Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Precila Nefalar and Milagros Villar, who are both facing the twilight of their lives, remain captives of financial instability even at the age of 70.
Nefalar and Villar’s commitment to provide for their families have been tested through the decades they have spent in Hong Kong as domestic helpers (DH).
Nefalar, 70 years old, barely tracked the growth of her younger relatives, but she witnessed major changes that happened in Hong Kong within her 35 years (and counting) as an OFW.
“Itong Hong Kong noong 1982 nandito ako, bihira pa lang ang mga building,” Nefalar said in an interview with GMA.
Her current contract is set to expire this year, but she plans to continue to work as a DH to support the medications of her sick sibling. And she will continue to continue this promise even if it takes her another lifetime.
The fate of 76-year-old and arthritis-stricken Villar is almost the same. For 34 years, she served not just a family, but generations.
“Lima ang alaga ko, lahat sila nakapagtapos na. Wala pang anak ang amo ko nang mamasukan ako sa kanila,” she said.
Set your agenda
While Nanay Precila and Mila deserve nothing but praises for their sacrifices, OFWs are advised to set financial goal to go back to the Philippines and pay debts in no time.
Jun Amparo, a personal finance advocate and founder of Richly Blessed Today, suggests a six-point agenda on financial literacy, which could eventually set OFWs free.
These tips could also be beneficial to OFWs who rely on loan sharks to set their feet in a foreign country in hopes earning a little bit higher for their families.
1. Assess the problem and commit to get out of debt
You need to face reality and make a commitment to get rid of debt. If you expect to get out of debt without defining the real culprit, the problem won’t be resolved.
2. Decide a time frame to achieve your financial goal
Write a deadline for when you’ll be financially free. Setting a time frame is necessary in achieving your financial freedom.
3. Negotiate with your creditors
You can discuss penalties for paying late, lowering down the interest rate, allowing you to skip one or more payments with no penalty, and requesting loan to be extended or restructured.
4. Control your spending habits
Learn to re-define wants versus needs and live with it. If you’re spending more than what you’re actually earning, it’s time to cut back on luxurious that you can live without such as movies, extra clothing and dinner out.
5. Learn to live a simpler life
If your pleasure is always purchasing branded or expensive items at the mall, think of replacing this habit where you will not be tempted to spend much money.
6. Increase your income stream
One way to increase your income stream is to use your talent and skills. This could include activities such as writing, tutoring, making crafts, or even web design.