“How do you afford to be a nomad?” That is the single most common question I get. To answer it, I posted a financial review for my first year as a nomad. Now, a year later, it is time to revisit my finances for my second nomadic year.
Keep in mind that these are my finances, and useful as I hope them to be, they are still only an example of what it costs to live a nomadic lifestyle. Your mileage will vary!
The dates of what I now think of as my personal financial year is 1 August to 31 July.
My second year as a nomad was one of forced frugality, much like my first year.
I’ve spent a grand total of £8,517$13,37286 448 kr. That breaks down to £23$36233 kr per day or £710$1,1157 207 kr per month. This is everything that I’ve spent, including food, rent, travel and fun. (A lot of fun!)
Flights account for 11% of my total expenditures at £979$1,5379 937 kr. This number would be a lot higher if it wasn’t for my airline patron allowing me to fly on cheap stand-by tickets. (Thank you!)
This year, I haven’t spent anything on rent! I’ve purposefully travelled to places where I have friends with either guest rooms or empty apartments that were feeling lonely. I’ve also spent a fair bit of time ‘at home’ in Sweden, the UK and the US where I always have friends and family kind enough to offer me housing. I want to thank everyone who housed me this year! I hope you enjoyed my stay as much as I did!
My total expenditures last year was £12,135$19,052123 170 kr, so I’ve managed to get my costs down. Much of this is thanks to not paying rent (which last year was £2,363$3,71023 984 kr), but I’ve still managed to reduce my monthly costs, ignoring flights and rent, by £72$113731 kr.
The purpose of these financial reviews is to help prospective nomads estimate their own finances. To that end, the expenditures section is useful but the earnings section is not. You know best what skills you have and how you can monetize them. Therefore, I will not publish concrete numbers of my earnings.
After my first year of living on savings, it was time to start working. My primary source of income this year has been my website design business. The work is fun and pays well, but it has been hard to find enough clients to make any serious money.
I also planned to start an online electronic-cigarette business, but my business partners pulled out. Thankfully, they did so before I had invested anything more than time and passion into the idea.
I tried to monetize this website by installing the donation buttons underneath each article. However, only five people have made a donation, so I’m not exactly rolling around in donation money. Perhaps it is time to look at advertisement as a way to monetize the hard work I put into this site.
The Bottom Line
I’ve earned roughly the same amount that I’ve spent, so I’m no longer bleeding money. However, considering that I haven’t paid any rent this year, I would not call my current nomadic life economically sustainable. I want to be able to rent a modest room wherever I go and free myself from the need to travel only where I have friends.
I’m also tired of living like a poor pauper. I’m tired of not being able to eat out, hire a car or go to some activity because of money issues. I want to be able to replace my iPod Nano for one where the volume buttons work. I want to afford taxis instead of walking hours to return home after a night out. I’m tired of nursing the same coffee for hours. In short, I want to raise my living standards.
I know I ended my first financial review with the same sentiment, but really, it is now time to establish a new profitable geo-independent career!
Wish me luck!