Live Abroad on A Dime!

June 1, 2015|By David Lester

Thrifty Travel Tips


Have you ever dreamed of living in another city?  Royal London? Beautiful Paris maybe?  Ancient Istanbul?  Or New York or L.A  that are closer to home?  Do it today!  I’ve lived in a bunch of cities across the globe to absorb their culture and heritage and you should too.  Most countries will let you stay for at least six months so you can have time to immerse yourself in your new city.  Here is how I do it on a dime!

1. Airbnb Your Place. You can either put in some more work and put it up on  You’ll have to co-ordinate someone to give and collect out keys, maid service after your guest works and there could be a higher chance of someone damaging something with all of those people going through there.  However, if you live in a cool space or close to the centre of your city, you could get a daily rate.  My place would go for $165 a night and if I only rent it out for two weeks a month that is still $2,310 a month to cover my mortgage etc. If I rent it out for more than two weeks that extra money covers my daily spending abroad.

2. Executive Rental. Another option is to look for an executive rental company.  They’ll take care of everything for you for a fee.  You won’t have to do any work yourself, but the money will be less.  Posting it on Craigslist or Kijiji is another option to get one renter for the entire time.

3. Work from abroad:  Ask your company if you can work from abroad for six months.  Its amazing how much work you’ll get done by not being in the office and having the water cooler gossip to suck up your time.  You’ll be able to plow through your work at a Argentinian cafe or London pub and then explore the city once you are done.  Waking up will no longer be a burden since you’ll be exploring a new city each morning. You’ll be out the door every morning happy to be stuck in their traffic while you take in the sights and sounds of a new location.

4. Sabbatical.  Many employers now know how important it is for their workers to get to have proper work balance.  If you’ve been at your company for a while and show your worth ask for a sabbatical.  Ask for sometime off to recharge and be even awesomer when you get back.  Ask to spread three years salary over four years and then take some time off while getting paid.  It’ll never hurt to ask.

5. Contract Projects. Set up some contract work before you leave.  Use social media or LinkedIn to see if anyone needs contract work.  You could save an employer lots of money to work part time on a one off project that they don’t have the man power to do.  Make sure you can do the work abroad. Think of an opportunity where your services would be helpful and then reach out to them.  It’ll be so good to work with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

6. Save for a Pet Project. You could also save the money for the months off that you are going to live in your new city.  If you can cover your housing costs at home and live cheaply abroad it won’t cost that much more than living at home.  Plus you’ll have time to work on that pet project you’ve always thought about but never allocated the time. Write that book, start that blog that you’ve always wanted or make a business plan for the bakery in Prince Edward County you want to start. I went to Barcelona to finish writing my last book From Middle Class to Millionaire and it was the time of my life!

7. Eat, Drink, Dance. Just eat and drink and dance your way through the city for a few months.    Do all of the things that you think you don’t have time to do but will be able to with a sabbatical from work.  Read, Yoga, learn to scuba dive or just spend each day wandering the streets of your city taking it all in. Your soul will love it.

8. Take Mortgage Break. If you have been pre-paying more money on your mortgage you might have a few months that you can take off.  Ask your banker if there is anyway that you can hold your mortgage for a few months.  They are generally good at giving you options.

9. Live cheap.  Don’t stay in the best neighborhoods in your new city.  Find a roommate or a tiny apartment, use public transit, and eat from their local shops and markets.  Just being in the new place will be more rewarding than having to have fine dining every night.  Live like a local, just outside of the centre core in the new and artsy but safe area and save on accommodation as well.

10. Use cash only.  When abroad use cash only to make sure that you get the best deals of things and stay within your budget.  It will be tempting to live like a tourist when you’re there but this will only land you in a pile of debt when you get home.  Make sure that you have a set budget and stick to it by using cash while you are there.  You’ll thank me later and it’ll be a great habit for you to keep when you come back to Credit Card land.

You can do it and you won’t regret it.  People say that experiences are what make people truly happy.  Break the rut of everyday life and live abroad for six months or so.  It’ll be an experience that keep on giving with pride and accomplishment.

David Lester
About David Lester

David Lester is a best selling author and professional Financial Coach, helping people be better with their money. David has written a personal finance book that breaks with traditional attitudes towards finance and describes his own philosophy to money that he has gained through his personal and professional experiences. His philosophy on money applies to many areas of everyday life, including banking, investing, goal setting, shopping and entertainment.