“Hey, he’s rich coz he works abroad.” – the usual words we hear from people who do not know what real financial struggles overseas worker have in working abroad.
photo credit: google images
The above meme that is circulating in Facebook and Google has a lot of significance, not just for Philippine-based workers but also for those working overseas. Many Filipino people who have not tried working abroad think that an overseas worker earns a lot of money. Well, basically that is true for overseas workers like us – if you are to compare our current salary with the salary from our previous work back home.
But after working for several years abroad, why many of us still do not have a fat bank account by the time we come home? Fat bank account informally means a large amount of money one person has that is most commonly saved in the bank, seldom used but available to withdraw anytime.
The following are probably some of the untold reasons why you would hear newly-arrived overseas worker say they do not have enough money; many of which are obvious and understood.
Most Overseas Workers are Family Persons
We do send remittances to our family back home, it is automatic. Basically our family eats, our children study, they buy medicines and clothing, we probably pay house rent, regularly pay bills, pay tuition fee, and go out some time. At times we also help relatives who are in need of financial assistance. These are obviously the most practical reasons to spend our money on.
Some Overseas Workers Invest on Properties
We invest on properties despite the challenge of a tighter budget. It is not easy to live abroad with a very few amount of money enough only to sustain for food and transportation allowance. But we do invest on property to, with our family; have a place to come home to for good.
Some Overseas Workers Invest on Business
As we want to have an additional or passive income, we look for business opportunities where we can invest on. When we have found one and finally decided, we give our little savings to put that up, or sometimes borrow from people around. It would be best if the business becomes successful and returns the investment amount at the expected time; but the moment it comes to disaster, no amount will be given back to us. Sadly, we need to start saving again or pay for the borrowed amount without profit.
Overseas Workers are Humans Too
Abroad, we also eat, pay house rent and bills, and pay for daily transportation. These are our basic needs and should not be taken for granted. At times we also go and dine out with friends, or buy clothes needed in our respective jobs.
At Times we Spend on Emergency Cases
As we have tackled in the previous topics, having a little amount of savings in the bank, when required in an emergency situation, we would give it out and pay for that emergency situation. That emergency is sometimes extended to our distant relatives, close friends, and others in need.
Sadly, we also have Wrong Moves
One of the worst nightmares at the end of overseas lifetime is, if we come home without savings. Basically, wrong move is the end result of unnecessary and uncontrollable spending habits we used to do during our overseas lifetime. It means that the money that could have been saved has gone out of its chance to be used for more important spending; and so a lot of time is wasted and we have to start saving all over again.
Do not be sorry if until now we do not have a fat bank account yet, if we have one of the reasons above. Assess our financial status and know why we still cannot save or increase our savings. It is never too late to adjust on our spending habits. It is never too late to save.