People on the internet talk a lot about becoming digital nomads. Some run blogs on how they did it; others write op-eds on how it’s like a “super-long vacation”.
There are dedicated subreddits and forums, job pages, and travel hacks.
But alongside carefully staged photographs and semi-baseless promises, you have to ask: is being a digital nomad right for me?
Or, realistically: Can I even afford to be a one?
We talk a lot about dismantling barriers. And that’s because your background or where you’re born shouldn’t dictate what you can do. (Which, if you ask us, it does far too often).
But it doesn’t have to.
Remote working isn’t just the future, but the future in progress. At its core, it offers anyone with an internet connection the right to do what they love.
That includes customer support agents.
How to live the digital nomad dream
It’s possible to live the digital nomad dream without breaking the bank. You don’t need a car, a camera, or to pose underneath gushing waterfalls to work from wherever.
Things like long term rentals, house sitting sites, and rentable workspaces have made it more possible than ever. For anyone.
With that in mind, we pulled together a few tips to help everyone afford to be a digital nomad.
1. Find an affordable location
Living is pricey, but what you pay depends on where you live.
The rise of the pandemic lost jobs, and house prices paved the way for Zoom towns. In theory, these small towns provide affordable housing alternatives to nearby cities.
But if you’re working remotely, there are even more options.
☀️ Research cost of living. Some of the world’s most beautiful cities are super cheap to live in. Armed with this, you could provide customer support from Bali, Georgia, or Morocco.
Beats rainy old Europe, right?
2. Decide when to travel
Another way of cutting costs is deciding when you’re travelling.
Obviously, Portugal in July will be more expensive than in January. But that doesn’t mean January is bad. On the contrary, the off-season can be a great time to be a nomad.
No matter where you’re going, the low season is quieter, more relaxed, and cheaper. Resorts have even caught onto the rise of remote workers, exclusively targeting digital nomads.
🌪 Look up destinations in advance. The off-season can also be off for a reason. Whether a country is prone to wildfires or monsoons, a little knowledge goes a long way.
3. Define what’s important
As with everything in life, you can only benefit from identifying what’s important.
Becoming a digital nomad changes things. You might not even realise how much fancy toilet paper or subscriptions are holding you back. Not until you’re forced to look inward.
Living affordably as a nomad means re-evaluating all of it. Keep your money for what’s important: food, shelter, and support.
💸 Ask yourself if you need X or Y. Do you really need the latest iPhone? Not as much as food or a warm bed. Your current phone works perfectly fine.
(If you ask us, Netflix 100% counts …)
4. Make your own meals
Food costs add up. If you’ve ever stayed in a hostel without a kitchen, you’ll know that already. Wherever you stay as a digital nomad, make sure you have access to one.
Sourcing local ingredients and cooking your own food can save you a lot of money. According to Forbes, eating from restaurants is five times more expensive than cooking.
We do recruitment, not math. But even we know that’s a lot.
🍕 Eat like a local. In some cities, grabbing street food can be almost as cost-effective as cooking. Whatever you do, avoid restaurants and overpriced coffee.
(It’s also much healthier).
5. Stay with people you know
Staying with people you know is a great way to stay in more expensive places. However, there are also countless house-sitting websites. Meaning it’s totally possible to live rent-free.
Many lucky people own multiple homes. Others just like to go on vacation without worrying about their belongings. As a result, they need people to take care of those properties for them.
Either way, you’ll likely have internet access and plenty of space to work.
6. Manage your finances
Managing finances is one of the most important things you can do. Whether you’re a digital nomad, work from home, or from an office.
It’s a huge part of everyday life. One most of us often unintentionally roll our eyes at. But it’s also arguably even truer for digital nomads. You can’t live anywhere or leave anywhere without money.
🍳 Make sure you have a nest egg and keep on top of your work. No matter how big, having something to fall back on will protect you.
It’s easy to get washed away in the dreaminess of working from anywhere. Being a digital nomad isn’t all cocktails on the beach, even for those with money.
It’s just another way of living life. There are still expenses, plans to hatch, and responsibilities. So while being a digital nomad is all it’s cracked up to be, it’s important to stay realistic.
There are plenty of things to consider before you head off into the great wide world. You should armour yourself with insurance, travel cards, savings, and an escape plan.
With that sorted, you can live a healthy life, work remotely, and have the beach on your doorstep. If you want it.
There should be no barriers to working freely
Great talent exists all over the world. Not just in western or first-world countries. There are so many magical individuals out there. People who deserve to work and live as they choose.
Ones who might feel held back by location, networking, or money. And if you ask us, that’s who remote working is really for.
No matter where you work from.