nomad http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8086/all en-US Living in an RV Full-Time: What You Need to Know http://www.wisebread.com/living-in-an-rv-full-time-what-you-need-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/living-in-an-rv-full-time-what-you-need-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4158957020_2c963e7287_z.jpg" alt="RV" title="RV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking about living the life of a nomad? Want to brave the open road in an RV? There&rsquo;s a lot to love about throwing caution to the wind and exploring the world on wheels, but it&rsquo;s not without its own set of complications. Before you put your house up for sale and pawn off all your worldly possessions for a mobile existence, take this guide to living in an RV into consideration. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel&nbsp;Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a>)</p> <h2>1. An RV May Not Be Cheaper Than Traditional Housing</h2> <p>Think the only costs you&rsquo;ll incur living in an RV is the monthly loan payment and gas? Think again.</p> <p>While RV living can be less expensive than a home mortgage and the regular maintenance costs that are associated with home ownership overall, there are <a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-costs.shtml" target="_blank">plenty of other costs to consider</a>. In addition to the loan payment (unless you have the cash to buy it outright) and fuel (gas ain&rsquo;t cheap these days, y&rsquo;all), you&rsquo;ll need to pay for insurance, site rentals if you plan to stay in an RV park (which can run $300 to $500 a month), propane and electricity (which are available at RV rental sites for an additional fee), and maintenance. Considering these costs, you&rsquo;ll still be paying about the same per month as you would living in a small apartment.</p> <h2>2. The RV Will Require Much More Gas Than a Car</h2> <p>Many factors play into the amount of fuel consumed by an RV &mdash; the weight of the vehicle, engine size, fuel, driving habits &mdash; but <a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-fuel.shtml" target="_blank">even the most frugally minded RVers can expect to pay a pretty penny</a> keeping the RV running. Smaller RVs get about 10-15 mpg while larger RVs come in at about 6-13 mpg. Most regular RVs hold between 40 and 85 gallons of gas (depending its class), which translates to between $148.12 and $314.75 per tank, based on the current average regular unleaded gas price of $3.70.</p> <h2>3. RV Insurance Is Not Regular Auto Insurance</h2> <p>Because you&rsquo;ll being using your RV as a mobile home, <a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-insurance.shtml" target="_blank">insurance considerations are different than those associated with a regular vehicle</a>. A specialized policy may require you to cover things like total loss replacement, replacement cost of personal belongings, full-timer liability, campsite liability, emergency expenses, medium-duty tow trucks, all of which will rack up that insurance bill quickly.</p> <h2>4. Can You Live Without Wi-Fi and Phone Service?</h2> <p>While many modern RV parks and campsites have Internet access on-site, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-or-cheap-internet-access">Wi-Fi may not be an option</a>. And if you&rsquo;re in a remote area, you can probably forget about cell phone service, too. You&rsquo;ll be able to get online from time to time, but it may be days or even weeks between access availability. So you have to ask yourself, can you live a life without being connected 24/7? Something to ponder before embarking.</p> <h2>5. Where Does the Mail Carrier Deliver Your Mail?</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not staying in one place for more than a couple weeks, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">how will you get your mail</a>? You can give your personal contacts the address of the park in which you&rsquo;re staying if you plan to stay in a park, but it&rsquo;s not feasible to expect your bills and other important mail to arrive at each of your destinations. Thus you&rsquo;ll have to cancel most of your mail and set up online bill pay so you don&rsquo;t get behind on payments because you didn&rsquo;t receive them. Out of sight, out of mind is an easy way to forget about your obligations, but it&rsquo;ll catch up with you in a bad way eventually.</p> <h2>6. You Have to Drain the Sewage Yourself</h2> <p>One of the great things about RV traveling is that the vehicle is self-contained. You can make meals in it, you can sleep comfortably in it, and you can do your 1s and 2s in it without having to pull into a rest stop or fast-food joint. Your 1s and 2s have to go somewhere though, and that somewhere is in a septic tank attached to the underside of the vehicle that will need to be emptied &mdash; and that can get messy. If you&rsquo;ve got a weak stomach, definitely think hard about this necessary evil.</p> <h2>7. Can You Manage All the Other Stuff, Too?</h2> <p>RV living isn&rsquo;t just driving from one location to the next, parking, and propping your feet up in nomadic bliss.&nbsp;<a href="http://changingears.com/tip-cat-misc.shtml" target="_blank">There are lots of little things to remember</a>, such as checking the battery water level monthly, lowering one corner of your awning to permit easier draining when there&rsquo;s precipitation, and stocking up on rectangle storage boxes so you make efficient use of limited space.