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How to Manage Your Money Better as a Digital Nomad Coder

ionorah14 profile image Laura O. Tolentino ・3 min read

Not every coder or programmer works for other companies or for a home office – some take to the road like warriors and code for clients from different cities or countries too.

If you’re thinking about seeing more of the sights beyond what’s available locally but worry about how to manage your money better, this article is for you.
Budget Properly (Especially Abroad)

While your business operating expenses aren’t likely to change much if you move to another city or travel abroad, that’s not true of your personal costs of living.

Rent and Co-working spaces

Rents for apartments and the cost of co-working spaces is different across the US, especially in more touristic spots. There are also in-season and out-of-season price variances. Even with co-working spaces, they’re costlier and more upmarket in New York than Grand Rapids, Michigan, so budget accordingly.

Local Research is Helpful

Do some research online before you travel. Create a budget for the new location. This is helpful later if you return to that city or a nearby town because you already have an idea of what it previously cost.

Otherwise, perform some initial research on Airbnb or Craigslist to get ideas on local rents and other likely expenses. If you’re a member of a gym, do they have a branch near where you’re planning to stay, or will you need to sign up for a new gym to cover the months in the new location?

Budget for the Variances

Budgeting for the variances (they’ll be far more if you’re going abroad) makes a huge difference in being prepared for what’s to come.

Separate Business from Personal Spending

Depending on how your business is conducted, you might already separate business finances from personal ones. However, even if this isn’t required, it’s always best to do so. It makes the accounting side of things much easier to manage, and the bill for using an accounting company will be lower too.

Consider your business separate, even if you’re operating as a self-employed person. Take a regular wage and pay it out of the business, even if that just means transferring from one account to another. Doing this creates separation and distinction between your business and personal life. This stops one thing bleeding into the other where it can get messy or out of control.

Be Ready for Emergencies

Dealing with the unexpected is a major part of being on the road, staying in new places and when traveling internationally too. Quite often, your best-laid plans just don’t work as you expect, and you need a backup plan.

One way to deal with a short-term money issue is to transfer money. If you’ve lost access to your bank account because your card got eaten by a foreign ATM, get a friend to send a transfer to you from their bank account and repay them later. Funds can be received in cash, be collected from a transfer agent or added to an account in your name, depending on your location.

When you plan well, managing business and personal finances get much easier. Then when a problem does occur, it’s not as difficult to resolve because you’re already on top of things.

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