Traveling and moving abroad might be easier than you think.
I already had a remote income in the form of my military pension when I made the decision to sell all my possessions and travel full-time with my daughters.
You might NOT already have a remote income.
This article will show you not only HOW you can create a remote income but also how you can make your current remote income work for you and ways to financially make the single mom travel and living abroad life work for you.
This article is not a get rich quick scheme. It IS a think outside of the box kind of article.
If you ARE ready to be open to new ways of thinking about money and ways to make the travel life possible for you a whole lot sooner than you think, then keep reading!
Step 1 To Financing Your Travel Life As A Single Mom:
Look at your current bills in a new way.
When I first got the crazy idea to travel, I wondered how the heck I would make it possible, especially with my three largest bills which were my rent, dreaded car payment, and the car insurance that went with it.
Then I asked myself the question, “What if I didn’t have a rent payment, car payment, or car insurance?”
If I didn’t have those three bills, I could free up nearly $2000 a MONTH!
The second thought after that was if I could at least free up my rent payment which at the time was $1400 a month, then I could apply that to our monthly accomodations.
🤚Stop reading for just a sec and write out all your bills.🤚
Now, that you have a list of all your current bills/expenses, is there anything you can eliminate right now or at least lessen?
I did this exercise recently for my business expenses and eliminated nearly $100 off my expenses in 5 minutes by reducing my email list of 2500 down to less than 600.
It turned out a lot of people were not opening up my emails so there was no point in continuing to pay for them to be on my email list. I chose to switch to the free plan and only keep people on my list that actually read my emails.
Sometimes, it takes writing out all our bills/expenses to figure out where we can cut expenses.
Are you paying monthly for things you don’t use? Chances are super high there are at least one or two things you can lessen or eliminate altogether.
Let’s Talk Debt
This is a good time to jump in and turn the conversation to debt which can be a big obstacle for single moms wanting to create a travel or living abroad lifestyle.
DO NOT let debt be the reason you are not living a life you absolutely love.
Warning: If you are expecting me to start telling you all the reasons why you should do things the traditional way when it comes to debt, you might as well stop reading now.
If you didn’t know before, you should know now that nothing I do or say follows the traditional way of thinking especially when it comes to money.
When you take your life abroad or slow travel the world, that debt does not follow you. You won’t be thrown into debtors prison and since you will most likely have a new phone number, no one will be calling you.
I have heard some stories online where you can be sued for your debt and they can take money out of your account so be aware of that.
With all that being said it is good to know all the debt you have so you can move forward with whatever direction you want to go.
🤚Stop reading for a sec and write down all the debt you currently have and all the sources you owe the money to.🤚
Here are a few ways you can handle your debt:
*Start cutting unnecessary expenses and pay off debt starting with your smallest debt first.
This strategy was coined the “snowball effect” by Dave Ramsey. I followed it once and got completely debt free.
This is a different strategy than paying off the debt with the highest interest first. The thinking behind it is that if you pay off the smallest bill first it will give you the momentum to keep going. It becomes a fun game of paying off debt.
Now, I am not a huge fan of Dave’s. He preaches delaying living life and I am not about that way of thinking at all. But I did find this strategy super effective in the past.
*File for bankruptcy
I know. I know. It is so shameful to file bankruptcy.
At least that is what society would love to have you thinking.
Look… this is your life to live and you should really LIVE and LIVE well right now. Don’t wait because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
By the way, that Dave guy I was talking about above filed bankruptcy. If you are a US citizen, then your president filed bankruptcy (hopefully I have to edit this in November😉), oh… even the beloved Walt Disney filed bankruptcy at one point in the early days.
Do you think any of these people who are now sitting on MILLIONS feel shameful?
Please note: Not everything can be declared in bankruptcy. Student loans are a tough one but that is a whole other blog post in itself. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer to find out the best option for you.
*Move to another country with a lower cost of living so you can pay off debt quicker.