&nbsp;Once you arrive at the <a href="http://changingears.com/rv-checklist-setup-motor-home.shtml?sec-checklist" target="_blank">RV park, there's lots more to do</a>, starting at the front office (requesting park maps, asking about discounts, and inquiring about Internet service), and then locating your RV space and setting up, which includes deploying decks and other heavy external features of the RV, connecting electricity, turning on water pumps, and raising roof-mounted accessories, among a host of other duties.</p> <h2>8. You&rsquo;ll Need to Earn Money</h2> <p>Unless you&rsquo;re embarking on your RV existence with a bank account full of money, you&rsquo;ll need to work along the way, so you can ensure that there&rsquo;s a consistent cash flow in case of emergencies, which, in an RV, can be quite costly. If you have the luxury of working remotely in your normal life, that&rsquo;s still an option while living in an RV, but chances are you&rsquo;ll need at least somewhat consistent Internet access. Otherwise you&rsquo;ll have to find new ways to make money &mdash; helping out at the RV park, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">finding odd jobs on Craigslist</a>, and other one-off projects &mdash; to bring in dough on the regular.</p> <p><em>RV living isn't for everyone &mdash; as you can see, there&rsquo;s a lot to it. Are you considering, or have you made, the transition from Average Joe to Road Warrior? Tell us about your experience in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-in-an-rv-full-time-what-you-need-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-full-time-travel">The Cost of Full-Time Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad">These Choos were made for walkin&#039;: an interview with a modern urban nomad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-extroverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Extroverts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle full-time travel nomad recreational vehicle Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:48:39 +0000 Mikey Rox 970378 at http://www.wisebread.com Three paths to being a digital nomad http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/courtyard-laptop-2.jpg" alt="laptop, messenger bag, and coffee mug outside in the courtyard" title="On-line in the courtyard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I wanted to be a digital nomad before anybody--before the term existed; before the technology existed; before most people even imagined that it would someday be possible to earn a living without ever being in the same place as your coworkers, bosses, customers, or clients.&nbsp; Other people may have become digital nomads before I did, but nobody wanted to be one before I did. &nbsp;</p> <p>Three obstacles define the three paths to being a digital nomad. &nbsp;</p> <p>First, there was the technological barrier--one that has been largely overcome by the earliest digital nomads.</p> <h2>The Road-Warriors</h2> <p> People whose regular job required constant travel--salesmen, executives, managers and technical folks with far-flung teams--were nomads before they were digital nomads.&nbsp; It was on their behalf that the technology was gradually beaten into submission.&nbsp;&nbsp; I knew a lot of these folks--people who paid top-dollar for a computer (just) small enough that it would fit into a suitcase and (barely) light enough to be carried by one person.&nbsp; An excellent article in a recent Economist, quotes Paul Saffo as saying that &quot;<a href="http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10950394">nomads</a>&quot; is the wrong term for those early strivers:</p> <blockquote><p>Since these machines, large and small, were portable, people assumed that they also made their owners mobile. Not so. The proper metaphor for somebody who carries portable but unwieldy and cumbersome infrastructure is that of an astronaut rather than a nomad. </p></blockquote> <p>Exactly so.</p> <p>The technological barrier is down, now.&nbsp; The equipment is small, cheap, and highly functional.&nbsp; (Although there are still challenges even with modern high-tech gear.&nbsp; For some nitty-gritty details on actually getting things done while on the road, see <a href="/high-tech-and-homeless-my-life-as-a-cyber-nomad">High-Tech and Homeless</a>.)&nbsp; I never wanted to be a road-warrior, though.&nbsp; Having to show up every day at one specific workspace was bad enough--I most definitely didn't want to put myself in the position of having to show up at dozens of different specific workspaces.&nbsp; It was one of the paths that has eventually led to a kind of digital nomad, but not the path for me. &nbsp;</p> <p>Long before the technology really supported the road-warrier, it became good enough (and cheap enough) that it was practical to create a fully functional workspace that wasn't at the office.&nbsp; The technological barrier, although not yet down, had become low enough that it could be easily stepped over.&nbsp; But close behind was a series of management and personal barriers.</p> <h2>The Telecommuters</h2> <p>People whose regular job can be done on a computer were digital before they were nomads.&nbsp; For almost twenty years now, the technology has been good enough that pretty much any digital job could be done at home, or really, anywhere--as long as &quot;anywhere&quot; was one specific place where the equipment could be set up and a data connection established.