May Nomad Income Report 2016: Writer Takes All

May Nomad Income Statement

Our May nomad income report received a boost from a new source this month. Sarah competed against 2,099 other authors in this years’ NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge – and WON! This is a huge accomplishment for Sarah and the beginning of a very exciting career. Sarah has always planned to be an author and works hard to create a style and voice uniquely her own. I’m both excited for her and proud to call her my wife. She is crazy talented!

As you may have read in our April Nomad Income Report, our online eco-store for travelers Nomadica is now live, but we’re working on driving selection before running any marketing campaigns. Initial feedback from users is that the site looks beautiful, but selection is limited and we may have priced ourselves out of the nomad market. This feedback was spot on, and validated that we’re working on the right things at this stage of development. We love having brands like Eileen Fisher and Patagonia, but there are so many companies out there doing good and offering products at more reasonable prices.

For this reason, we spent the majority of May connecting with new brands to establish drop-shipping and wholesale agreements. We onboarded five brands and over 50 products in the weeks following launch. And we are NOT slowing down. We will begin marketing the site in late-June and hopefully have some return on investment by our July income report.

Last, May was the first month of realized losses from my trading activity. Gold fell over 6% in May–if you’ve been following my trading, you know I’m a bit of a gold bug.

May Nomad Income: Trading

We had $494 in losses from trading in May. When it comes to gold, I’m usually trading a mix of physical, leveraged gold miner ETFs, or gold mining equities. Leveraged ETFs and equities will amplify gold’s movements in either direction, so when you lose you lose big. Fortunately, even though gold fell 6% total, our losses were just over 1% due to the day trades I’d been making throughout the month.

May Nomad Income: Miscellaneous Income

Blogging:  $4.00 – Woot woot, that’s a 100% increase month on month. We are raking it in. 🙂

BigStock: $1.00 – We earned another half a latte on the stock photography this month. We still haven’t hired that VA to list our full catalog. Someday.

NYC Midnight: $2500 – First prize in the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition. Go Sarah!!

Gold Fever Press: $100 – The prize money from the short story competition is great, but I think Sarah will agree that developing a network of friends and fellow writers who participated in the competition was the best part. One of these fellow authors also runs the literary magazine Gold Fever Press, and bought Sarah’s winning story.

Total May Income: $2,605  – $494 = $2,111

May Nomad Income Report 2016: Expenditures

Accommodations: $678 (We spent the entire month in Budapest. To get an idea of what this got us – it’s a top-floor, 2 bedroom apartment with views of one of Buda’s nicest districts; not in the more popular Pest districts)
Airfare: $0 (We stayed put this month.)
Cigarettes: $88 (Yup, I ran out of tabs and started smoking again. Lucky for us, Amazon ships to Budapest so I’ve stocked up on nicotine tabs and am slowly weaning myself off the cancer sticks again.)
Child Care: $100 (We posted an ad on the Budapest Digital Nomad group and were thrilled to have a fellow remote worker reach out. She came Tuesdays and Thursday from 9-1pm, which gave us some time to work together..and our sanity. The best part was that Spencer looooved her. Thank you Nikolett!!)
Clothing: $8 (We’re still rocking the merino wool tees and last month’s thrift store finds, but came across an incredible sale at another thrift store. Jeans and three tops for $8!)
Entertainment: $145.00 (Budapest has some amazing play places for kids, and we take Spencer to one at least twice a week. We also had a couple massages, trips to the gelato stand, and my birthday cake.)
Groceries: $371 (Our diet changed flipped from curries and smoothies to german sausages and cheeses. While this diet is nowhere near as healthy as the food we ate in Thailand, groceries here are significantly less expensive and equally tasty.)
Gifts: $80 (Flowers for our wonderful mothers.)
Health & Beauty: $40 (I can never seem to hold on to a pair of hair clippers. I fried the set from Thailand using the wrong adapter, so…)
Restaurants: $293 ($199 less than in April. Sarah and I work at a nearby Starbucks and grab a gyro for lunch every few days. Restaurant prices are about the same as in the US, so we have cut down on eating out to hit our budget)
Transportation: $31 (We’re missing our motorbike, but the public transit in Budapest is extremely efficient. We can get to anywhere in, or outside of, the city in less than 20min from our door.)
Utilities: $0 (Utilities are inclusive of rent and we’ve managed without SIMs though this wasn’t preferred, just had issues with activations and didn’t get around to fixing them.)

Total Expenses: $1,834

Net Savings: $277

Sarah brought the May Nomad Income back into black this month with her contest win, and we’re picking up momentum both in trading and the business. When we factor in business expenses, which consist of wholesale ordering and a few minor maintenance fees, the May Nomad Income falls back into the red. Sigh. However, we can assume that the inventory we purchased will return at least some profit in the months to come.

If any of you are location independent and publish monthly income reports please be sure to comment below and links to yours, to help fellow nomads understand and prepare for the costs ahead. Until next time, thanks for reading.

If this was your first layover with us, you may want to check out our other Income Reports.


  • hhuntington2 says:

    Wow, Congrats on the writing win. That’s a very big deal and I’m sure you are all proud. We head out on our own long term travel in a couple of months and I was wondering if you avoid museums and other attractions like that or if they are free? I haven’t seen them in your entertainment expenses.
    Also, thank you so much for sharing this budgeting information. It is invaluable, inspirational, and reassuring.

    • David K says:

      Hey! Thanks for dropping in to say hi and for the kind words. 🙂 I’d say that we avoid taking up expensive habits, but never limit activities or unique experiences because of cost. We hit a lot of museums back when it was just Sarah and I, but with Spencer being 2yrs old, the museums tend to be more trouble than their worth. In a couple years? Absolutely! I can’t think of a better way for him to learn about history than seeing the Water Lilies of Monet or visiting Anne Franks’ house. There have been are a lot of free activities in the locations we’ve visited – temples in Nara, Japan or waterfalls in Thailand or street art of Penang.

      I’m glad the income statements help to calm your nerves a bit before the leap. I remember the feeling, but after a few weeks the nerves are gone and you’ll be almost gitty with your new found freedom. Trust us! 🙂 Best of luck and please stay in touch.

      The Location Independent Families and Digital Nomad Families groups on Facebook are incredible and very welcoming, even if you’ve yet to hit the road. Check them out!

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