You’ve Got To Consider Everything Together
Mexico is one of the cheapest places to live in the world, but you’ve got to contend with corrupt police officers who have mandated bribery, and outright murderous drug cartels. If you’ve got the money to dig in like a tick on a dog and build a defensible compound through your pay as a digital nomad, then maybe this would be a good move for you.
However, the reality is, even if living costs are very cheap, collateral expenses can outpace what you save directly. How can you get around this? Well, you’ve got to know the situation you’re about to get involved with. For example, you can look at this site to see twelve worthwhile places to live that are cheap and friendly to digital nomads.
These locations include Ko Lanta, Thailand, which boasts a $360 cost to live per month, Ubud, Indonesia at $452, Do Lat, Vietnam at $600, Siem Reap, Cambodia at $690, Belgrade, Serbia at $750, Medellin, Colombia at $823, Tirana, Albania at $820, Tbilisi, Georgia at $870, Colombo, Sri Lanka at $1,059, Kaohsiung, Taiwan at $1,150, Timisoara, Romania at $1,159, and Sofia, Bulgaria at $1,200.
Each of these locations has advantages and disadvantages; the difficulty being, you’ll have to obtain and maintain a visa for legal purposes. Some of these countries may allow you to become a resident. What may be wiser is simply hopping from country to country on a month-to-month basis as you please. However, there are those pesky collateral expenses.
A Local Reality
You’ll notice in that list of cheap places for digital nomads that all of these countries are in places of the world that leave something to be desired. For example, all the east Asian countries are near China, which thinks of them in a way not dissimilar from how Soviet Russia regarded surrounding countries in the earlier part of the 20th century.
Also, when you’re not a citizen of a country, then you’re not generally going to be protected by those who are citizens of that country. Even if you make more than your neighbors every month, you’re a second-class citizen. This can result in serious complications that may inhibit your liberties, or result in other unpredictable fallout.
Meanwhile, you can live on $1,200 a month in America—or almost anywhere for that matter—if you’re savvy. Here’s an article on how to live for under $1,000 a month in the USA. The key is cutting out creature comforts, living squarely within your means, and establishing a solid location locally where expenses can be reduced.
If you buy a $40k property that’s designed for one person, and only put $5k down—or one eighth the total cost—then paying back the mortgage loan is only going to be a few hundred dollars a month. Prepare your own meals, ride a bike, and find the cheapest utility bills. Get the balance right, and you may well be able to live in America at a cost similar to Thailand.
Making A Solid Choice From Available Information
The big difference between living locally and abroad is, when you’re going the “digital nomad” route, you’re going to get more for your dollar than you would in more developed countries. So where an American five-course meal maybe $30 at a good restaurant, a better quality meal in Thailand might be $3.
So at the end of the day, it comes down to what you can afford, what you prefer, and how best to manage costs associated with living wherever you happen to be. You can check sites like this one to find the cheapest electricity rates in the area where you ultimately end up making your base of operations.
Untapped Potential Worth Considering
If you can purchase property in another country and find ways of naturalizing your citizenship, yeah, you can probably save serious money over a country like America. However, you forego financial and legal protections and put yourself at the mercy of a foreign land.
Plenty of people are able to do this without much trouble; others just keep moving around and truly fulfill the “nomad” moniker. Some have greater difficulty than others. Either way, the prospect of living independent of your country of birth through income that is produced via internet utility has a lot of potentials.
You could buy a house by writing SEO content in Thailand, then sell it for ten times its worth to a foreigner looking for a deal from an English-speaker. So when all is said and done, research carefully to choose the best option—there are certainly some advantages to playing the nomad.