Tips for Parenting a Digital Nomad
A digital nomad is a new profession for this century and parents will have to realize that they might be raising a child that will choose to be a digital nomad. Digital nomads are wanderers that use telecommunications to earn a living while living like a nomad. These people often work in foreign countries and more so work very remotely and use coffee shops, libraries, co-work with people and share space, or work out of vehicles made for recreation. This is really a cool life for someone who gets paid for traveling around the world and writing about different subjects. If your child is showing an interest in traveling and is good with writing and communications, this might be a challenging and fun job for them.
Every year more and more people are choosing to be digital nomads. This is a growing movement of people that are independent adventurers that earn a living by being a digital nomad. Most people plan on traveling when they retire but these nomads combine both work and travel so they can complete their goals together. It’s a simple plan for certain types of people who like remote work, freelancing or online entrepreneurs. These people are not tied down to any particular location so they can work anywhere they find internet. This is also a great opportunity to explore the whole world.
Choosing the Digital Lifestyle
There are some good advantages to living this nomadic lifestyle compared to working on the inside every day at the same place. This is great if your child is a free spirit, but this also presents a whole new set of challenges that should be seriously considered. One is the financial challenge of the whole thing. You have to tell your child that traveling around the world gets very expensive quickly, so when living this lifestyle your child has to be prepared to be cautious to make sure their adventure isn’t destroyed by unknown situations. In order to help them control financial issues which are bound to happen at some point in time, here is a list of advice.
When your child sets off to travel around the world, they can’t predict the future in their life. They enjoy the unpredictability of life so this is why they chose this career path. On the contrary, unpredictability can also mean more risk, and they should think about minimizing the consequences of things that could go wrong. This is why your child needs a safety net. Make sure before they pack their belongings and when they go on the road, they have saved enough cash to last a good six months, so when things get rough, they are ok.
Choosing the Destination
Your child has to do research before they set up their plan to work in an unknown area of the world. They should check whether the financial area is conducive to what they have saved and if it’s feasible to work there. They should check the cost for food, shelter, transportation, medical, etc. These costs vary around the country and the world. Some countries may be too costly to live for digital nomads. Travel costs can get expensive, especially if your child is on a tight budget. You wouldn’t want them getting stuck overseas because it’s not cheap to get back home. There is a site called Nomad List for looking at different options and also online groups especially for digital nomads for your child to research.
Make Sure they have a Few Choices for Income
Freelance work includes web development, e-commerce, online marketing, etc. and the downside of this life is your child depends on their clients to pay them. If there is an unexpected decrease in available work, this will have a huge impact on their monthly budget. To avoid taking money out of their emergency stash all the time, they should think about diversification of their income. They always have a chance to look for local jobs to make extra cash while they are traveling and living the life of a digital nomad. This is also a good way for them to get to know the area too. They can hunt for a storage locker because they are always available, so renting an apartment and keeping their stuff in storage if they choose to move out, will also help them with monthly costs.
Send Income Home for their Future
Most digital nomads return home eventually so if they don’t plan on living in another country for the rest of their lives, tell your child it’s a good idea to start an IRA or invest in CDs. This way they can start planning for retirement early so they don’t have to work for the rest of their lives. Everyone should put away some percentage of their earnings for emergencies and retirement in case of job loss or medical issues.
Plan for Retirement
All people should take a finance class in their lifetime so they realize the importance of planning for retirement and your child is no different. Freelancers or digital nomads normally don’t get benefits, however; there are some freelancer companies that will pay up to 2 weeks of vacation. Your child just has to research and find out what freelancer companies offer a few benefits. Realistically though, digital nomads won’t be getting retirement benefits and other plans offered that people that work for companies normally receive.
Parents should tell their digital nomad to save on costs and travel light. Your child should just take the necessary items they need for traveling and good hygiene. All they need are their clothes and work equipment and the rest they can leave behind for their return. Airlines charge extra for over 50 pounds of baggage and it might be higher if they are traveling overseas. Your child should look into leasing or borrowing things they need because they can’t afford to keep buying stuff they have to leave behind.
Watch living Expenses
When your child has decided they are financially stable to go on this adventure, tell them to be wise and try to watch and cut back on expenses to live. They should do this only if the opportunity presents itself. They can cook their own meals instead of eating at restaurants constantly. They can rent a bike on a daily basis and ride around instead of using cabs or other modes of transportation. They can work out at home instead of joining a gym and they can be resourceful and find other ways to cut back.
Digital nomads have a different sort of financial challenge compared to the average worker. The world is a huge place so if your child is resourceful and can problem solve well for themselves, they will run into many different opportunities if they know how to search for them. This will help your digital nomad handle some of the financial mistakes they make if they show initiative and are creative.