Financial planning is one of the least glamorous aspects of being a world traveler. The good news is that maintaining a budget gets easier as you go along. Given time and effort it becomes an indispensable tool rather than a mindless chore.
A budget is your safety net against the financial risks of traveling. It helps to you validate your plans before you leave. On the road it keeps you aware of your financial situation. It is also a guide for making daily decisions and for planning the next leg of your trip.
Creating a travel budget is the same process whether you’re planning a two week vacation, a four month road trip or a two year round-the-world extravaganza. It doesn’t matter if you’re funding your travels from savings, income earned on the road, or both. The process is the same, only the numbers change.
The following articles outline the steps we recommend for creating and maintaining a budget and will answer the most common questions about travel budgeting:
There are a plenty of options for creating and keeping a budget, as with any type of planning. Some people prefer simplicity and flexibility over the hassle of maintaining a detailed budget. We’re not here to advocate one method over the other. We’ve done both in the past with equal success. You shouldn’t lose sleep over your financial situation. Whether that means staying up all night totaling receipts, or having nightmares about running out of money in a foreign country.
Crunching numbers is unavoidable for a digital nomad, your livelihood may well depend on it. Travel budgeting isn’t the same as household financial planning. Day-to-day tends to be simpler but initially there is much more to be done.
If you’re good at managing your personal finances at home then some of our advice will be familiar. If you’ve never heard of financial planning, let alone a spreadsheet, you have a bit of catching up to do.
The articles in this section explain how you should create and maintain a travel budget. There are additional money management articles on becoming financially literate, savingand later in this section.
We have found it more practical to keep the accounting of our remotely operated businesses separate from our travel budget. For information about managing business finances and working while you travel, please refer to our Freelancing and Managing a Business sections.