If you are the family of an OFW who constantly flies out of the country for work, you might already be familiar with how they would almost always avail of and OFW loan in Manila before they say their goodbyes at NAIA. Since they will already be making money to send back from overseas, you can take the responsibility of paying for the loan by sacrificing small purchases that actually cost you a lot in the long run.
It’s seems like the easy choice especially for office workers since you can just sit down, wait for your food, and then forget the dirty dishes but eating out actually cost so much as opposed to packing your own lunch. The cheapest fast food cost about 60php for a measly amount of ulam and a small ball or rice. More filling options cost around 100-150. If you eat out every day for lunch, you’re spending about 300-750php per week on lunch alone. And if you enjoy a fancy dinner at least once or twice a week at 300-500 per meal, you are looking at about 2400-5000php worth of food per month spent of meals when you can feed yourself for less than 2000php for a whole month already.
And if you’re already eating out relatively frequently, it’s likely that you are also buying sugary handcrafted drinks like designer lattes, frappes, and of course milk tea. A cup can cost as little as 50php or as much as 200php in a lot of coffee or tea shops in Manila. Some people even buy more than 1 cup per day, bringing the money we spend on drinks range from 350php to a whopping 2800 per week! That’s 1400-11,200php in a month spent on drinks; you can even blow your whole OFW loan on sweet drinks alone, with extra pearls!
Petrol & Cab Fare
As with our first example about restaurants, this next item on the list only further illustrates a key point when it comes to expenses: convenience is costly. While others need to line up at the train, cram inside jeepneys, and scramble to hop first into a bus, others simply hit the “book now” for their ride. But booking a ride or even driving your own car can easily set you back 10-50x the cost! A 9php jeep ride could cost your 120php for taxi or 100php for gas and that’s just one way. Not to mention, being stuff in traffic on public transportation won’t require you to pay more but if you’re taking a cab or driving a car, the meter will run while the gas gets used up.
Alcohol and Cigarettes
We cap the list of with something that we all know we should stop but can’t seem to get off our systems and those are alcohol, cigarettes, and other vices. The price of alcohol is about 25-30php for local beers and popular cigarettes cost 95php per pack. If the average Filipino goes to an inuman session at least twice a week and can go through a box of cigarettes per day, you are looking at about 815-1265php worth of vices per week and that’s not counting other conditions like what if you have beers at the bar (55-150php per bottle) and then get pulutan, or share cigarettes you bought so you’re getting an extra box or two of cigarettes per day. 3260-15,180php worth of money could go to paying off your OFW loan in Manila instead of vices.
And that’s not all, considering that too much of a good thing is bad for your health, one too many sweet drinks, alchohol, and smoke can also land you in the hospital, costing you more for medical expenses. Not only will avoiding these habits help you pay off an OFW Loan, it will also help you make money since, in the words of Chinkee Tan, the money you do not spend is money you earn, and will also help you be healthier and to say the least.