Working remotely comes with a ton of benefits – greater flexibility, no commuting, and the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want to. But how much does it really cost to be a remote worker?
If you aspire to be an entrepreneur, digital nomad, or remote employee, financial stability and freedom is likely just as important to you as location freedom. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the differences in cost of living between remote and traditional work lifestyles.
In this article, we’ll be breaking down the different expenses of remote workers versus those in the traditional US workplace to see who comes out ahead.
One of the biggest objections remote workers have about traveling is the cost of accommodations. It may seem cheaper to stay in one place rather than having to pay to stay in hostels, hotels, or vacation rentals in another country. But is this really true?
The average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States currently stands at $1,711. This number doesn’t include the cost of utilities like gas, electric, water, trash, and WiFi. If you live in a major US city, you could easily end up paying much more than this every month.
The cost of accommodations while traveling varies depending on the location and type of housing you choose. When you join a travel program like those we offer through WiFi Artists, your total monthly program payment is usually between $1,250 and $1,500, which is substantially less than the typical cost of rent alone.
Another major objection many remote workers have about taking their work abroad is the cost of transportation. While the up-front cost of a flight to another country may be significant, travel between countries tends to be surprisingly affordable.
The average commuter spends between $2,000 and $5,000 per year on commuting expenses. Just like traveling to another country, commuting typically comes with the large up-front cost of purchasing a car, an expense that is usually much larger than the cost of round-trip plane tickets.
If you join a traveling program like WiFi Artists, the cost of your transportation from one country to the next is covered by your registration cost which, as we’ve mentioned, is typically between $1,250 and $1,500 per month.
You may need to cover the cost of public transportation if you need to get somewhere that isn’t within walking distance of your accommodations, but these costs are usually minor in comparison to long daily commutes.
So, is traveling to work really more cost-effective than traveling the world? Not always.
One of the primary reasons people travel is to experience the local cuisine in other countries. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in another culture, and some of the best travel memories are created around a dinner table!
Food obviously isn’t free, and some travelers worry about having the budget to afford to feed themselves while they’re jet setting from one country to the next. But most travelers find that the cost of food is comparable to what they typically spend at home.
The average monthly cost of feeding one adult in the United States is $324.50. This amount varies depending on where you live, and the cost of food while traveling varies similarly. Every country has its own standard market prices for food, so travelers’ food costs vary depending on the places they visit.
For example, the average cost of feeding an adult in the United Kingdom is £175 per month which translates to about $242.85 ($100 less than the average cost of feeding yourself in the US!).
Just like at home, it is usually more cost-effective to grocery shop and prepare food for yourself than it is to eat out at restaurants. So, while it can be tempting to eat every meal at a restaurant when you’re in a foreign country, you’ll save the most money if you cook your own food occasionally.
One obvious perk of working in an office building is that all of the workplace amenities are provided for you. You don’t have to pay for WiFi, a desk, or a comfortable place to get your work done.
When you’re traveling, not all accommodations are suitable for remote work. As a result, you may have to pay for a hot desk at a coworking space to guarantee you’ll have reliable WiFi as well as peace and quiet when you need it.
Thankfully, when you travel with WiFi Artists, the cost of a coworking space is factored into your registration fees. It pays off to travel with a group of fellow remote workers who have similar work requirements!
Depending on how frugally you live, it’s possible to make working from home or working while traveling fit into your budget. While these estimates aren’t an exact, precise breakdown, they serve to demonstrate the point that traveling as a remote worker is more affordable than you may think!
Here’s an overview of the monthly costs we’ve covered (Remote Traveling Worker costs are based on WiFi Artist’s program costs and typical traveler spending behavior):
As you can see, traveling while you work doesn’t have to break the bank! You may have thought living the digital nomad lifestyle is out of reach for you, but we hope this article has shown that you don’t need to be extraordinarily wealthy to travel the world while you work.
Write out your own current expenses to see how much of a financial difference traveling would make for you. Then, consider how much of a difference it could make in your life overall.
If you’re a remote worker who’s itching to start traveling, apply to one of our affordable programs today, or contact us to get your questions answered!