Being apart from your family is never easy, but sometimes moving to a new country as a migrant is one of the best things you can do for them. The gift of financial stability is one that they undeniably appreciate, but still, the distance is something many migrants struggle with. This becomes especially difficult to manage when there’s a family emergency back home. Are you prepared to deal with a family emergency in The Philippines while you’re abroad? If you’re not sure, we’ve got some suggestions for you.
1. Create an Emergency Fund
Putting money aside both to send money to the Philippines and to save in case of emergency might seem like spreading yourself thin, but it can seriously pay off in the long run. You can start your own emergency fund by creating a separate account where you add a little bit of money from each paycheck. You can try and work this emergency fund into your budget so that you put an amount you’re comfortable with every month. The purpose of this type of fund is to avoid derailing your monthly budget if an emergency does come up. Whether you need to buy a last-minute flight home or you need to send money abroad to your family for an emergency they’re dealing with, dipping into your emergency fund will keep the rest of your finances on track.
2. Make Sure You’re Staying Connected
While you’re probably already talking with your family regularly in one way or another, staying connected to your network back home is a good way to ensure you’re able to speak to someone in case of an emergency. Some migrants might rely solely on free apps or social media to keep in touch with family in The Philippines, but if you need to contact any emergency services, such as the police or a hospital, you’ll want to have a cell phone plan with international calling available to you. Lebara UK (or Lebara in other European countries) has affordable international calling plans that will help keep you connected.
3. Make Sure Your Family is Covered
Knowing your family is insured in case of medical emergencies or accidents will help you sleep easier. If they don’t already have coverage, consider Rewire’s family protection coverage. With this insurance, your family in The Philippines will have major expenses covered for as little as €12 per month. You can purchase this coverage easily through Rewire’s app, making it an accessible option for Filipino migrants everywhere.
4. Keep Your Documents Up-to-date
You never know when something can happen, so always be prepared in case you need to leave at a moment’s notice. That means ensuring your passport is always up to date and has more than 6 months until it’s expired, making sure your visa status is still valid, and that all your IDs are up-to-date. Due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid and travel rules, you also want to ensure other documentation, like a Covid certificate, is valid in case you need to travel internationally. Updating these documents at regular intervals will save you a lot of headaches if you need to board a last-minute flight! Along with your documents, also ensure you have an updated list of contacts, both at home and abroad, for you, friends, coworkers, or family members to use.
5. Consider Getting Your Family a Prepaid Card
To further protect your family from financial hardships in the event of an emergency, consider using an international debit card as a last-minute resort. Rewire exclusively offers a Family Card for Filipinos to give their families back home. Your family can use this card to make purchases in place of you sending them money regularly, but it can also be used as an emergency card. You’ll manage the card, and your family will have access to the funds you add to it. If you can’t open a bank account abroad, this is also a great option to use as an emergency fund for your family.
You Can’t Prevent an Emergency, But You Can Plan for it!
By nature, emergencies are unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared in case something does happen. Having stable finances is one of the best ways to prepare for the unknown. Aside from that, preparing yourself, your loved ones, and your finances for potential emergencies will help you keep a cool head when a stressful event arises.