Manage your money to become a digital nomad

Manage your money to become a digital nomad

Deciding to become a Digital Nomad is the first step of your new life, but if this is a long-term lifestyle, you need to create a financial plan

Before starting your digital nomad journey, many questions about money and how to manage your finances probably cross your mind. For example, how much money do I need at the start and how long will it last? You also might wonder what expenses you need to keep an eye out for. Having questions is normal because this lifestyle can be pretty overwhelming at the start. It’s a common topic in the digital nomad community. In this article, we give you helpful tips about how to manage finances for digital nomads.

Create a financial plan to become a Digital Nomad

Start saving money ahead of time

Once you jumpstart your digital nomad journey you will find out there is a lot to pay for. So you must have enough cash to sustain yourself during the first stage. We advise you to start this journey with some savings, especially if you don’t have a stable income stream yet. How much you will need depends on your travel itinerary. So best practice is to include the estimated local cost of living in your budget. Do your research, look for more economical-friendly places to kickstart your journey if you are on a tight budget.

Track your money?

Tracking your expenses sounds easy but in reality, this might be more challenging. Why? Because you easily forget about it when it’s a completely new habit for you. Before you know it, days or weeks have passed without tracking. The only way to successfully track your money is to commit to it and make it part of your daily habit. After a week you can see how you spend your money and where you want to make adjustments. Perhaps you are spending 3$ on coffee 5 days a week? You end up consuming 780$ on coffee a year!

You can use a spreadsheet or another easy way is to use an app. Your bank might even have an option to just scan your receipt, categorize it and create a monthly report. Here are some apps we hear other nomads used to track their expenses.

  • You Need a Budget (YNAB)
  • PocketGuard
  • Mint App
Best Personal Finance Apps for iPhone and iPad in 2021 - iGeeksBlog
Mint App

Cut back on your unnecessary expenses

5 coffees a week equals an international flight. You see, cutting down on those small expenses during the week can save you a lot of money. You still need to enjoy the little things in life but you can try what you really need and what is less important to you. 

If a coffee a day nurtures your happiness or productivity you can perhaps switch to making your coffee at home and only treat yourself once a week. Our golden tip is this: When you consume things just because you are used to it but you are conscious about it, try cutting it out for 30 days to see if you really need it. Take this advice as an exercise to challenge yourself.

Make a list of what you can spend and how you want to spend it

Having a budget is one thing and the next level is to cut up your budget like a pie. Not knowing how much you can spend can be tricky, especially if you never manage your money. It’s easy to overspend on unnecessary things or run out of savings. So, to make sure this doesn’t occur come up with a budget and stick to it.

First, you need to figure out how much you earn, what amount you want to save, and then set your budget so you can start budgeting.

We also recommend thinking about future and unexpected expenses. We made a list of the most common costs while traveling.

  • Eating and accommodation
  • Going out
  • Trips
  • Mobile phone, sim card
  • Transport (including daily transportation and flights)
  • Funds for your technology equipment (phone, laptop, camera, charger…)
  • Insurances
  • Extra expenses

Figuring out the exact number of all costs is highly unlikely, but this is a good start. Your living costs will always vary depending on your location and your standard of living. You just need to know what you need, start tracking habits and manage your money.

Tips to save money as a Digital Nomad

Learning how to manage your money and create a budget plan is crucial. In fact, this is part of being an adult. We listen down a couple of extra digital nomad hacks that help you save up money while traveling.

  • Eat like a local – Touristy restaurants are great for Instagram content but will make you spend more. Eating where locals go will not only save you money but you will also experience the authentic taste of the traditional dishes.
  • When you have access to a kitchen make your own food – Cooking can take a lot of willpower and imagination, but it’s much cheaper than eating out. Take advantage and save some extra money there.
  • Don’t explore like a tourist – Tourist attractions, guided tours, and all those tourist activities tend to be expensive. Do some research, walk around and explore, take advantage of free tours, free museum schedules, and open attractions.
  • Focus on affordable accommodation – This expense is probably the highest one, so make sure that you like the place but also that the price enters your budget. Read more tips about digital nomad accommodations here.

