Nora Dunn, also known by her blog name, The Professional Hobo, has been a digital nomad since 2006. That means she has been travelling the world and working remotely for 17 years, and through the 1st 10 years of her journey, she was able to save $100,000 on accommodation!
Yes, and she did that by getting accommodation for Free!
“There are 5 ways you can get free accommodation, however not all of them are suitable for a digital nomad lifestyle” Nora said.
- Work exchange: Which is basically volunteering in exchange for accommodation. Nora did everything from creating marketing plans and managing venues to milking goats and chopping wood. However, she says that this might not be the best option for digital nomads, as they do their remote job for 40 hours a week, add to that, 20-25 hours of volunteer work, you are left with no time to experience your destination.
- House sitting: One of the best options for digital nomads. You will be having the stability of a house, a desk and a kitchen, thus saving money. And the owner will have the security of someone being home to water the plants, take care of pets or maintain the house in general.
- Living on boats: A great way to travel the world. Boat owners usually need a set of extra hands to help. However, expect to pay a fee, as boat maintenance and operation are expensive.
- Hospitality exchange: Otherwise known as couch surfing. It’s when someone offers you their couch or a room for cultural exchange. However, Nora says this is not great for the nomad lifestyle, as nomads need to stay longer and get into routines and this can get boring for the host.
- Home exchange: A great option for digital nomads. You save money since you have a kitchen and an office and don’t need a co-working space or to buy food every day. The only challenge is finding people who want to exchange at the same time, but now there are websites that facilitate that.
As a former certified financial planner, Nora also gave us some valuable financial tips for digital nomads. Like making sure your credit card doesn’t have a foreign exchange fee, never using credit cards at the ATM as this counts a daily interest, taking advantage of frequent flyer miles programs and travelling slowly. The slower you travel, the less you spend and the more deals you get.
Nora advised people whose financial concerns are stopping them from becoming digital nomads to try it out.
“The cost of full-time travel was significantly less than I ever paid to live in 1 place”. She added that this is due consumerism and costs related to living in 1 place. She advises digital nomads to earn money remotely, approach their spending consciously and creatively and balancing the money coming in and going out.