I Am Homeless

I choose to be homeless. I am what is often referred today as a digital nomad. I travel full time although I do have a few “home bases” with family and friends where I’ll stay for a week or two in between my travels to new places.

Most people who meet me for the first time are surprised to find out I don’t have a home. Just like not having a cell phone and not having a car, this has been a conscience decision I made taking into account what is best for my personal situation. While I could certainly afford to purchase a home if I wanted one, the truth is that for my current lifestyle, goals and finances, owning a home makes little sense.

The choice really wasn’t a difficult one to make. I work on the Internet so as long as I have an Internet connection, I am able to work where ever I may be. There is no need for me to be in one city where I need to go into an office to work each day. Given the choice, I would much rather be in a new place where I can explore rather than in the same room day after day. The only question was whether I could travel full time for about the same amount of money that I could own a home so that I could make sure that I spent less than I earned.

Most people assume that traveling full time would be much more expensive than owning a house. If I simply looked at the cost of the mortgage payment compared to the cost of traveling full time, then the statement would be correct. However, I know that this comparison is incorrect because I have owned a house in the past, and I know that the cost of a house is much more than just the mortgage payment.

When I add in the cost of furnishing the house (no need for furniture, TVs, beds, refrigerators, dishwashers, etc), utilities (water, gas, electric, garbage, cable), homeowner’s insurance, home maintenance, property taxes and landscaping & yard work to a mortgage payment, it becomes quite easy to spend less traveling than owning a home. This is especially true when I choose to stay are relatively inexpensive hotels. In addition, I do quite a bit of house sitting which allows me to stay in different areas for free. While traveling does entail its own set of expenses, these still end up costing far less than if I actually owned a home.

I’m not trying to imply that going homeless is right for everyone. I know that for many people, it most definitely is not. It does show that when looking at your own situation, what is promoted by financial experts as a good financial move may not always be your best choice.

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18 Responses to I Am Homeless

  1. Tom says:

    What do you do about things like a drivers license and income taxes? If you are an American with an income, don’t you need to choose a state of residence?

  2. Jeffrey says:

    I do have a state of residence, but it is more a formality so that I could get a driver’s license. Of course, I have to pay federal taxes — I don’t think there is a requirement that you be a resident of a particular state — they would want your money no matter where you lived and would collect even if you lived outside the US. Since I am always traveling, I really don’t stay in any state for a period of time that could be called “residing” there in the sense that most people mean.

  3. krantcents says:

    Although your homeless style would not be right for me, it seems to make sense for you. Some of my friends have talked about cruising continuously as a retirement choice. Personally, I could not do it.

  4. Jeffrey says:

    It really is a personal choice and I think a lot of people like the idea of traveling full time a lot more than they would like the reality. I enjoy being alone, but if you are a person that doesn’t, being on the road as much as I am would not be much fun. Then again, you could arrange to do a lot of your traveling to coincide with meeting friends (I do this in the summers). Again, it comes down to knowing yourself and what you like to do and then taking the steps to make what you like cecome a reality.

  5. aeko says:

    sounds good to me, especially after spending 45 minutes this morning shoveling snow from my driveway.

  6. Alex says:

    How do you make money if you’re always traveling from place to place? I can’t imagine blogging pays too well

  7. Jeffrey says:


    Amazingly, I do earn enough blogging and creating websites to do this. While I don’t make a ton of money, I make enough to do the things I enjoy doing like traveling — it also helps that I don’t feel the need to spend very much on other aspects of my life.

  8. max says:

    I’m wondering what you would do if you had a major illness or accident? Also, I’m not sure how old you are, but how long do you plan on living like this?

  9. Jeffrey says:


    Obviously, I wouldn’t continue to travel if I had an illness or injury that prevented me from doing so. If a situation like that occurs, I would look at my options and would likely rent a place near the medical care i needed. As for how long I will do this, for the forseeable future — I guess until it isn’t enjoyable anymore. Again, this isn’t a lifestyle for everyone, but it suits me well.

  10. Gail says:

    That is the joy of financial freedom, choices!

  11. Rob says:


    I think you made a smart choice in your stage of life. It is not for everyone, but could you share a little more about the events that led to making your decision and how your family reacted?


  12. Jeffrey says:


    More than happy to share anything you would like to know. The decision wasn’t that difficult at all. I returned from Japan and had to decide where I was going to live. As I was looking at places, I kept asking myself, “is this really where I want to spend everyday?” and it soon became apparent that since i could work from anyplace that had an Internet connection, there was no reason for me to buy or rent a house. I crunched some numbers and realised that I could travel full time for less than it would cost for me to own a house and that finalized the deal. I’m not sure if that answered what you wanted to know, but feel free to ask specific questions if it doesn’t.

    No issues with family — I’m single and mom, dad and sister get to see more than they ever would if I owned a house.

  13. Rob says:


    Thanks for the prompt reply. Would you be willing to share some figures? For instance what is your most expensive month? and your cheapest?
    I am guessing the cheaper months your visiting family and eating home cooked meals, while the more expensive ones are @ efficiency hotels w/ kitchens or eating out a lot.

  14. Jeffrey says:

    heh — I can’t share exact figures because I don’t budget these days (even on the high spending months, I am well below what I make). An expensive month would be $3000 including all of my expenses such as insurance, food, lodging, gas, clothing, entrance fees, etc. A lean month would be $2000. The only thing that wouldn’t be included in this would be my charity donations.

    I spend very little on food these days. Even when traveling, I can use coupons to get most of my food for pennies on the dollar and then I eat a lot of in season fruit and veggies. When I stay with family, I usually do shopping for them (while picking up food for the food banks) which again keeps my food costs down to a minimum. I do quite a bit of house sitting as well (what I am currently doing at this moment) which allows me to be in a new place and explore without the hotel and rental car costs.

  15. Tim says:

    Maybe I’v been hanging around this site too long, but I am fascinated about what your budget is like. I understand you dont keep track, but I have been doing mental math for a half hour instead of working. I should probably get back to work.

  16. jeffrey says:


    hmmm, maybe I will keep track for a couple of months just so I can write a post and put it up here.

  17. Brent says:

    I too am homeless but I work as a traveling contractor in the healthcare industry where the client pays for my food, housing and transportation and have been doing this 2008. Thought I’d share a different angle of he happy homeless that loves to travel.

  18. Don says:

    I am retiring and have been having crazy thoughts like spending 6 months walking the Appalachian trail or being a full time RV’er. How do you get a bank account or a cell phone or a driver’s license without a legal residence.

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