7 Steps: Guide to Saving Money while Working Abroad

We need to remind ourselves all the time, we are Overseas Filipino workers who are abroad for a reason – to earn more money, send more money to our families, and (hopefully) save more money to secure our future. After all, we don’t want to keep working our butts off and not see any fruits of our labour (Katas ng OFW).

Also Read: 23 Practical Tips to Save Money as an Expat in Dubai

If you’re wondering what are some actionable steps to effectively save money even while you’re working abroad, here are some tips you can do.

secure your future tips to save money abroad
let’s all remind ourselves why we became OFWs in the first place

Before we jump right into our tips, let us just briefly explain the concept of saving up. Building wealth is quite simple to do, the general idea is to spend less than you make, and do it for a long time. 

1. Set Goals.

One of the main things every OFW must do before they decide to work abroad is to set a financial goal for themselves. This will help them determine how long they intend to work abroad. This will also guide their decisions when it comes to spending their finances. 

OFWs in Abu Dhabi Fulfill Dream, Room for Rent Business in Philippines

2. Develop a system.

There are several methods on how you can save effectively. However, one of the best and most recommended techniques is the 50/20/30 rule. This being:

50% goes to your essentials (food, housing, transportation, utilities)

20% goes to your finances or savings account(s)

30% goes to your personal/lifestyle expenses

Again, this will vary as you set goals and decide on what you want to achieve given the amount of time you plan to work abroad. 

OFWs in Abu Dhabi Fulfill Dream, Room for Rent Business in Philippines

3. Secure your Future.

When we say ‘secure your future’, this means you need to make smart investments which include getting an insurance package, a retirement plan, or a business venture. Moreover, just like what Ann and Kenn did, they invested in an apartment business, so this takes care of their property, house, and business needs. talk about smart, right?

But if you do not have the means and funds to start an apartment rental business, like what they did, you can first invest in land, which you can develop in the future. It’s also considered property, which you can profit from eventually as the value of lands increases over time.   

OFWs in Abu Dhabi Fulfill Dream, Room for Rent Business in Philippines

4. Grow your savings.

Growing your savings is an action in itself – you just need to do it. By establishing a habit of putting aside funds for your savings, you can ensure that the money you put away in the bank or in other forms of savings programs such as the Pag-IBIG Fund MP2 Savings will continuously grow and flourish in time. 

OFWs in Abu Dhabi Fulfill Dream, Room for Rent Business in Philippines

5. Avoid unnecessary spending.

The secret to enjoying your finances is moderation. Of course, it’s out of the question that you need to reward yourself now and then. But it’s very important that in doing so, you still recognize your limitations. Remember, your finances are not unlimited. That said, the goal should be to make your flow of revenue continuous for as long as it is possible. This is the reason why it’s important to have several streams of income. 

OFWs in Abu Dhabi Fulfill Dream, Room for Rent Business in Philippines

6. Be wary of falling into Credit Card debts.

Once you start working abroad, you’ll notice that almost everyone is using credit cards for any payment they make. But if you’re new to using credit cards, remember tip #5 – just because that you can pay for anything that you can get doesn’t mean that you should. Credit card companies earn from the interest of the purchases you make using your card. This means that the more you spend, the more you will have to pay on top of what you got in exchange for the credits and convenience you used. 

A gentle tip to avoid falling into credit card debt is to only use cash when paying. This will ensure that if you do not have the funds, you won’t have to get anything that you cannot afford to buy right then and there.  

7. Be moderately generous.

For many OFWs, family comes first. For this reason, they forget to save some for themselves. Say, even if you only go on vacation once a year, do you think it’s worth it to spend 6 months’ worth of your savings just to treat your friends and family one time? You need to think about this long and hard. Remember, you have lots of choices. And the reality of it all is that your funds are limited no matter how much savings you have in the bank. That said, the better choice is to be cautious when using your money.

Also Read: 10 Challenges and Problems OFWs Face while Working Alone Abroad

Spend moderately and allocate a budget should you decide to treat your loved ones. This way, you won’t go beyond what you can only afford. After all, everyone will even be prouder of you when they see how successful you are when it comes to managing your finances. 

Let’s all be wise with our finances. Here are some real-life experiences of OFWs sharing their wise investments and how they’ve set their goals. Let’s all learn a thing or two from these inspirational stories: