How I saved money working from 25+ coworking spaces over 1 year.
How I packed up my life, went on an adventure and actually ended up saving money whilst working from various cities.
My name is Robert Kropp. In 2016, I packed up my life in Tampa, Florida, and decided to travel the United States and Canada exploring and working remotely from coworking spaces as I went.
I found other people’s reactions to my trip so interesting. Was I on vacation? Was I traveling for work?
I found that the best way to describe my journey was to say, “I am a digital nomad working in a different city each week”. It wasn’t purely about traveling, work, pleasure, experience, or re-examining life, but sure, each of those was a part, and reward, of the journey.
I was just doing what everyone else was doing in their own city during the week. I was merely able to do it in a different city each week. Everything was new. Everything was an experience. Even going to the grocery store was an adventure. The one consistent thing though, was that I had a place to stay and a coworking space to work from. My community at work and at home was established.
Because I was living like everyone else in the city, I wasn’t a tourist. I didn’t pay for things as a tourist. I was able to live like a local and not get overcharged for everything. I actually saved more money while being on the road than I would have at home in Tampa.
No one quite understood how.
What I found is that, ultimately, my housing and food were the biggest variables.
I did not have to pay long-term rent, so my housing was quite affordable. It was either similar to what I paid in Tampa or very slightly more. Even in larger cities, I found ways to save. This usually meant staying with friends, members of the coworking space, or in a hostel/hotel/Airbnb/HotelTonight. Hostels contributed to over half of stays throughout the trip.
Thank you again to all of the wonderful people that allowed me to stay in their homes. Whether you were my friend before I stayed in your home or after, thank you!
The next largest challenge was food.
I tried to keep to a daily food budget of $10. For one person, this is definitely doable. The trick was eating healthfully and doing this without a kitchen. I went for low calorie and inexpensive foods so I didn’t need to spend as much time in the gym.
Because of my low food budget, I was able to spend more when I wanted to eat out. Instead of having a bunch of $10 meals (Chipotle gets me every time!), I was able to have a few $20 — $30 meals or nights out where I didn’t have to worry about how much I was spending.
In effect, keeping my budget low allowed me to be flexible and not worry about money or miss any great experiences.
Most people, coworkers included, are looking to save money. Whether it’s saving to buy something or just eliminating stress. I find that having more money in the bank definitely creates a calming sensation and helps provide a tremendous amount of flexibility.
Match this savings with earning more income and you get the best of both worlds: surplus. We can use this surplus to grow our business, experience the world, or just to save for a rainy day.
I was able to save money my entire trip by budgeting and the kindness of new friends. However, is there anything that coworking spaces can do to help their members save?
I recently discovered included.co and love how they help coworkers and coworking spaces save money and build stronger businesses by pooling demand and getting bulk rates. If you haven’t checked them out, take a peek at how included.co works!
To learn more about my experiences, follow out my journey as a digital nomad working from various coworking spaces at Cowork22.com.