Notice how I didn’t say move in with your parents to pay off debt quicker. There is a reason for this. Time and time again I hear clients struggle with the decision to share a home with someone else in order to save some money.
Now, some of you may have amazing relationships with your parents and family members so it actually might be a good idea. I am guessing for most of you reading this that is not the case. It might be a toxic situation that would literally drain your soul. If you are with the latter, DON’T DO IT!
Choose a country with a lower cost of living like Mexico and base yourself there. Find a furnished rental for around $400 or $500 a month and then pay down your debt a whole lot quicker than struggling in your home country where you most likely have a higher cost of living. (Click here to find out how to choose the right country for your family.)
I’d much rather be sipping a margarita poolside with my full-time nanny keeping a close eye on my little one, than I would be in the US stressing about debt.
P.S. My nanny only costs $250 a month for full-time care.
*Move to another country and forget about most of your debt. Gasp! 😱
Did she just say forget about my debt?
Student loans won’t go away but a lot of your other debt will fall off eventually if you just let it be.
I am going to interject again and state that I am not a financial coach and have absolutely no financial background except for my own personal experience plus others I have met living the traveling life. As far as you are concerned I am a random stranger on the internet.
With all that being said stop stressing and start living.
First of all, often times, they sell your debt for cheap and you can actually bargain to pay a whole lot less than what you technically owe. You could also just let that sh*t go, especially if you are not planning on returning to the US anytime soon.
Your credit will not matter when you are traveling and living abroad so you choose what works for you and your family.
You might feel enlightened right now after reading up to this point or you might be pissed off that I would suggest such non-traditional ways of dealing with debt. Either way, it is time to move on.
You Need An Income
Unless you are sitting on a large sum of money because you won the lottery or old uncle Howard wrote you in his will at the last minute, you will probably need a source of income.
It would be best to have a location independent income so you have more freedom to go where you want when you want.
Some single moms do start off with just savings and that is totally okay but savings does run out so you will need to create an income source or income sources.
I typically recommend teaching English online as a starting point. Not all companies require a degree and you can create a location independent income pretty quickly this way. Actually, most mommas I have met living this lifestyle teach English online.
I applied to Cambly and Preply and was hired by both companies quickly. However, I have never worked for them so I can’t give any information on what it is actually like working for either company. I just like to apply and get hired so I can show mommas how easy it is to get hired.
Here are some other companies my clients work for:
If you have little ones at home, teaching English online might sound challenging but I swear I know multiple moms who successfully do this with little ones. You CAN DO it too!
Another company where you can teach more than English is Outschool. You can create your own class there and the pay is decent so check them out.
🌍Landing A Teaching Job Abroad🌍
Teaching abroad is another way to fund your travel and living abroad lifestyle. I know single parents who have done this. My friend, Chloe Amor, has done it multiple times in places like Poland and Ecuador. I know moms who have done this in Thailand, Dubai, and South Korea. A teaching certificate and degree helps with getting a teaching job abroad but isn’t always necessary.
Warning: For a lot of these places pay is incredibly low but some moms prefer having a set paycheck rather than the uncertainty that some feel comes with teaching English online.
Let’s Talk Business (Making Money Online)
I definitely recommend starting off with teaching online. However, once you have that established I recommend starting your own online business.
Now, I wish I could tell you that you could start your business and it is super easy and the money will just start rolling in but that would be a lie.
It takes time. It takes trial and error. There will be ups and downs but I believe this is a good way to create more freedom in your life.
I absolutely love my business most days. I literally have the best clients ever. It feels more like family than anything and we have a ton of fun.
Still… it has taken a lot of hard work to get here and a whole bunch of constant mindset work.
With all that being said, I wouldn’t change a thing. I literally get paid to read books, host monthly goal setting workshops, watch movies, create courses, and hang out with the most awesome single mommas on the planet! Hallelujah!🙌🙌🙌
If starting a business is something you really want to do then I highly recommend following my coaches Jason and Caroline Zook from Wandering Aimfully.
