I believe most people think you need tons of money to live a location independent lifestyle.
Sure I can understand why this is the case. On social media you see so called digital nomads posting photos working from beaches in Latin America, living in a penthouses in South East Asia or balling with bottle service at fancy nightclubs in Eastern Europe.
But do you really need to be a millionaire to live this kind of lifestyle? Not necessarily. Bear with me and I’ll explain
First of all, it depends where you decide to set up shop. The nomad crowd take advantage of places where you get the most out of your money. For example, in my case I get paid in dollars. And with today’s currency exchange rates it gives me an edge in places like Ukraine and Colombia.
Furthermore, in many places you can live a baller lifestyle for much less than in the west. For example, in my former city San Francisco the average rent for a studio is at least $3,000. Wow right? In Saigon, Vietnam, I am renting a modern central studio for $500. And the rent includes a maid that do all the cleaning and laundry!
To summarize, here’s what me and my nomad buddies are doing:
- Living where the currency exchange rate is favorable
- Living where you’ll get most value for your money
Next I’ll share my monthly digital nomad budget so you’ll get a rough idea about my expenses. Since I’m a hardcore financial junkie, I track my expenses diligently every month which makes it very easy to identify my spending habits. I use mint.com that I highly recommend.
The Digital Nomad Budget
Total: $1300 – $2300
My standard of living equals what I had back in San Francisco. But for a fraction of the cost. In some regards it’s even more comfortable, because most of my apartments comes with maid services.
I hope this helps shine the light on some of the mysterious about the budgeting of a digital nomad.
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* I usually rent a centrally located condo in South East Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe
** I eat two meals per day at restaurants. Hence I rarely cook at home.
*** Includes taxi and Uber. I use credit card points to pay for all my plane tickets
**** Depends on the location. In Colombia it was a lot of partying. In Vietnam it’s not so much.