How to save money tips for OFWs

How a 99-peso book guides me in handling my personal finance?

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” — Warren Buffett
VhAJAwAAQBAJFrancisco Colayco’s “Pera Palaguin Workbook” guided me to have a financially disciplined OFW life. His book taught me something, which I never learned from elementary, high school or in college. Personal finance was never been taught in Philippine schools. So, I personally welcome proposals to integrate personal finance literacy curriculum in colleges. Here’s a link of a video report from ABS-CBN that says so:

When I arrived in Kuwait in 2006, I tagged along with me the book of known financial literacy advocate Francisco Colayco. The book titled “Pera Palaguin Workbook” has been my only guide in handling my personal finance.

Here are the things I learned from that book:

  • Creating Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN).
  • Differentiating “wants” and “needs”.
  • Creating and understanding the importance of having a monthly budget.
  • Monitoring and tracking expenses/spending.
  • Understanding the basic concept of “compound interest”.
  • Saving

Back then, in 2006 my monthly salary was around USD 250 per month. A paycheck which was really meager for a family having four members. With the things I learned above, I was able to live life within my income. I maintained a financially disciplined lifestyle not to be carried away in buying things I wanted. I controlled my emotion not to be tempted to take credit on latest phones and gadgets. Even if it is just a matter of providing a copy of my civil ID and salary certificate and take with me the latest mobile phone.  I only spend for the things I need, not the things I want.

I’m thankful that I bought Colayco’s book instead of those expensive books offered during the pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS). The price of that book was affordable (If I’m not mistaken that cost me 99 pesos at National Bookstore) but the value is priceless. If not with that book, I would have continued my “one-day-millionaire-attitude“. The attitude that most of us possess, that must be buried.

The habit of Saving

Although I managed to control my spending and not fallen to bad debts, but the thing I was not able to achieve completely, was the “habit of saving”. What attributes my failure for not saving consistently was my low income. So in 2009, I invested for my self improvement. Earlier I wrote about how I invested for my self improvement and how I shifted from being a stock clerk to office clerk.

Well, I’ve got a new job, having a decent salary, but the “habit of saving” still didn’t come out naturally. And saving is not enough also nowadays. We need to invest part of our savings. But how? Here comes the “Overseas Filipino Stocks Investors” (OFSI). In my next post,  I will write about how this advocacy group helped me learned so many things about mind-setting and investing.



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