I have looked for a business coach that I resonated with for years and finding these two has literally changed my life. Our values are in line and their WAIM unlimited program is the best thing ever!
Please note: I am an affiliate for their WAIM unlimited program but I would shout them out even if I wasn’t.
They give so much great value that you don’t have to sign up for anything. Just check out all their free articles and videos!
Let’s Talk Child Support
I know child support can be a controversial subject but it is a question I get asked all the time.
Honestly, even when child support is court ordered it is not guaranteed. So if you are depending solely on child support, it will be risky for you to travel and live abroad.
It is best to have your own income source. I don’t want to discourage you. I just want you to be prepared in case you stop receiving child support.
What about disability payments?
Some of you may be receiving disability payments in the form of social security or VA pay.
Your VA pay will not be affected by you traveling and living abroad. I am actually shocked that more veterans don’t live this lifestyle.
As far as social security, it shouldn’t be affected either, from what I have seen, but I find it best to keep a stateside address where your mail will be going to be on the safe side.
You can look up all the info you need on both social security and VA pay to find out what your options are.
How Much Money Should I Have Saved To Travel Or Move Abroad?
How much money you need saved before you make the leap abroad is a personal choice.
I get this question all the time and the truth is that the answer depends on so many things.
I know single moms that had less than $500 in savings when they made the leap. I don’t recommend this but it is a personal choice.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when determining the amount you will need saved before you make the leap:
What is the cost of living in your new country?
How many people are in your family?
Do you have guaranteed income coming in?
What debt do you currently have?
What are your spending habits?
How you answer these questions will help you come up with your launch number.
Look up the cost of plane tickets. Look up the cost of Airbnbs for the city you want to move to.
Also, make sure to put in a whole month for the Airbnb because it is often much cheaper than a shorter stay and don’t forget to ask for a discount using my super easy strategy.
If you are wanting to move or travel to a country like Mexico, it will most likely be a lot cheaper than moving to the UK so the country you choose will help you determine the amount you need saved.
Also, if you only have 1 child you might need less than someone who has 3 kids.
Your first month in a new country will typically cost more than following months due to you getting used to things like finding groceries, new activities, and housing that cost a little more in the beginning.
You might find yourself eating out more than you are used to in your home country, especially when eating out can be more affordable in a country with a lower cost of living than your own. Still… it does ADD up. Ask me how I know?😂
Let’s Talk Side Hustles
Maybe you already have an income but you want to increase it a bit. You could do a side hustle to bring in some more money.
Actually, since I still had a vehicle in the States for the first 6 months of our travels, every time I would return back to Austin, TX, I would work for Uber. I actually enjoyed those days!
You could get into affiliate marketing where you promote other peoples’ products and receive a percentage of their earnings.
There are endless ways to make additional income to fund your travel and living abroad lifestyle.
How Much Does It Really Cost To Travel and Live Abroad?
I am going to break down the expenses of a typical month of living in Merida, Mexico.
Eating out ( $200)
This is just an example of one of our beginning months in Merida. I had a much smaller budget then than I do now.
Even with the example above, you can reduce the Uber expense, eating out expense, and grocery expense if you want to.
Ubers cost around $1 to $4 here. You will have to add in any activities you want to do but they are seriously affordable. I can take my family of 4 to the fancy movie theaters here with recliner chairs on certain days of the week for $12 plus the cost of food.
I shared all of this with you in hopes of guiding you into looking at your finances differently.
You DO NOT need a lot of money to make this lifestyle possible. You just need to get creative with how you think about money, how you can reduce expenses, and how you can create more income.
You’ve got this!
Do You Want Help Making This Lifestyle Possible For You?
Maybe you have already read every article and watched every video under the sun on how to live the travel and living abroad lifestyle but you are still feeling lost. I get it.
That is why I created the Single Moms DO Travel Academy which is a 10 week course plus membership site where you will not only learn how to make this lifestyle possible but you will also put a plan in place.
Check out a video I did on this subject at the beginning of our travels.👇👇👇