After not being able to see your family for a long time, you’re finally coming home for vacation. You’ll be spending a month or two; having quality time with your loved ones and making them feel that no amount of foreign luxuries can ever take their place. It’s natural for you to bring home a few “balikbayan” boxes, if not boxes, you would bring home cash, which would provide your family a much flexible choice on where to spend it. Yes, bringing home gifts is part of the whole process, and that would also add up to expenses. However, between your much-awaited quality time with your loved ones and your departure back to work, you definitely have to keep some spare cash for processing requirements and travel documents for your trip back. With these, we would be discussing a few tips that would help you save money when you get back home for a vacation:
1. Plan your budget before heading home.
Yes, you’ve read that right. Before you even board your plane for your trip back home, you should already have a budget set. Segregate your expenditures if you have to, may it be presented, dining out, shopping, reunion parties, etc. Knowing how to spend your money would not only save you time, it will also leave you enough for emergencies.
2. Limit your gift-giving or Pasalubong to immediate family members.
Generosity is a golden trait that Filipinos have. However, you should also remember not to throw away your hard-earned cash by way of gifts. Give your immediate family members the gift that they deserve, but to another degree, leave off those who aren’t really regular visitors or acquaintances of yours unless you are sure you have enough for your emergency fund. Planning out a family reunion and paying for the food would be enough to let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them, in spite of having no physical gift to give at all.
3. Differentiate needs from wants.
This is further supported by item 2. Pasalubong or gifts are wants, not needs. The common misconception is that OFWs are rich people since they earn more than your average local job. While the earnings may indeed be bigger, it doesn’t take from the fact you are also supporting your family. The main reason why you’re working abroad is because you need to provide your family a better life, and that is never easy.
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