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How much does a digital nomad make

Whether rightly or wrongly, digital nomads have appeared to gain reputation as tax dodgers.

This article attempts to explain the general laws of the land regarding taxation and de-bunk the myth that digital nomads do not pay any tax whatsoever. This article is not just for digital nomads though, this applies equally to any remote worker. Even those who are working remotely during this pandemic.

None of this constitutes as financial advice and always seek an accountant for your specific needs.

Working from the beach. Must be a dream come true right? Sure. Just make sure you know what fiscal . [+] duties these entail.

Tax when you spend

Let’s start with the easy one. If you are buying goods as a consumer, you will probably be paying sales tax or VAT at the point of consumption.

This becomes slightly trickier when you are buying goods for resale, as you will need probably be accounting for EU Reverse charge Mechanism, but these will always be based upon the country of your VAT registration.

Tax when you earn

This is far more complex, and very, very specific to the individual. Two people of the same nationality, same travel history, same work etc., could have two completely tax situations due to one performing work as self-employed and the other being a one-man company.

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5 Important Tips For How To Retire Abroad

Identifying Tax Residence

This is not always an easy thing to determine, but is a critical feature of knowing where you are liable for your earned income tax (earned means salary, self-employed profits etc., as opposed to unearned which means dividends, royalties, interests etc.), because by default it will revert back to your tax residence.

U.S. and Eritrean citizens: These two are probably the only countries on Earth that claim you to be tax resident just by being one of their citizens.

183 day rule: If you spend more than 183 days in a single tax year in one country, then most countries will invoke this rule to claim you to be tax resident there. This is not particularly controversial and morally the most justifiable if you are going to spend over half the year in any one country.

Primary residence: Some countries, such as Portugal, will claim you are tax resident of if your primary residence is registered there, even if you are physically away for the whole year. Other countries like the United Kingdom like to implement a test — the Statutory Residence Test — to see how well connected you are to the country and determine your situation based on those results.

Exit tax: Some countries will still claim your hard-earned dollars even after you leave for a certain amount of years. This may be limited to citizens of a country, or former residents but you would need to do your due diligence. A particularly notorious case is France taxing French citizens if they move to Monaco.

Double Tax Treaties

Many jurisdictions have signed bilateral tax treaties between the source of your income and tax residence in order to prevent you paying tax on the same thing twice. If the source and tax residence are both the same country then no Double Tax Treaty applies.

Permanent Establishment

Normally the biggest question mark for a digital nomad is that of Permanent Establishment. This arises when a person or corporate entity (which could even be a one-man band) registers their business in one country but ends up working in another country. This can also apply to employees of a business too, when someone not of an auxiliary function to the business works too long abroad, as this Sunday Times article addresses – a very real concern for many companies during this Covid-19 lockdown era.

The rules are deliberately fuzzy, though this line in most double tax treaties is the salient one:

“. the term “permanent establishment” means a fixed place of business in which the business of the enterprise is wholly or partly carried on.”

In short this is the difference between doing business with a country or doing business in a country. This has led to drastic action from some companies banning working from home if you are based abroad.

The subject of Permanent Establishment is so complex that there are whole careers dedicated to this one niche area.

If you are deemed to have a Permanent Establishment in a country, then you need to pay taxes on business profits, and any other obligations such as social security contributions, to that country.

No Double Tax Treaty? Double trouble for you.

If for whatever reason you end up becoming tax resident of two countries which have not signed a double tax treaty between each other, then you are out of luck. You will have to pay any taxes due to both sides.

Caveat Emptor

Always, always seek professional advice from qualified professionals who can advise on your specific needs.

Some 40% of people who work remotely from any location make more than $50,000 in salary, according to a FlexJobs report.

How much does a digital nomad make

The rise of the digital nomad–professionals who work fully-remote jobs and move locations frequently–has opened up new opportunities for people seeking work outside of traditional corporate infrastructure. While these workers are typically stereotyped as millennials or Gen Zers earning low salaries, this is actually false, according to a new report from FlexJobs.

The report surveyed more than 500 digital nomads, and found the average digital nomad is actually a married female Gen Xer with a bachelor’s degree or higher, who is an experienced employee working for a company at least 40 hours a week in the writing, education and training, or administrative career fields. This person has health insurance and saves for retirement.

More for CXOs

“There are a number of misconceptions about digital nomads, such as that only young millennials going through a phase are interested in the lifestyle, that they’re freelancers that don’t earn a decent living, or they can’t grow a great career while traveling, none of which is validated by this data,” Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, said in a blog post. “Practicing nomads can be found across demographics and career fields, and they’re hard-working professionals who for a variety of reasons like work-life balance, poor local job market, or a passion for travel, are committed to earning a living in a nonconventional way.”

