With the hard work that they do, OFWs can bring home the bacon and eat it, too. However, people often assume that they spend their higher salaries on frivolous expenses.
According to the president of Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc., OFWs not only feel the guilt but even shame for not being with their families more than enough, which is why they would overindulge their loved ones.
The notion of “bigay-luho sa anak” and being “galante” are common, but these are actually misconceptions.
OFW cash remittances are spent wisely.
OFWs are actually pretty savvy when it comes to managing their money.
Based on the Consumer Expectations Survey for the second quarter of 2019 done by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 68.9% of OFW families allot their money for education, and 49.8% for medical expenses. Money spent on housing also increased compared to the first quarter of the year.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey on OFWs in 2018, 66% of the OFW families saved less than 25% of their remittances. Still, only 11% of these families saved around 50% and over.
OFWs aren’t as extravagant with their spending as they may seem. They have started prioritizing education, medical care, and housing. While this is a step towards the right direction, OFWs still need more than savings to secure their family’s future.
OFWs need to invest.
Both the BSP and PSA surveys reveal that only 7.8% of OFW households use their money for investing. While there are certain factors that influence where and how they allot their funds, OFWs need to know how to grow their money.
OFWs can take a financial wellness assessment and consult a financial advisor. The assessment evaluates their current financial status and an advisor can provide the best option to match their personal goals.
OFW households can take advantage of investment-linked insurance plans. They can set aside money for long-term goals and serve as a financial cushion for unforeseen costs. They will be able to fund their children’s college and get protection from health emergencies.
Money management for families, especially in the case of OFWs, can’t be done by one person alone. While they are most likely the breadwinners of their families, this doesn’t mean that they must bear the burden and the weight of ensuring that their lives are secure.
It should be their family’s job to ensure that while the OFW is working to generate income, they are putting those funds to good use.
1. Lozada, D. (2016, May 29). “Emotions preventing OFWs from financial success.” Rappler. https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/balikbayan/134677-emotions-preventing-ofw-financial-success
2.BUHAY OFW. (2017, December 2). Luho at Pagmamahal ng OFW. Philstar.Com. https://www.philstar.com/pang-masa/para-malibang/2017/12/02/1764808/luho-pagmamahal-ng-ofw
3.Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (n.d.) Consumer Expectations Survey – Second Quarter of 2019. Retrieved from http://www.bsp.gov.ph/downloads/Publications/2019/CES_2qtr2019.pdf
4.Terosa, C. (n.d.). SPENDING PATTERNS OF OFW HOUSEHOLDS: A REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE. Retrieved from http://www.aisf.or.jp/sgra-in-english/seminar16/TerosaPRES.pdf