Remitting to the Philippines
Christmas is around the corner and for many of us who cannot go home we rely on remittances and couriers to send our love to our families and friends in the Philippines. Especially now that it is the season of gift giving, everyone is giving and is expecting to receive more. Perhaps sending gifts and money has become a habit because of our generous nature, but there are financial risks that go along with it.
Many overseas Filipinos suffer financial difficulties because of money mismanagement. We often send too much money back home that goes to consumption instead of investments or savings and we fail to set aside enough for our own savings or for future investments. Although we understand our responsibilities and commitments to our loved ones, we tend to compromise our lifestyles abroad and, most unfortunately, even our long-terms goals.
However, there are ways to change this habit. You do not have to send less in order to save more. You just have to control your cash flow and follow these moneysaving tips for sending money back home not only this Christmas season but also all the time you send money to your relatives.
Prioritize. Upon receiving your monthly income, divide and allot your money to the must-pays first. These should include:
- Debt payments
- Life and health insurance policies
- Educational funds or plans for your children
- Retirement fund for you and your spouse
- Investments in business, stock, or properties
Focus on these finances before setting money aside for allowances and leisure spending. Sending money for these indicate you are thinking about long-term goals and securing a good life for you and your family in the future.
List down expenses. Sending a general amount for allowances may not always work because you are clueless about the expenses at home. It is advisable to tell your families to list down the things or activities they usually or would like to or spend on. This way, you would have a realistic idea of how much to remit to them.
Control expenses at home. Your family is as important as you are in building a promising future. They need to know that just because you are abroad does not mean they can spend excessively. You can control expenses by talking to them about delaying gratification and focusing on saving first. You need to stress that they should not be too dependent on remittances so that they can start saving for their own future as well.
Refer to the receipts. Sometimes checking the receipts and bills back home can help you understand where the expenses bulk up the most. Ask your families to keep receipts and billing statements when they can. You will also see if the costs in the country are increasing or getting cheaper. This will be useful information for you to gauge how much you will need to send next time
Encourage. Work together to find out a way for investing in an income generating activity. Aside from talking to your families about the importance of saving, you should also encourage them to have a business mindset. Instead of sending monthly allowances, it might be good to give them capital to start their own small business. Encouraging them to have a more proactive attitude will prevent dependence and laziness.
In short, be more involved in the daily life of your family and relatives that you are sending money to. As much as possible be part of the decision making process, instead of just being a silent money sender. Try to help your family go beyond their day-to-day needs by helping them to make a long -term plan.