SEE: Telecommuting policy (Tech Pro Research)

Digital nomads can also command a high salary, the report found: 18% of these professionals reported making more than $100,000 per year, while 22% make between $50,000 and $99,999. Meanwhile, the average US worker earns roughly $46,600 per year. Some 38% of respondents said they feel less financially stressed as a digital nomad, while 34% said they experience no difference in stress from when they worked a traditional job, according to the report.

The majority of digital nomads are Gen Xers (41%), compared to 27% who are Gen Z or millennials, and 32% who are baby boomers or in the silent generation. The majority of digital nomads (35%) are employed by a company, instead of being freelancers (28%) or business owners (18%), the report found.

Digital nomads said their top challenges are finding reliable Wi-Fi (52%), finding a good place to work (42%), networking (35%), time zones (29%), and work communications (20%). The top benefits are a flexible schedule (85%), no commuting (65%), freedom to live and work anywhere (65%), work-life balance (63%), no office politics (52%), and no dressing up for work (51%), the report found.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 18% of digital nomads report making more than $100,000 per year, while 22% make between $50,000 and $99,999. — FlexJobs, 2018
  • The majority (41%) of digital nomads are Gen Xers. — FlexJobs, 2018

How much does a digital nomad make

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With the right skills and a good internet connection, you can make a living anywhere.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a wanderlust. You seek greener pastures in far-off destinations. You live to travel. And your laptop and phone are your office. Thoughts of sugary-white-sanded beaches and shimmering turquoise waters beckon and call your name. Sure, it sounds alluring to become a digital nomad, doesn’t it? But, what does it take?

Well, if you’re looking to roam free as a bird, you’re not alone. A recent study by the New York Times found that most industries are embracing remote work. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be self-employed. Far from the contrary. You can, in fact, become a digital nomad while working for another company.

However, most digital nomads do work for themselves. They get to the call the shots. Often, they’re savvy internet marketers. They build sales funnels and run Facebook ads. They live and breathe to make money online. They’re constantly growing and expanding their skillset to bolster their nomadic lifestyles.

To many, it sounds an attractive but also frightening endeavor that requires they put far too much on the line. What if you can’t afford to pay your expenses? What if you run out of money while in some foreign country? What if your wallet or computer or phone is stolen? How do you avoid all the potential pitfalls associated with being a digital nomad?

The truth is that there will always be some risk associated with being a digital nomad. You can’t expect to get off risk free. But, if you’re one of those fly by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guys or girls, then there’s nothing more exhilarating or more rewarding than traveling the world as a digital nomad.

You get to live among a diverse set of cultures around the world. To experience life in a new and exciting way. It’s for those who value adventure over certainty. There’s little boredom when traveling as a digital nomad. There truly is nothing better than this nomadic lifestyle.

How do you make money as a digital nomad?

Okay, so your heart is set on the nomadic lifestyle. That’s great. But, how do you actually go about doing that? If you want to become a digital nomad, the path forward is simple. You need to handle two things:

Your debt and expenses: If you’re in serious debt, you’ll find it hard to become a digital nomad. The burden on your shoulders is too high and if you’re stuck without income for a week or months, you’ll struggle to keep your head above water. You need to handle your debt first. Pay it down by doubling the minimum payments on the highest interest rates loans or credit cards until they’re paid off, then moving onto the next ones.

Your income: Where’s your money going to come from while traveling? What happens if you can’t find work to help you meet your obligations. Or, what if you get stuck in a foreign country somewhere with no backup income? Then what? Sure, most digital nomads might throw caution to the wind. But, you’ll want to be prepared. You need to handle your income in order to get there.

If your debt and expenses are handled, you need to focus on your income. How’s the money going to come in? The goal? Focus on passive income when you can. But, you also need to diversify. You can’t rely on a single source of income. You need multiple streams. To do that, you need to find the right money-generating activities that you can turn to day-in and day-out.

1. Publish an ebook.

Probably one of my favorite passive income ideas is to publish an ebook. You can use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform to do this. You can also create a corresponding print-on-demand book from that ebook. Also on Amazon. Either directly through KDP or on their Create Space platform. Once your ebook is live, you can also convert that to an audiobook using the ACX platform to publish on Audible.com.

2. Start a blog.

Another great source of passive income is to start a blog. If you understand the mechanics of marketing online and you do this correctly, you can create a blog that will continue to produce income even if you’re not doing any work. The more niche you go with your blog, the better. Search for blue oceans. Not red ones. Consider the fact that you’ll eventually want to put out digital products that are in harmoney with whatever it is you’re blogging about.