Money apps that will make your life easier as a Digital Nomad

  • XE App: real-time currency exchange
  • Trabee Pocket: it helps you control the money that is coming in and out.
  • Splittr: When traveling with a group of people it allows you to split costs easily.
Currency Converter App & Money Transfer App | XE
XE App

Start traveling smart and save money!

When you create a financial plan to manage your money it can be exhausting and sometimes nerve-wracking at the beginning. Start with the steps we just shared. The most important thing is that you stick to it.

Find the balance of what you want and the plan around how to achieve it financially, prioritize and make an effort. Starting a new life and adventure is never easy but take it step-by-step!

For more tips on the Digital Nomad lifestyle follow us on Instagram to read more behind-the-scenes nomad stories.

Listen to nomad stories on the Digital Nomads Daily Podcast

A Work/Life Balance Conversation With Manda and Meleah Manning

A Work/Life Balance Conversation With Manda and Meleah Manning

In this episode of Digital Nomad Talks we are honoured to have a conversation with entrepreneurs, sisters and business companions, Manda and Meleah Manning also known as Sistersthatstray. We talk about their journey of becoming location independent and their personal take on the link between a work/life balance and a high level of productivity.

Rather than focusing on limitations, Manda and Meleah decided to quit their jobs in Florida to pursue their dream of starting their own business in tropical Costa Rica. Throughout their journey they’ve found their passion in holistic health and female empowerment, coaching women to love their bodies, to heal their relationship with food and to start their own business online. All, so they can create a beautiful abundance of time and become the healthiest and wealthiest versions of themselves.

Hi girls, how are you?

“We’re thriving and happy to be in Bali”. Both Manda and Meleah are early morning people. A solid morning routine helps you achieve more, think clearly and do things that actually matter. They, therefore, start their day with mindfulness and a practice of gratitude. A routine that includes meditation and/or journaling what they are thankful for. Because, if you choose to start your day on purpose, you can control the first few important actions that determine how the rest of your day turns out.

What person inspired you to pursue the nomadic lifestyle?

One of their biggest inspirations is Kathrin from Manifestation Babe. “She is a total boss babe and her podcast gave us the inspiration to know that we could lead this life of total freedom too” Meleah says. Yet, their desire to go nomadic also came from within and from each other. Both were working unfulfilling jobs in Florida and they’ve always known they were meant for something more meaningful. For a long time, they aspired to become their own bosses, in life as well as in business. In the end, it was this urge and gut feeling that led them to  follow their intuition of living a nomadic lifestyle.

What is so awesome about the nomadic lifestyle?

“The best thing is having freedom. Freedom of our time and our financials”

The sisters agree that one of the most amazing things is, to be in total control of your own business and to have complete freedom to scale it as big as you want. Compared to their previous jobs, now, there’s no cap on how much they can earn, what they can do or where they can go. When being your own boss you have the freedom to work anywhere in the world. They continue: “ We absolutely love to travel and explore different cultures. Our previous job didn’t allow us to do this, so it’s a huge privilege to be able to do what we’re passionate about”.

What are your biggest failures?

“We don’t believe in failures but in learning lessons”

Manda and Meleah describe entrepreneurship and the nomadic lifestyle as an ongoing learning process. However, their biggest learning lesson has been to take action. “As we tend to overthink things, it can paralyse you. Leaving you not doing anything at all” Leah says. So even if your idea is messy or feels like a mistake in the beginning, it will never be a failure if you just go for it. People make the mistake of waiting for the perfect time to start their own thing, to have their big launch or post their first Youtube video. Not realising that there isn’t such a thing as a perfect time. Therefore you should jump into it, wholeheartedly and never look back!

They furthermore mention that when it comes to entrepreneurship, it is good to have an accountability partner who compliments you. Someone who has different strengths and weaknesses than yourself. “If you already are in business together, you have to keep in mind to be each other’s biggest fans” Manda says.  Because some days you need to hear that you’re doing enough. As entrepreneurs, we are already passionate and driven people. So its good just to appreciate and recognise each other from time to time.

