Smart budgeting tips for digital nomads in 2024

Toluwani Omotesho


Being a digital nomad comes with different perks, such as working from anywhere in the world, on your terms, and pursuing your passions. But this kind of lifestyle also requires careful and intelligent financial management skills.

As a nomad, travelling on a budget can be tricky because you have to consider several factors such as accommodation, travel insurance, internet and local transport amongst others. That’s why to help you out, in this blog post, we’ll explore some simple budgeting and money-saving tips for digital nomads.

Eat like a local

Dining out frequently can increase your spending more than anticipated. Eating like a local will help you to save money as shopping in the local market is less expensive than dining out.

Some pointers to help you save money on food are:

  • Eating far away from popular tourist locations
  • Consider street food as they are cheaper
  • Ask locals about their favourite places to eat
  • Go out for lunch as many restaurants have lunch specials and menu, which are more affordable than dinner
  • Ask local eateries if they have loyalty programs or discounts

Cooking your meal might also be ideal as it will allow you to experience local ingredients and cuisines. Your familiarity with neighbouring stores and farmers’ markets will help you to get quality products at lower prices.

Leverage travel rewards and online deals.

Some service providers, like airline companies and hotels, offer rewards to their customers. Some benefits of those rewards include earning points based on miles you travelled.

For frequent travellers, subscribing to newsletters and following reputable travel websites will help you to keep updated on these discounts and deals.

Choose affordable destinations

Choosing an affordable travel destination is one of the most important things you can do as a digital nomad. Conduct research and choose destinations where the cost of living aligns with your budget.

Most digital nomads prefer to travel to Africa, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe because these regions have affordable living costs.

Track your expenses

Understanding where your money goes is a must-have skill for a digital nomad. Grey helps you out with this with our expense insights feature that gives a detailed breakdown of your income and spending. You can also use a simple Excel spreadsheet will enable you to monitor your daily, weekly, and monthly expenditures.

Tracking your expenses will help you visualise your spending and you can start by categorising your expenses into essentials, such as rent and groceries, and non-essentials, like entertainment and travel.

Use a local SIM card and Wi-fi.

As a digital nomad, staying connected is everything as you need to be able to perform your tasks regardless of your location.  Many digital nomads often work from co-working spaces, restaurants and cafes that offer free Wi-Fi to help reduce internet costs but this puts them at risk of cyberattacks.  However, Grey and Airalo has an easy fix for this.

With an Airalo eSIM, you don’t have to juggle multiple local SIMs and can connect to the internet immediately you arrive at your destination with no excessive roaming charges. And the best part is, as a Grey user, you get 20% off your first data plan purchase.

Choose a budgeting method

Aside using apps and tools to track how you spend, there are also budgeting methods that can help you avoid overspending, reduce debt and track your spending habits while travelling. Some popular budgeting methods include:

  • Zero-based budgeting: in this budgeting method, you allocate every penny of your income to specific expenses like accommodation, transport, savings until you have nothing left. This method ensures that every money spent is accounted fo and you have control over your spendings.
  • Envelope system: the envelope system is an old-school form of budgeting that involves putting cash in different envelopes for different expenses. However, this method can also be adapted digitally.
  • The 50/30/20 budget rule: this is another popular budgeting style where you allocate 50% to your needs like groceries, phone bills and accommodation; 30% to your wants like shopping and 20% to your savings, investment and debt payment.

Choose the right platform

Budgeting is very important for digital nomads and choosing the platform for your banking needs makes the process easier. The financial platform you use should offer:

  • Global multi-currency accounts: to help you hold, manage and swap between different currencies at the best rates making it easy for you to spend like a local anywhere you are
  • Security: robust security and fraud protection measure to protect you and ensure you can make global transactions with peace of mind.
  • 24/7 support: an always available customer support team to help you out with your needs as soon as possible.
  • Expense tracking: so you can track your expenses to ensure you stay within your budget and avoid overspending.

You can find all of these features and more on Grey as we make your financial convenience and security as a digital nomad our top priority. Create your free account today to enjoy to get started.

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