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21 Commandments for Thriving Abroad According to Digital Nomads

Today, in the post-pandemic era, more and more people have the opportunity to travel freely while working remotely. Learn indispensable financial planning tips on how to manage living abroad.

Creating a Budget

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Living as a digital nomad starts with a well-structured budget. Begin by listing all your income sources and expected expenses, including the cost of travel and accommodation. Don’t forget to allocate funds for emergencies and health insurance. A solid budget ensures you enjoy your travels without financial stress.

Embracing Minimalism

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The nomadic lifestyle is synonymous with minimalism. By downsizing possessions, you save on storage and moving costs and simplify your life. This approach not only makes travel easier but also helps in focusing on experiences over material goods.

Building a Rainy Day Fund

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Unexpected events are a part of life, especially when you’re constantly on the move. Set aside a portion of your income into a rainy day fund. Aim for an amount that can cover at least three to six months of living expenses. This fund is your financial lifeline in times of need.

Diversifying Income Streams

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Relying on a single source of income can be risky. Explore various avenues like freelancing, passive income streams, or online businesses. Diversification provides financial security and can lead to more lucrative opportunities.

Investing Wisely

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Investing is key to building long-term wealth. Look into stocks, bonds, or real estate investments suitable for a nomadic lifestyle. It’s important to research and understand the risks involved in any investment.

Smart Tax Planning

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As a digital nomad, understanding tax obligations in your home country and any country you earn income from is crucial. Seek advice from a tax professional to avoid any legal issues. Proper tax planning can save you a significant amount of money.

Health Insurance

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Invest in a good international health insurance plan. Medical emergencies can be expensive, especially in a foreign country. A comprehensive health insurance plan ensures you get the care you need without draining your finances.

Cutting Unnecessary Expenses

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Identify and eliminate unnecessary expenses, such as subscriptions you no longer use or luxury items that don’t add value to your nomadic lifestyle. Saving on these expenses allows you to spend more on meaningful experiences.

Learning Money Management

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Educate yourself on financial matters. Understanding concepts like interest rates, inflation, and currency exchange rates is important. This knowledge helps in making informed financial decisions.

Regular Financial Check-ins

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Schedule regular check-ins to review your financial status. This includes tracking expenses, reassessing your budget, and reviewing investment performances. Staying informed helps you adapt to changing circumstances.

Building a Strong Credit Score

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Maintaining a good credit score is vital for renting apartments, getting loans, or even in some job applications. Pay bills on time and manage credit cards wisely to keep your score high and in reputable condition.

Using Technology for Financial Management

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Leverage technology for managing your finances. Use budgeting apps, online banking, and investment tools to keep track of your financial health. These tools make it easier to manage money while on the move.

Planning for Retirement

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Think about your long-term financial health. Start contributing to a retirement fund early, even if the contributions are small. This ensures a secure financial future and the ability to maintain a nomadic lifestyle into your later years.

Understanding Currency Fluctuations

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Be aware of currency fluctuations, especially if you earn or spend in different currencies. Use currency exchange apps to get the best rates and protect yourself from significant losses due to rate changes.


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Network with fellow digital nomads and professionals. These connections can lead to new job opportunities, partnerships, or valuable financial advice. Networking is a key component of professional and financial growth.

Learning Local Financial Practices

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Each country has its own financial norms and practices. Learning about local banking systems, cashless payment options, and typical living costs helps in better financial planning and avoiding costly mistakes.

Keeping Financial Records

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Maintain clear and organized financial records, including receipts, invoices, and bank statements. Good record-keeping is essential for budget tracking, tax purposes, and financial analysis.

Prioritizing Debt Repayment

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If you have debts, prioritize paying them off. High-interest debts like credit card balances should be tackled first. These debts can snowball into a larger burden if not addressed quickly. Being debt-free gives you more financial freedom and peace of mind.

Insurance for Belongings

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Protect your tech while traveling. Consider insurance for your valuables, especially electronics crucial for your work. This ensures that you’re not left with a significant financial burden in case of theft or damage.

Setting Financial Goals

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Set clear financial goals. These could be short-term, like saving for a specific trip, or long-term, like buying property. Goals give direction to your financial planning and motivate you to stay disciplined.

Embracing Local Cultures

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Immerse yourself in local cultures – learn the language, eat at the local hotspots, and make local friends. Living like a local can be more cost-effective than a tourist lifestyle. It also enriches your experience, allowing you to truly understand the places you visit.

Josh Dudick

Josh is a financial expert with over 15 years of experience on Wall Street as a senior market strategist and trader. His career has spanned from working on the New York Stock Exchange floor to investment management and portfolio trading at Citibank, Chicago Trading Company, and Flow Traders.

Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business. He has held multiple professional licenses during his career, including FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, 55, Nasdaq OMX, Xetra & Eurex (German), and SIX (Swiss) trading licenses. Josh served as a senior trader and strategist, business partner, and head of futures in his former roles on Wall Street.

Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh currently holds areas of expertise in investing, wealth management, capital markets, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and personal finance.

Josh currently runs a wealth management business and investment firm. Additionally, he is the founder and CEO of Top Dollar, where he teaches others how to build 6-figure passive income with smart money strategies that he uses professionally.