Working on board is not easy. That’s why I always pay attention to how to spend my hard-earned dollars. This includes watching out for exchange rate opportunities.
About three months ago, the exchange rate for the dollar to the peso was about 55.XX for every dollar. This is quite bigger than the previous years which plays at around Php 50.XX.
For OFWs including seafarers, this is a great deal. We receive more Peso with the same amount of dollars that we are paid for our hard work. This means more spending power for our families and dreams.
But before you cash in your hard-earned Dollars into Peso, take a moment to reflect on how this will impact you in a positive way.
Remember, more money doesn’t solve your problems but financial education does. If you keep a wise approach to your finances, you may never have to work away from your family again.
Stencil this in your mind that this currency “high” is just temporary, and may go up a few more pesos or decrease and go back to Php 49.XX or less. There is much complication discussing about that so let’s not dig more into that stuff.
A few of my friends way back in 2009 own a dollar account as their secondary allotment. They take out some amounts from their salary which is enough for their monthly needs and leave the rest in the bank to bear interest.
During that time, the exchange rate was around Php 46.XX per dollar. So imagine if they saved USD300.00 every month during their 9-month contract. How much would they have after 8 years?
Imagine if they held their accounts and cashed in at the high of Php59.00 per dollar in 2022, you’ll get Php2.07 million in just 13 years!
That’s how some people make money by sitting!
Save your hard-earned money
If you are earning dollars today, the best thing you can do about your money is to save as much as you can. It can be done by minimizing shore leaves, slop chest, and unnecessary expenses on board.
Moreover, it would be wise to keep your home expenses as it is. There is no telling how far these currency exchanges can go so it is better to be prepared.
Sending extra money should also be done if they’re really necessary. Take note that the local bank has lower Peso-Dollar exchange rates than other money changers. Sometimes, they differ by one to three pesos or more.
When your company doesn’t issue dollar bills as your final wages at the end of your contract, it would be better to ask for cash advances while still on board and convert them when you are at home.
During your vacation, it would be smart to buy local items instead of imported ones. Merchandise taken from abroad is usually paid in dollars by the merchants/ businesses so they can sell it locally.
If the dollar is strong, they require more Peso for the same price (in dollars). They will eventually pass the expenses to the consumers.
Avoid foreign trips for the moment. Your hard-earned dollars may not be enough for you and your loved ones’ trip abroad.
This may require you to buy dollars in banks (or other Forex dealers) which can be very costly as you have to shell more Peso to buy greenbacks.
Buying items abroad via online shops is also costly. Paypal and credit card companies have charges aside from the currency fluctuations you will be burdening.
Planning to buy pasalubong? Think carefully about this and plan how much you’re willing to spend. I discovered that pasalubong is not actually a necessity but has its roots as a tradition.
You can save a lot if you know how to strategically purchase pasalubong for your folks and friends.
Remember to keep your expenses in control while the dollar is strong so you can use that extra cash in other useful ventures.
The best thing to do with your hard-earned money right now is to buy more assets that could help you earn extra Pesos in addition to your day job.
Since you can get more Peso from every dollar that you have, use it to start a business, pay your debts, buy houses and lots, or invest in the stock market.
Would you rather extend now or taste the fruit of your harvest at home?
May the winds be in your favor.