Overseas workers frequently earn a lot more than they would back home. My friend Carlos pinched pennies the two years he was employed as a waiter in Dubai. He came home with P200,000 in his pocket, and promptly blew it as a down-payment on a brand-new Toyota Altis. He didn’t even know how to drive. Four months later, after struggling to find a new overseas contract, he’s peddling his car to whoever wants to buy it. At a heavily discounted price due to all the scratches and bumps a newbie driver places on a car. It’s a classic case of a person becoming a one-day millionaire.

Easy come, easy go

Overseas workers are kind of like lottery winners, in a sense. They have been chosen out of thousands that applied for the job. They have made it alive out of all the horror stories that befall a few unfortunate others. And like lotto winners, they come home with a lot of money. 70% of lottery winners end up bankrupt, and you don’t want to end up like them.

Make boring choices

How to Avoid the One-Day Millionaire Trap
Sadly, you can’t afford the Ferrari

It’s heady to know that you’ve got a lot of money in your pocket. And it’s very easy to think that this will last you a lifetime – it won’t. Investing it in stocks or funds is a very boring choice to make – particularly since you have nothing that you can see daily, like a car. It’s addicting to buy little things that don’t have a lot of impact on your savings, but give you a lot of satisfaction. These little things could add up to quite a bit, you know. Invest the lot, and forget about them until after you retire.

Hold off on that mortgage

You may think that investing on a house and lot right away is the best way to secure your future. Think again. Do the math first. How much would a twenty-five year mortgage cost in the long run? Will you be saving more in the end if you saved for a 50% down payment first? How will you be able to afford the mortgage payments if you got laid off? Will a smaller house be better for you instead of that dream four-bedroom bungalow?

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” – Warren Buffett

Make your money earn more money

Overseas workers sacrifice their time away from family so that they will earn more money than they will back home. The idea is to work for a few years, then go back home and enjoy the fruits of their labors. The thing is, money runs out sooner than expected. Find a business suited to your or your partner’s strengths and go from there. Then you can come home for good.