- Personal Finance
Three Effective Tips for OFWs to Grow their Money
Philip (not his real name), a father of two, came back from vacation unhappy. He lamented that his wife never had any savings from all his remittances in two years. There was neither any improvement in their modest abode, except for a 32-inch flat screen TV in their living room.
The success of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), when it comes to investing his hard-earned money, lies on how his beneficiary helps him.
We hear countless tales of OFWs coming home for good with practically nothing, primarily because their beneficiaries did not have a good account of their earnings. In other words, they did not spend the money wisely and appropriately. This is not surprising though because we, Filipinos in general, do not have a solid background on money matters. That is why we fall trap into becoming “extravagant” at times; if not, most of the time. We have that deeply-rooted behavior of being a “one-day-millionaire,” so to speak.
I hope you are not one of them.
There are three effective ways on where and on how you and your beneficiary could invest your money. These have been proven to be successful to me and to some people I know. I want to share it with you.
First, invest in livestock. Opps, don’t get me wrong, not in the mind-boggling stock exchange - those up and down arrows and crazy graphs that you see in your TV screen or in the newspaper, but in l-i-v-e-s-t-o-c-k! Yes, this is what we are into.
I am blessed to have an enterprising beneficiary who happens to be my wife. She insists on not putting our savings in the bank because, due to recent changes in banking policies, our savings earn very, very little interest, unlike perhaps fifteen years ago.
Instead, she first bought a female cow and had it raised by one of her relatives in the village where she grew up. Not long after, the cow gave birth and both partners sold the calf. They are both happy with their earnings, not to mention the fact that the cow could still give birth to another calf. Of course, the profit is not enough to buy a house and lot; however, it is much better than having the money lay dormant in the bank with almost zero interest!
Wanting to invest more, she also bought two boars and had them taken care of by her two other relatives. Recently, these gave birth to a total of 21 piglets which means profit again. We are now looking for lechon houses as possible buyers as we plan to expand a bit. Don’t you think it’s a wonderful idea?
In addition, a pair or two of goat is one thing that is not difficult to maintain as they virtually eat all kinds of plants. Goats have very good liquidity as there are several prospective buyers, in or out of season.
Not only that my wife is contented with the profit she’s earning, she’s also happy that in her own simple way, she is helping others, which is her foremost advocacy.
Second, convert your dormant property into cash. If you are living in a budding city and you have a vacant lot beside your house, or if you have a separate lot that lay dormant for many years, this can be a better option for you. You can put up a modest boarding house. The boarding house need not be made of concrete materials, as a jumpstart. (It depends on your budget, though). Nowadays, people are looking for a comfortable, yet low-priced bed-spaces or rooms that suit their budget.
In 2009, I was home for a month break and my wife surprised me with a 9-room boarding house. In fact, it looks more of a dormitory than a boarding house with common comfort rooms and a common kitchen. Each room is fit to accommodate a person or two. She had it rented initially for P500/month to the delight of those seeking a budget accommodation in a new city like ours. Later, she made an expansion in such a way that she built nine additional rooms on top of the first level. The second level rooms are made of light materials only. She now earns a steady income without having to rely heavily on my monthly remittances for our family’s basic needs.
With this project of hers, one beautiful thing happened. Seeing that this is profitable, our neighbors, who have vacant spaces beside their house, followed suit. It is pretty amazing because, now, the street where we live is to be known as a “boarding house” street with each abode having its own carinderia to cater for its tenants. Feeling threatened? Honestly no. We do not consider them as competitors, even if boarding houses had mushroomed, not just in our street but in the nearby vicinity. We believe that God’s supply is abundant enough to fulfill our needs in so many ways we could not imagine possible.
My beneficiary, who is my wife, led in creating a need that inspired others, especially our neighbors, to have their passive income while in the comfort of their homes. I couldn’t be prouder having her.
Third, invest in real estate. If you are earning more than the majority, this one’s for you. After sending most of his nieces and nephews to college and giving his family a comfortable life, a friend of mine invested in real estate. Working for almost 10 years in Saudi Arabia, he now owns a three-door apartment in Makati City and a part-owner of a condominium unit in Ortigas Center, which is being rented by a foreign national. Recently, he made his grand dream into reality by building a private resort located in Tanay, Rizal.
As a token for his generosity and love, his beneficiaries have been mutually helping him do the errands while he’s still enjoying his active income in Saudi Arabia. He is on his way to become financially independent and is now planning to go home for good very soon.
What about you? Are you still stuck in the rat race and have not advanced in your success journey? Well, it is never too late to start. Discuss your ideas together with your beneficiaries. You have to help each other in making your earnings grow. Encourage each other to read books and spend time watching materials that could enrich you - both your mind and your pocket.
Life knows no shortcuts. It is always good to start small and finish big. Do keep the faith. You’ll never know what God has in store for you until you try.
Lastly believe that nothing is impossible. Well, in fact, as one writer puts it, “impossible is nothing”.