</p> <p>Bosses never liked telecommuting--if they couldn't walk over and see you working, they were pretty sure that you probably weren't.&nbsp; And, since the sort of jobs that could be done entirely on a computer over a data link tended to also be the sort where managers--even managers with a good bit of technical savvy--had no idea how much work was actually involved in any particular task, there wasn't really any other way to tell if someone was working hard or hardly working.</p> <p>The result of all that was that most managers would only let certain employees telecommute--the ones they trusted to work hard without supervision, and certain other key technical people who might leave the company if their whim to telecommute wasn't indulged.</p> <p>Once the equipment got cheap--especially after it got cheap enough that employees could afford to buy their own--employers were quite prepared for employees to have workspaces at home.&nbsp; But that was just so that the employees could work more, not so they could quit coming into the office.</p> <p>Still, telecommuting has grown.&nbsp; Lots of people do it now.&nbsp; Especially since fuel got so expensive, there has been a surge in people working at home one or two days a week.&nbsp; Obviously that saves time and fuel, while still giving the boss the chance to observe them working on the other days. &nbsp;</p> <p>With the technical barriers down, though, the mere telecommuter can now be a digital nomad.&nbsp; The boss may imagine you sitting in a home office, working on desktop machine not much different from the one in your cubicle, but there's nothing to keep you from taking your laptop to the library or the coffee shop or the public park--anywhere you can get a network connection.&nbsp; In fact, if there's no danger of being urgently called into the office, there's nothing to keep you from taking your laptop literally anywhere--even halfway around the world.</p> <p>Telecommuting is a second path to being a digital nomad.&nbsp; I did a little telecommuting, but it wasn't for me.&nbsp; To thrive as a telecommuter you need to be both self-motivating and self-limiting.&nbsp; Too little of the former, and you're not productive.&nbsp; Too little of the latter and your home office turns into a home sweatshop.&nbsp; (It's very easy to find yourself working from 6 AM until 10 PM, checking email at all hours, feeling pressure to be always-accessible since people can't just catch you in the hallway at the office.)&nbsp; With just a little experience at it, I found that I suffered from both those deficiencies, so I avoided telecommuting after that.</p> <p>The hard work of crossing the managerial barrier is largely done--telecommuting is a fact and most companies have policies allowing limited forms already.&nbsp; You can't really look to others to cross the personal barriers for you--you have to do that yourself.&nbsp; If you find your way past those, there's really only one remaining barrier--money--that keeps people off the ultimate path for the digital nomad.</p> <h2>The Freelancers</h2> <p>The technology is cheap and easy.&nbsp; If you don't have a regular job, you don't need to get anyone's permission to telecommute.&nbsp; As a freelancer, you can work wherever, whenever, and however you want.&nbsp; The limiting factor is earning enough money to support yourself.</p> <p>You can freelance at just about anything.&nbsp; Software is big, as is writing (fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, poetry, blogs...), and the arts (graphic design, photography, music, sculpture, painting, drawing, architecture...).&nbsp; Especially big are the specific tasks that came of age at the same time as the technology of the digital nomad--freelance web design, for example.&nbsp; There are freelance researchers, freelance editors, freelance accountants, freelance technical support.&nbsp; Of course, you're really only a digital nomad if a large fraction of your freelance work can be done digitally--there's not much call for digital massage therapy or digital hairstyling--but the range of things that can be done on-line keeps growing.</p> <p>If you're of an entrepreneurial bent (or know someone who is), you can go the route of the &quot;virtual corporation&quot;--put together (or join) a small team of people who come together to create a new product, outsource anything that they don't have the expertise to do themselves, and once they're done, go their separate ways.&nbsp; (This sort of thing is very scalable.&nbsp; See Tim Ferriss's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307353133?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0307353133"><cite>The 4-Hour Workweek</cite></a> for some examples of what amounts to one-person versions of this sort of business.&nbsp; There's also some info in <a href="/book-review-the-4-hour-workweek">my review</a> of the book from last year.)</p> <p>You can make money at any of these things.&nbsp; Some people can make a lot of money doing freelance work.&nbsp; But for most people, freelance work is going to pay less than they can get working a regular job.&nbsp; To make it pay even a large fraction as much will likely require working a whole second parallel job (marketing your freelance service) plus a third parallel job (managing the business--invoicing, collecting, accounting, etc).