3. Join the gig economy.

You can always offer services in the gig economy. Depending on where you’re located, that translates to things like driving for ride-share companies, delivering packages, or simply using a site like Fiverr to do small gigs that can easily be completed. We’re not talking brain surgery here. And if you’re in a bind, it might just help you out.

4. Provide professional services.

Have a professional skill? If you’re a graphic designer, programmer, lawyer, accountant or have some other professional skill, you can monetize it using a host of sites. From Upwork to Freelancer and others, you can take advantage of the very vast internet to put your services out there for other people to buy.

5. Create online courses.

Another great passive income source is to create online courses. Depending on what your skill set is, you can create online courses in a variety of areas. You can teach pretty much anything. It all boils down to how well you structure the course and the actual sales funnel associated with it. Or, you could go with a site like Udemy where you don’t have to worry too much about the sales and marketing side of things.

6. Teach English

Okay, you can always opt to teach English if you really do get stuck somewhere during your travels and you’re in a true bind to make ends meet. This is less straightforward since you’ll have to get out there and contact local schools where you can offer your services. However, don’t expect to earn much. You’ll be looking at local wages here. If you’re in a developing country, that’s not going to be much money in your pocket.

7. Social media marketing.

Everyone needs social media marketing these days. You can easily earn a substantial living by assisting people with their social media marketing efforts. That’s especially true if you’re traveling around in less-expensive countries where the cost-of-living is generally lower. However, you will need to know what you’re doing if you’re looking to help others with their social media efforts. But, finding clients shouldn’t be too arduous.

8. Virtual tutoring.

Have a particular skill you can teach that would work virtually for tutoring? You can teach just about anything over Skype. This works especially well for teaching languages or subjects in school or even sometimes a musical instrument. You can search for virtual tutoring jobs on sides like Indeed and many others.

Written By

R.L. Adams

Robert Adams is a writer, blogger, serial entrepreneur, software engineer and best-selling author of dozens of technology, SEO, online marketing and self-development books, audiobooks and courses.

How much does a digital nomad make

Remote work is here to stay. And that’s a good thing for the travel industry as it will create a large market of long-term travelers that live and work anywhere. These digital nomads have the potential to be a small and mighty traveler type that are well worth understanding.

Seth Borko, Skift

In our latest report, Skift Research analyzes the potential market for digital nomads and their impact on the travel industry.

The pandemic has jolted the world into a new acceptance of hybrid and fully remote jobs. The below excerpt focuses on why we believe that this newfound professional flexibility is, and will, continue to drive a surge of interest in digital nomadism.

The full report continues even further to estimate the the potential spending power of digital nomads in the U.S.

Remote Work Drives More Travel

Already our travel tracker is showing that remote work is creating a higher propensity for Americans to travel. In April 2021, 14 percent of Americans told us they had taken more short-term trips and 16 percent had taken an extended trip because of their remote work status. A further 24 percent were planning to take a remote-induced extended trip. Said another way, more than half of Americans had taken or were planning to travel as a result of being remote.

How much does a digital nomad make

Keep in mind, the average American only uses half of their given vacation days in a year and as a result the nation left a cumulative 768 million unused vacation days on the table in 2017. Cost was the biggest reason given for not using allotted vacation time. Secondarily was trouble getting away from work with 30 percent of Americans listing it as their primary or secondary reason for not traveling. Digital Nomadism addresses both issues and will make it significantly easier for Americans to travel.

How much does a digital nomad make

Digital nomadism addresses the cost hurdle of travel indirectly. It does not make the travel itself any cheaper but creates savings elsewhere. For the average American, housing is their largest expense, typically a total of 16 percent of annual spending budgets. This is followed closely by transportation at 14 percent of annual spending.

Digital nomads have the flexibility to convert their housing costs into travel spend and as remote workers there are immediate transportation savings. In effect, switching from a permanent office worker to a digital nomad frees up a third of most Americans’ budget to be spent on travel.

What about finding time to get away from work? At first glance, becoming a digital nomad does not necessarily solve for this. Remote workers still work full time after all. But by being located in-country, digital nomads will find it much easier to stage extended trips from their new home base. Plus, they can experience the local culture outside of work hours even though traditional tours and activities may not be possible. Traveling and working as a digital nomad plays into the desire to ‘live like a local’ which is increasingly important to modern travelers, especially among younger generations.

With the combination of flexible jobs, cost savings, and local experiences interest in becoming a digital nomad has skyrocketed. Since the start of the pandemic in April 2020 digital nomad related Google searches have increased by 50 percent and are up by more than 1,000 percent over the last decade.

