Pandemic financial literacy


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

Pandemic-hit overseas Filipino workers who build their ark before the rain pours find a lifesaver in financial literacy.

Liza Santiago-Bobiles, a healthcare financial educator since 2010, spends time teaching fellow OFWs to save and invest for the future.

When one uses spare time to make money, one has less time to spend money, says Bobiles, who empowers fellow OFWs with financial planning to rise above COVID19.

“We OFWs lead a comfortable life and forget the years go by quickly. Then COVID19 comes,” says Bobiles, who came to Brunei to work in 1994.

Pandemic has heightened awareness on the need for financial literacy and financial services for family’s physical heath, children’s education, and ability to save for the future.

COVID19 has a negative impact on OFW’s financial situation, ability to socialize, and getting enough physical activity.

Insufficient savings means no remittance.

Pandemic changed the way we are. Before, one can raise 12 children. Now, one income is not enough now, she Bobiles says.

Without solid financial foundation, today’s OFW is not sure if he is wealthy.
Bobiles’ prosperity formula is 100% income minus 10% love offerings (tithes) and 20% savings = expenses plus lifestyle (70%).

“While church-goers believe God will provide, God also gives us the ability and the opportunity,” she says.

Build a solid financial foundation from the ground up: increase cash flow; protect one’s health; get insurance; manage debt emergency fund; invest.
Life is a constant cycle of duality: Night-day; up-down; bountiful-famine. The Bible told Egyptians to keep 1/5 of crops during seven years of plenty as a reserve for seven famine years. Noah built his ark before the rain.
People insure their cars, and pay more; few have enough protection for loved ones, Bobiles says.

St. Peter or St. Lukes? Memorial or health care?

Protect health, wealth, and our loved ones, too.

Financial planning with family members are a key element to make the OFW come home for good.

Fortune grows from small change. Everyday, we spend something on what we don’t need: Soda, junk food, sweets, fancy coffee, dining outside.
To save, substitute the above with water, reduce junk food, drink 3-in-one- coffee and dine at home.

Start our own business part time or full time. Save money. Master how to make money grow. Increase our income. Increase our wealth line fast. Accumulate assets.

Pay oneself first instead going partying, traveling, shopping, alcohol, cigarets, gadgets, Internet load, television.

People spend faster today on gadgets, fancy coffee shops, malls.

Everything is changing – from typewriters to computers; film to digital; snail mail to email/Internet – except financial education.

Inflation grows faster than savings facilities – less than one per cent a year. Prices rise faster than salaries.

People live longer, face retirement and health care worries, and high cost of living. They struggle due to lack of financial education.

Financial education has no boundaries. The pandemic has resulted in a webinar boom. Learn how to manage finances while young, and do it.

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