</p> <p>This is why I talk so much about frugality.&nbsp; Maybe you can earn a lot of money and maybe you can't--but anybody can get by on less money.&nbsp; And, if you can get by on what you can earn freelancing as a digital nomad, you can be as free as anyone has been since hunter-gatherers took up agriculture.</p> <p>It's what I've always wanted to do.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources-for-freelancers">Resources for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-rules-that-your-work-at-home-employer-should-follow">7 Simple Rules that Your Work-at-Home Employer Should Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/replacing-a-crappy-job">Replacing a Crappy Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income digital nomads freelance nomad road warrior telecommuting Thu, 28 Aug 2008 09:53:54 +0000 Philip Brewer 2357 at http://www.wisebread.com These Choos were made for walkin': an interview with a modern urban nomad http://www.wisebread.com/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ladakh.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://fabulouslybrokeinthecity.blogspot.com/">Fabulously Broke in the City</a> is the nom de blog of a young Canadian woman who frequently comments on Wise Bread. I&#39;ve been reading her blog for several months, and have become intrigued by her lifestyle (modern nomad), and her shared struggle to pay down her education debt while living a fun, urban, and stylish life - all while living out of a suitcase. </p> <p>Since one of Wise Bread&#39;s own Canadian bloggers, <a href="/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a>, also leads a modern nomadic life, the concept of living out of a suitcase, literally, has been on my mind as of late. I asked Fabulously Broke to tell us more about her life and her lifestyle (FB actually lives in hotels, staying wherever her employer needs her to be - her husband travels with her, and they actually keep all of their worldly possessions in a suitcase). You can read her version of an FAQ <a href="http://fabulouslybrokeinthecity.blogspot.com/2007/09/living-situation-clarification.html">here</a> (recommended). </p> <p><strong>Who are you? Why do you blog anonymously?</strong></p> <p>*laugh* I&#39;m &quot;FB&quot;.. I&#39;m 24 years old, just recently married to my husband whom I&#39;ve lived with for the past 6 years, with a goal to clear the rest of my $35,000 in debt by the end of December 2008, and be debt-free, and begin saving for a mortgage.</p> <p>Oh, and I&#39;m a reformed shopaholic. Seriously. Until I started tracking my expenses in June 2005, I had NO IDEA where all of my money was going and I kept living on borrowed time and money. Now, I love organizing my expenses in Excel and budgeting as well as playing around with my debt repayment numbers.</p> <p> I blog anonymously not because I really want to.. but because I don&#39;t want my friends and family to start reading this blog, and compromise my ability to blog about whatever subject I want - be it my monthly financial situation, problems with my family and Husband&#39;s family, and all that sort of information. Not a lot of my friends agree with my lifestyle and the choices I&#39;ve made. *shrug* </p> <p><strong>You write a blog about your lifestyle, called Fabulously Broke in the City. Why did you choose that name? Are you actually broke?</strong></p> <p> I chose that name because I was inspired by the hit TV series by HBO called &quot;Sex and the City&quot;, and I was fascinated with the idea of the main character Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), working on a modest writer&#39;s salary yet being able to afford a fabulous New York apartment that wasn&#39;t a rat-infested hole in the wall, and being able to shop to her heart&#39;s delight with and do all of these amazing things in a city that&#39;s so notorious for its high cost of living. But nowhere in the entire show did they really mention how the reality of her situation. Then I thought about Suze Orman, and how she calls our generation the &quot;Young, Broke and Fabulous&quot;, and that&#39;s how &quot;Fabulously Broke in the City&quot; was born.</p> <p>I actually am very broke, in terms of net worth. I think I started the blog in 2006, but I didn&#39;t actually take my blogging seriously until June 2007 when I finally got rid of my apartment, and began to aggressively pay down my debt, save for retirement and strive for a more frugal lifestyle - that&#39;s when the blog just evolved to what it is today.</p> <p>I started with -$56,000 in education debt, no savings, no retirement plan, nada... and the real push to get out of debt began in June 2007 when I looked at what I was spending. As of today, I sit at about -$35,000 in total education debt, but with my retirement savings I&#39;m at -$22,000.</p> <p><strong>You&#39;ve described your life as being lived &quot;out of a suitcase&quot;. What does that entail? How can one live in a big city without a fabulous apartment and a walk-in closet full of designer clothing?</strong></p> <p>It just takes a change in perspective. :) It was hard to think about becoming what I call a &quot;modern nomad&quot; but the more I considered it, it made more sense based on my line of work.</p> <p>I basically live wherever my next project takes me, and while it&#39;s been mostly big cities, I could also be sent to a little town in the middle of nowhere - which I think might be better for me because there&#39;d be less temptation and chances to shop!