OFW’s, Control Your S(p)ending

It’s not only about the bad spending habits of OFW’s. It’s also about their bad over-”sending” habits.

It’s old story. Actually. A cliche. A history repeating itself. Generation of OFW’s after generation of new OFW’s. A lesson not learned.

Filipinos overseas, no matter how the earning years pass by, still hold on to the undying padala and pa-”package” mentality.

Balikbayan freight service centers and remittance desks are filled up with boxes and lined up with homesick people making themselves feel more homesick by sending more “extra” money and stuff to their families back home.

Coz doing this makes them happy. At least for now.

Nothing’s changed.

Not all of them, maybe.

The Hardest Part is Saying NO

Majority of OFW’s share the same sentiment. They send more than what their families back home need.

It is extra money called pa-kunswelo. Or the payabang. The emotional pampering. The ingredient and main formula to raising spoiled brats while they are away from home.

For them their salaries are their “wealth”. Even if it is not. Salaries do not equate to wealth.

Wealth is what you keep and grow from the salary that you receive. The problem is, most OFW’s don’t save (enough). They don’t budget. Most OFW’s don’t invest.

Salaries are their sole unparalleled “wealth”. Cliche.

When a teenage child asks for extra money for “research” assignments, the OFW father or mother says, “YES, anak. Papadalhan kita.

When a relatively matipid wife back home asks for extra money for any other “emergency” expense, the OFW husband says, “YES, honey. Papadalhan kita.

When a jobless husband left back home asks for extra money for “house repairs” (or should I say “club” repairs?), the OFW wife says, “YES, mahal. Papadalhan kita.

When a sibling asks for pang-kapital sa negosyo even if the OFW kapatid abroad knows it’s the 10th business try already, “YES, Kuya/Ate/Bunso. Papadalhan kita.”

The hardest part is saying NO.

Say that two-letter word and you will be branded as kuripot. Salbahe. Madamot. Mayabang. Walang utang na loob.

It’s tough to give tough love as an OFW. Because OFW’s allow themselves to give in most of the time.

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Control Your Sending. Control Your Hurting.

You as an OFW must learn to be tough in times like these.

Be responsible by saving and educating yourself on how to grow your money while you are abroad. Learn how to invest in paper assets because this is the simplest and safest for a Filipino temporarily working overseas.

Learn how to budget by involving your spouse or your family back home in this effort. This is not a one-man show.

They should respect you for what you do, for what you sacrifice for.

Your actions today reflect your sense of responsibility for the future of you, your family, and your children.

Practice tough love.

Believe that God is always with you if you follow and do the right thing. Be determined, disciplined, and decisive to make this work for you and your family.

Control your sending and spending now before you get hurt even more.

Subscribe to BurnGutierrez.Com  and learn how to practice tough love for your loved ones.

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.

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7 Responses to OFW’s, Control Your S(p)ending

  1. Sky says:

    Nice read Burn. Apparently more and more Filipinos like that, instead saving their meager salary abroad, they tend to send it all back home. What I did was, I told my family upfront that I will not be sending OFW packages and their Luho’s. I will only send them enough money nothing else. Just letting them know and have them understand your reason why you go abroad.

    • @Sky, that’s a very firm stand that you took. And you are right, it’s all a matter of explaining and letting them understand the whole picture of why we’re breaking our backs away from home.

  2. In spending, one has to check his emotional impulse before splurging… In sending, one also has to minimize his emotion (sobrang awa) or else he will be kawawa

  3. Correct, because most of the time people don’t want to look like kawawa by buying things to impress others. In the end, they really become kawawa.

  4. Char says:

    I consider myself lucky because my family is frugal. My mother only withdraws enough money for their expenses from the allowance im sending them the rest is accumulated as their emergency fund. They don’t ask for padala or whatever yung mga kailangan lang talaga nila like medical aids since mas mura abroad compared sa pinas.. Because of that im able to save up for my retirement, some of my savings i put in investments like uitf, mf and stock market. Now thinking of getting medical insurance i have philhealth and sss but i want enough to cover my medical expenses if the need arises because i dont want to burden my family, can you suggest a good insurance for ofw’s like me?

    • I hope more OFW families are like yours. It’s good to spend on needs but it’s always best to keep a substantial amount of cash for emergency and for investments.

      Personal opinion only, I’m assuming you are already covered with a health insurance in the country of your work(?). If that’s the case, I personally recommend that you buy a “term life” insurance plan from any of the top 10 providers in the country (Sun Life, PhilAm, PruLife, AXA, BPI PhilAm, Insular, etc.).

      Term life insurance is much cheaper (premiums at P10k or below annually, depending on your age) than any other type of insurance products.

  5. This article not only applies to OFWs but also to Kasambahays who keep on sending all their meager salaries back to their families… Our kasambahay , working with us for the past 3 years has not a single cent to show, in fact, deep in debt…(advanced her 1 month salary every month). Just today she already accumulated 2 month advanced salary. I do not know how she will be able to save up.