Money Mistakes Every OFW Should Avoid


Philippines’ modern day heroes, also known as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are know to be very hard working individuals who made sacrifices to help their families and contribute to the economy with their high level remittances. However, going out of the country does not always guarantee financial success. In this article, we will mention some money mistakes OFWs should avoid.

In these modern times, there are countless Filipino OFWs around the world, pushing the odds for the hope of making a better future for their families. Almost every Filipino family has at least one member or relatives that goes overseas to work. Professionals seeking to leave the country and try to build their careers abroad.

However, you must also deal with the effects of being separated from your loved ones and far away from home. It may be a really unpleasant condition, and it can wear you down emotionally over time.

There are a lot of reasons why some Filipinos leaves our country and some of the reasons are career growth, job opportunity, political stability, and the most common answer is to be financially successful.

Most often, it’s because of financial concerns. A substantial number of overseas Filipino workers have pointed out that they can earn more money abroad for performing the same job they do in the Philippines.

And yet, according to a 2011 survey performed by Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc., one out of every ten OFWs is financially poor. Furthermore, eight out of ten people returning to the Philippines have no savings at all. Despite years of working overseas, few people are able to successfully accumulate a significant sum of money. It’s a significant sacrifice that can have both beneficial and bad consequences for your personal relationships and financial situation. Not all OFWs are aware of the implications of their poor financial decisions.

Read Also: Protecting the Rights and Welfare of the OFWs

Why is this the case? If you’re an OFW looking to succeed financially, here are money errors you might want to avoid:

1. OFWs as a Financial Hero

The path to financial independence begins with the proper attitude—not just for those who are living abroad, but also for those who are left behind. Both the OFW and his or her family should be dedicated to making sound financial decisions that are fair and reasonable to all parties involved.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to provide help to your friends, relatives, and families especially, however it’s also vital for OFWs to learn how to say no when family members become overly reliant and as a result, they are less likely to look for other kinds of income, making it much more difficult for you to save money for yourself.

How could you save in a situation like this? Because the truth is, it’s difficult for everyone to save money when the majority of their income is spent on remittance to support their family and as I have mentioned before, extended families. Most OFWs would leave enough money to cover food, rent, transportation, and some other expenses. Many Filipinos living abroad have tried to stretch their budget, generally reverting to canned or dry fish due to the expensive cost of living and the realities of making the end meets.

And for those on the receiving end, on the other hand, should have reasonable expectations about the kind of assistance they may expect from a relative working overseas. We should never underestimate the importance of budgeting and discipline. Counseling our relatives and family members is a good start. Break the stigma that once someone gets a job overseas, they will be the breadwinner and everyone else is starting to depend on them. As if they are just picking money from the street.

Strike a balance between providing for your family and investing in your future. Why not save first and then spend the rest, rather than spending all your savings and then saving again? You’ll have enough money for rainy days and then some if you develop this smart financial habit.


A balikbayan box is a love symbol. These massive care packages from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) usually contain presents and many goods for family and friends back home—everything from children’s apparel to boxes of soap, the latest pair of basketball shoes to cans of processed meat, and so on.

A balikbayan box can also be viewed as a symbol of sacrifice. OFWs frequently send balikbayan boxes and transfer large sums of money to their families back home as a gesture of affection. In today’s Filipino homes, this type of giving is prevalent. Preparing for a secure financial future, on the other hand, is a better show of love. Planning for long-term financial objectives demonstrates to them that you are concerned about the future. That is what Pag-IBIG is all about, it aims to assist regular Filipinos to become homeowners, offers loans for affordable Pag ibig housing as part of its objective.

However, spending is less of a concern for those without children or family. But keep in mind that there are good and bad debts. Debt that you pay but don’t expect to get back is called a “bad debt.” In addition, a good debt is an investment that you can rely on in the future to pay off.

It is the same thing with asset and liability. What’s the difference between a liability and an asset? It’s common for an asset’s worth to rise over time, or that it has the potential to generate income in the future. And liability or bad debt is a dead end.

The most common example of that is spending money or applying for a loan to purchase luxuries, expensive gadgets. Whereas its values have a tendency to depreciate over time rendering you to sell it for a lower price. On the contrary, spending money that you have acquired through Pag ibig loan to purchase a house and lot or a Real estate condominiums, which is in a form of good OFW investment. In case of emergency comes, you can convert it into an RFO house and lot or rental business. And reacquire all the money that you have spent on that property over time.


When it comes to investing, OFWs make a frequent error by investing their hard-earned money in the incorrect kind of investments. Sure, you’ve came across an opportunity online or heard from a friend about a great program you might join at some time in your life. Recruiting 2-3 people into the program, educating them how to recruit other people into the same program, and over time you’ll have hundreds if not thousands of individuals in your down line and that’s the time you will start earning. Maybe you have met some members who proudly display photographs of their homes, sports vehicles, or smile while waving a fan-shaped dollar bill.

