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3 Tips for OFWs to Stay on Budget while in the Philippines

Dec 09, 2023
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One of the many sacrifices that overseas Filipino workers, or OFWs, make is being away from their loved ones for a few months to even several years. Most of them go abroad to have better job opportunities so they can provide for their families left in the Philippines.

Now, with the holidays coming up, a lot of OFWs go back home to celebrate with their loved ones. And when on a vacation like this, it’s very easy to spend money and go over your budget. Giving away gifts, eating out at restaurants, going to different tourist attractions, and so much more. After all, you just want to make the most of your time with your spouse, kids, parents, relatives, or friends.

That’s why in this article, I’ll be sharing 3 tips on how to balance enjoying your time in the Philippines while also being responsible with your money.

Tip #1: Take note of your loved one’s love language.

It is said that there are five different ways people can express and experience love. These are (1) quality time, (2) acts of service, (3) physical touch, (4) words of affirmation, and (5) giving/receiving gifts. And knowing what your loved one would appreciate the most will not just make your relationship closer but may also help you spend less.

Aside from giving gifts, here are some examples that you may consider.

  • Quality time - Make sure to allot time for sharing stories with your parents. Maybe spend your afternoons talking to them, catching up over a cup of coffee.
  • Acts of service - Cook your spouse’s favorite meal that he/she hasn’t eaten for a long time. Or maybe help him/her with some errands they need to do.
  • Physical touch - Hug your kids and kiss them good night the whole time you’re there with them.
  • Words of affirmation - Say your thanks to your sister or brother who is looking after your kid while you’re away. Acknowledge their help and their support for you.

Discover what they want and think about how you can express your love. This will be a great way to show them how you’ve missed them while being able to stick to your budget as well.

Now that we’ve covered this, let’s go to the next tip that you’d want to do early on.

Tip #2: Create your itinerary ahead of time.

As much as you want to make the most of your vacation, it’s surely the same for your loved ones. They’d want to spend time with you as much as possible, as it’s not often that you’re back home.

Following this, it’s guaranteed that they will ask what to do or where to go. And if this is not planned out yet, they may end up deciding for you. While there’s nothing wrong with it, this can lead to trips that are out of your budget, or you may end up spending more on a lot of things you didn’t plan for in the first place.

So the best way to go at this is to create an itinerary for your day-to-day activities. Plan out how you’ll spend your whole vacation, whether it’s just for a week or for a month. List out the things you want to do or try. This way, you’re not just staying within your budget, but you’re also making sure that your trip is worth it. You can use these questions to guide your planning:

  • What can I do with the kids that will be memorable for all of us?
  • Where can I go on a date with my spouse?
  • When can I hang out with my parents and siblings?
  • How can I catch up with my friends?
  • What activities do I really want to experience while I’m here?

These are some things you can think about, and when you have the answers, your loved ones will surely like the idea that you spent the time planning these for them.

With that, let’s go to our last tip.

Tip #3: It is okay to wait and think things through.

While on vacation, there are a lot of things that may happen. It can vary from having a roof that needs fixing to a house and lot for sale in your dream neighborhood to even your parents asking you for business capital. Opportunities may knock on your door, or financial requests may come your way.

And it’s easy to say yes to everything. After all, you chose to work abroad because you want to provide for your loved ones and afford to have a better life. The fear of missing out or the feeling of being pressured is normal. But you don’t have to make a decision right away. Don’t let anyone force you into saying yes.

This is why it’s important to have a spending plan for your whole trip. Know what your priorities are, and take the time to assess if you can afford these things that suddenly come your way. This is not about being tight on money, but it’s about being intentional with it. You worked hard and sacrificed a lot to earn. Your money represents your time away from your loved ones, your sleepless nights, your hard work, and a lot more. It’s much better to wait and think things through than just give an immediate yes because you feel pressured to do so or you’re scared of missing out. This is a valid option that you should keep in mind.

And that’s it! We’ve now discussed 3 tips you can use to make sure that you’ll stay to your budget when you go on a vacation in the Philippines. Remember, you can make the most of your vacation without breaking the bank. Use these as your guide and enjoy your time with your loved ones while still being financially responsible.

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