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7 Financial Pitfalls to Avoid for OFWs

OFWs are one of the thriftiest when it comes to their budget. There are countless stories of OFWs coming back and staying in the Philippines for good, with their entire savings well enough to last them for countless years to come. Perhaps that would be an indicator that they finally have enough for a local business venture. Either that or they were able to settle down with a non-luxurious lifestyle, hence, decreasing their daily expenses. With that in mind, there are also those who were unlucky enough, perhaps due to a few wrong decisions along the way. With their savings gone and foreign contract fulfilled, they are obliged to travel again and repeat the never-ending loop of working far away from home. Don’t make the same mistakes, avoid the following pitfalls:

1) Falling for pyramid scams.

Pyramid scams are rampant and some victims are OFWs. Many of them are tempted to join such get-rich-quick scams due to the fact that an easy surge of money would mean that they’ll be able to come home to their families sooner than expected. These are of course too good to be true, and they end up regretting ever participating and wasting their time and hard-earned money for promised riches which are definitely a lie.

2) Not setting a financial plan.

Don’t just strive to save; you got to have an end result in mind. How much are you planning to save? What will you be using it for? How are you going to save a much bigger amount? These are questions that only you could answer. Remember, the more you budget, the better. Don’t be embarrassed to create a list. Having a written plan of your financial goals is a great indication that you’re willing to put in the work, just so you can save from each salary cut-off. Speaking of which…

3) Not including your savings as part of the expense pool.

You might be confused, “Why would I even call it savings when I categorize it as part of the expenses?” Allow us to elaborate. As an OFW, you still have your monthly dues, bills, rent, groceries, etc. But those are just the usual expenses, remember, you must consider the amount that you’re going to save as part of the expenses as well. This is the alternate perception of “saving only if there is any amount left.” This is wrong! Instead, practice the “I better put aside an amount, regardless if there would be any leftovers or not.” It’ll motivate you to set aside a specific number, rather than trying to save from a few monthly penny leftovers.

4) Being the only source of income for your family back at home.

There is nothing wrong with providing for your family – it’s your obligation and the main reason why you left the country in the first place. However, you are also entitled to let your family know that you can only do so much. You are not the owner of a multi-billion company, and neither are you the president of your own country to provide for everyone every time there’s trouble and shortages. As an OFW, it is your responsibility to help and provide for the usual budget, but if you’re going to be forced into providing for the whole ‘barangay’ then that’s definitely counterintuitive.

5) Having no emergency funds.

Set aside an emergency fund every salary day. This should be different from your savings. The thing is, you shouldn’t even be touching your savings at all. Whenever unforeseen circumstances were to occur, your emergency funds would diligently provide for you, without hurting your financial roadmap in the long run.

6) Being a “Yes Man.”

God always loves a cheerful giver. During your stay abroad, you may encounter a fellow OFW going through some rough time. You should definitely help out, but do not pour out all your hard-earned cash, hoping that you’ll be paid back immediately. The best that you could do without hurting much of your budget? Respectfully say “No.” If your budget wouldn’t allow it, let your fellows know that you are in the same rough patch as they are, and you’ll definitely help out if ever you’d get any extra. But until then, you may just decline any effort to borrow cash from you.

7) Ignoring legitimate investment opportunities.

What better way to earn than to pursue a good investment opportunity. You could invest on your fringe benefits, you could invest on a house back at home, or you could even invest on a few healthcare services. These investments are not to be confused with pyramid scams, as those would usually promise easy money. Legitimate investments do not promise quick cash, but instead, showcase a few good terms which could work best for you. The more that you’ll indulge on investment numbers, the more that your money would grow in the long run.

With all of that in mind, you may have saved enough and finally be ready to send your hard-earned money to your family back at home; however, you are still undecided as to which remitting center you should transact with. Well no need to look any further. With Cebuana Lhuillier’s Pera Padala Service, you are ensured an easy, quick, and safe way to send and receive money. With close to 2,500 branches nationwide and accredited international partners, this money transfer service is made available to clients within and outside the Philippines. So for our beloved OFW patrons, feel free to visit any of our international partners – we assure a fast, easy and secure transaction.

For a complete list of our international partners, you may visit our website at

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