How much does a digital nomad make

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You’ve heard of digital nomads, but what do they do exactly and where do they work? We unpack the life of a modern digital nomad.

You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘digital nomad’, a new trend that has quickly gained traction over the last decade… but what is a digital nomad? How do they work and where do they work?

What is a nomad?

The term nomad is used to describe a person who doesn’t have a stable and permanent home, and instead moves around from place to place.

What is a digital nomad?

Digital nomads use technology to perform their jobs. They use their laptops and cell phones to do location independent work. This gives them the freedom to work from anywhere, often travelling the world as they work.

Imagine bringing your work with you wherever you go and using this freedom to travel and explore.

Most digital nomads jobs normally fall into one of these three categories:

Corporate workers with a remote worker agreement

Some forward thinking organisations allow employees to work remotely. While some remote workers choose to sit at home and work from there, others choose to travel, working in different locations. These workers earn a steady income from their business with the flexibility of being able to work from different locations at different times.

Freelancers

Freelancers work for clients online. They may be web designers, copywriters, journalists, social media managers, programmers, or strategists. Freelancers can work from anywhere in the world, often using technology like Skype and Slack to connect with their clients and co-workers.

Entrepreneurs

Many digital nomads have small companies which can be run virtually. Some entrepreneurs sell goods online using drop shipping to have goods delivered to customers without ever taking delivery of the item themselves. Some sell virtual products or software and don’t need a physical office at all. Some run blogs or YouTube channels, making money from advertising revenue and sponsorship.

What does a digital nomad do?

Here are three examples of digital nomads and the work they do.

John works for a large listed company as a system’s architect. He helps to devise and configure the main networking and computer systems of his company. He can largely do this job remotely, although he is expected to attend certain meetings at his office. He spends half his time in Johannesburg and the rest of the time at a second home in Jeffery’s Bay where he enjoys surfing and swimming.

Maria is a freelance designer. She has two main clients, both of whom require her to design adverts for social media, brochures and other advertising collateral. Even though her advertising clients are in Johannesburg, she is currently backpacking in Australia with friends. She spends her days doing adventurous things like rock climbing and kayaking, and then logs on in the evenings to do a few solid hours of work.

Michael owns a company that sells Bluetooth speakers, smart watches and other electronic devises. He spent a great deal of time finding the right suppliers in China who can produce a high-quality product and ship it reliably to his customers in South Africa. Michael runs his online store from wherever her is in the world. When an order is placed on his site, it is sent from China directly to the customer. He’s currently in Europe, meeting with suppliers to explore new business opportunities.

How much does a digital nomad make?

The salary for a digital nomad will vary widely depending on the kind of work they do, and how they are being paid. Digital nomads who are paid in US Dollars often find that they can live very well in certain countries like Bali, Vietnam and even South Africa, where their US dollar income goes a lot further.

The digital nomad trend

The digital nomad trend is growing in popularity. Many people who work remotely are now choosing to take some time to live a more nomadic lifestyle. This isn’t limited to young people, just out of university, who choose to take some time to travel. More and more people are finding ways to move out of a conventional working environment and work remotely, even if it is just for a limited time.

The remote working trend is growing steadily. People estimate that by 2035 there will be 1 billion digital nomads on the planet.

How to digital nomads work?

Remote workers generally need only their computer and a good internet connection to work. But coworking spaces are very popular with digital nomads who want to do more than just work from their hotel room or the local coffee shop. In a coworking space they can meet like-minded individuals and share their ideas and stories.

The cost of living as a digital nomad is inexpensive”. The people from countries with high currency value acclaim the statement as true. What about the people from the countries with lower currency value.

The digital nomad lifestyle is a burden for such people. At least for me being a digital nomad is not easy. I have to make many sacrifices to be a digital nomad. Still, the cost of living as a digital nomad is a mystery. Many get the question about how much does a digital nomad spend in a year. And few say we spend very little.

In this post, I would like to share factors affecting the cost of living as a digital nomad. Irrespective of the location you are from and the destination you have to go to.

Cost Cutting and High-Ticket Cost of living as a digital nomad

I mentioned that you need to be careful about the location you come from. In my country, the cost of living is very low compared to the United States of America. Not every digital nomad is from the USA but they are the people who brought the digital nomad culture. Thanks to western individuals for bringing this culture all over the world.

How much does a digital nomad make

First Digital Nomad Courtesy: Microship.com

According to Nomadic notes, Steve Roberts from America was the first digital nomad. Digital nomadism spread its wings throughout the world like a fire. Millennials loved this idea and became digital nomads.

