Budget for Nomad's Land

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Does the 9 to 5 (or 9 – midnight in some cases) lifestyle and samey, daily routine bore you? Perhaps it's time to let your sails down and begin the next chapter of your story.

'Nomad', a word derived from the Greek for 'roaming for pasture', refers to communities of people who live in various locations. But luckily nowadays you don’t need a pirate-like thirst for the dangerous, remote and unknown to go on adventures whilst keeping your day job.

All you need is some salient advice, and a well-honed budget to make sure you can keep the dream alive.

There are four key areas of annual expenses that you need to keep in mind:

💷 The first is daily expenses - these are your day to day living costs such as travel visas, accommodation, food, transport, toiletries and activities.

✈️The second is the flights – both domestic and international.

❗️The third, let's call it extras. This refers to all the unexpected or unavoidable expenses, such as insurance, medical, new passports, high-priced activities and other various costs depending on each respective person’s lifestyle.

📲The final category is the businesses’s expenses - the costs required for the upkeep of an online business. Mainly technology such as laptops, external hard disks, smartphones/tablets, cameras, website hosting, domains, software and cloud storage.

Here are some tips on how to manage your money whilst travelling:

  • Do some research and then open a bank account with no, or low international fees. Link your current account with your savings one to enable the easy and even dispersal of your finances, and also be sure to have set up your internet banking so that you can access your account from anywhere with WiFi. Also inform your bank before you set off so that you aren't frozen from your accounts for any suspicious, 'foreign' activity. In case of any loss or theft, always have multiple credit or debit cards with you.
  • Set a budget in advance (you can use the compilation of budget costs available on Legal Nomads guidance). If you prefer, you can also calculate your cost of living based on a sample of reality, by recording your daily expenses for the first couple of months and then using that as a projection. Be sure to incorporate your flights by dividing the cost of each flight between the amount of months you stay in a particular place, so that it becomes part of your monthly budget. Be sure to do your own calculations and not to rely on other peoples’ cost of living figures.


  • Take out some insurance. For travel insurance you can use digital nomad-friendly companies such as True Traveller. Insure your camera and laptops separately with companies like Photoguard or Insureandgo.


  • Track and record daily expenses using apps such as Trail Wallet or web applications such as The Birdy, which allows you to reply to a daily e-mail listing everything you spent that day. The Birdy also has a clever hashtagging system enabling you to divide up your expenses into categories such as #coffee #groceries #transport #eatingout, in order to view pie charts depicting your spending habits on the website’s dashboard.

So now that you have all the basics in mind, perhaps you will be tempted to consider a new lifestyle working remotely, after all. Wouldn’t it be great to never see the summer end, spend the winter working from a hammock, and take client calls in a kaftan? Perhaps this is an over-romanticisation, and perhaps not at all – I guess you’ll just have to find out for yourself. The world is your oyster, but you will have to go beyond zones 1 and 2 to see it.

Land ahoy!


The 3-Point Summary

  1. Four key areas of annual expenses: Daily expenses, flights, unexpected expenses and businesses’s expenses.
  2. Set a budget in advance and take out some insurance.
  3. Be sure to do your own calculations and not to rely on other peoples’ cost of living figures.

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