I moved to Vietnam full-time over two years ago. And I’ve only visited the United States twice since then.
So, as a young man in his early 20’s, how do I afford staying in Asia long-term?
Easy, I keep a budget and stay fiscally responsible.
And, in this post, I’ll show you how to do the same.
Below, you’ll find my best tips to save money living abroad. These are all techniques I personally use, and they’ve allowed me to financially support myself for several years.
If you’re looking to permanently relocate to another country, this post is for you.
Best Ways To Save Money Living In Vietnam
There are lots of ways to cut down on lifestyle costs without suffering any negative backlash.
In fact, what I’m about to show you has personally saved me over $10,000 during the past 12-months. And it didn’t affect my quality of life at all!
These activities are all simple, and take mere seconds to implement. Yet they have an enormous benefit to your savings account and financial future. In fact, each of the five items is what makes the difference between surviving and living the good life.
You’ll see this in just a minute.
1. Cancel Any Expensive Subscriptions You Have Back Home
When you’re moving abroad, you don’t need any of the old services you used at home. Stuff like Netflix and Amazon Prime either don’t work in other countries, or aren’t worth continuing your enrollment in.
Case in point: as soon as I moved to Vietnam, I canceled the following services:
- Amazon Prime
- Kindle Unlimited
Canceling those four programs instantly saved me $510 per year. That’s a month of rent in Saigon.
2. Cook Your Own Meals (Or Buy Grocery Store Food)
(This Lunch Cost Less Than A Dollar)
Eating out is great. I love going to cafes and restaurants.
However, this gets very expensive very fast.
$5 for breakfast, $5 for lunch, and $5 for dinner tallies up to $450 a month. That’s $5,400 per year.
This may not sound like a lot of money, but its way more than you’d spend cooking your own meals. I’ll prove it to you.
Every day I eat the following:
- Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, toast, juice, fruit. Total cost, $1.50.
- Lunch – Large bowl of noodles with meat and veggies. Total cost $1.00.
- Dinner – Pork chops, rice, vegetables. Total cost $2.50.
That’s only $150 each month, or $1,800 a year.
A pretty huge savings, especially since I’m eating bigger portions than I would at a restaurant.
3. Quit Drinking
Personally, I’ve never been a big drinker.
If I have five beers a year, I’d be surprised.
However, that’s not the case with most people. In fact, many folks who move to Asia actually start drinking more than they ever did back home.
I’ve known several people who moved to Asia, became alcoholics, and went broke. This is so common in some places (Thailand) that locals even joke about it. Don’t make this mistake! Instead, consider finding something more productive to do.
Personally, I fill my time with reading, writing, and working out.
If you’re bored and looking for something fun to do, I’d suggest the same. As Cormac McCarthy said:
“There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.”
It’s a good quote to remember the next time you want to go drinking.
4. Make Your Own Coffee
Vietnam has the best coffee in the world. There are thousands of cafes here, each with their own signature brews.
I love it.
In fact, I like it so much I used to spend over $200 a month drinking coffee!
That’s pretty crazy, and I’ve since cut back. Now, I make my own at home. It costs $0.50 per week. Or, $2.00 each month.
If you’re a coffee junkie, I suggest doing the same. It’s a cheap way to enjoy your favorite beverage, and saves you thousands of dollars over the course of a year.
5. Get A Part-Time Job
(Passive Income Off My “Special Report” Business)
When you’re planning to move overseas, I suggest getting into this business.
However, there are plenty of other ways to make money as well.
One of my favorites is the “Special Reports” industry.
If you’ve never heard of it, allow me to explain.
Special reports are like eBooks, but much shorter. Usually only 10-15 pages in length. And they cover one very specific subject.
However, because of how specialized the subjects are, you can charge way more for them.
I’ve made a couple that sell for $7, $14.95, and $27.99. And each report only took about an hour or two to write. That’s a pretty good profit margin.
It puts an extra $170 or so into my bank account each week, all of which is passive income.
If you want to do the same thing, check out the Small Reports Fortune course by Jimmy D. Brown. It walks you through the entire product creation process, showing you how to quickly craft high-earning reports that your customers will gobble up.
Small Reports Fortune is a great way to supplement your income and support yourself while traveling. I highly encourage you to try it.
There are tons of great ways to save money while living abroad. Cooking your own meals, canceling needless subscription services (like Netflix), and not drinking are all excellent ways to stretch your budget.
Of course, these are all defensive tactics though. While they are effective, they’ll only protect your savings account, not grow it.
When you want to increase your income, you need to go on the offense.
This means starting a business (like freelance writing), or creating your own products to sell.
Doing this boosts your earnings and improves your finances. Giving you more money to use however you’d like.
P.S. Small Reports Fortune is the best product creation course I’ve ever taken. It’s a step-by-step guide to building your own information empire.