I’ve been a full-time nomad traveling the U.S. since September 2020, and I’ve learned (and surely nobody is surprised): that hotels, housing, and accommodations are by far the biggest expense of nomad life. I have a $2,000 monthly budget for lodging, but my actual spending in that area depends on the cost of living in the city that I’m visiting and the type of accommodations I choose (which, hooray, I have complete control over)! Fellow travelers, you have a lot of choice if you do a little research. The first question: Airbnb or hotel? Let me share my methods and we can explore a few aspects of each.
Take two people who make the same income: one of them saves 50% of their salary and lives simply. The other saves nothing; their salary funds their lifestyle of cars, renovations, luxury trips, expensive brunches and nights out. Who is wealthier?
I had a great conversation recently with a new friend. As we were swapping downsizing stories, she threw this word out there — OVERHEAD — which immediately struck me. You business people know what ‘overhead’ is. But ‘life overhead,’ as I’ve decided to call it, is ongoing expenditures (whether money, time or emotional energy) that do not directly contribute or bring value or profit to YOUR LIFE — THE LIFE YOU DESIRE.
“Experiences over possessions.” Idealistic, perhaps. But controversial, no. Most people would agree with this mantra. But would they live it?
When I tell people I’m a nomad that travels full-time, they either think I’m a vanlifer who only eats ramen (the cheap kind, not the good kind) or that I must be staying in posh places and spending a lot of money. Well, false on both counts! I’m here to say: it can, but it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be a gypsy. So, let’s talk comparisons, facts, and figures… time to break out the spreadsheet!
International travel does not need to be expensive or out of reach. It’s about choices. These are the choices I made, which freed up hundreds of dollars in disposable income per month.
I’m not a financial expert, nor can I predict the future. But I knew that I had significant equity and I had a willing buyer. Combine that with motive (excitement and eagerness for change) and opportunity (remote employment)... and it was an easy decision to sell my home of 7 years and become a full-time nomad.
Dear impressionable 20-somethings: DON'T get married just because you’re “supposed to" or "it's time." Don’t choose your career on “suitability,” choose a CALLING. Forget the things that'll make you look rich, INVEST in what truly enriches your life. Let everything you do be best for you; for now or for later, and for the betterment of what really matters in this life.
Two years ago I was filing for unemployment and down to my last $1,000. Well, I turned things around by re-shuffling where my money was going, making full use of my assets, and prioritizing experiences over possessions.
Would you rather pay $245, $233.50, or $228 for the same €200? When every dollar counts, I'll help you choose wisely when it comes to spending money overseas.