Cost Cutting

For people in America who travel to the east digital nomad is a cost-cutting lifestyle. Let’s say an average American spends somewhere around 10000 to 20000 USD per year which can go up to 50000 USD. For them travelling to eastern countries is always a cost-cutting factor. They spend somewhere around 2000- 5000 dollars per year and can save a lot of money. This doesn’t have the same impact on the other country citizens.

High- Ticket lifestyle

As an Indian, my personal expenses are somewhere around 2000 to 3000 USD per annum, which is much less than an average American. If I have to travel my budget increases as the Indian currency value is less. I have to raise up my budget from 3000 to 5000 USD per annum in order to achieve the digital nomad lifestyle. The same might happen to you. There are other factors you need to consider before you decide your cost of living,

How much does a digital nomad make

Cost of Living as a digital nomad for an american is Cost-Cutting

Factors affecting Cost of living as a digital nomad

Countries

The countries you visit do matter the most. If we travel to countries like Australia, North America it definitely burns your pocket. So be choosy about the countries you visit.

Keep the purpose in mind behind choosing the digital nomad lifestyle if your intention is to travel to explore more places then your budget might rise. And your choice is to travel for freedom and place doesn’t matter then your budget might be cut down.

Seasons

It is the common word you hear whenever you travel to a place – “OFF-SEASON AND PEAK SEASON”. A hill station has peaked in summer and is dull in winter. While a beach location will be a peak in winter and dull in summer. Validate your destinations based on the season. It will help your budget to cut down at least 40%.

Luxurious hotel that has no customers in off season

Accommodation

The type of accommodation you prefer makes difference. If you stay in a place for the long term the budget might go down a little bit. Frequent travels and destinations, definitely it would lead you to spend more.

If you are okay with spending more, you can explore more destinations. The purpose of your travel is important. As a traveller, I choose to travel slowly. The slower the pace the more you feel controlled.

Food habits are a factor in your budget. Consider if you eat every day outside in your daily life. How would your monthly expenditures grow? The same thing happens in the digital nomad lifestyle. I would suggest staying long term and cooking food yourself. Many hostels, Airbnb, and hotels allow you to cook yourself. It is healthy and under budget. In a trial, if you choose more local foods, it will also help. Always choosing cuisines makes a bad budgeting habit. So control yourself and be more mindful about sensing. This is also an important factor post Accommodation, travelling.

How much does a digital nomad make

Cook food yourself

Achieve your dream this way – cost of living as a digital nomad

These factors I shared are very few and important. As a digital nomad, keep your purpose minimalistic. If you are aggressive, the career you are planning to build might fall. In the era of uncertainty, no one is going to help you. Always have a hiding place for you. If you fail in the digital nomad or are short of money, return back to your friends, family or parents. In that way, you might not fall back. It is obvious that some mistakes might happen and how you tackle them is more important. These factors and the type of lifestyle you are going to lead decide your budget. Be smart with calculations and always maintain an emergency fund of six months. Make your dream come true with all these warnings. Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips about becoming digital nomads.

How much does a digital nomad make

My husband and I have been digital nomads for 9 months and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We’re constantly learning and meeting other digital nomads. We’ve been able to sustain this lifestyle for the 9 months due to good planning and being able to make money online.

If you’re reading this, you are probably wondering how you can be a digital nomad and make money – REAL money.

Or, you clicked on this wondering what is a digital nomad.

What Does Digital Nomad Mean?

To start, what are we even talking about when we say “digital nomad”? What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is a person who is location-independent for work. Meaning, a digital nomad can live and work anywhere they want with an internet connection.

The definition is really a combination of digital + nomad. Helpful – right? A digital nomad must be connected to the world digitally (or electronically) to be a good internet connection around the globe.

This could be working from a hostel in London or a villa in Bali or a co-working space in Medellin. Really anywhere with access to a reliable internet connection.

Now that we are clear on what a digital nomad is, let’s get into how they make money.

How much does a digital nomad make

How Do Digital Nomads Make Money?

There are really 3 main ways to make money as a digital nomad. The three ways are remote jobs, freelancing, and starting a business.

Unless you have insane investments, most digital nomads utilize a combination of these three things to make money.

Another tip, most digital nomads have more than one income stream.

How much does a digital nomad make

Remote Jobs

A lot of people work with their corporate jobs in remote positions. In 2020, most jobs moved to online during the pandemic anyway. If you’ve been working from home for the past 3 months, consider working with your manager to permanent work from home role. Twitter moved to allow their employees to work from home indefinitely.

