About three months ago, the exchange rate for dollar to peso was about 49.XX for every dollar. This is quite bigger than the previous years which reaches from around Php 46.XX.
For OFWs including seafarers, this is a great deal. We receive more Peso with the same amount of dollars that we are paid. 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 if 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 on your finances, you may never have to work away from your family again.
Keep in mind that this currency “high” is just temporary which may go up a few more Peso or decrease and go back to Php 49.XX or less. There is much complication discussing about that so let’s not dig more of that stuff.
A few of my friends way back 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 their dollar account. 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 now?
That’s how some people make money by sitting!
If you are earning dollars today, the best thing you can do about your money is to save as much as you can by minimizing shore leave, slopchest and unnecessary expenses on board. It would also 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 allotments 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 it when you are at home.
During your vacation, it would be smart to buy local items instead of imported ones. Merchandise taken from abroad are usually paid in dollars by the merchants/ businesses so they can sell it locally. Since the dollar is strong, they require more Peso for the same price (in dollars) to which they would pass it 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 might 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 a few dollars.
Buying items abroad via online shops is also costly as the foreign exchange rate could be very high especially if you are using Paypal and credit cards.
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 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, you can use it to start a business, pay your debts, buy house and lots or invest in stock market.
Now go tell your captain for an extension of your contract.
May the winds be on your favor.