Maximize Your Resources

By Randell Tiongson on September 18th, 2015

How do you maximize resources? I am now featuring the post of The Cristobal, the powerful financial advocate couple Tristan and Carmi Cristobal. A truly helpful post for everyone….


When I was single and while in college, I never had an interest of working abroad. I was confident that I’ll be able to sustain my life once I got my degree and passed the board exam. Now, I’m married with one kid – I am working abroad. I realized that I was so young, back then, and wrong to think that I don’t need to go abroad but here I am working abroad while my family is in the Philippines

I am not here abroad without any reasons. I am just one of the OFWs who decided to leave the country with many reasons on hand. Here are our few reasons, as OFWs:

  1. To earn more to be able to support our family
  2. To pay off debts
  3. To be able to save for the future
  4. To achieve certain goal like establish a business, buy a house and lot, etc..

There are too many reasons to list and for sure, it will be unlimited but one thing that we have in common – To eventually come back home to our family or Philippines with enough savings. To achieve this, we – OFWs have to work hard for it.

The sad reality…

According to the survey of Philippine Statistic Authority, only 2 in every 5 OFWs were able to save from their cash remittances from April to September 2014 – A sad reality that 60% of OFWs don’t have savings. This gives us no doubt, why there are OFWs working abroad for 20 years or so. OFWs spent most of their lives abroad than with their family in the Philippines.

Reality Check…

There are too many factors to consider because life is not just about money. Life is also about having a life, good relationships, strong faith, and other things. Yes, we work abroad for money but in fact, nobody can really tell if one is successful or not. Why? An OFW can be financially successful but he/she might not be successful in relationship with his/her daughter, sons, siblings, etc. An OFW might be successful now but after 10 years no one can really tell.

A reality that an OFW should consider and know how to protect all the sacrifices not only for money but also the relationship, faith, etc…

The point is…

Let’s not waste our sacrifices while working abroad. An OFW should know that everything that you do in your personal life has a financial impact in your life, maybe not now but on the later stage of life.

Being an OFW is an opportunity that we should maximize. We should maximize the resources that we have – Time, Talent, and Treasure according to our goals.

How to maximize our resources?

On a personal note..

Firstly, we – OFWs should have reasonable financial plan from the time we become overseas worker up to retirement period. This includes increasing your skills, income, and values.

Secondly, an OFW should have an escape plan as well for being an OFW because we will not be OFWs for life.

Thirdly, start your financial plan from the famous saving formula which is: Income – Savings/Investments = Expenses.

Lastly, if you feel like your finances are not improving, don’t be depressed but rather focus on something that you know can help you achieve your financial goal.

We can use our time and treasure while abroad by investing…

We can say that all kinds of investment, as long they are legitimate, are best for OFWs to invest in. The reason is that investments have the potential to grow one’s money and help one achieve its financial goal. OFWs can invest on the following:

  1. Business Investment,
  2. Stock Investments,
  3. Mutual Funds/UITFs,
  4. Cash Equivalents (Time Deposits),
  5. Protection (Variable Unit-Linked),
  6. Bonds
  7. Other legit investments

In addition to this, try not to commit the common money mistakes of OFWs while working abroad such as overspending, availing bank loans without proper payment plans, buying during sales without budget, etc…

And yes, it’s a reality that not everyone can be rich but everyone can be wealthy and deserve financial security. Nobody will give you financial security but only you.


The Cristobal

The CristobalTristan is an OFW while Carmi is based in Philippines.

The couple is an accountant by profession. Tristan works as a Senior Compliance Officer in Jeddah while Carmi is an Accounting Manager in Philippines.

On the side, the couple is both active volunteers of Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy Inc. – a global non-profit organization of personal finance advocates. Carmi is the current President of the organization while Tristan is the Mission Director in Western Region of KSA.

Tristan is also a volunteer in PICPA – Western Region of KSA as  VP  for Professional Development and Board Exam Reviewer while Carmi is a Certified Investment Solicitor and currently pursuing her RFP.

  1. Please visit for more information about life, relationship, business, investments, and personal finances. The website is a family oriented site. The founders’ story is a typical story of one Filipino who decided that one should go abroad while the other partner should stay in Philippines.

The founders authored two e-books entitled:

  1. How to understand OFWs and help them go back home – which is being given for free. One just need to sign-up to grab the copy
  2. Discover the five year Plan of an OFW – One of the objectives of the couple is to share their secret formula for every OFWs on how to go back in Philippines and to answer the question “Hanggang kailan ka magiging OFW?”.



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Maximize Your Resources