How Close are You to Being Location Independent?
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Location Independence and How to Get There
The Price of Personal Freedom
What are you worth? Not what is your value, but what would it take to buy your freedom? Your freedom from the 9 to 5, your freedom from the cubicle, your freedom from the ordinary. The freedom that being location independent gives you.
If you don’t have a hard number, then how do you know what you’re working towards, how will you know when you’re ready? You want location independence, you want that freedom, and sooner is better.
The first thing we need to talk about is your debt. Debt increases your monthly expenses and limits your choices. So, if you haven’t taken a good look at your numbers, now is the time. If you don’t have budgeting software, I really like YNAB but use whatever works for you.
And while you’re in your budgeting software, let’s go ahead and get all of your expenses loaded. This is a situation where more numbers are better. Go through your bank statements, your credit card statements, your PayPal statements, and any other payment methods you use.If you don’t have a hard number, then how do you know what you’re working towards, how will you know when you're ready? Click To Tweet
Your Location Independent Number
Once you have double checked it’s got everything in your budget it’s time to look at the total and see what it takes for you to live for a month, where you are right now.
We’re going to separate your ongoing expenses from your location-based expenses. Make two groups. One will list everything that you’re going to pay no matter where you are, things like your website hosting, your credit card payments, and as well as donations, investing and taxes. The other will list things like rent, groceries, utilities, going out, and tours.
These two lists should add up to your monthly budget total, if they don’t, find out what’s missing and figure out what list it belongs in.
Getting Free and Clear
I’m not going to tell you that you have to pay off your debt before you start your location independent journey, I certainly didn’t. I will tell you, that it makes everything a lot easier.
If you’re not in a position to pay it down where you live right now, take a look at Nomad List and find an inexpensive place to live that will allow you to up those payments, so you can get out from under them as soon as possible. (note: you can join Nomad List, but you don’t need to for what we’re doing now)
Math for Location Independence,
It’s Simple, I Promise
Now we can do some simple math. Check out Nomad List and Numbeo, and start looking at places where you might want to live. Nomad List gives you general information from a digital nomad’s perspective, while Numbeo gets into the details a bit more. Using both will give you a better overall picture. If you really need to cut expenses or just love animals, take a look at TrustedHousesitters.com and start looking for long-term house sits.
We’re trying to determine your negotiable expenses, so start listing what those would cost in the different places you’re interested in. Look at rent, food, entertainment, travel…
Don’t just look at Nomad List, especially for rent, if you’re looking to get an Airbnb then start there. If you want to get a private rental, then find local rental prices. Just know that those lower prices sometimes come with less of a guarantee, depending on where you are.
Consider joining some location independent Facebook groups in whatever city you’re looking at. People will have a much firmer grip on what prices should be, since they’re already living there. Additionally, it’s a great way to meet people once you’ve landed.
Time to Choose Your Digital Nomad City
If you’ve gone through this process for a few cities, now you can make a comparison and decide what works best for you. And don’t just go with what the cheapest, life is about more than the bottom dollar.
And seriously, pay off your debt. Danielle Desir is a great resource for people who are looking to balance travel and their budgets.
Have you started already or are you looking towards your first journey? Where did, or will you go? Let us know in the comments.