A digital nomad is a person who works remotely and travels the world. A user looking for a life of freedom asked the forum, “How much do I need to make to become a Digital Nomad?”
Here are the most informative responses.
I SPEND $1500 A MONTH
“In my opinion, your life will be bad if you are trying to digital nomad from dorms, as usually, you will be working where you live. You need to figure out how to budget. I spend like 1500 a month in SEA and get fairly decent hotels.”
IT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU LIVE
“It all depends. I make 17,000€ annually and live just fine in Thailand. For others, even 50,000€ would not be enough to live comfortably. That being said, my options for countries are minimal compared to ITs with their income above 3,000€ a month. For many countries, it’s the minimum salary for a digital nomad visa. For me, it’s pretty much SEA, Colombia, some Latin countries, some Central Asian countries, Sri Lanka, and that’s about it.”
IT’S BAD FOR RUSSIANS NOW
“Well, I’m from Russia, so it’s pretty closed for us these days. You can’t receive a Schengen visa as a Russian without a valid residence permit in a 3d country. Baltics and Finland don’t issue visas for Russians at all. Other than that, there are some options in the Balkans, such as Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania, but with my budget, it will surely be tough.”
YOU’RE APPROACHING THIS BACKWARDS
“You’re approaching this in a backward way. Maybe you’re shy about discussing your salary.
The better question is, I make x per month. What countries can I work remotely from based on my XYZ interests?”
MINIMUM 2K A MONTH
“You need to make 2k monthly net minimum. Gotta plan for emergencies.”
SAVE FOR YOUR RETIREMENT AS WELL
“Lots of good advice here, but it worries me that everyone makes recommendations based on their expenses. You should be making a good bit more than your expenses if you want to retire one day. If you barely scrape by, you’ll be in trouble when you’re old.
Living cheap is an excellent opportunity to supercharge your retirement if you’re able. I hope this community can think past their next destination.”
2K A MONTH IS SUSTAINABLE
“I would suggest about $2,000 a month is sustainable. By which I mean;
you can pay for a decent accommodation
you can pay for flights
you can pay any medical bills that come up
you can save a little money for a rainy day
You could earn less and be fine. A person could live a decent life in Cambodia for $1,000 or in Georgia for the same. All depends on what you’re willing to compromise on.”
$1300 IS VIABLE IN TURKEY
“Sounds good. I spent a month in Turkey and about $2,000, but $1,000 was on accommodation. I know someone who paid $300, so $1,300 would be viable.”
HAVING A RELIABLE JOB IS THE KEY
“There is no minimum, there is no average, and there is no maximum.
All you need to do is have a job you can reliably do remotely, which supports the lifestyle you want and a bit more for a rainy day.
“reliably” here is the key.
You can do some jobs from a hammock. But for most, you’ll have calls, need a good internet connection, focused time, comfortable sitting, and a good internet connection.
But you asked for a number. Here is mine: A job that can bring 4K a month after tax: 2K for living and travel expenses, 1K for a rainy day (months where you don’t have a job), plus 1K for retirement.
Personally, I wouldn’t do it with less than that, although it’s “possible.”
You noticed I repeated, “Good internet connection.” That’s usually the most critical need and dictates many other expenses. Hostels usually have unreliable internet. Suitable for casual use, but not to bet your livelihood on it. Cheaper towns or cities don’t always have the best internet, etc.
So chasing good internet raises the cost.”
$1500 IS ENOUGH
“$1500 is enough in South East Asia, Colombia, and Argentina. All amazing places.”
DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH YOU USED TO SPEND
“It depends on how much you are used to spending every month in your base country. It can vary from $1,000-$4,000/month, including rent, bills, food, going out, and other unforeseen costs (visa application, mobile phone SIM card, electronics). You can live comfortably in places like SE Asia and South America for $1,500/month but not in Europe. Unless you are willing to give up a comfortable lifestyle.”
2K A MONTH IS A GOOD START
“I presume you come from a developing country, yet the costs and lifestyle differ from the Western World (US, Canada, Europe) where most people live in rent and have high bills to pay. Even somewhere in Europe, $2,000/month is a good start as long as you don’t splash cash out on high-end dining and expensive clothing.
YOU CAN LIVE FOR $1000 IN BALI
Southeast Asia is one of the cheapest places in the world; locals can live for $300/month.
For digital nomads, they can live as low as $1000 a month in Bali (live in Kost- small apartment local style), but most digital nomads I know (from 1st world country) can live comfortably with $2000/mo (you can get lovely Villa for $1000/mo).”
3K A MONTH IS NOT VIABLE FOR WESTERN EUROPE
“I don’t believe 3k a month is enough for Western Europe. It’s a livable wage if you know how to live like a local. But expenses are higher for a nomad, especially a beginner one.”
IT’S BETWEEN 2 AND 3K A MONTH
“2-3k a month is safe for most places. You can do shared apartments or hostels to bring the cost down. Cook one meal at home if you’re in a more expensive place. Traveling slow helps save too.”
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