If you are lucky enough to land a job which allows you to work and travel at the same time, then you are living a life most Singaporeans desire. Being a digital nomad is not an impossible dream, however is it really a free lifestyle?
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As a nomad, you must always be ready to move from one country to another. While this leisure is much captivating to a lot of people you know, this will be hard to do if you lack finances. Most nomads share that they move every two to three months. Since you are trying to save up, you might be using budget flights which can potentially cost S$200 if you are travelling to South East Asia, however if you are aiming to go to other parts of the globe, make sure you have around S$1,200 to S$1,500 in your bank. On the other hand, you can use your credit card to purchase your flights and gain free air miles or free business class upgrades. There are a couple of credit cards with this freebie, compare their conditions and offers.
There is also the local transport that you are surely going to take such as trains, cabs, and other public transparent. Set aside around S$50 a month as you fare for public transport. If you want to use Uber or Cabs for a more convenient travel, be ready to shed S$150.
While Singaporeans can travel to a long list of countries without a visa, you must remember that there is still a chance that you have to get one. A visa is important when entering a country and it could cost around S$50 to S$100. And even if you don’t have to get a visa, you should not forget to renew your passport every five years. The current cost of renewing your passport is $80. Also, do not be surprised if you are charged with custom duties. Custom duties differ from one country to another. Be attentive with your things to avoid losing or damaging any important documents.
As a nomad, you will have to opt out hotel rooms as these are the most expensive accommodation. Hotels rooms with a single bed can cost around S$7,500 a month and S$250 a night. Though you are only staying for two to three months, it is better to rent an apartment. Airbnb rentals can cost S$3,600 a month and S$120 a night while hostels can be as low as S$15 per night and S$900 a month. Always keep your important documents in a safe place in case someone tries to take you bag while you are asleep.
The cost of prepaid SIMs varies in different countries, but generally it can cost around S$90 to S$120. Only a few nomads recommend using s data roaming plan. No matter how good the promotion sounds, you are not sure if it actually works in your destination. If it does not work well, you will have a hard time getting in touch with your telco. You’ll decide to buy a local prepaid SIM card and pay for 3G or 4G access. The internet access can cost twice or thrice than you expect, so take time to check tourism websites or travel forums to have an idea on how much you will have to spend for communication. Some nomads consider buying a prepaid Sim card as a waste of cash since there are a lot of establishments which offer free Wi-Fi access.
In case you are also planning to depend on the free Wi-Fi offered in coffee shops and certain accommodations, you still have to buy a SIM card to be able to make a call.
Everybody needs to eat and so are you. like in Singapore, other countries have their own delicacies, yet if you are staying for two months or more, you have to create an effective budget when it comes to food. Most nomads allocate S$200 to S$1,500 as their budget for food. Since you are always on the go, be prepared to eat out. Most countries in Asia offer street food meals which can cost S$3 to S$5 per meal. The meals in mid-range restaurants can cost S$25 to S$50 per serving and high end restaurants have meals at least S$70 per serving.
Most restaurants accept credit cards as a mode of payment. You can take advantage of this and earn rewards, freebies or rebates.
You will never be sure about the future. While travel insurance can seem a waste of money to some, you will be glad you have purchased it in case you find yourself confined in a hospital or in need of a . Different travel insurance has different coverage, yet it is better to get the one which covers your delayed flight, accommodation and medical bills. Be sure you shop around for the one that best fits your need. The most expensive one does not mean the widest coverage and the least expensive might lack a lot of important benefits.
Set aside six months’ worth of salary or at least S$2,000 in case you need sudden hotel accommodation and emergency flight back home.
Travel Insurance S$50
20% Savings S$300
Total S$ 2,320
If you could be a digital nomad, you’ll need to spend S$ 2,320 a month to survive and be always on the go.
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