Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan!

The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in the Philippines, where Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo (later to become the Philippines’ first Republican President) proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain after the latter was defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, was done on June 12, 1898 at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Cavite el Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite, some 30 kilometers South of Manila. The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines, and the performance of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, as the Nation’s National Anthem, now known as Lupang Hinirang.
Source: Araw ng Kalayaan on Wikipedia

I am Proud to be a Filipino!
Photo borrowed from Anton of Our Awesome Planet

Wouldn’t it be wonderful for OFWs to aim for their own Declaration of Independence? Declaration of Independence from Financial Need (Kakapusan). Declaration of Independence from economic needs that makes them decide to be away from their family.

How long will it take us to become financially independent enough to come home for good? Is it two years? three years? five years? Make your declaration! Promise yourself and your family that on Philippine Independence day on a specific pre-determined number of years from today, you and your family will declare Financial Independence and be together as a family under one roof, just the way families are meant to be.

Declare it to yourself! Declare it with your family! Make a promise to each other that together you will declare your independence and you will be home for good!

What does it take to declare independence from the financial need to work abroad away from your family? In this article, we discuss 7 steps to financial independence. Simple as they may seem, these are essential for OFWs and their families if they want to be together again back home as one family.

Essentials to Financial Independence

Be clear with your purpose
Be clear with your purpose for working abroad. Before an OFW sets sail to greener pastures in other countries, he/she should first internalize what his/her purpose for leaving the country is.  Then the whole family (ie. parents and kids) should sit down and discuss these reasons for leaving.  It should be clear to everyone what the purpose of going abroad is for their family and at what cost.  For example, a parent having to go overseas sacrifices his/her quality time with the family in order for the rest of the family to have a decent lifestyle.  If the costs and the reasons are clear, then it is more likely that remittances by the OFW would be put to good use and the benefits of working abroad can compensate for the loneliness and longing of a loved one far away.

Set financial goals
Set SMART goals and write them down.  There are many definitions of SMART goals one of them being specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bounded.  Writing them down or creating a vision board (say a small area in your ref) will help keep the whole family on track and focused on achieving these goals.

Make an action plan
Match your goals with an action plan.  Example:  Goal 1:  (SMART Goal) Reduce electricity bill starting on the next billing cycle by 20% by (action) limiting the use of the aircon to 4 hours a day. or  (Goal) Pay off all credit card bills by the end of this year by (action) setting aside P3000.00 every month.

Improve your Financially Literacy
It takes an entire family to bring home their OFW relative. It takes discipline and awareness from all family members. And this requires that family members are aware of their financial contribution to the goal. This takes Financial Literacy not just of the OFW but of all family members as well. Read up, buy a book, surf the internet for many financial education references, attend (free) seminars, invest your time and energy in becoming financially literate. If we don’t educate ourselves, it will cost our family more money and more time before we are back together again, home for good. Improve our Financial Literacy.

Live Simply
Simplify and live within your means.  The tendency of most people when they experience an increase in income, is to also upgrade their lifestyle.  An upgrade in lifestyle is not always a bad thing especially if this is part of the goals that were set.  But make sure that the upgrade is reasonable and still within your means.  Example.  Why would you buy a brand new luxury sedan when you know it’s going to stretch your budget and eat into your savings when a decent second hand car will serve your purpose.  Don’t lose focus of long term goals.  Prolonging gratification is usually more rewarding.

Monitor your progress
Set up a planning session every end of the year where the whole family discusses the goals they have set a year before.  Pat themselves on the back for the goals that were met. Celebrate! Discuss why some goals were not achieved and what they can do to achieve them.  This is probably also a good time to redefine some goals and maybe set them higher.

Declare your independence!
When the day comes when you’ve attained your goals and when it is the best decision to come home for good, Celebrate! Wave the flag of your independence up high and celebrate with your family!

Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan!

ka noee at ka edong
para sa kalayaan sa kakapusan

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