About finances

Most people I meet, usually ask me how do I make money, or how do I make a living, the answer will vary, depending on the person and the situation.
Depending on their ability to think outside the box, their ability to understand or interpreting new ideas, or depending if they seem to be ready or not to understand that things may not be the way they’ve been told they are.

And many times they ask me how do I manage to live without working, and the answer to that is simple: I don’t live without working, I just decided to work a bit less than the average joe.

By trying to live a simple and modest life and reducing expenses, it’s actually possible to considerably reduce the amount of money you need to earn, which in turn, reduces the amount of work you need to do.

As an example, my life in Korea goes something like this:

I usually work once a week, sometimes teaching, acting, other jobs.

One full day of work = 150 dollars a week = roughly 600 to 700 dollars a month.

What expenses do I have to cover with that: food and rent.

Rent for a modest single room at a sharehouse in Korea, in Japan, or in most European countries I’ve been to, comes at around 300 dollars a month, and you can eat modestly with around 10 dollars a day which equals roughly 300 a month.

So we have +600 income
-300 rent
-300 food
000 left

As simple as that, so the reason I got to work just one day a week is that I don’t get to save any money or buy silly things I don’t need.

Another example, about my life in China or in Thailand, salary for an English teacher in China or Thailand comes at around 5 dollars a day (I use USD because it’s the currency more people are familiar with).

Working one 8 hours day shift every week would bring in around 40 USD a week, or 160 a month.

Rent for a modest one-bedroom apartment would cost around 50 a month, leaving 110 for food, drink, visa runs, lady boy, crystal meth or whatever it is you guys are into this days.

So working just one day a week we have +160 income
– 50 rent
– 110 food, ladyboy, meth
000 left

In Europe or Australia, where salaries are higher is even more simple than that, one month of work, fruit picking, bartending or any kind of job would bring about 500 USD a week to save, which comes to 2000 a month while life expenses, using the above equation 300 for rent and 300 for food, makes 600.

so +2000 income
– 300 rent
– 300 food
1400 profit

That means if you’re willing to work 3 months a year, you can then enjoy 9 months holidays:

+6000 = 3 months rent
-5400 = 9 months expenses
600 profit

And if you really want to live without working, just take those 6000 you made in 3 months, and go to a 3rd world country, like Asia or South America and they will last you at least 3 times more so

6000 = 3 months work in a rich country
5400 = 2 years modest holidays in a poor country
600 profit which you will need for airfares or visa runs

Visa run: is a colloquial term, which the expats use to define the system of exiting and re-entering a country in order to get a new tourist visa. If you’re in the EU you’ll usually go to England for it, if you;re in USA you’ll go to mexico or canada, if you’re in Thailand you’ll go to cambodia, laos or malaysia, if you’re in malaysia you’ll go to thailand or singapore. If you’re in Korea you’ll go to fukuoka from busan, if you’re in japan you’ll go to busan from fukuoka 😉
If you’re in india you have to go to nepal, if you’re in OZ you may go to NZ or bali and so on.

I’m aware that many of you guys reading this may have university degrees, careers, rich uncle or infinite other sources of income. 

This s just an attempt of beginners guide for people who don’t really have any skills or relatives, or people who would like to work or experience life in different countries, without being tied up to contracts or corporate life.

for odd jobs in different countries, you can always resort to craigslist, gumtree, kijiji, or any similar websites, pickignjobs.com for picking jobs, helpex.net for places to work for food and lodging, or just about any other website you find.

And if you’re a bit more reckless you can add some medical trials, blood/plasma/egg/sperm donations, reselling tickets for sports events or concerts, gambling, begging, busking, street performing, online businesses, modeling, house sitting, dog walking, taking jobs as extra on movies or tv shows, reselling stuff on ebay that you found at garage sales, or if you have an apartment or place to store stuff you can buy bulk stuff from the provider and resell them or distribute them at retail price, freelance photography, writing editing, programming or graphic design if you’re good with computers. deliver newspapers, pamphlets, open a lemonade stand, whatever.

Actually,  the possibilities are endless, if you manage to think outside the box.

I always remember how in Berlin, we used to go with Julian with our big backpacks after a concert or event, where people had been drinking in the streets, we would collect all the empty bottles and take them back to the shop for a refund. 

And if you want to get anything for free is quite simple, let’s say I’m now in Budapest and want to take yoga lessons, just google: free yoga lessons Budapest” and you’ll get a bunch of results, there are free things everywhere, you just have to look for them. try meetup.com try couchsurfing.org, and you’re all covered.

Of course that ideally I would like to be able to work for a cause, instead of working for money, that way I can feel good about myself, but when you take money out of the equation you can devote yourself to work for a cause in your free time, when you don’t need money. 

So you can work one day a week for money and the rest work because you like. Because it makes you feel happy or good about yourself, or dedicate the time to learn or do something you want. volunteer to help others or just spend time with people you like.

You’re not really gonna live a luxurious life like this, and your parents are probably not gonna be so happy about it, but hey, you’ve kind of managed to retire in your 20’s, what else do you want?

0 thoughts on “About finances

  1. Hey Bruno!

    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and ideas. I lost sight of you for a while, but at last today I ready your adventures from today (april 2013) till here.

    I'm looking forward to reading both your older and newer explorations&thoughts as well : )

    See you soon, maybe,
    Take care!

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