Today’s OFWs are called modern-day heroes and with a good reason. The decision to do what’s right for the family and to provide a comfortable and secure life for them takes enormous strength of character.
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who worked abroad at any time during the period April to September 2017 was estimated at 2.3 million. Remittances reached 205.2 billion pesos as of the end of September 2017. (PSA Reference Number: 2018-070)
The strength of character should be coupled with financial literacy. In 2011 study by Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc. (SEDPI) found that 1 out of 10 OFWs is financially broke; 8 out of 10 of those who return to the Philippines have no savings.
Despite a higher earning power compared to working the same job in the Philippines, why are they coming back without any savings or investment?
Many OFWs in different countries face problems with loans. Many fall victim to loan sharks while some are forced to run away. Some end up using their passport as collateral so they end up overstaying their visa and forced to go home. Some even end up in prison. (Debt bondage: The scourge of OFWs)
Obviously, it’s not a matter of how much you earn; it’s how you manage what you earn. It’s about spending your money and your time wisely so that when the time comes, you can go back home to the Philippines with wealth both in terms of finances and experience. This challenge is what the Philippine Business School’s LIFE Masterclass wants to solve.
Leadership. Successful leaders know that their value is based not only in managing teams and running organizations, but in pursuing higher purpose, inspiring others, setting audacious but achievable goals, having positive impact to the lives of others, defining strategic visions, and creating a culture of excellence. In today’s VUCA business environment, there are new demands on its leaders, and current challenges require many new skills and approaches. Bring your leadership skills to the next level by identifying your current strengths and enhancing them with the latest tools and approaches. The leadership skills that is developed by forming a personal habit of excellence.
Investing is a good way to stretch the money you have and enable you to earn more without taking up too much of your time. For OFWs, investing your hard-earned cash could mean gambling. If there are sound investments that are worth your money, there also are others that are not as lucrative as they seem. But that doesn’t mean the odds have to be piled against you. With enough research and study, the right advice, and perfect timing, you can make your money grow from a simple capital for a business that would guarantee you continue a comfortable lifestyle even when you retire as OFW.
There are some things about OFW money management that should be learned early on, whether you’re a first-time OFW or a seasoned worker abroad. Ideally, setting financial goals should be done before an OFW leaves the country, but for Filipinos who are already working abroad, it is never too late to start. Whether you’re single, married, or are currently the breadwinner of your family, there should always be a purpose to everything you do. Not only will this motivate you to work harder, this will also help keep your finances in order. Start now. Set both short and long-term goals, and always return to your list or mental image of how you want your future to look like.
Entrepreneurship. Overseas jobs are not forever; at some point, everyone has to go home. Once you have enough money saved, you can start thinking about starting a business. This won’t be just another source of income but a first step in building your life back home. Starting a business requires many steps, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Study, plan, and once you’ve determined a business to pursue, review it again and check if the business’ projected income is enough to sustain your family’s lifestyle.
Indeed, to be a modern-day Filipino working abroad you need to be street smart, resilient, resourceful, up-to-date, tech-savvy, focused and quick to adapt to go through each day in a foreign land without the comforting presence of friends and family. Continually study, learn and improve yourself, so you can go back home to the Philippines with wealth both in terms of finances and experience.
We are inviting all global Filipinos to join in the Philippine Business School’s LIFE Masterclass where we help you expand your horizon on the 4 critical areas of welfare and prosperity: Leadership Investment Finance Entrepreneurship (LIFE). The program provides a unique opportunity to bring your leadership skills to the next level; gives a solid understanding of today’s investment landscape; helps you learn how to make better financial decisions to increase the value of your company in the marketplace or manage your personal finances effectively and equips you with knowledge on the global business trends to ignite your career or passion in business.
Follow us again next week for a 4-part series on Leadership and Empowerment; Investment in Stocks, Mutual Funds and Real Estate; Finance and Financial Reporting; Business Development and Management.
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