How do you keep eachother accountable for that?

“We’re all about structure, systems and huge believers in time blocks. Otherwise, our days get really jumbled and it’s hard to divide work from everyday life” Meleah says. In order to maximise your time and energy, time blocks are a good tool to get more done in less time. Another advice, is not to only put work tasks on your agenda. Schedule your “me”, “community” and “social time” to make sure you maintain a work/life balance.

What book or podcast would you recommend to other nomads and entrepreneurs?

Podcast: James Wedmore, Mind Your Own Business.

James Wedmore, a seven-figure online entrepreneur believes success is created by Mindset over Strategy, Magic over Metrics, and Attitude over Action.

Book: Kathrin Zenkina, Unleash Your Inner Money Babe.

“It’s about business, manifestation and creating the life that you love. A strong mindset for entrepreneurs is important and her book definitely contributes to that” – Meleah 

Manda and Meleah are only at the beginning of their digital nomad journey but ready to pursue their passion and help women make small mindset shifts to live an empowered life. If you want to learn more about their coaching program and how you can become the healthiest and wealthiest version of yourself, get in touch with them right here. Or visit their IG to follow their journey. View our top reads list picked by digital nomads here

Key Take Aways For Nomads

✅ In entrepreneurship, it is good to have an accountability partner

✅ Take care of your physical and mental health in order to maintain your energy flows

✅ Maximise your time and energy by implementing time blocks  

✅ Plan your time and schedule your day ahead

The power of morning routines with nomad Michael Saukulak

The power of morning routines with nomad Michael Saukulak

We interviewed Health and Fitness coach Michael Saukulak about the power of having a morning routine. He is the founder of Composure Fitness and we asked questions about his daily challenges when working online.

Michael has been a nomad for over 8 years. He was introduced to this lifestyle due to his position and location independent lifestyle when he was serving in the US military. His experience as an entrepreneur digital nomad is very different and comes with different challenges and he is facing new roadblocks. One of the things that keep him going is having a morning routine and especially as location independent creative entrepreneur. The morning routine has been massive a game changer for Michael and he shared his morning routine for you to try it out.

The morning routine of Michael Saukulak step-by-step

Step 1: It all starts the night before

Know what you need to do the next day and make sure you get atlas 8 hours of rest or sleep before. Put your phone further than an arms’ distance from your bed. In this way, when you have to turn off your alarm, you are out of bed anyway. This will definitely help you instead of having your phone next to your pillow.

Step 2: Drink water

When you sleep, especially when you are in an AC room, you will lose a lot of water.  Tip: front-load your water. Refill your water bottle or cup before you head to bed so when you wake you can drink right away.

Step 3: Do a full body inventory

This is very similar to a mindfulness practice but you basically to be present in your body and see how you actually feel from head to toe.

Step 4: Wake up your body in 10 minutes

Getting a sweat going in the morning. Nothing crazy like a CrossFit workout but just a few sets of push-ups or ab/core work out would be enough. It’s just to wake up the body.

Step 5: Give your body a ‘shock’

Getting a sweat going in the morning. Nothing crazy like a CrossFit workout but just a few sets of push-ups or ab/core work out would be enough. It’s just to wake up the body.

How to keep up with your morning routine when you are a traveling nomad?

Even though Michael is more or less a professional when it comes to morning routines and discipline, one of his main challenges is consistency. He explains that this is really important and not just for digital nomads but for everyone. He adds to that morning routines is all about taking small steps rather than a big thing.

Many people portray these morning mindfulness practices as big things but by starting small and just doing it, it becomes pretty easy. Another common challenge is to actually get out of bed. There are many tricks to get yourself out of bed but it all comes down to having the intention of wanting to build a good morning routine and then just slowly implementing it to your daily life.

Key Take Aways For Nomads

 ✅ If it feels to overwhelming then start small

 ✅ Consistency is key when it comes to morning routines

 ✅ Plan your day ahead

Want to see the full digital nomad talks interview? Sit back, relax and watch it below