Some Financial Mistakes Most Commonly Made by Seamen
For years, the marine industry has been flourishing, thereby providing tons of jobs for many Filipinos. It is not a secret that Filipinos choose to become seamen primarily for the higher compensation brought about by life onboard a ship, in order that they may, in the future, give their family a more convenient life.
However, many Filipino seamen do now know how to handle their finances well. Several of them just earn, go home and spend their money until their next sea service. This cycle continues for years without them accumulating any savings or growing their bank account. The good news is that you can do something to keep away from this bankrupt path by avoiding these common financial mistakes made by most seafarers:
1. Splurging on unnecessary itemsOverseas Filpino seamen have the privilege of earning twice or thrice the amount of what their local counterparts can earn. As a result, a lot of these seafarers buy luxurious items on a whim, without really considering if these expenses are even necessary. Plus, it’s cheaper to buy imported items overseas than to buy them in the Philippines, so many seamen perceive that they can save if they make their purchases abroad.
Splurging extravagantly on material things on a regular basis, for example, every month, is too much. You can avoid this habit by effectively budgeting your money. List all your daily expenses such as transportation fees, food, rent, and monthly remittances. See how much more you have left from your salary, then allocate the remaining amount for savings, personal luxuries and other types of investment, including that for your retirement.
2) Having a “Pasikat” mentalityMany Filipinos believe that if one member of the family is working abroad, then the family must be living a good life. As a result, overseas Filipino seamen feel pressured to live up to that expectation, which explains why they always throw a grand welcoming celebration or splurge on their friends and family once they get home. Before you know it, some of them even end up spending their entire salary on several unnecessary expenses.
To avoid this type of mentality, you should start focusing on your family’s future. As long as you invest your money in the right ventures, you will be able to grow them and finally, get to enjoy material possessions that you sacrificed in previous years.
3) Remitting excessivelyMost often than not, the person with an overseas job is expected to carry the financial burden of everyone in the family. This leads to so many overseas Filipino seamen remitting almost all of their money just so they can support their loved ones back home. However, the problem with this custom is that it will encourage your family members to be highly dependent on you, when in fact they should learn to stand on their own feet and pay their own bills. Instead of pampering them, why not invest in a business that they would have to manage? If you do that, it’s like killing two birds with one stone. You get your own business and independent family members, at the same time.
4) Not investing in personal insuranceOnboard the ship, seafarers have several kinds of benefits---SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig, and life insurance---but if something uneventful were to happen to them while they were back home, their family would not get anything, not even memorial finances. Thus, as early as now, you should invest in personal insurance from a reputable company because it is better to be prepared than to blindly face future challenges and struggles.
Be wary of these common financial mistakes to make the most of your hard-earned savings. A little bit of sacrifice, smart spending and self-control will surely go a long way.
Stay tuned for more maritime career and life tips, and for the meantime, apply to the latest sea-based job openings posted by POEA-licensed manning agencies on SeamanJobsite.com.