Christmas is just a few weeks away that is why more and more Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are preparing for their Christmas homecoming and vacation in the Philippines. This is most probably one of the most awaited moments for OFW family and loved ones.
However, OFWs who choose to spend Christmas and New Year holidays in the Philippines should be prepared for the expenses because they might find themselves overshooting in budget. It will be a problem if they return back to the host country, with almost zero balance.
Here are some financial tips for OFWs who choose to spend Christmas and New Year in the Philippines;
1. Plan your Christmas budget.
Before you plan anything else, think of your Christmas budget first. You should only spend within your limited budget until the holidays are over and you return to the host country for work.
2. Prioritize only the needs.
Prior on coming home to the Philippines, you should have a check list on what to give as gifts for immediate family members and very close friends. Only when you have enough budget can you include other relatives and neighbors. If the prices are lower abroad and you are sure that these things will be allowed by custom officials at the airport, go ahead and buy. But if prices are cheaper at malls and supermarkets in the Philippines, be practical.
3. Plan only one Christmas get together.
It is very common when an OFW comes home for Christmas and New Year holidays, many relatives and friends want to see him / her. The most practical way if to prepare just one Christmas get together and invite relatives and friends over. For those who can come, it is alright. For those who cannot come, make it clear that you are preparing just one holiday get together.
4. Think about the future.
Being an OFW is not forever. Sooner or later, you will not have a job anymore because of different valid reasons. It is always best not to spend so much on things that are not necessary.
5. Choose the most practical gift.
Even with your own family and loved ones, always be practical in giving gifts for Christmas. Give something that they can use for a long time and helpful to them. For close relatives you can give money gifts in Pesos, it depends on their situation. Be careful not to go over budget.
6. When you should say “NO”.
Most people think that an OFW has plenty of money to spend. If and when someone asks you for help, if you can do so, please help. But if you think they are asking for too much, learn to say “No.”
7. Do not use credit or debit cards.
Credit and debit cards are not practical to use most especially during the holidays. You think that it is easy to swipe? Yes, but when paying time comes, that is where the problem begins. Learn to discipline yourself and your loved ones too.
8. Be a good example of simplicity.
Yes, more often than not, as an OFW, you are able to buy nice clothes, shoes, the latest model gadgets, and you can post those on social media. You can also go to expensive restaurants. But it is best to stay simple even if you have money to spend. Let people know that you are happy even with a very simple lifestyle.
You can share this few financial tips on your friends and fellow OFWs, especially to those planning to spent their Christmas holidays in the Philippines.