Prior to quitting my job, I was working from home for 2 years. Although I didn’t do any long term travel (for tax purposes), I was able to visit friends and family in different states easily. I would take my computer and get some work done while also having fun.

Note: I said that I didn’t travel internationally long-term due to tax purposes. I worked for a huge company that had many international locations. Our policy stated that if we were not allowed to work and travel internationally (especially longer than a week) without permission because it’s suspicious to local governments where they had other locations. I don’t really get it but I wasn’t willing to risk it without asking permission.

If you don’t have a remote job, consider finding one.

Where to Find Remote Jobs:

    is a job search company where all of the jobs are remote. There is a monthly membership fee but once you find the job, you can cancel the membership. Also, most of the jobs aren’t specific to Flex Jobs.
  • Many digital nomads choose to teach English online because the schedule is very flexible. The most popular company is VIP Kid – bu there are hundreds of options.

Freelancing

Freelancing means working for clients for a specific project or timeline.

Although it seems like a job for creative types, there are many options for creative and non-creatives. If you have a specific skill set that people are looking for, you can become a freelancer.

Some examples of freelance jobs are writing, designing websites, making apps, analyzing data, managing social media, marketing, and copywriting. The possibilities are endless.

Where to Find Freelancing Gigs:

  • The most popular place to find freelance gigs is Upwork. But there are others. Upwork is great because of its huge scale. The other sites usually focus on a specific skill set – design, writing, or content creation – where you can join if you have those skills.
  • Instagram and Other Social Media Channels post a lot about looking for people for specific projects.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is my favorite way and the path that I chose. Being an entrepreneur means you get to create your own job. Your job can be anything people are willing to pay for.

But you have the opportunity to legit create your own job. Try solving someone’s problem and you don’t have to worry about making money.

The most common businesses for digital nomads include consulting, blogging, and selling products. Again, the possibilities are endless.

Where to Start with Entrepreneurship:

  • Sell your services on Instagram
  • Sell through Amazon FBA
  • Create an Etsy store to sell your DIYs

How much does a digital nomad make

Bonus: Investments

Digital nomads can make money with investments. I placed this as a separate section because it’s usually not the first one to start with making money as a digital nomad. Because it takes money to make money.

Especially if you want to do it while traveling.

Where to Start with Investing:

The first step is to learn as much as possible about your investments and the risks.

  • Invest in companies that make dividends quarterly.
  • Invest with a real estate investor.
  • Purchase a home for rent. If you want to be location independent, include property management.

What do we do for money?

So, now that I’ve given you all of the ways digital nomads make money on the road. You probably want to know what we do to make money on the road.

I hesitate to write this because it changes often and I don’t want to de-motivate you.

We both own a business. For me, that business is this blog.

At different times, we’ve freelanced and gotten full-time jobs.

We invest a lot of money in real estate. We currently have a rental property where we profit the rent paid above the mortgage.

I hope this post is inspirational and actionable because you can see that it is possible and actionable resources to get started.

We want to hear from you!

If you found this article helpful or have more questions about being a digital nomad, leave a comment below. And we’ll respond ASAP to help.

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Digital nomads are location independent people who can work anywhere with a technological connection. And, given the rise of flexible workplace environments that have emerged in the midst of stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that the digital nomad lifestyle has appealed to many itching to break out of quarantine and take in the world, as safely as they can.

According to a 2020 report by MBO Partners, the number of digital nomads in the U.S. rose from 7.3 million in 2019 to 10.9 in 2020. And its just-released 2021 report claims that number has since risen to 15.5 million. That means the number of Americans embracing the digital nomad lifestyle has risen 100 percent, by their measure, since 2019. But, just because it’s a popular and in many ways alluring choice that people are capitalizing on doesn’t mean it’s not without its challenges—namely, when it comes to creature comforts, like identifying with a sense of home.

I’ve already come to realize that feeling at home, even when in a place totally new to you, can come in fleeting moments, and exactly when you need it. For example, after a few weeks of being in Mexico City, my phone broke. I assumed getting it fixed would be a huge inconvenience, given my lack of bearings in this new-to-me city and country, but ultimately, the process wasn’t the headache I had built it up to be. In fact, it ended up being quite nice. While at the Apple Store, I stumbled upon a location of my favorite restaurants, Vapiano. Seeing this place reminded me of a city I used to call home: Chicago.

Now, three months into life on the road, I know that moments like unexpectedly finding Vapiano are helpful for quelling doubts I have about whether I’m making the wrong choice with my time. Before I left, folks would ask me questions like, “What are you running from?” “Don’t you want to get a real job?” “Shouldn’t you be settling down?” And while I certainly do have moments of homesickness where I crave the familiar and a sense of routine, I also know I’m doing what’s right to me, and I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself. I’m not running, I’m exploring; I work in ways that fulfill me and allow me to spend my life doing what I wish; and as far as settling down, the only timeline I’m operating on is my own.

