Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
How to save money when working abroad
The life of a digital nomad is appealing. But how can you maintain financial stability while working abroad?
Digital nomads need money not only to keep up with expenses while traveling, but also to save for their future. Here are a few tips to meet your financial goals while enjoying your time overseas.
Bring in enough to fund your savings
Some of the most successful digital nomads are those freelancers and entrepreneurs who charge what they’re worth and actively pursue high-paying clients.
There are a few ways that you can do this:
|Charge what you’re worth.||If you’re not sure how to come up with a rate, divide your current salary by 2,000 — the number of hours typically worked in a year (40 hours a week over about 50 weeks). Double that amount to come up with an hourly rate you should be charging, taking into account benefits and income taxes.|
|Don’t hesitate to charge a lot.||It may seem counterintuitive, but many employers see higher rates as a sign of high quality. Don’t devalue your skills and experience simply to land a contract.|
|Choose your work carefully.||When possible, find work through referrals from other professionals rather than use popular freelancing sites. These sites typically take a percentage of your money, not to mention the low-quality employers on the hunt for the cheapest workers.|
|Do your best to cultivate referrals.||On that note, consider consulting within a field you’re interested in, and ask for referrals and recommendations after you’ve done a bang-up job.|
Prioritize your savings
Before embarking on your round-the-world exploits, consider how you’ll continue building up a significant retirement nest egg.
A few financial rules of thumb:
- Strive to save half of your salary. By squirreling away at least half of what you earn, you’ll easily invest in your retirement.
- Abide by the 4% rule. Investments typically increase by 7% per year. After accounting for 3% inflation, that leaves 4% to spend freely without dipping into the principal.
- Invest in your future. Put 25% of your monthly income into a personal retirement plan or an investment property.
Send money when working abroad
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Limit discretionary spending
Sure, it’s tempting to indulge while enjoying the new adventures you encounter during your travels. But keep your two goals in mind: maintaining overall financial stability while also saving toward retirement.
A few easier ways to save:
- Cook and hang at home. For every night you go out to restaurants or on day trips, enjoy a few nights cooking or getting together with friends at home.
- Limit souvenirs. Most trinkets end up collecting dust, no matter how interesting they are at first. Invest in affordable experiences instead.
- Explore cheaper travel options. Be flexible with your travel dates and hours, and consider deviating from your plans if the price is right.
Keep track of your finances
Saving money while working abroad is different from simply putting money in a savings account back home.
To set out on the right foot and protect your savings:
- Hire a financial planner. If you work for several companies in different countries, you could have smaller pensions. A planner consolidates these accounts for you so they’re ready when you retire.
- Be aware of inflation. Calculate an annual rate of 5% inflation into your savings. Your savings will decrease by that percentage each year as the cost of living rises.
- Watch exchange rates. Fluctuating currency rates can affect your savings. Consider keeping your savings in a range of currencies, so that if one exchange rate drops, you can use a stronger currency.
- Get international insurance. Coverage can protect you against medical emergencies, political upheaval and damages during moves.
By watching your finances and remaining diligent about saving as much as you can, you’ll earn enough to maintain a comfortable lifestyle as a digital nomad while also stockpiling money for your slower golden years. Here’s to your new adventures!
More guides on Finder
How to beat financial stress by controlling your finances
Take control of your money stress by learning to prioritise and plan your financial goals.
A beginner’s guide to retirement investing
What you need to know to start building your retirement nest egg.
Teaching kids about money: 9 ways to start
Fast-track your child’s financial literacy by learning how to teach your kids about money.
What’s your retirement number?
The best age for you to retire depends on your retirement plan. But other factors can speed up or delay your retirement number.
Features, pros and cons to consider before you sign up with Farther Financial.
How to choose a bank
How to choose a bank when you don’t know where to begin.
How to open a savings account
Save for short- and long-term goals, plus build a nest egg for emergencies.
Investing in your 40s: 8 ways to prepare for retirement
How to invest for retirement: 8 ways to safeguard your portfolio.
How can you use your health savings account (HSA) as a retirement investment?
A health savings account (HSA) can help you get prepared for your retirement. Learn more.
Sigue international money transfers review
Sigue offers speedy money transfers to 50+ countries, but you have to set up a transfer to see the transaction fees.
Ask an Expert