</p> <p>The client normally loves having the consultant live in the city where the company is, because then I&#39;m not coming in late to work on Monday, or leaving early on Thursday, and I&#39;m available almost 24/7 as I am just a stone&#39;s throw away from the company. Plus, I love what I do, and that usually translates into working long hours, and if I have to worry about getting back to my home in another city when I&#39;m trying to finish something for the weekend, it gets to be pretty frustrating. I also hate the hotel &amp; airport song-and-dance.</p> <p>It was pretty hard getting rid of my &#39;stuff&#39; when I first started, and I still find myself pining for certain clothing items or shoes that I have stored away at home. But you just make do with what you brought. I also find that since I don&#39;t have a home and I basically carry my life on my back, I&#39;ve learned to pare down more, pick essential pieces, buy less and really analyze whether I need certain items or not - which is helping develop my frugal streak. It&#39;s not for everyone, but I love the uncertainty and being able to see different cities and really immerse myself in the local milieu.</p> <p>I&#39;ve also never bought a piece of designer clothing in my life, unless you count buying it from a thrift store. I haven&#39;t even touched the threshold of $300 for a single pair of shoes/boots/piece of clothing and I don&#39;t want to! </p> <p><strong>You blog frequently about fashion. Is this cathartic, or does it just make you want to shop a lot more? </strong></p> <p>Hmm..... Good question. It depends. If the price tag is outrageous, but I still think it&#39;s beautiful and appreciate its workmanship, then I blog about it, but I don&#39;t even remotely fantasize about owning it. But if the price tag is reasonable, and more affordable, that&#39;s when I get in trouble..</p> <p>I have one major weak spot: Just physically being in the store around all the beautiful, affordable items.</p> <p>That&#39;s why I tend to try and keep very busy with my blog and going over my budget, so I don&#39;t feel the desire to go out and ultimately be tempted to spend for nothing. It seems to be working so far... until I need to go out and buy something like a winter coat. Then the temptation is really hard to resist, and I sometimes fall back into my old habits. The good news is that now I find that every purchase now goes through a different thought process than before I started caring about my money.</p> <p>Now, I really, REALLY think about what I&#39;m buying, and compare coats across 15-20 stores before I decide on the best one for the best price.</p> <p><strong>Can you tell me more about life as a &quot;modern nomad&quot;? I&#39;m assuming you have a &#39;home-base&#39; to return to? How long are you typically away from home? How do you save money on things like food if you are always &#39;out of town&#39;</strong>? </p> <p>I do have a home base. A home city in fact. But I&#39;ve since given up my apartment, so it&#39;s really just a formality to let people know which division/department I&#39;m from. I don&#39;t have any ties to the city whatsoever other than my family and friends, and everything is in storage in another cheaper city.</p> <p>My job is such that I have to be willing to travel 100% of the time. At first I was very hesitant to do so, but ever since I gave up my albatross (my apartment), it&#39;s been a lot easier to ask for projects that are not within my home city, and my company loves it because not many people are willing to travel 100% of the time and not go back home.</p> <p>Most of my projects last around 5 months, but I sometimes get extended for longer, up to 8 months, but that&#39;s quite rare. It depends on the nature of the project and what the client wants to get done.</p> <p>I save money on food, shelter and utilities (the big 3), because when I&#39;m on a project, the client pays for all of my travelling and living expenses (transportation to get there, hotel, food, laundry, taxis sometimes a car rental). It&#39;s sometimes cheaper for the client to keep me here than it is to let me keep going back home every weekend and I tend to work longer because I am in no rush to catch a plane.</p> <p>I get a meal limit that I can use to spend on food every day, and they pay for my hotel as well as for my laundry. When you don&#39;t have an apartment, it works out very nicely to keep staying in a hotel - I&#39;ve started thinking of my hotel as my home now. I also don&#39;t have to clean any more, or buy cleaning supplies, and/or basic necessities like toilet paper because it&#39;s all included in the hotel rate.</p> <p><strong>A lot of people believe that eliminating debt involves giving up benefits that seem so common to modern, middle-class living. What are some of the luxuries that you have given up in order to work at paying down your debt? Do you get a latte every morning, for instance? Do you have a gym membership? Do you own a car?</strong> </p> <p>To be honest, I haven&#39;t given up anything that I truly miss. I don&#39;t get a latte every morning - I only get it once in a while when I know it&#39;s going to be a long day, and I&#39;m in the mood for one, but sometimes when I&#39;m waiting in line I start thinking about the cost of it, and berate myself for almost succumbing to the delicious nectar of Starbucks and I force myself to walk out of the store.