For more intel about how to abandon preconceived notions about any supposed life timeline you’re meant to follow, check out the Well+Good Podcast episode below:

Home is, ultimately, wherever I land and work to be mindfully present with myself and my surroundings. And to help any other digital nomads (or those considering taking up the lifestyle) who are struggling with the perceptions of what home means, here are five tips that I try to live by.

5 tips to find a sense of home as a digital nomad

1. Pace yourself

When I set out on journey of being a digital nomad, I planned on hopping around to different countries and cities every week. I was thinking big. But then, after weeks of being in Cabo, I didn’t want to leave. So, I didn’t.

There’s no rush when you’re traveling as a digital nomad. So, give yourself enough time to develop deep connections to the places you visit. Taste the food, smell the goodness, and see the city waking up. Doing so will help you feel grounded and decrease the chance of experiencing travel burnout or exhaustion as you bounce around the globe.

2. Prioritize your boundaries

For me, setting boundaries as a digital nomad looks like being fully present where I am. So, I might have less time and access for certain things than what I had before I embraced this lifestyle. For instance, maybe I don’t have time to have an extensive conversation with as many people as I’d like every week, or maybe I don’t take on as many work assignments, if I’m able to pass on some at a certain juncture.

While it sometimes feels as though you must do every last thing, I tend to focus on what I want to experience and see and leave the rest up to fate. Remember, saying “no” is still a complete sentence. Also, make sure set boundaries at work, so you’re not glued to your computer all day, every day when you’re supposed to be enjoying your surroundings, as well.

3. Budget

Budgeting will help to make sure your pockets can keep up with your new lifestyle. As someone who recently paid off $30,000 in student debt, I’m big on budgeting and organizing my finances. With the shift to traveling full-time, I’ve had to get very specific with how I spend and save so I am able to reap the most from this wonderful life experience. My best advice here is to be realistic with your resources, prepared to change your money mindset, and plan ahead to ensure you’re not returning home to an empty bank account when your travels are done.

4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Before I left, I was ready to move abroad and was prepared to hop around blissfully. But, life is life and growth isn’t always a 100 percent blissful process. So, lean into your development; travel can be transformative, but only if you allow it to be. That means you’d be wise to work to embrace the great with the challenging.

5. Just go

All the good intentions in the world won’t mean much unless you eventually decide to act. So, book the plane ticket, the accommodation, and allow the rest to unfold. A quote by Rumi has helped to keep me grounded and calm about the lack of certainty implied in embracing this tip: “As you walk on the way, the way will appear.”

As long as you are present and mindful in where you travel as a digital nomad, you will find home around every corner.

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How much does a digital nomad make

What Does a Digital Nomad Do, Exactly?

If you’re like most people, it feels like your vacations are never long enough. There are always more sights you wish you could see, more local cuisine to explore, locals who you’d love to meet and just more overall time you wish you could spend soaking up a destination before moving on. Digital Nomads do it but what does a digital nomad do, exactly?

Well, digital nomads get to enjoy a lot of those perks — they’re just not on vacation. The working nomad lifestyle is a growing movement, and you’ve probably heard about it in passing at some point. But while working while traveling sounds amazing, you probably have some questions about what, exactly, it all entails. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a digital nomad, again?

A digital nomad is a remote worker who travels to different spots, often around the world. Working nomads, as they’re also called, will sometimes do their work in private but also in co-living spaces, co-working spaces, public libraries, cafes, coffee shops, and even on beaches. As long as they can have a good wireless connection, they can work.

Every digital nomad has slightly different motivations for choosing their lifestyle, but most do it because they don’t just want to travel for short bursts of time before heading home. Instead, they want to truly immerse themselves in a new culture, inspire creativity and live like a local does.

Digital nomads don’t permanently relocate to a destination. Instead, they prefer to travel slowly by typically staying in one spot for at least a month (but usually multiple months) before moving on to explore a new place. As each time a digital nomad moves, they incur travel costs, have to adapt to a new environment and experience work inefficiencies which is why the most experienced ones prefer to travel slowly.

What does a digital nomad do during the day?

Everyone and every situation is a little different, but digital nomads generally spend a decent amount of time doing work, just like people who have more conventional jobs, but without a commute.

