How do you manage your money as a nomad?

Hi, let me start by saying i’m an idiot when it comes to these things. I know all the infos are out there and I’ve been reading posts here as well as googling lots of blogs to find answers but there are just so many details and personal aspects that it leaves me dizzy! I’m hoping for a kind soul to share his/her wisdom with me in simple words. Bear with me while I try to wrap my head around this:

I NEED: 1. to be able to get payed by international customers in Dollars and Euros mostly 2. A way to get to that money with a debit/credit card for online payments and ATM’s in whatever local currency needed (thinking of heading to Bali next)

I AM: newly nomadic designer working with platforms like 99designs and upwork as well as some direct clients. I have swiss citizenship, but am no longer resident there, or anywhere else.

I HAVE: 1. A swiss bank account (UBS) with CHF and no credit card (for savings not to be touched). 2. A spanish bank account (Deutsche Bank) with EUR with a debit and credit card for backup money. 3. A Paypal Account.

The plan is to earn the money I need to live monthly and put it into a spending account and only touch the others (CHF/EUR) if I didn’t make enough money.

So far I’ve come across these options:

  1. Paypal
    I already have a paypal account and It does some of what I want. Except I’d have to transfer my online money to my Euro Account to spend it with my spanish credit card. Which sounds like a lot of fees. Blog posts about nomad finances all seem to say paypal is an expensive option.

  2. Open Local Bank Accounts / Use Butcoins
    I would like the simplest solution possible. Opening new accounts for every country sounds like too much paperwork (which I hate with the intensity of 100 hell fires). Bitcoins? I’m already confused with all the real currency’s involved please don’t bring in digital ones…

  3. Payoneer
    Biggest plus: It is integrated in the platforms I work with (99d & Upwork) so I can pay out my earnings really simple and supposedly cheap. They also give me a Mastercard to spend that money and multi-currency “bank accounts”. But I’ve read really mixed reviews about it so I don’t know what to think of it in the end.

  4. Revolut:
    Seems to be just what I need. You get a Mastercard and . It seems like they have really low fees, good exchange rates and no ATM extra-charges? I read some good reviews (except customer service which seems to be terrible with both Payoneer and Revolut). Customers can pay me directly with the multi-currency bank accounts but I would have to find the best way to bring my earnings from 99d and Upwork into here (I read about a guy that uses payoneer to send money to his Revolut? Is anyone using a similar setup?)

  5. Travel Credit Cards
    I’ve read about those who are suposed to have low fees and no ATM-charges, have not done any research yet.

So this is what my research brought up. Is there something I missed? Seems like getting to your money is harder than actually making it xD
Does anybody with a similar situation have personal experiences and clear suggestions on this topic?
I can’t seem to make up my mind between payoneer and revolut. I also read about Transferwise bringing in their own credit card but could not find any infos from them? I would really appreciate your inputs because as mentioned I find this all quite overwhelming and would love an easy solution that involves the least amount of paperwork/effort (even is I loose a few cents here and there if not possible otherwise)

Thank you all!!

I use Payoneer for some stuff, but it’s a bit expensive if you don’t use it to pay or withdraw in the same currency (You can get accounts in EUR, USD, JPY, and GBP). You always have to pay conversion rates for purchases, and on top of that ATM fees for withdrawals, and the exchange rate is usually not very good… But I use it to get money for some clients because I pay just a 1% fee per transaction if they pay me via ACH or SEPA.

My main source of income is fiction writing. I get my payments from Amazon sent to Payoneer and my payments from other retailers via a distributor sent to Paypal.

I use my Paypal account mainly for business expenses, and it’s easy for that because everything is in one place.

For me, Payoneer works because I get paid in $US so it’ s only one exchange ie. from $US to the currency of the country I’m in. Otherwise it’d be $US to the currency of the country my account is in to currency of the country I’m actually in.

It might not be the best option but I find it the easiest. As for customer support, the help on their site is crap but I’ve always had no issue when talking to a real person.

I also have an Australian bank account where I hold my savings, because you get no interest paid on money in Paypal or a Payoneer account.

One thing about Payoneer, you can only use it as a business account. You can use the card like any other MasterCard but you can’t top your funds or do any kind of non-business withdrawal. A while back, my Payoneer funds had gotten low and, because I hadn’t used my Australian bank account forever, I had blanked out on the PIN. I wanted to move from that account into Payoneer but it seemed next to impossible to do. It’s probably not something you have to worry about too often but worth knowing.

I’d say if you’re getting paid in $US, Payoneer is the easiest solution.