In my short 3 years as a traveler, I have achieved a positive net worth after graduating with $120,000 in student loan debt, bought two rental properties, invested in stocks/crypto, started a side hustle business, and traveled the country. I am not saying this to brag but sharing travelers have a huge opportunity to get ahead financially if intentional with their money. I would not have ever been able to do the above if I was still working my staff job and living a safe comfortable lifestyle. As a traveler, I have made between 2-3x more in pay compared to my staff job. Travelers can make life changing money in a short time!
Why are Travelers the Right People to Invest?
On average most travelers are “younger”, single, and do not have kids. Most travelers have fewer financial responsibilities, and it is always easier to invest when we have fewer financial obligations. Also, the younger someone invests their money the more time the money has to grow and compound overtime. How we spend our money today affects us in the future much more than how we spend our money in the future.
For example, if a 25-year-old invests $170 monthly in a brokerage account until they are 65. It will be worth 1 million assuming a 10% return. If they start at age 35, they will have to invest $450 monthly to reach 1 million by age 65. If they start at age 45, they will have to invest $1350 monthly to have 1 million at age 65. The earlier someone starts to invest the more of a return they will have. I used the calculator here to plug in the numbers.
I am single traveler without kids. I know in the future this will change and my expenses will increase for a future family. I want to try to maximize my time as a traveler to invest wisely however I still want to have fun and enjoy my life. It is all about finding a balance. As much as I like saving money, I know the importance of living life. Some experiences are priceless with travelers!
What to Invest in?
There are many things to invest it. It could be stocks, cryptocurrencies, real estate, a business etc. I recommend to only invest in what you understand. When I bought my first rental property it took me nearly two years of research before feeling comfortable to make my first offer. There was a direct correlation of my knowledge and my levels of fear where the more knowledge I had the less fear I had. Regardless of what you invest in it will most likely be better than parking your money in the bank. The rate of inflation is very high, and money is losing value if sitting in the bank. Do your research and choose something to invest in that you understand and are semi passionate about!
I love to invest in real estate and some of the reasons are the Tax benefits, debt pay-down of mortgage by tenants on a fixed mortgage loan, appreciation (increase in home value over time), and cash flow.
This past January I purchased a cabin (see picture above) in the smokey mountains of TN which is the number one visited national park in the USA. The property is listed on Airbnb and VRBO. Check out the link and feel free heart it to boost the listing on Airbnb.
-Start an emergency fund as a backup. It depends on your level of risk, but 3- 6 months of living expenses is a good place to start.
-Keep expenses low: Do not live above your means. Say yes to less trips. It is tough to say no when travelers take so many trips!
-Increase income as much as possible. Take higher paying jobs. You can also work a per diem job. Start a side hustle to make more income. There is only so much we can save but increasing income can be unlimited if you can find a way to not trade time for money.
-Invest the difference between your income and expenses in what you understand.
If you follow the above tips, you will be in great shape! I truly believe successful investing should look extremely boring and the investors who play the long game on average come out on top.
Yonas Tekeste is a travel physical therapist and currently in between travel contracts. You can reach out to him on Instagram @yonasthept.Yonas has a platform called Rate My Therapy Company which is a Facebook group where OTs, PTs, SLPs, assistants, can rate and review facilities to improve transparency. It is a safe place to ask about jobs anonymously.