Santorini2011

To be able to travel all around the world while making an income is a dream for many. Most lifestyle bloggers end up in logically lower-cost places such as Thailand, Mexico, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. All are wonderful places to live, and you only need to make $1,000 a month!

Nothing beats the nasi goring, roti canai, kankung belachan, and satays of Indonesia and Malaysia.  Thailand, Philippines, Mexico have the most beautiful white beaches. No wonder why these countries are so popular. Perhaps we should all buy some property there since they’re growing at much more rapid rates than the US and Europe!

$1,000 a month is a pretty penny to make online or through side hobbies no doubt.  It might take years to breach that level without the proper strategy and guidance.  However, what if you’ve already achieved $1,000 a month in passive + online income? Furthermore, what if we have dependents to care for or have further aspirations of living a slightly more luxurious lifestyle than a room in a shared house in a very hot country?

It would nice to be mobile like a pro-golfer and start the year off in Hawaii and move East as the weather gets better no? I’ve thought of these questions over the years and have come up with a current fantasy lifestyle: Cruising!

THE JOY OF CRUISING

For about $4,000 a month per person, you can enjoy living on one of the most luxurious cruise’s in the world. On the cruise, you will have multiple pools, hot tubs, spas, theaters, restaurants, libraries, sports facilities, and casinos.

You’ll never have to pack or unpack your bags because you can wake up in Barcelona one day, and Malta the next! Say goodbye to pumping your own gas, car insurance, home insurance, mortgage loans, maintaining your property, cleaning your room, or figuring out where to go. You could turn into one big tub of lard and love every moment of it because you never have to do anything at all! Of course you won’t, but I’m just saying.

For $8,000 a month, a couple could live like a King and Queen. And for $10,000 a month, you could get a suite and also have a kid too. I’m talking about the top of the line here to give us stretch goals. A family of three can certainly enjoy cruising for $6,000 a month as well, but things would be tight.

$10,000 BOGEY + $2,160 IN EXTRAS!

As a community of bloggers and online entrepreneurs, the Internet is our lifeline. We take for granted the unlimited amount of data and access we have at home for $50 a month. Hop on a cruise, and it is a totally different story!

The cruise I was just on had a 100-minute package for $50 ($0.50/minute) and a 250-minute package for $100 ($0.40/minute). I went with the $100 package because I was certain that I’d spend way more than 4 hours and 10 minutes on a 12-day cruise! In fact, I ended up spending 12 hours, or $300, which is right on budget with what I had planned of 1 hour a day.

When we’re talking about $4,000 a person or $10,000 for a family, $300 doesn’t seem like much. But, $300 is my minimum amount since 3 hours is what I would spend on average a day if I was blogging on the ship full-time. Hence, at 90 hours of work a month, that comes out to $2,160 a month in low speed satellite internet access!

FIGURING OUT A BETTER WAY

$2,160 a month in Internet access is clearly ridiculous. If I was a full-time blogger, 90 hours of work a month is probably the average, if not the lower end of the spectrum for the amount of hours worked. Hence, what I ended up doing was the following:

• Wrote all completed posts in word document. The title, category, SEO, and relevant links were all prepared so I could simply upload to WordPress and schedule. This saves 1-2 hours of work online, or $24-48 at $0.40 a minute.

• Opened a Safari, Firefox, and Chrome browser all at once with multiple tabs on each browser, which has all my relevant pages. This way, when I log on, I can just refresh my dashboard, mail, favorite site, reader, and so forth, rather than having to re-log in all the time. Does this pose a security risk? Definitely, if someone steals my laptop, which is why I have multiple levels of password encryptions before anybody can get in.

• Took advantage of Internet happy hour! Yes, believe it or not, the cruise will have internet happy time at least once or twice a week where costs will be half i.e. $0.20/minute

• Took advantage of any and all cafes at port. I spent about 1 hour on average in each city I landed doing work on-line after buying a $3 cup of tea of course.  I realized free wifi is everywhere nowadays, and started taking serious advantage during my second week of vacation.

Doing these four things lowered my blended cost down from $0.40 cents a minute to around $0.30 cents a minute or $1,620 a month. $1,620 is still ridiculous for Internet access, but I’m on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean for goodness sakes. This couldn’t have been done just 10 years ago!

THE BIGGER GOAL: JUST EARN MORE

Besides the Internet, there’s not much more money you have to spend on except for the occasional glass of Cabernet to go along with your free beef wellington.  If you want to go on shore excursions, it will cost about $100/person for 4 hours.  I’ve just chosen to focus on Internet expenses since it is so outrageously more expensive than the $50 or whatever a month we’re paying on land.

Making more money cures a lot of things. There’s so many ways one can make money online, it’s not even funny. My absolute favorite way is to make someone else more money so I can make some money. If someone said they’d make you $1 million dollars if you just had to run a mile, you most likely would and conceivably pay that person $500,000 for the opportunity. Heck, I’d probably pay the person $990,000, or 99% if all I had to do was run 1 mile for $10,000. It just makes me happy to bring deals to Yakezie Members, despite the amount of hard work and time that is involved.

We all know about all the different online and passive income streams already, so I won’t get into detail here. What I do know is that the longer one keeps at their online endeavors, the more opportunities they get. It’s an absolute virtuous cycle that at some point becomes too much you have to start turning potential clients down. You get to raise prices and be pickier with advertisers. In other words, you get to start choosing your own destiny and dictating your own terms. Isn’t that what lifestyle blogging is all about?

DREAM WITH PURPOSE

My dream three years ago was to make enough money from my truly passive income (CD, savings, and bond interest income), semi-passive income (rental property income), non-guaranteed income (stocks and bonds), and online endeavors to have pure financial freedom to do whatever I wanted. It wasn’t enough to just have a goal to “make enough money”, there needed to be an actual amount.

After a couple two-week long cruises, I’ve come to realize that amount is $12,000 a month, or $150,000 a year after taxes. Before taxes, the gross figure is closer to $185,000 a year. Holy moly that’s a lot! But, as I remind myself all the time, anything worth doing is worth doing!

As we come to a close, let’s circle back to the $1,000/month, live in South East Asia lifestyle blogger trend that currently populates the web. You can see how small the amount is after talking about $12,000 a month. There’s no way after you start dreaming big about $12,000 a month will you ever fail making just 10% of that if you try!  Because at $1,000 a month, you can’t even afford internet access!

Here’s to dreaming big and executing our goals with purpose!

Readers, what would be an example of your ideal lifestyle blogging scenario? How much money after taxes do you think you need to make in order to live that dream? Share your story!

Photo 1: Blue Dome, Santorini 2011.  Sam
Photo 2: Sailing Away From Venice, 2011. Sam.
Photo 3: Reading the NY Times and Writing Off Room’s Balcony, 2011. Sam

Regards,

Sam