So you quit your job to become a full-time digital nomad; getting paid to travel the world and work from anywhere you want.
Or maybe you’re currently in a job, and wondering if you can make the leap from the nine-to-five life to the beach life.
It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
As glamorous as it may sound, the digital nomad lifestyle requires just as much hard work, dedication, sacrifice and resilience as any other job.
What’s Different When You’re a Digital Nomad?
As a digital nomad, you will have so much more freedom and flexibility, but balancing work and play will now be now entirely up to you.
Sometimes you’ll struggle with snail-pace Wi-Fi speeds, figuring out visas, and sticking to a budget.
When you’re in a new country or city, naturally you want to explore, taste the local cuisine, and get out and meet new people. And when you’re ready to move on to the next place, you have to factor in the costs of travel, visas, and vaccinations, on top of your regular living costs.
All of this means it can be tricky to keep costs down and ensure you’re able to continue traveling and working remotely.
So let’s explore how to maintain the digital nomad lifestyle on a budget.
1. Secure a Reliable Income Stream
It may sound obvious, but if you want to live and work on the road, then you need to ensure you have a steady, reliable income stream that allows you to do so.
This will remove the headache of wondering if you’re going to be able to pay your rent next month, or worrying that you won’t have enough money to fly home for the holidays.
Whether you’re a freelancer, running your own business, or a remote employee, it’s also important that the work you do gives you flexible working hours and freedom of movement.
2. Fly With Budget Airlines
New budget airlines continue to pop up every year and offer competitive airfares for people on a low budget.
In order to do this, they remove free snacks and drinks from your ticket, and often restrict the amount of luggage you’re able to bring with you – so this is something to look into before booking.
A few of the most popular budget airlines include:
- Frontier Airlines
- Easy Jet
- Ryan Air
- Jet Airways
- Air Asia
3. Explore Other Travel Options
Sometimes you’ll have no option but to fly to a city or country, but other times there will be the option to use other modes of transport (bus, train, or ferry), which may take longer but can often work out cheaper.
For example, getting to Koh Samui from Bangkok can be done by a direct one-hour flight, or take a bus to Surat Thani, then get a high-speed ferry to Samui for around half the price.
Savings like this can quickly add up over time.
4. Choose Your Travel Destinations Wisely
Different cities and countries will vary when it comes to the cost of living.
If you’re on a budget, do your research before you go and see what the cheapest locations are and whether any of them take your fancy.
You might want to find out which are some of the more affordable places to live for digital nomads.
Some cool and affordable locations include Ubud (Indonesia), Da Lat (Vietnam), and Ko Lanta (Thailand).
5. Cut Down Unnecessary Expenses
If you’re serious about maintaining your digital nomad lifestyle but you’re also on a budget, then you’re gonna need to make some sacrifices along the way.
That’s fair though, isn’t it?
Think about which of your expenses are needs, and which are wants.
Then go through these and see which ones you can cut back on. It doesn’t mean you need to live an entirely frugal life but resist the urge to splurge every day otherwise you’ll soon be out-of-pocket.
For example, maybe you don’t treat yourself to smashed avo and poached eggs on toast every morning at your local swanky café, and you eat some cereal at home instead?
6. Make Friends With the Cloud
83% of enterprise workloads will be stored and running completely digitally in the cloud by 2020, according to studies.
The cloud makes it easy to store, share and run resources and documents with other team members or clients and access data from any device no matter where you may be in the world.
For digital nomads on a budget, public cloud data storage offers the most affordable solution, which is most suitable for freelancers and small companies.
Most public cloud platforms offer predictable monthly payments and remove the need to manage storage and processor power at your end.
7. Get a Good Travel Credit Card
A credit card is really handy when it comes to booking flights, renting cars, and racking up points that can earn you money towards future expenditures.
You’ll want to look for a card that doesn’t charge you a fee for international transactions because these can really add up and eat into your budget.
Be sure to pay off your statement in full each month and avoid being dragged down by hefty interest rates.
8. Find Co-working Spaces
If you’re on a budget you might find yourself staying in a mix of hostels, air bnb’s, and local cheap rental villas; but one of the biggest problems you’ll face is slow Wi-Fi speeds.
These can make it a nightmare to get your work done and liaise with team members via video calls.
Enter the co-working space. A place with great Wi-Fi, computers, power sockets to plug in your laptop, private meeting rooms, and plenty of places to hang out and meet other nomads.
These are popping up all over the world, so do a quick internet search to see if there’s one near you.
Maintaining the digital nomad lifestyle on a budget isn’t as hard as it may first seem, right?
These simple tips will help you cut down on unnecessary costs, remove any stress or worry about money, and help you enjoy traveling and working remotely for many years to come.
Stay safe, stay savvy and most importantly – have fun!