</p> <p>However,bh when I wasn&#39;t as serious about paying down my debt, I got a latte every morning (a huge venti one in fact). But as my wallet got thinner, my body started getting bigger. I put on quite a bit of weight and as a result I decided to cut myself off and now I only drink lattes as a treat.</p> <p>I don&#39;t have a gym membership - all the hotels I stay at have a in-house gym, and/or I just walk everywhere since my hotels are usually located right in the heart of the downtown close to where the company is.</p> <p>I don&#39;t personally drive or own a car, but my husband does. We just have an old beater car that we have had for about 6 years now. It stays in decent shape and working condition because we don&#39;t drive it :) We only use it to get back and forth between different cities if I&#39;m on a project or if we&#39;re visiting family, but other than those occasions, we just walk (which is healthier for us in the long run), and we take the local public transportation (which is cheaper, considering the price of gas lately).</p> <p>I think the &#39;luxury&#39; I miss the most is having a lot of cash at my disposal to do whatever I wanted with and knowing that I&#39;d be able to clear it without a problem with my next cheque. This was what fuelled my shopaholic habits before I got serious about clearing my debt (mid-2007). Now that I have a budget and I track every single penny of my expenses, I am a lot more frugal and discerning about buying items because I want my budge to succeed.</p> <p>Luckily, I&#39;ve gotten so used to the bank debiting a HUGE amount of my paycheque every month, that I don&#39;t even register how much extra money I have now that we&#39;re modern nomads. I just take the amount I would normally pay into my rent or utilities if we had a place to live, and channel it into debt. I don&#39;t miss the extra money because I foster a sense of scarcity in our household, and my husband knows I&#39;m deadly serious about clearing my debt (he calls it obsessive, I like to call it aggressive).</p> <p>So, I suppose the one luxury I miss the most is shopping with abandon and without any cares in the world, and safe in the knowledge that I could clear it without a problem with my next cheque... if that makes sense.</p> <p><strong>What tips do you have for people who are interested in adopting a lifestyle that is similar to yours? </strong></p> <p>You have to be willing to be lonely and away from anything familiar, as well as not having everything you would normally have in an apartment, nor being able to go to parties or special events that are happening in your home city unless you&#39;re willing to pack up your home into a suitcase every weekend, and crash at a friend&#39;s place for that weekend to attend the party.</p> <p>To elaborate, when I join a new project, I normally don&#39;t know ANYONE. And depending on the client culture (so far, it&#39;s been fabulous), you may or may not make friends with your colleagues - the age gap can be a huge factor, as well as personality.</p> <p>You have to be willing to be by yourself for a majority of your weekends and weeknights for the first month or so, and be OK with not having your friends to go out with, or your entire wardrobe to pick out exactly what you want to wear. Whatever you&#39;ve brought, is all you&#39;ve got and you have to work with it. If you start rebuilding your wardrobe again, you&#39;re going to amass a LOT of junk that you&#39;ll have to figure out how to carry around for the next year or so.</p> <p>A lot of people cannot understand why I would willingly stay in any foreign city the entire time and be away from my friends and family, but I&#39;m not very close to my family, and while I&#39;m very close to my friends, I make it a point to do an hour-long call each week to a different friend just to keep up on what&#39;s happening in their lives. It is VERY easy to just communicate by email, MSN or other social networking sites like MySpace. But there is no substitute for seeing a friend in person, so I try telephoning them each week so I can hear their voice and connect that way to stay an active part of their lives.</p> <p>It&#39;s pretty lonely at times. Even with my husband here. But I find that we&#39;ve started to really connect on another level and we&#39;re finding ways to have fun together, and go for walks as tourists in a new, unfamiliar city, and experience all the local sights and attractions together. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-on-the-installment-plan">Retirement on the installment plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills">Spouses and Debt: Who&#039;s Really on the Hook for Those Bills?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-consumerism-and-the-frugal-redemption">The seven deadly sins of consumerism (and the frugal redemption).</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">Can you talk to your friends about debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/say-no-7-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-get-married-if-youre-in-debt">Say No! 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn&#039;t Get Married if You&#039;re in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Lifestyle Travel debt hotel job lifestyle marriage nomad Wed, 31 Oct 2007 01:44:24 +0000 Andrea Karim 1339 at http://www.wisebread.com