Is a digital nomad lifestyle financially feasible?
Note from Mr. SR: My friend Donny Gamble is living the dream as a digital nomad. In this guest post, he shares his top tips for making the lifestyle financially feasible!
Most of us have dreamt about living as a digital nomad at one point in our lives. The idea of hopping from place to place for an extended period of time while still earning money seems like a dream life that would blow our current lives away.
For many, it seems unattainable, impossible, and nothing more than a forgotten dream. There’s no way you could live that way effectively without screwing it up somehow. Or you feel like you’d be throwing away a year that should be spent growing and learning.
Well, if you feel like you can’t succeed as a digital nomad, then you haven’t done your research.
If you want it bad enough, and you’re willing to work hard at succeeding as a digital nomad, then you can do it! I’ve lived as a digital nomad for many years now, and am even able to save money for the future while I do it.
Here’s some basic tips on succeeding as a digital nomad:
1. Plan Your Meals
So much money is lost on meals and snacks while traveling. And when you’re on an extended holiday living as a digital nomad it can be very easy to spend your money on eating.
You have to be extremely smart when it comes to how you eat if you want to live comfortably as a digital nomad.
You need to plan what you’re eating and stay away from restaurants. Instead, visit local markets, find affordable meal options that still provide you with the protein and nutrients you need, and don’t over indulge.
There’s no shame in buying reduced food while you’re on the move and finding affordable eating options is a crucial part of limiting your spending and even saving money.
2. Give Yourself a Budget
Setting up a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly budget is a great way to keep an eye on the incoming and outgoing money.
Small items and random spending can quickly add up when you’re on the move. An adult beverage here, an adult beverage there can add up in the run of a week, reducing the money you have in your bank account.
Set up a budget and do not go over it (no matter what). If you make more than you spend, then you’ll be well on your way to saving some cash for yourself!
3. Enjoy Free Attractions
Being a tourist can be extremely expensive, especially if you plan on enjoying all of the tourist attractions. They are usually priced very high and can include extra spending at the concessions and gift shops.
Instead, if you can enjoy attractions that are free (or priced very low) for most of your travels, then you save yourself a ton of money. There are free attractions in every city and are usually a lot of fun, so look for these activities before forking out big money on the expensive tourist attractions.
4. Be a Productive Worker
It all comes down to the work you do and the money you can make while living as a digital nomad. Luckily for us, there are tons of opportunities to make money on the Internet and you can earn a nice living if you do the right things.
One big thing many new digital nomads fail to do is work hard and see results. The life of a digital nomad offers many freedoms, but putting your head down and working productively is extremely important in making this type of life sustainable.
Carve out time to do your work, put your head down, and work hard. That’s the only way you’ll make real money so you can keep living the dream.
5. Take the Path Less Traveled
Just as the most popular tourist attractions are the most expensive, the most popular cities and countries can be the highest priced places to visit. If you are up for enjoying some of the lesser known destinations, you’ll probably save money on travel, lodging, general attractions, and more.
It might be the highest ranked destination for travelers, but these places will still be unique, fun, and enjoyable. Who knows, some of these places might end up being your favorite places to visit.
6. Have a Savings Account
Having two bank accounts is important when separating your spending money and your savings. Try and transfer money to your savings so you’re not tempted to spend it when you shouldn’t.
Eventually you’ll look at your savings account and realize that you’ve built a nice savings account for you to be proud of.
7. Take Pictures, Not Mementos
Mementos and souvenirs will eat away at your budget, and maybe dip into your savings if you let it. If you plan on living as a digital nomad for an extended period of time, then you’re looking at a never ending parade of useless spending.
Instead, take photos on your phone and enjoy the moment. Mementos are usually pointless and overpriced. Don’t get sucked into spending all of this money on random souvenirs and, instead, save that money for when you need it.
Bottom Line: Do Your Digital Nomad Research and Give Yourself a Shot
If you want to live (and succeed) as a digital nomad, then go and do it. Do your research, keep your eye on the prize, and follow advice like I outlined above.
The life of a digital nomad is exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling, but it takes the right steps to do it successfully. Work hard, travel harder, and live easy as a successful digital nomad!