Don’t you wish you can leave your job, say goodbye to your boss and live your life travelling around the world? A decade ago, this might have been a retirement plan for many, but guess what?! You don’t have to wait for retirement to do that.
Living as a digital nomad became very trendy, and very possible, in the recent years thanks to the internet. Many people are taking the step to work remotely while travelling.
This lifestyle definitely sounds very attractive, especially to travel enthusiasts. Furthermore, it is certain that many people reading this now want to leave the 9 to 5 life, pack their bags and become digital nomads; but a question remains, how can I support this lifestyle?
Before you decide to take this step, it’s essential to know what to expect financially, and we are here to help answer your questions.
How do digital nomads make money?
Digital nomads work and earn money online. Some of them make much more than $100,000 annually. This can happen in many different ways.
You can either be an employee of a company that allows you to work remotely (accounts for about 35% of nomads), you can be a freelancer, an entrepreneur or a business owner. The point is being able to work online while travelling.
Regardless of the way of work that allows you to live as a digital nomad, you have to have a skill that you can use to get paid.
There is a wide array of skills you can use to earn money as a digital nomad, below are some of them:
- Content creation
- Virtual assistant
- Web development
- Software engineering
- App development
- Graphic design
- Website design
- Video creation or editing
- Digital marketing
- Social media marketing
All of these skills and more you can monetize online to support your life as a digital nomad. You can already have these skills or you can prepare for your digital nomad journey by learning them.
Factors that define how much a digital nomad can earn
The range of money you can make annually as a digital nomad is a wide one and it depends on several factors, like:
The annual salary of a web developer as a digital nomad is not the same as the annual salary of a translator. The field in which you become a digital nomad has a big effect on how much you can make per year.
The level of skill
Just like any other job, the more experience and higher quality service/product you offer to your clients/customers as a digital nomad, the more they will be willing to pay for it.
One of the factors that can play a role in how much you get paid is your experience as a digital nomad. Someone starting the nomad journey without prior experience will probably make less, in the beginning, than someone who mastered the nomad way of life.
The type of client
If you are offering a service to a businessman or a company, you can certainly make more money than offering your work to an individual or a fellow freelancer.
The client location
Where your client is based can affect greatly how much you make annually. If your client is based in Asia where most jobs are outsourced and can be done at a low cost, you can lower your expectations.
On the other hand, clients based in economies where your service costs highly, will be willing to pay more as the cost in their local market is higher.
Direct or with middlemen
Many nomads start by doing freelancing on popular platforms that keep a percentage of the earnings which affects how much they make per year.
Income range of a digital nomad
The range digital nomads earn is somewhere between $10,000 and $170,000 per year. Yes! it’s a big range.
A report by Flexjobs in 2018 showed that 40% of digital nomads make more than $50,000 a year, while 18% make more than $100,000 a year.
According to the report, 30% of digital nomads make the same amount of money they made in their 9 to 5 jobs.
Keeping in mind the factors we mentioned previously, you should aim for $30,000 a year, that’s about $2,500 per month. This is a reasonable range where you can support your travel while also NOT working around the clock. Here are some extra tips for you to make the best out of your nomad life financially:
- Have multiple sources of income: You can invest on the side or have multiple clients or skills to ensure you always have a source of income.
- Pick a destination that has cheap cost of living: this will help you have a bigger gap between your earnings and your expenses and thus give bigger value to your earnings.
- Budget: many digital nomads recommend going with a daily budget instead of a monthly one. As a nomad your life is less predictable, so plan for shorter periods.
- Balance work and life: remember why you started this journey. Don’t spend all your day working and miss out on enjoying your life.
- Try it out: Try being a digital nomad for 6 months and see if it is for you.
The interesting fact is that many nomads reported that they stress way less about money than they used to do before they became digital nomads.
If you think about it, it makes sense. A person who chooses the nomad life is definitely someone who prioritizes living his life and experiencing new things over saving a lot of money.
This is the reason many nomads reported that despite earning less in their remote work life, they were happier and less stressed.
Would you like to earn money as a digital nomad?