6 Financial preparation tips for aspiring digital nomads

With each passing year, working as a digital nomad is becoming a viable career path for more and more people. This growing movement of location-independent digital adventurers is based around the ideal that working and traveling the world are no longer two mutually-exclusive life goals.

The premise is simple: individuals engaged in remote work, digital freelancing or online entrepreneurship are not intrinsically tied to any particular locale to perform their job, so why not take this opportunity to explore the world?

However, in practice, this is usually easier said than done.

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While living the nomadic lifestyle has some distinct advantages to doing office work, especially for more free-spirited individuals, it nonetheless brings with it a unique set of challenges that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

One of them is the financial aspect of the whole operation. Traveling around the world can get expensive quickly, so digital nomads have to take extra precautions to ensure their journey isn’t cut short by unforeseen circumstances.

To help prospective sojourners tackle financial issues which they are certain to come across at some point in their career, I would like to share the following list of advice.

Save up before starting out

Traveling the world adds a measure of unpredictability to one’s life by definition. Often, this is precisely what digital nomads are looking for with their chosen lifestyle.

Unfortunately, unpredictability can also mean greater risk, and in order to minimize the consequences of something going wrong, digital nomads need a financial safety-net.

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So before deciding to pack everything and take to the road, you should make sure and save enough money to last a while when things get tough.

Carefully choose your destination

Before choosing a place to set up shop for a while, digital nomads need to a bit of research to find out whether living in a given place is financially viable for them.

The prices for food, shelter, transportation, health services, etc. vary widely across the world, and some may be out of financial reach for nomads that are just starting out. Travel costs are also a concern, especially for those with lower savings, as they can easily become stuck abroad with no easy way of getting back home.

A good place for comparing different settling options are sites like Nomad List, as well as online forums tailored specifically for digital nomad users.

Have multiple sources of income

The kinds of freelance work digital nomads usually engage in, such as web development, e-commerce, online marketing, etc. have the downside of being fairly client-dependent.

An unexpected decrease in available work can have a significant impact on the monthly budget. In order to avoid dipping into emergency funds all the time, you should consider diversifying your source of income.

Doing local odd jobs is a good way of earning some extra cash, while also getting to know your locale better. Finding a cheap and reliable storage is no longer that big of a concern either, so leasing your apartment at home and keeping your stuff at a storage company can also help with monthly costs.

Divert extra income back home

Unless you plan on permanently moving abroad at some point, digital nomads should remember that you will return to their home country sooner or later. If you don’t plan on working for the rest of your lives, you should always set aside some of your earnings to a bank back home.

Planning for retirement is an essential aspect of any career, and digital nomads usually don’t have the luxury of retirement benefits and plans that people working in an office do.

Travel light

A great place to cut back on costs for digital nomads is in the material possessions you carry around. Apart from essentials such as clothes and equipment for work, there is not much a digital nomad can’t afford to leave behind.

You should instead get used to borrowing or leasing everything you need, instead of buying stuff you can’t bring with you in the first place.

Cut back living expenses

After taking all the necessary measures to ensure financial stability when starting out, digital nomads are wise to try and cut their living costs whenever there is an opportunity to do so.

Cooking your own meals is cheaper than eating in restaurants all the time, riding a bike saves money on transportation fees, working out at home can be equally worthwhile as paying to go to the gym, the possibilities are truly endless.

Digital nomads are faced with a unique set of financial challenges when compared to traditional workers.

Fortunately, the world is a big place and offers many opportunities to those who know where to look for them, allowing digital nomads to fix their financial shortcomings with just a little bit of initiative and creativity.

Let me know your thoughts on being a digital nomad in the comments

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About Leila Dorari

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and self-improvement enthusiast. Currently, she is working with super easy storage Sydney, spreading the word on how easy it is for future digital nomads to pack their life in a storage and hit the road! In her spare time, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.


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