(Photo: 6 Essential Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Digital Nomad)
Being a digital nomad means working for yourself and enjoying the freedom to travel the world while making money remotely. While it may seem like something you can't take your mind off of, don't quit your day job just yet. You may still need to do some research and think through a few questions that you should ask before leaving your 9-5 to become a digital nomad. To get started, read this helpful guide:
1. Can You Pass a Rental Credit Check?
Many people don't know exactly how to pass a rental credit check unless they know the ideal score their landlord is looking for and what their credit score is. As a digital nomad, you'll likely stop traveling every so often to put your feet up and relax. Maybe one year you'll live in one country and the next you'll live somewhere else. No matter how often you travel or where you go, you'll need the right credit score for rentals, along with a reliable source of income and proof of that income.
2. Are You Capable of Remote Work?
Before you leave your job to become a digital nomad, it's important to make sure you have skills that can be utilized remotely. While many jobs these days can be done remotely, not all of them can be. Take a look at your current job. Do your tasks translate well to digital work?
Not only that, but working remotely and being your own boss isn't always easy. When you have a 9-to-5 job, you're held accountable for your work and your actions, which may ensure that you're actually getting your work done. When you work remotely, there are very few ways for your clients to check up on you, and if you don't have the ability to hold yourself accountable, you might not be right for the digital nomad lifestyle.
3. Do You Have An Emergency Fund?
While you'll need to have enough money in case there are accidents while you're traveling, having an emergency fund also means covering your costs when you're not finding enough work or can't find gigs immediately. Essentially, you should have startup costs covered before you start working remotely and traveling because you won't always find work online immediately. Check your current personal financial situation to see what it might take for you to leave your job and start a new lifestyle.
4. How Are You Going to Make Money?
There are a few different ways you can go about making money as a digital nomad. First, you can be a self-employed freelancer who has multiple clients and pays their own taxes. Freelancing is a great way to make money, but it can also be time-consuming to find the right clients that pay well. If you become self-employed, you'll also have to pay self-employment taxes, so you'll need to track spending and expenses.
The second option is to start your own business in which you'll also be self-employed and need to pay higher taxes. The third option you have for working remotely with the ability to travel is to get hired as a full-time remote employee by a company. Many companies offer remote opportunities that can be done from anywhere in the world, allowing you to travel and work wherever you want. This option also means that you won't be paying self-employment taxes because you will be an employee of another company.
5. How Will You Connect with Family and Friends?
Being a digital nomad doesn't mean leaving family and friends. You can still stay in communication by using a messaging app that works anywhere that there's WiFi so that you don't lose valuable friendships. While using tools to communicate is easy, you'll also have to make time to talk to your loved ones, which can seem difficult when you're busy and hundreds or thousands of miles away. Being a digital nomad can be lonely, so communication with loved ones is important.
6. What Is Your Back Up Plan?
While you shouldn't go into your new lifestyle thinking that you'll fail, you should always plan for failure. If you don't make it as a digital nomad for any reason, what can you fall back on? Make sure that you're going to be able to get a job and find a home if you ever do decide to stop being a digital nomad for any reason.
These are just a few of the key questions you should be asking before you take the leap into becoming a full-time digital nomad. While it might feel like you're putting your dream on hold as you sort things out, you'll be thankful you took the time to do so.
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