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Invest Your Money, Time, And Heart, Wisely


Being an OFW has its perks: OFW’s earn double, triple the salary of a Filipino white collar employee. That’s why a good number of Pinoys flock to the Middle East, to Hong Kong, to the rest of South East Asia, to Canada, to America, the rest of the world, just so they can send home the almighty dollar. 

And yet, for the decades that an OFW works abroad, how much of their income goes to investments? Do most of that go to expenditures instead? Putting family members through school, building homes, feeding friends and neighbors in parties, and other such spending? 

It is appalling to know that in 2007, only 7% of OFW families invested and saved their income. As of 2014, it is heartening to know that around 42.1% of OFW families were seen investing the OFW’s income. 

And so, it is the first quarter of the year again, time for a friendly reminder to keep up the good work for the OFW’s and their family who invest, and to encourage those who don’t, to get started. 

Invest Your Money Wisely. Like we mentioned, an OFW’s income has to go to good things. Yes, your sons’ and daughters’ tuitions are good, your nieces’ and nephews’ tuitions are good, but when you grow old, would they keep you well-fed? By the stories we hear, it is sad to know that even when an OFW invests in their family’s future, most of these family members fail to remember them when their hard-earned income dwindles, or worse, gets spent. So, as an Overseas Filipino Worker earning your keep with your hard work, remember to set aside money for yourself, in order to ensure that your own future is bright. 

Remember to take advantage of: 

Savings Accounts. BPI Maxi-Saver, and other savings products with high interest rates are a good place to keep an emergency fund that’s ready for you to use when you need it. Hospitalizations, weather-related crises, and similar incidents are good reasons to keep a liquid, but high-interest savings account. 

Time Deposits. Time Deposit accounts also have higher interest rates that have scheduled maturity dates wherein you may renew the account or cash it in with interest. They may not move as fast as the latter investment vehicles we suggest, but these are still higher interest than savings. 

Mutual Funds. Mutual Funds are stocks that are pooled, managed, and invested in as a batch or a group by experienced fund managers. You may be surprised that the most affordable Mutual Fund that you can get is actually at Php 5,000 or roughly $115 USD. Most Mutual Funds can be had for a minimum of Php 10,000 or roughly $230 USD. The great part is that your investment can grow as fast as 30% to 40% annually, if you pick the right fund. This means that your initial investment of Php 5,000 could grow to Php 7,000 within a year’s time, or Php 10,000 to Php 14,000. Imagine how much you could earn when you invest Php 100,000, or roughly two months’ of gross salary for an OFW? 

Stocks. Sure, the stock market is pretty scary. However, if you feel like taking risks, why don’t you enroll in Bo Sanchez’s Truly Rich Club, and be guided on how to invest? This way, you get encouraged to add stocks to your investment portfolio, and Bo Sanchez’s guidance will help you find safe and sane investments.

Insurance. Insurance accounts hardly sound like good places to invest, but there are new policies and programs that allow you to cash in your policy when it matures. Some people have discovered that they were millionaires by the time their insurance accounts matured 5, 10 years later! 

There are other ways you can invest, so educate yourself, research, or talk to a great financial adviser in your area. This way, your hard-earned money will be put to good use. 

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Invest Your Time Wisely. A more valuable resource is our TIME. Most of us tend to squander time on worthless things such as TV, chismis (gossip), and, yes, a lot of us are guilty of this: too much partying on the weekends. Learn to spend your time better and choose better pursuits to spend your time on. 

Sleep. In this field, no one wants to be lazy, but sleep is REST. We work so hard to send money back home that we need all the rest and sleep that we can get. Don’t take sleep for granted! Choose to sleep instead of having fun on the weekends. 

Family. They are the ones we sacrifice our lives back in the Philippines for. We sacrifice our social lives back in the Philippines, the comforts of home, even home-cooked Filipino food for them. Since we’ve gone the whole mile and then some for them, it would be great if we maintained our relationships and spent time with them, as well. 

Self-improvement. Most of us OFW’s have more than enough time on our hands, so it would be great if we invested in learning something new, earning that degree we’ve always wanted, or if we learned a new skill. There are hundreds of websites that offer that, and you can refer to our previous post for a list of these excellent websites. 

Recreation, fun, and entertainment are great, but rest, crucial relationships and improving oneself are better pursuits to invest our time over. 

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Invest In The People Around You. We cannot stress this enough: Relationships are important. Money can be found just as easily as working hard, and having the right “diskarte,” but the people around our lives are irreplaceable. When we give the right people our time, our listening ear, and allow them to listen to us as well, we are building relationships that are vital to our journey through life. 

Remember to invest in: 

Your spouse. More long-distance OFW marriages fail because people chose to spend time with someone else, as opposed to their spouse. There was a reason why you married that person. Rediscover it. 

Your children. Your children need your presence more than your presents. So more than providing for them, invest in sharing with them your values, your hopes, your dreams, and your hopes and dreams for them. More than being a great provider, great parenting is all about forming your children’s values and personalities properly. 

Your parents. Your parents aren’t going to be around for very long, so seize the day and touch base with them regularly. 

Your extended family could wait, by the way. Always nurture your nuclear family and make sure that you contribute to their emotional well-being just as you contribute to your family’s budget. 

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Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Lovers and married people everywhere are so kilig that it’s near, we can see it in the air! It’s red, has hearts, and cute teddy bears, too! 

But more than the cheesy ways that Valentine’s is celebrated, here are a few tips on how to do it, 2015-style: 

Get to know your beloved. More than getting them the standard Valentine’s Day expressions like chocolate, flowers, bears, and balloons, find out what they really like, and make ways to send that to them. Unless that’s chocolate, and you can then try to find the brands they haven’t tasted yet, and make them 10x happier. And no, Toblerone, Hershey’s and Cadbury DO NOT count. Try Amedei, Pierre Marcolini, and the like, for a change. 

Get creative. If you can’t go home this Valentine’s, get the cooperation of your kids, friends or relatives to make Valentine’s Day very special for them. Ask your friends and fam to get a delicious cake for them (Try Secret Recipe if you’re in Manila, Dulgie’s if you’re in Iloilo, or Calea if you’re in Bacolod), and plan a surprise Valentine’s Day mini-party! 

Take it through the rest of the year. Valentine’s Day’s romantic magic doesn’t need to stop in February. Take the magic with you for the rest of the year by finding, buying, or making coupons that you and your significant other can redeem for romantic gifts and gestures. You may be far apart, but the magic doesn’t have to stop at the ports! Keep on fanning the flames of your romance, especially when you’re married. 

We look forward to giving you more Valentine’s Day tips, so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, here’s a toast for a January well-lived!


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