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4 Financial Lessons My OFW Father Taught Me About Money

Happy, happy, happy Father’s Day!

I am writing this blog post today while sipping a warm cup of chai tea latte and lounging around my parents’ apartment here in Doha, Qatar. 🙂 If you’re here in Doha, let me know so we can chat! I’ll be here until July 07.

Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to my own version of Rich Dad, my very own Papa, even though he’s not an avid reader of The Wise Living. (Pa, if you’ve read this blog post, you have to dance Nae Nae this Sunday.)

Growing up, my papa was a working student in college, and so when I was asked to guest for ANC’s On The Money with working students as the main topic, he was one of my primary inspirations.

My father is also an OFW, so whenever I make blog posts on the money management of OFWs, I turn to him for advice.

As his daughter, I am obliged to also state that I am thankful to my father for my physical appearance. If it’s not yet obvious to you, my father is tall, dark and handsome, emphasizing on the “dark” part.

Obviously, I got my lakas ng loob from him too.

Whenever I would tell a corny joke and get rejected, it’s okay. Sanay na.

Whenever I’d voice out an opinion and be humiliated, no worries! Lakas pa din loob ko.

And whenever I try to dance every time I hear a catchy Kpop song and I miserably fail, go lang ng go.

With majority of my traits I inherited from my Papa Lean, maybe it’s no wonder why his money tips also influenced the way I look at and handle my own finances.

Here are four of them, L-E-A-N:

L: Luxuries should be prepared for.

As an OFW, my father also knows that his work abroad isn’t forever, so he always makes it a point to stash funds for their future use upon retirement.

But, don’t get me wrong: papa isn’t cheap. He loves travelling and dining out as much as I do!

So what should he do when he wants to indulge in a luxury such as sushi buffet, or trip to Dubai?

He prepares for them in advance.

This is what I did when I went to Japan also. I targeted a specific date, researched on the costs and on the living expenses, came up with my “price tag” and invested for it two years in advance.

If you want something bad enough, you’ll prepare for it in advance.

Otherwise, it’s just a fleeting want that you don’t necessarily value. Trip lang.

E: Enjoy more experiences, less material things.

Papa knows that material things aren’t really that satisfying.

Sure, you may feel elated when that tight little dress finally fits you, or when that brand new iPhone is sitting pretty inside your pocket, but once the moment passes, there’s no joy left anymore.

You’ve already bought what you’ve desired for a long time now. So what? You can’t take that to heaven with you.

Psalm 49:10 says, “For he sees that even wise men die; The stupid and the senseless alike perish And leave their wealth to others.”

Enjoy experiences instead. It’s going to make you happier and more connected to others. 🙂

A: Allocate a certain portion of your income to share your blessings.

Yes, my father knows how to enjoy the money that he has worked oh-so-hard for, but he definitely knows and believes in the power of giving back.

He helps out his family – immediate and extended.

Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Additionally, he sends a monthly allowance to his “sponsor” in the province, our former helper who couldn’t continue working because she has a heart ailment.

N: Negotiate wisely.

Want to lower your cable bill? Call your telephone company and negotiate.

Want more items for lesser cost? Don’t be shy to ask politely.

Want your hotel to accommodate a request? Smile while negotiating and remember to include salient and persuasive reasons in your request.

What are money lessons that the #1 man in your life has taught you? Share ka naman dyan. 🙂


You worked hard for this money – shouldn’t your money do the same for you?

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