. 5. Randell Tiongson goes back to Dubai on March 29, 2014 (tonight!!!) for another no non sense personal finance learning series entitled “How To Become Dirham-Wiser and Peso-Wealthier”.  Please get in touch with Cherry Murillo or Normie Pascua. For registration and payments details, go here.

P.S. 6. For those who based in Manila, you may attend our FREE Biblical finance seminar on July 27, 2013 at the Rufino Towers, Makati City. Keep posted here for details.

P.S. 7. If you are living in Dubai, join our FREE CashFlow 101 Game session this Saturday, July 13, 2013.  Select participants will be given a chance to win for their loved ones in the Philippines FREE movie tickets to watch Wolverine- 3D at Glorietta Cinema on July 25! Click the poster below for registration details.