In a 2013 article, Joyce Tankeh, a financial planner at Sun Life-AIM urged those who call Business Process Outsourcing their career to consider saving for their retirement, citing that savvy employees at BPOs in their 20s and 30s are more equipped to save owing to larger paychecks.
In 2016, the BPO industry remains one of the largest revenue-driving industries for the country. Not just because of the need for people to field in this line of work, but also because of the resources required to put up a contact center.
While its growth is projected to outdo OFW remittances in terms of revenue, according to report from Pinnacle Real Estate Consulting Services Inc., saving for retirement may still be an issue for many BPO employees.
Why is it an issue?
As with most people, saving for retirement often comes second to making sure that they can keep up with the bills. A larger paycheck and a lack of goals can lead to more impulse spending. The phenomenon of lifestyle inflation is an easier way to say it.
Lifestyle inflation often occurs when you get a raise. Having access to more funds makes it easier to spend without thinking forward. It becomes an issue because the changes in lifestyle without trying to save can put your financial future at risk.
Where do you start?
Surges in income can mean that you suddenly get all these ideas for the money, some of it may even be goals that you can sort into short-term and long-term goals. Like any job, a career in the BPO industry isn’t permanent. Call Center Survival PH is a site dedicated to people working in the industry, and one of their first money-saving tips is to realize that it’s an unstable working environment.
While the turnover rate at a BPO has decreased to .53% according to a survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority, it doesn’t mean that your job is 100% safe. Given the high salaries that are offered for skilled and veteran BPO employees, it’s easy to start up a budget and partition your paycheck by priority.
If you’re stuck on how to start, there are apps that can be downloaded onto your smartphone to allow easier tracking. Start off by splitting the money you spend and your savings into two different accounts.
Imagine what you want your savings to do for you when you retire. That’s your long-term goal. You don’t need to devote every bit of your cash towards the purpose of retirement, not immediately. Start with an amount you feel comfortable putting away every month. You can increase the amount as you get more comfortable with shaving off an amount of your paycheck.
When you’ve built up enough, you can find a way to multiply your savings. While it requires some research and study, you can choose to invest the money you’ve saved as part of your retirement fund. Note that investing doesn’t guarantee returns, especially in the case of high-risk, high-return investments.
You can also choose to start a small business, allowing you a second stream of income and doubling your savings. A second income source lets you have a little more freedom when it comes to your budget. Some will choose to double up on income streams, but managing businesses takes some savvy to ensure success.
How is it enough?
It’s a start. The volatile nature of employment in the BPO industry means that while you’re there, it’s prudent to build a buffer for the possibility that you might get retrenched, or if you plan on moving on to another line of work.
One trick is to portion off your savings, half towards a particular goal, and half towards your retirement plan. Some even include a part of their money in a “fun fund”, effectively avoiding overspending. The money you put away as part of your retirement can either be invested, or used to start a secondary source of income, and the process of saving repeats and doubles itself.
Most people who move on from jobs in the BPO industry do so to fulfill other needs. Not everybody moves on from it, finding fulfillment in helping out other people. At the end of the day, it does matter that you put your financial house in order if you work in the BPO industry – or in any industry.
With a goal to help Filipinos lead healthier financial lives, Moneymax regularly publishes tips and tricks on personal finance and lifestyle, among many other topics. For more finance-related news and articles, follow Moneymax on Linkedin.