Mr. Jun Amparo is a speaker, writer, personal finance advocate and founder of Richly Blessed Today, an OFW-oriented financial education blog. Recently, he wrote a book, “OMG! OFW’s Money is Gone: Practical Tips on How to Be Wise with Your Hard-earned Money.” His book was also featured at GMA News Online entitled Pinoy-penned book teaches financial literacy to OFWs.
The Pinoy Legacy had an opportunity to interview Mr. Amparo to discuss with him why it’s so important for OFWs to be financially literate.
The Pinoy Legacy: Can you tell us about yourself and your background? Why did you write a personal finance book for OFWs?
I am an Overseas Filipino Worker currently working as a school counselor at an international school in Thailand. I am married to Margie Amparo, also a teacher and an OFW, and have two children, Justin (10) and Gayle (8). I am also a personal finance advocate, a speaker, and writes article about financial management from a Christian perspective. I also founded a blog “RichlyBlessed Today,” a blog about financial education, to help fellow OFWs manage their finances wisely.
Aside from The Pinoy Legacy, some of my articles have been published at GMA News Online, LoanSolutions Philippines, OFWGuru, Global Filipino (Newsletter for Filipino Migrants and members of the Truly-Rich-Club), Filipino Times (newspaper in UAE), and other blog sites.
Why did I write the book? The simple answer is that the financial struggle is real! Many OFWs have no savings and they don’t know where to put their hard-earned money. They just survived at the end of every month because they live like “rich now, debt later.”
I hope my book will create financial awareness and make a positive impact to many Filipino households especially to our modern-day heroes.
The Pinoy Legacy: Please tell us what is the OMG personal finance book all about?
The OMG book is about the typical financial challenge or struggle that many OFWs have faced: managing hard-earned money. Through this book, I mentioned about the importance of having the right mindset and proper financial education.
The Pinoy Legacy: Why is it titled “OMG”?
The “OMG” is actually an acronym which means: “OFW’s Money is Gone.” The purpose is not just to have a catchy title but to present the reality or the financial condition of many OFWs.
The OFWs money behavior is so crucial that when they are not financially educated, their hard-earned money is gone so quickly.
The Pinoy Legacy: In your observation, what are the common money mistakes of OFWs?
Let me share with you some common money mistakes why OFWs are struggling financially: they don’t treat savings as an expense, failure to define asset versus liability, get-rich-quick-scheme attitude or getting involved into scam, OFWs as milking cow, the nakakahiya mentality, lack of knowledge how to invest, lack of commitment to achieve financial goals, failure to have an emergency fund, and lack of understanding about the Biblical stewardship principles.
All these money mistakes have been elaborated in the OMG book in order to improve one’s financial life.
The Pinoy Legacy: What does the book teach OFWs in terms of investment options and savings they can do while still employed abroad?
OMG book offers practical tips about savings and investments. For instance, rather than sending all the money to the Philippines, an OFW is advise to pay himself first or to save for his future. The book also teaches OFW to set an emergency fund and have comprehensive insurance so that he will be adequately protected especially if he is a breadwinner in the family.
For investment side, the book strongly encouraged the OFW to invest in financial education. It means that before he gets involved into actual investment opportunities, he has to study and do some research to make an informed decision about money. My philosophy is that financial literacy is the best way to combat investment scams.
The investment options presented in the book are stock market, mutual funds, Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF), real estate, bonds, etc. The good news is that this form of investment can be done even when you are still employed abroad.
The Pinoy Legacy: Does the book have a section for their family members?
Yes. In fact, there is a section of the book entitled “When Helping is Not Really Helping” as one of the common money mistakes by many OFWs. It means family members become financially dependent to OFWs and have become “milking cow.”
The book teaches about setting clear financial plans and expectation between OFWs and their family members back home. In addition, their family members have been reminded to have business that generates extra income so they will be self-sufficient few years after receiving remittance. Through OMG book, the family members become aware of the financial condition of the OFWs.
The Pinoy Legacy: How to get a copy of your book?
OFWs from different parts of the world can purchase either a print copy or an eBook through Lulu Press. It is an online print-on-demand, self-publishing and distribution platform.
The Pinoy Legacy: Any words of encouragement for many OFWs out there?
If you are experiencing debt and financial distress right now, remember that this is a great opportunity to trust God. I want you to reflect what my favorite author Ellen G. White said about personal finance:
“Many have not educated themselves that they can keep their expenditures within the limit of their income. They do not learn to adapt themselves to circumstances. They borrow and borrow again and again and become overwhelmed in debt, and consequently they become discouraged and disheartened.” —Growing a Happy Home, p. 167
There is no doubt financial education is so important. I believe God wants to bless you spiritually and financially so you can be a more loving and generous person. You just have to be more committed and be a good steward so you can be a tremendous blessing to others.
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