Most people are now doubting whether or not this system is legitimate. If you were to just Google the company’s name, you’d probably find out that it is a pyramid scheme.

Fellow Filipinos are often tempted by the promised high returns of the system. If you are able to comply with their terms and gain yields. The high return of investment in a short span of time? People should be wary when an offer appears to be too good to be true. Because unfortunately, it’s probably not true. Their desire to invest their hard-earned money compelled them to do so. As a result, they are more exposed to fraudsters, which might result in financial losses. Don’t let your desire cloud your judgement.


Real estate is an excellent investment, but it is not the only one. How about learning the stock market and investing in stocks? The bank’s financial advisor can provide you with information on mutual funds and treasury securities. As an alternative, you can establish your own franchise. Consider purchasing a life insurance policy or investing in a pension plan.

But let’s get back to Real Estate and/or purchasing properties. Bria Homes offers affordable house and lot options in highly accessible neighborhoods in prime locations. Possessing your own house at Bria homes and land might be one of the first steps towards achieving your financial goals. Of course, this is a fantastic investment for our modern-day heroes, the OFWs. These are just some examples of ways to make your money work for you in the form of investing. There’s no better time to invest than now.

On the other hand, Many overseas Filipino workers want to invest but don’t know where or how. And that’s when financial literacy comes in. If you’re financially literate, you’ll know how your money works, as well as have the skills and information to make educated financial judgments. Just always keep in mind that there are various ways to increase your money.


Any OFW should, in my opinion, prioritize financial education. With the correct information, people will be able to invest their hard-earned money wisely. Because having a job won’t make you wealthy, unfortunately. Even though it’s a bit harsh and direct, it’s the truth nonetheless. Despite how it may appear, reality hurts, and we have to be honest with you about it. As you age, your energy, strength, and talents will decline, and working will become impossible at a certain point. There’s no such thing as too much money saved, even when you’re simply saving a little amount of your salary. Is it enough for you? Prior to experiencing any of these awful situations, you must wake up and change your life.

Plus, there is no such thing as forever. For as long as you have an employer that is willing to hire you and allow you to work for their firm, yes, you are an OFW. There are still a lot of unknowns in the world. You may lose your work, have a financial problem, or suffer a disease or injury. Being an OFW is viewed as a temporary job. Your contract can be terminated without warning at any moment. This might be a major problem if you haven’t thought about it. Lacking emergency cash, they’re forced to borrow money from colleagues and even take out a loan from their employer to cover their expenses. Their financial situation worsens as a result of the high interest rates.


Some OFWs can’t seem to get enough of wasting money. That’s because they’re finally able to make more than they need for the first time. Some Filipino OFWs believe that visits to the coffee shops and dining out are types of treatment that might help cure the ailments that plague so many Filipinos overseas. This might be due to homesickness, stress at work, or racism.

Even though, knowing that they have earned some pampering now and again after all the hard work they’ve put in over the years, they tend to overspend as well. Spending without a plan will lead them to financial disaster in no time. It doesn’t take long for them to discover they’ve spent more than they’ve earned. The amount of money owed on loans and credit cards will soon pile up.

While mistakes may be avoided, they can never be undone once they’ve been committed. Try to alter your negative behaviors while you can, and keep your sights on the prize. A better future for ourselves and our family is what drives us to continue on this path of being financially successful. Don’t waste the opportunity to get picked and recruited in a foreign country. Profit from your hard-earned money and don’t allow your sacrifices go to down the drain.


Financial principles can assist OFWs preserve and increase their money if they have a basic grasp of them. When they have the appropriate information, they can make educated decisions about how to save more and even pick the right investment instruments while working in another country. Financial literacy can help people avoid scams that promise big returns in a short period of time.

For OFWs, it’s especially vital to have a measurable financial objective while working abroad to assist them to focus and prevent overstaying.

In addition, OFWs who plan to retire in the Philippines should also look into alternatives that might assist them grow their retirement fund and offer additional money in case of severe sickness.

Particularly essential are investments for OFWs returning to the Philippines who don’t plan on working as an employee anymore should invest in properties and purchasing house and lot, luckily Bria is here. Bria Homes caters to regular Filipinos who dream of owning a home that is both high-quality and cheap at the same time. Other option is starting a business like renting out homes also known as RFO house and lot.

Which of these mistakes are you familiar with? When it comes to financial concerns, it is critical for OFWs to be aware of their own faults and shortcomings. We may assist ourselves overcome adversity, address complications, and live a more progressive life by acting on it and resolving our flaws.