It was a crazy month, both for travel and our June nomad income statement. Sarah and Spencer flew back to the States for three weeks to see family and friends with stops in New York, Washington state, and New Jersey. During their US tour, I left Budapest for a short vacation in Copenhagen, and caught up with an ex-colleague visiting from Cape Town.
While the vacation was nice, the three-week separation from Sarah and Spencer was pretty excruciating. I read about digital nomads who fight extreme loneliness and boredom, and after about three days by myself I got a taste of it. I spent a lot of time just sitting in a Starbucks trading stocks, which paid off financially but made for a pretty mundane existence. Sure, I took a few walks to see the sites, but it’s just not the same when I don’t have anyone to share it with. Now that my family is back, I can say with complete confidence that family travel is 10x better than solo travel. Single nomads have eye-opening and life-changing experiences, but it’s easier for me to stay nomadic with my favorite two people by my side.
Then there was Brexit. The Brexit vote made for some interesting trading, to say the least. The best way to explain it is to think of the markets before Brexit as the world’s largest casino, in which every player was putting their chips down for the bet of the century. The climax and call for final bets was in the last 30 minutes of Thursday’s trading session. There would be no moving your money until the vote had been revealed the following morning. Stocks were up, precious metals were up (bar Gold), bonds had double digit increases. It was complete insanity.
As a trader, you don’t often experience days like this. There’s usually a healthy give and take between equities, commodities, currencies and bonds. The news the next day showed massive losses – more than $2 Trillion wiped out in paper money – this should have been expected. There had to be a loser, with everything flashing green the day before. That loser turned out to be the stocks and ultimately after the fallout settled, the British pound. The winner was gold.
We were completely out of the market for the vote and did not trade until the following week. I have a fairly high risk tolerance, but I’m not much of a gambler.
June Nomad Income: Trading
We made $6,211 in realized gains for June Nomad Income, making it our best month ever for trading. Similar to previous months, I’ve been trading leveraged gold mining ETFs (NUGT & DUST) and Shopify.
What’s interesting about June’s trading plan was that gold increased over 9%, yet we made more money shorting the gold ETFs than we did buying long. (Shorting is predicting that the price will go down.) This is because I was day trading, sometimes selling short and buying long in the same day. I’m not keen on holding leveraged ETFs overnight because on the following morning they can open 20% up or down. For stocks, I’ve stuck to swing trading, which is buying and selling week to week.
June Nomad Income: Miscellaneous Income
Blogging: $16.00 – Small, but a pretty nice increase from previous months. Thank you to those who shopped on Amazon via our affiliate links. You are starting to help us pay for a day’s worth of food! Clicking through any link on this page before you shop on Amazon will give us a small commission 🙂
BigStock: $2.00 – We earned another latte via selling stock photography this month.
Writing: $50.00 – Sarah was paid to have her winning NYC Midnight story published on the contest website. The publisher hired a talented artist named Yevgenia Nayberg to produce an original illustration for her story. Check it out here!
Total June Nomad Income: $6,304
June Nomad Expenditures
Accommodations: $867 (An increase from last month due to four night stay at a Copenhagen hostel. Our Budapest accommodation was about the same as last month, though I had to book another apartment on my return from Copenhagen since the current place was all booked up.)
Airfare: $1,874 (Sarah and Spencer flew from Budapest to New York, then flew to Spokane for two weeks, then back to New Jersey for a couple of days before returning to Budapest. Busy month for them. I booked a short vacation in Copenhagen. This is just airfare, but still considering the amount of travel (~300 per leg), I’d say we did pretty darn good.)
Cigarettes/Nicotine Tabs: $506 (I’m still smoking, but not that much. 🙂 $417 of this was for nicotine lozenges that will last us about 6 months.)
Child Care: $58 (We had a local nomad help us with Spencer, same as last month, for the weeks leading up to the trip back to the States. In the States, Sarah had lots of help from her friends and family. Thanks guys!!)
Charity: $25 (Donated to the ACLU)
Clothing: $211 (Sarah picked up a few summer dresses back in the States. While they are perfect for travel, they don’t always hold up long. Maybe something we need to look into for Nomadica, along with nursing dresses, good call April!)
College Debt Repayment: $100 (Sarah has one small college loan left to repay in installments.)
Entertainment: $112 (We checked out the Budapest Thermal Spas, had our fill on gelato during park visits, ordered a few books and took Spencer to the local play place about twice a week.)
Gifts: $66 (The family held an early birthday for Spencer back in the States. We bought a few gifts and small things to make it a special day.)
Groceries: $157 (About half of last months spend! Granted, some of the vacation money below could fall into this category and Sarah’s parents covered their food costs during their visit.)
Health & Beauty: $255 (Sarah’s biannual hair salon trip, and massages in Budapest. Why we waited untill Budapest to get weekly massages is beyond us.)
Restaurants: $284 (We’ve done well bringing this down since arriving in Europe. This is $200 less than what we spent in April. Note: this includes coffees at Starbucks, where we work 5 days a week.)
Transportation: $157 (This can really add up in Budapest, since you use the tram or metro to get anywhere. This isn’t a complaint though, rather one of the things we love about the city. This amount also includes some ground transportation for Sarah in the USA.)
Supplies: $164 (This is kind of a catch-all category for random things we need for travel. This month it was a booster seat for Spencer to use while visiting Sarah’s friends on the east coast, a few sticker books, markers and toys for the trip, headphones for Spencer and a few other random accessories.)
Utilities: $0 (covered in our rent)
Vacation: $212 (I never got around to setting up my Travel Wallet app for Copenhagen, but I used cash everywhere I went and only pulled cash once. This covered meals and hostel stay.
Total Expenses: $5,048 (Whoa!)
Net Savings: $1,256
Not only was this a busy month, it was an expensive month. Even if we excluded flights and vacation expenses, we spent over $2,700. We’re happy to have a successful month trading for our June Nomad Income, but this month was a bit of a shock once we totaled everything up. We’re now in Zagreb, Croatia where we intend to spend at least a month. Prices seem to be about the same and we don’t have any big vacations lined up, so hopefully we’ll be back to a low budget.
June Nomad Income: Business Update
Nomadica continues to be a work in progress, but we’re still building. We took the feedback we received and focused on increasing our selection of lower cost apparel while holding true to our values of high quality, fair and sustainable gear that’s great for travel. We now have a great selection of toddler essentials from Colored Organics, a few women’s pieces from Indigenous and Passion Lilie, and travel essentials from Florious and Alchemy Goods.
Our first product, a travel nursing and infant car seat cover, became available on Amazon and has been slowly getting exposure. (Note: this product came about before the Nomadica ethos was conceived and is not available in our store.) Our first Nomadica Fair Trade product, a series of super-soft alpaca scarves, arrived at our warehouses this week and should be available in the coming weeks.
This journey has been both exciting and stressful. We have put in a ton of hours and have learned a lot along the way, but I feel like it’s the first step on a long road to success, both financially and for the social impact we ultimately hope to achieve.
If the June Nomad Income report was your first layover with us, you may want to check out our other Income Reports.