Working hours may be outside the norm if they are working with other time zones, or sometimes they may actually settle down to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., before calling it a day. A digital nomad may post up at the same coffee shop in their host city every day, work from home, or they may choose to hop around to different locations. The core thread that separates them from other travelers, though, is that they work while they’re traveling. If they don’t get their work done, the digital nomad lifestyle will end quickly which is why it’s so important for them to be responsible and conscientious with their work.

Afterhours, digital nomads will either cook at home to save money or spend time exploring the city they’re living in for the moment. That may mean trying out new restaurants, catching a local band, checking out the sights, going to a digital nomad meetup, getting to know their housemates or hosts (if they live with one), and generally trying to live like a local, but without the pressure to do everything in a week like most tourists. Each week night is like a school night, so don’t make the rookie mistake and expect to stay out late partying and then to be productive the next day.

How much does a digital nomad make

What jobs do digital nomads do?

Digital nomads typically are experienced freelancers, company owners, or remote full and part time employees. They can be specialists in e-commerce, affiliate marketing, graphic designers, digital marketers, programmers, IT consultants, virtual assistants, lawyers, accountants, bloggers, copywriters, managers, and so much more. Basically, if your job is web-based, you can probably try living like a digital nomad, at least for a month to give it a try.

Where do digital nomads live?

Paying for a hotel room night after night can get expensive quickly, and the same is true for constantly renting Airbnbs. That’s why a lot of digital nomads will use housing services like NomadX that are specifically tailored to meet their needs. NomadX, for example, helps you find midterm affordable rentals for one to six months (and beyond) from local hosts in Portugal at prices nomads can afford. Some are room rentals that come with a host, while others are coliving spaces or full apartments for those who want privacy.

The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But if you’re craving more travel in your life, you can work remotely, and you really want to immerse yourself in new cultures, it’s definitely worth trying at least once and then deciding from there if it’s the life for you.

How much does a digital nomad make

Read also: 5 Ways to Be a Digital Nomad Now!

ABOUT NOMADX

NOMADX is a real estate technology platform developed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing global community of location-independent remote workers, or “Digital Nomads”.

As Digital Nomads ourselves, we know what the market is looking for: trusted, affordable accommodations in highly-attractive locations worldwide at 50% less than AirBNB. We also offer educational masterclasses to help master the lifestyle as well as community events to help foster new friendships.

Please join our community of Digital Nomads and remote workers from around the world:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

How much does a digital nomad make

Dave Williams is the CEO and Co-founder of NOMADX with his base in Lisbon, Portugal. Dave is a US pioneer in the digital marketing, advertising, and ad tech industries as a serial digital entrepreneur over the past 20+ years with multiple exits in the early formative stages of the search engine marketing, social media, and ad tech industries.

How much does a digital nomad make

The objective is to attract this particular group of tourists. This is everything you need to know about the new law and how to register if applicable.

What is a digital nomad?

These are more than the typical one or two weeks or a couple of months tourists, they are long-term who will now be able to live and work in the country temporarily, including their families, while generating jobs and productive chains by consuming products, renting homes or apartments, and enjoying the beaches, mountains and other tourist attractions.

What are the benefits that digital nomads will receive?

  • Exemption from income tax
  • Live and work visa for one year extendable to a second year and with multiple entries and exits
  • Duty-free import of any equipment necessary to work
  • Recognition of their driver’s license for one year (and renewal)

What are the requirements to be considered a digital nomad?

  • These are foreigners (tourists) who come to work in the country
  • Demonstrate a monthly income over $3,000 and if you travel with the family at least $5,000
  • Obtain medical insurance that covers the applicant for the entire duration of their stay in the country. Likewise, all members of the family group must be covered
  • Make a one-time payment for the granting of a non-resident visa, as a Worker or Remote Service Provider

How do I sign up?

The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – Costa Rica’s immigration service – will be the administrative body in charge of receiving, processing, granting, denying or canceling the granting of the immigration subcategory.

The request is made digitally through a platform for the expeditious management of the requests of those foreigners who wish to opt for the category of Remote Service Provider.

At the moment the service is not enabled yet.

How do I certify income?

The income test may be carried out through bank statements that support the necessary income, or through other means of proof that will be indicated by regulation (soon to be released).

What are the benefits of having digital nomads in the country?

These are visitors who reactivate the economy and create jobs since they consume goods and services while visiting the different tourist spots in the country.

Due to their profile, they tend to spend much more than average citizens, use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and conduct their life in a nomadic manner.

With this law Costa Rica joins certain destinations among the more popular locations for digital nomads, including Thailand, Portugal, Colombia, and Mexico.

In addition, they will be promoting Costa Rica to the world, through their online influence and social network channels.