written by symaa navy
Honestly we all have different ways we manage our finances as digital nomads,like with me, i try always to make sure i keep receipts of every thing i purchase for easy record keeping but still though some times i end up fucking up everything … Hope my ideas about how we can solve and get over this financial issue can create a great goo difference also too in your life as digital nomad.
Anyways, first comes first – monthly costs you just can’t avoid. I hate them but maybe they feel unpleasant around me as well. Who am I to judge, we both exist and we need to deal with each other. When living in one place and having your own apartment/house, this is easily calculable– rent/mortgage, home bills, cell phone bills, credit cards, all the “necessities” such as fuel, gym, an average cost of the inside of your fridge, new shoes or sunglasses, etc. Now, we won’t stick with those, we’ll say more about traveling costs you can’t avoid.
Transportation from point A to point B.
When you work remotely, you have to change location quite a bit, because that is what it’s all about, right? Transportation costs are mandatory, and you have to calculate them properly. This means, if you fly from one place to another, your transportation cost is the ticket price, all you need to buy for that trip (food, water, wifi if long flight?), and transportation from and to the airport. This higher the cost of reaching the spot B, but it helps if you know in advance exactly how much you will spend, so you can calculate with the rest without external leeks of money.
Don’t forget to check out the bars in the surrounding area – this one from the photo is the famous Elephant & Castle Pub.
Place where you stay – aka housing.
This is a cute cost, I love it because it includes usually only the rent for the place. Sometimes it includes more stuff (external bills, but this is to be discussed with the homeowner). Every housing/renting place on the earth is trying to host more ppl and the facilities are getting better from day to day. I prefer to rent an apartment or a business hotel (without breakfast or anything that will stick me in the morning and affect my time). Paying this is easy – you can do it through the booking.com, airbnb.com or couchsurfing.com – it depends what do you expect from the housing and how do you want to live in the following few days, weeks, months.
If you book a few months in advance, it will be cheaper by default. Prices are usually much cheaper per night if you rent the place for more and more days, so some nice houses on Bali can be $30 per night if you want to spend one night there, and if rented for more than 2 months price per night goes down to $7 night. You won’t have any extra cost such as – electricity bills, internet/cable tv bills, water and cleaning fees, usually all of this is included in the price, so it seems weird but sometimes it’s cheaper to rent a hotel room and have all of this included, than to rent the apartment via renting agencies. External costs here (that are not existing in your homeland) is the fee you should pay for being somewhere (around 1e per day in EU countries).
What did I do to manage the housing costs? I planned every destination in advance. First I would decide which few places I want to visit, then I will check the plane tickets. The one that fits best for the time spent in the plane, the price will do its magic and decide my next destination. Then I look among all the accommodation types and decide where I’d be happy to stay. Then you check with owner about the dates and price in the case you are staying for longer, and voila – the housing is done. This takes a bit of your time and browsing skills, but it’s nothing you can’t learn within 2,3 trips. It’s recommended to plan 3-6 months in advance and pay if possible the whole rent then, so your “staying” will be already paid when you reach the destination and you’ll be free to calculate your money for the next move.
Survival – Vine and Dine, Health Issues, Working hubs and Security
This section is the costs you can’t avoid, but they are not always as mandatory as transportation and housing.
Ok, you have to eat and drink, but it can’t be properly calculated in a cent like those two things above. What I recommend for the food is the following – always plan a week trip to a cheap market. You can pick one day in a week that will always bee your “market day” wherever you are in the world. So on this day, you buy essentials that you need for the whole week(or longer). In my case, those are – coffee pack that I love and that can last for a month, toilet paper and body/house thingies (those are always gone quickly and you constantly need a refill), rice and food that can last for long (so you don’t have to eat them immediately)…
What I love to do is to make an “eating” plan for the week! The eating plan is daily planned meals for the whole week, so on the market day, I can buy all the things that can be of use, but not those that can’t last until the supper day. Fruits and veggies are ok to be in your fridge for days, so the market day should have this part on the list. Eggs and milk (if you drink this) as well. Water and juices (if you drink them) too! Once you are done with essentials, you won’t have a high cost to buy the rest that you have to have for your planned meals – bread, meat, fish, etc. The most important rule – make a list of what you really need (in advance) and STICK to it! Do not overbuy food – it’s stupid and you will be fat.
Health issues on the road
Another important thing that affects your wallet is health costs. If you get sick while traveling and have to be hospitalized, you are f****. Although there are international health insurances for the travelers, going to the hospital is usually even with those insurance packages a bit pricier than expected. So, if you do get sick – think if it’s really necessary to see the doctor? What I’m saying is – if you get the flu, try to cure it naturally and with some medicines you have already tried in past. Do not panic, do not be a hypochondriac. If you are not getting better after few days, you should be able to reach your doctor in your native country via skype, viber, whatsupp, email, and check with her/him what is the best possible option for you. After that, if not cured with pieces of advice and telepathy, browse the internet and check what your insurance covers and try to use the best out of it – read: try to pay the least possible for your doctor visit.
Advice – read about most common health troubles in the place you are visiting, and how to boost your immune system before getting there, and what you should do if anyway get sick. Advise 2 – check your whole body in home country before going to the trip around the world. If there is any indication of the sickness you should cure yourself before heading elsewhere. Advice 3 – drink wild oregano oil!
Working HUBs – International working places
If you like to have a place to work, working hub or favorite bar, you have to calculate those costs as well. Maybe $10 per day to use some amazing hub is not much for you, but it’s more than $200 per month if you visit it daily. Think about it and if you really need it, or you can use $1000 collected within 5 months to something else… Also, if working in a bar, $10 is probably the minimum you’ll spend working half of your working time. Calculate the cost of public transport if you are working from a particular place further from your housing. Maybe you’ll have a minus of $350 or more, without even knowing it!
This is pretty important part so check it out with 4 eyes open. If you have a safe in the housing, use it. It’s better to feel safe (no pun intended) than sorry. This won’t cost much, but a lost laptop and deadline around the corner will cost as a St Peter’s scrambled eggs. There are a few awesome gadgets that can hold your stuff safe if you do not have safe in the accommodation. Check them out and see what would be the best solution for you. If your laptop is light, you can even bring it with you. Sometimes it’s better than being anxious about leaving it in the room.
Be careful when renting the place to be – try to avoid first or even second floor. Burglars adore those easy-to-be-reached renting apartments, and trust me (and experience from a lot of travelers) they DO KNOW exactly which apartment is renting, even though there are not so often marks or notes about it. Taking other people’s stuff is their profession, and if they are into your stuff, there’s not much you can do to prevent them from entering the place while you are gone. But then, prevent them from taking your gadgets with those safety locks and safety bags, and please, if you know about something else do leave a comment and a recommendation!