How to manage your money as a digital nomad

Making the decision to go is the first step to a new life as a digital nomad, but you won’t get far on good intentions alone.

Becoming a location-independent worker means having organized finances as the costs can be high at the start of the journey.

Here we break down the practical steps to budgeting before you go and all the tools you'll need to manage your money while you work abroad.

Clear your debt

Digital nomads with debts tend not to be digital nomads for long. Before you go, try to clear any outstanding money you owe. The goal is to have all your money available to fund a life of travel.

If you have a mortgage and intend to keep your house or apartment, rent it out to cover the monthly payments and appoint a management company to deal with all the admin.

Look for landlord insurance packages that include a guaranteed rent for any periods when you can’t find a tenant.

Build up a nest egg

Before you say "sayonara" to your old life, you’ll need to build up a cushion of money to fund your start-up costs and cover you for emergencies while you build up your remote-working business.

Having an emergency stash of cash to pay for replacing your laptop if it is lost or stolen is pretty much essential.

Put on your accountant’s visor and work out exactly how much you need to get to your first destination and live for two months with no income at all, then add 50% as a buffer.

Managing your money overseas

However you choose to get paid, you’ll need a safe and secure way to manage your money overseas.

Most nomads get paid to an account that they can access over the internet, but for real-life day-to-day living costs, you need to be able to access your cash, often in hard currency.

If clients are paying into an account that charges you high fees for each overseas card payment or ATM withdrawal, a chunk of your cash will be going to the bank rather than supporting your lifestyle.