One of the hardest things and decisions that you will do in your life is to work abroad and be an Overseas Filipino Worker. Living and working in another country away from your family is never easy. Imagine celebrating the holidays and special events away from your loved ones.
Sometimes, OFWs cannot survive this kind of life. Many of them suffer from loneliness. One of the biggest enemies of a Filipino worker is homesickness.
However, since you are the breadwinner of the family, you still need to endure the situation and forget about the loneliness that comes with the better opportunity abroad. Before going to a foreign country to work as an OFW, check this survival guide first on how you can survive years of not seeing your loved ones face to face.
Survival Guide For OFWs
This survival guide will surely inspire you.
1. Make a Plan
Before you decide to go to another country and be an OFW, ask yourself first:
- How many years are you planning to stay abroad?
- How much do you plan to save up?
- How many investments and properties do you want to acquire?
Involving your family and loved ones in planning is making them aware that your family will not rely on your income as an OFW for the rest of your lives. Let your family know about what your plans are so they do not expect the contract to be open-ended. This way, they can stop overspending and start saving.
Many OFWs are working even if they are already in their retirement stage. As an OFW, you should be in charge of your present and future. Always eliminate the “bahala na” system.
2. Communicate Everyday
Communication is important. Take time to talk to your wife or husband, your children or your parents over the phone or through video chat.
No matter how boring or how repetitive it feels, even after a long day of work, maintain your daily conversations with your family. Being physically absent does not mean that you should also be emotionally unavailable too. The video chat that you will have with your family, especially with your children, can make them feel that you are not away.
If you cannot go home regularly because of your employment contract, make sure to spend a vacation with your family at least every two years.
3. Create a Budget
Not because you are earning big now is that your expenses should also increase. Even if your salary and monthly income are higher now, you should still stay with your old or previous household budget. Save bigger for your savings, especially for the future of your children’s education, for your investment, and your retirement.
Do not leave the budgeting with your family. Have access to your bank accounts. Ask for progress reports. If you’re building a house, ask photos of the house you are building.
4. Do Not Get Used to Luxuries
Before you buy an expensive gift like gadgets and other material things, make sure that you are fulfilling the basic needs of the families first. School expenses and savings should come next.
After setting aside money for your needs, then consider buying small inexpensive gifts.
Never allow your children to develop the habit of constantly asking for things that are non-essential. Instead, start teaching them the value of saving if they want to have something. If they start working for the item that they want, they are learning that they cannot get everything that they want instantly.
5. Always Pay Debts On Time
If you have any loans, pay them once you start earning money. Before you spend money on yourself, create a plan first to pay off all your debts.
Paying off debts solidifies your financial status. It also puts your family in a good standing with your lenders. Always make this a priority.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
Since you are the family’s breadwinner, your loved ones depend on your physical and mental well-being. Start spending on healthy foods and maintain physical activities. Treat yourself to a vacation or something that you want.
Start quitting your vices. Without your health and sanity, you won’t be able to help your family. Know when to rest and also to take a break.
Once you have a goal in mind and with the help of your family, you can start working abroad with inspiration. With the help of this survival guide, imagine, 10 to 15 years of working in another country, you may come home in your family happy and more contented.