One of the most frequent questions I get is “how do I afford to travel so much” so let’s dig into my expenses!
Cost of living as a digital nomad in Asia
When I was staying in Indonesia, I spent three months living in Lombok and stayed at a hostel for the entire duration because I loved it there…
The hostel I stayed at was:
Bamba – the best hostel in Kuta, Lombok!
You can stay an entire month there for around 400$
The breakfast there is included and it’s amazing – there’s a cool swimming pool but more importantly, I love the team that works there, I made so many friends, and would even consider the staff family 🙂
That being said, if you are on a really strict budget, you can find cheaper, especially if you are willing to negotiate once you are there and go to smaller less well known hostels
Food wise, you can eat for 2$ per meal, but if you’re going to want to have something else than local dishes then it can go up, maybe even as high as 5 to 10$ but you don’t need to treat yourself as a king all the time so let’s say a 12$ average per day (that’s a lot) including coffee and beers?
So let’s say 350$ – which can easily be more or less depending on your lifestyle once again
A scooter rental was 5$ per day if I remember correctly so 150$ per month
Fuel + parking (when needed) could add up to maybe 30$ per month
That’s all you really need
400+350+150+30 = 930
With less than 1,000$
you can (easily) live in Lombok, Indonesia
But… That’s not including day trips if you want to rent a boat, if you want to go surfing, if you want to go trekking and need a guide, etc etc, so in the end it will cost you more – maybe even up to 500$ if you really want to go for it 🙂
So 1.5k and you’re set
From that you’ll need to add plane tickets tho
You also need to keep money on the side to pay your taxes, don’t make them wait, it’s not worth playing with them, especially if you run an online business!
So the truth is,
you’ll probably need to make more than 2k per month
Cost of Living in London
Now, I’m currently in London, so let’s compare 🙂
First off, let me start with:
DON’T STAY IN A HOSTEL IN LONDON
They’re fine if you are staying a few days, but more than that you’ll definitely want to use Airbnb – you want to remain productive while in London, and hostels here aren’t that great because there’s no privacy and not much space to do any work
yep that’s my affiliate link, but let’s be serious, if you don’t have an airbnb account are you coming from Mars?
In my case, the Airbnb is costing me about 1.2k per month, sure I could’ve found something cheaper, but I believe it’s better to stay in a decent place where I can work & cook
(without burning the apartment down) than be too cheap
I really don’t want to look into how much I’ve spent on coffee, so let’s say that food + coffee + a few drinks ended up around 500$ for the month (wouldn’t be too surprised if it was more)
Probably spent 150$ on “public” transport
So with 1.8k I’ve got my basic living expenses
Then obviously if you want to eat in restaurants, go out and party, visit the UK (the train is bloody expensive), go to museums and all that it’s going to end up being more expensive
So you could live in London on 2k per month if you want a basic lifestyle
If you want something more fun, expect that number to rise very quickly, especially if you want to live in the center of London (I’m in Zone 2 to reduce the cost of rent, no need to commute into the city every day so might as well save money!)
You’ll also need to take into account taxes once again…
So the truth is,
you’ll probably need to make more than 3k per month
The digital nomad lifestlye
So to answer, how much does the digital nomad lifestyle cost:
IT DEPENDS ON YOU.
It depends on where you go
It depends on your standards
It depends if you are going to travel around
It depends on what food you’re eating
If you want to party
If you have loads of taxes to pay
Or you can start hitch hiking around the world and be a true nomad, even better, get yourself a camel, an Indiana Jones hat and hit the road
If you are willing to sleep outside in the nature it will be cheaper, same for a hut, if you want to stay in five star hotels tho… It’ll be different!
I hope that answers your questions!
Sorry I couldn’t give a straight answer but it depends entirely on you!
If you liked this post, it would mean the world to me if you could leave a like 🙂
4 Replies to “Cost of living as a digital nomad”
Great blog post Max! Hope people read this and see that living as a DN is and can be less costly than a permanent base! I house and pet sit so rarely pay rent…my costs are pretty much food and plane tickets (I often carry my bike with me so don’t always need a car!)
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Right! You can even make money if you are renting your house back home too!
But house sitting and pet sitting is key! Definitely something I should start looking into!
Great post dude 🤗 sums it all up – straight to the point nice and simple!
Loving these blogs!
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Thanks mate, keep up the traveling – you are killing it!