If you’re one of the 2.2 million Filipinos working abroad, you’re probably doing it for your family, right? However, there is a difference between building a better financial future for your family and allowing them to be wholly dependent on the money you send them.
Being overly dependent on OFW relatives can cause tension within the family, not least because it puts a lot of pressure on the breadwinner working abroad. OFW’s have enough to worry about as it is, and expecting them to handle every little expense that comes up is rather cruel.
This is why it’s important to teach your family back in the Philippines to be wise about spending the money you send them:
Talk to them about a budget
OFW’s supporting entire families are quite common. Studies conducted by the International Monetary Fund revealed that many families with relatives working abroad rely completely on the latter’s remittances instead of finding other income sources on their own.
One thing an OFW can do to avoid this is to set up a monthly budget for their family. They should also make it clear that barring any major emergencies, this budget will be all they have to draw on for the month. This way, the limits on financial support are established and the pressure on the OFW to provide is lessened.
Build an investment
Some OFW’s choose to invest their money, and you shouldn’t hesitate to recruit your family if you want to do the same. This not only ensures your money’s growth, but it will also be a great way to increase your family’s level of financial literacy.
Make your needs clear
OFW’s have their own needs to contend with. That is a fact. Don’t neglect to talk to your family about your own living expenses abroad before you depart the country.
This is especially important if you’ll be working in a different country for a long time or if you eventually plan to relocate there.
Help them work on their finances
If anyone in your family seeks to earn money for themselves, give them your all-out support.
For example, if a sibling of yours also wants to work abroad alongside you, you can help them with their visa application. If your husband or wife wants to start a small business to add to the family income, you can help them plan for it and encourage them to save up the capital needed for such a venture.
As an OFW, saving for the future should be your primary concern. Your providing financial assistance is a given, but so should teaching your family to use it wisely, lest they behave like one-day millionaires each time your monthly remittance clears the bank.
Kyle Kam is from MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.
Follow him on twitter @undisputedkyle.