Five Saving Tips for OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers)
Humble tips that may somehow allow you to save for the rainy days
What if suddenly you lose your job? Do you have enough savings to sustain you for the next few months, or perhaps more, until you get a new one?
Well, think about that.
In these times of uncertainties, one has to be as diligent and as wise as the ants - always busy saving for the "rainy days".
Although these simple tips may hold true to OFWs in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia in particular, do check if these can benefit you as well, wherever you may be.
1. Buy Gold, Not Gadgets
Agree. Tabs and smart phones are amazing creature comforts, but do you really need them? If you already possess a laptop at home with internet connection, I believe this is more than enough. After all, you can do practically everything with your lap top as well. Don't you think so?
Well, I encourage you to buy gold instead. It is a very wise investment to make because gold never depreciates in value. Gold from the Middle East, especially Saudi gold, is highly preferred by many and yes, it is higly appraised by pawnshops so liquidity is not an issue. Handy, non-perishable and extremely prized, ensure to invest one. This could be you best-friend to whom you can run to when cash-strapped.
The uncle of our Indian colleague religiously ensured to buy a piece of gold for every salary he received. After two years, he went home for good and established a business of his own. Interesting, isn't it?
2. No toTaxi, Yes to Bus
Yes, even a Haflah would do. (A Haflah is a dilapidated mini-bus that roams around the streets of the Kingdom). Unfortunately, taxis in KSA are not metered so you have to sharpen your negotiation skills to get a good deal. Unlucky you if you are a Filipino, because Pinoys are known by taxi drivers as imeldific. Taxis charge 15 riyals for a relatively closer destination, but you will only pay 2 riyals for a delightful bus ride, regardless.
I ride the bus each time I visit the city center and I am saving 26 Riyals, return. Hey, that's a big amount. Multiply it by four for a four-time visit in a month, that can pay your household help back home, or enough to buy you a basket of fruits to keep you healthy for a week or two. What about that?
3. Cook Your Own
Dining outside can be very costly, and oftentimes oily, too. If you really want to save and stay healthy at the same time, I advise you to cook your own meals. For instance a kilogram of mixed vegetable for "Pakbet" worth seven riyals is enough to sustain my three or four meals. A 13-Riyal Milkfish, sliced into four, cooked with sour broth and garnished with a Riyal worth of water cabbage (Kangkong), five pieces of Ladies Finger (okra) and one medium-sized eggplant, is equivalent to four servings! At approximately four riyals per meal, you can save nine riyals if you are into a regular budget lunch at 13 riyals per day. Do the maths and see the difference!
4. Go to Supermarkets Offering Big Discount
Competition is stiff among the huge supermarkets that have mushroomed everywhere, that's why they publish brochures every weekend with rock-bottom prices on many items. You can really save a lot, especially for OFWs who plan to send a package back home. After shopping, you can add some amount to your piggy bank.
5. Do not Over-spoil Your Loved-ones Back Home
"I bought my son a PSP and smart phone. That's the only I can show my love being away from him", I often hear OFW parents saying.
In my opinion, this is a wrong concept. There are a thousand and one ways to show your affection to your children, but to expose them to high-tech gadgets and the like, would really "add salt to the injury". These are expensive items and these could even lead them to ruin.
As the goose that lays the golden eggs, you have to exercise control on pampering them of the things that they just want - including your wife!
My kids are enrolled in a public school but have very affluent classmates clad with net books and smart phones. They have asked me several times but I did not succumbed to their desires. Why? because a net book or a smart phone is just a want, it is absolutely not a need. It is something that my kids can do without. I thought a gold jewelry is a better option for my hard-earned money. What do you think?
The bottomline is, we as OFWs, have to start saving today, now. Tomorrow may be too late.