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Location Independence

A Big Change

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You might have noticed I’ve been a little quiet.

My work has been quiet too.
And that’s because a week ago my life changed.
5 weeks into our travels and our new life, Ben and I broke up. I wont go into the details of what happened, as it’s not fair but I will say that it was painful.

Every inch of my body didn’t want it to be the end, but it is. At least for now. Maybe for ever.
All of our plans had to be undone. In a week he’ll be flying to Paris, probably, alone. My ticket will go unused.

We were in Thailand at the time and I booked flights straight to Ubud, in Bali. It’s my place to rest, recover and sort myself out basically. I left on a ferry that morning. Sobbing. Wanting to stay. Wanting him, of all people, to comfort me.

When you planned to spend the rest of your life with someone, breaking up… it is hard. It changes everything.

So I’ve spent the past week digging deep. I’ve gone to yoga, moulded by body into uncomfortable positions and just sat there.

I’ve filled my body with organic food.

I’ve volunteered cuddling kittens.

I’ve made new friends.

I’ve missed him and resisted every temptation to call, to write an email, to check his photos.

It sucks. I feel like I lost my boyfriend AND my best friend and MY life plans. It’s a lot to lose in a day.

So I had to do some deep soul searching. And I’ve been focusing on this question :

What do I want from life? What would be my perfect day?

Now, I have freedom to be anywhere and do anything. But when you have no one to do it with, no where you have to go, and nothing planned… it can be overwhelming. It is a blessing and a curse. I have too many options – what a first world problem that is!

And my perfect day is always the same, no matter how many times I ask myself:

I am volunteering. I am giving my time for free. I am meeting other people who love volunteering. But the main trend is, I am making a tangible difference in someone else’s life every day. I’m enriching their lives, and through that, I’m enriching my own.

I can’t travel how I want and run my business as I am. It’s too much work. It’s too much stress when the WIFI is crap. I almost threw my laptop several times during the past month of travel because I was so stressed.

So what am I going to do?

I’m going to try to outsource myself out of a job. I am going to try to delegate my tasks to other people, so I am no longer a part of my business.

I want to be a business owner, instead of an employee of my own business.

My goal is to spend no more than 1 hour a day working.

I’m planning to go to South America in 5-6 weeks. I’m not sure when. I’ve always wanted to go and now seems like the perfect time.

I want to use the next 5-6 weeks to figure out how to completely outsource my work.

I want to be unemployed.

I want to be free.

I’ll start in Buenos Aires and see where this adventure takes me.

First Month in Asia Wrap Up + Photos

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I’ve been in Asia for well over a month now, so I’m getting a good handle on how this location independence is working for me.

There are definitely some highs and some lows…

A few weeks ago I posted about the perks of being a travel blogger – and there are really a lot.


The other day Four Seasons invited me to a cocktail evening, where my partner and I got to sample some of their bar’s menu and a number of cocktails for free. A large number, including a Wasabi Martini which I was apprehensive about, but fell in love with.

Today we arrived to check in at Four Seasons, each had an hour long massage and then went to dinner in their beautiful restaurant and ate our way through the menu for free.

At the moment I’m writing in the most plush bed I’ve ever stayed in… for free!

You see a theme here, right? Lots of awesome (and expensive) stuff for free.

Except, it’s not.

The beginning of this month was going well, I was seeming to manage a balance between work, blogging and doing all of my travel related stuff. But mid way through our travels we were on an island with terrible internet and I fell behind. Also because we were staying in places for free, most would only offer 2 nights max, so we would have to pack our stuff up almost every day!

And I fell behind even more. 

The trouble with getting sponsored accommodation is that it takes up a lot of my time. In the past month I’ve probably received about $9,000 worth of sponsored accommodation and extras (at least $1,000+ at Four Seasons alone). While I am thoroughly enjoying all of these massages, yoga sessions, diving (for Ben), beautiful hotels for free and so on, it is eating into my time.

I outsource all the pitching to the hotels, but reply personally from there onwards. Some of the hotel management want to show you around for 30-60 minutes, others pop in to say hello during breakfast. It’s not a huge commitment, but often they pencil in activities so you have to work around their schedule and it can be quite challenging fitting real work in on top of that.


I haven’t done a full tally for the month, but I know it’s low. It’s a lot lower than I expected to make, based on how the first few weeks were. I am trying to figure out why the month was so much quieter than I expected, but I think part of the reason I performed so poorly was because I had focused too much attention on the free stuff, and not on the capital.

I think I probably made around $3,000-4000 less than last month – and I am trying to debate whether that’s an Ok ‘loss’ if I received $9,000 worth of free stuff in exchange. I can’t tell if it’s worth it – what do you think?


Moving Forward:
I have a few sponsored accommodations set up for Thailand, but not much. Four days so far out the 20 odd we’re there for. Compare that to the fact only around 5 days of my 30 in Bali were NOT sponsored and it’s a big difference. I’m going to try to organise some sponsored stays for Chiang Mai and Bangkok, but I am also happy to stay somewhere simple and plain and to just not be working.

The next month will be pretty busy for me trying to get set up for Europe so that I can have more of a holiday there, as we’ll be meeting up with Ben’s family. I have also decided that Asia is affordable enough that nice sponsored accommodation is just a bonus; we can easily afford to stay somewhere simple for the price of peanuts. However, this is not quite true of France and other parts of Europe we might visit, so I’d rather save my sponsored stay energy for then.

How was the month of August for you? I am so happy to be traveling again, although I need to slow the pace down!

My Thoughts on Being Lucky And Life Updates

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Many of you found my ‘perks of being a travel blogger’ post interesting. To clarify, I’m not at the level where brands approach me yet. My blog is still quite small, but it does alright. I’ll send out some pitching letters and then hope for the best. Today I got the confirmation that the Four Seasons in Singapore wants to host me for a night and wants to offer a complimentary massage, dinner and cocktails.

I told one of my friends about this, excitingly, and she replied “Oh wow, you’re so lucky”

While I understand her intentions, I hate being told I’m “lucky” as it seems to discredit the fact that getting to where I am took a LOT of work.

For me, luck is something that happens to you with very little effort.

Two years and a half years of blogging, at least of a year of which was not profitable in ANY way, is not ‘luck’ – it’s hard work, plain and simple.

Even with the opportunity to collaborate with Four Seasons – it is not luck, I approached them with a well-thought out email and hoped for the best and it worked out well.

I do believe I am lucky to some extent – I am lucky that even though I grew up poor, I grew up in a country that provided ample opportunities for me to carve out my own path. I am lucky that I was born into a generation where travel is relatively affordable and easily available.


General Life Updates

I’m currently on a small island in Indonesia called Nusa Lembongan. It’s quite beautiful here, although the Internet is very slow so it’s driving me a little crazy. Something that might take me an hour to complete is taking closer to three.

I was supposed to be in paradise; in one of my favourite places in the world called the Gilli Islands. Very sadly, a boat sunk the other day in Indonesia and 15/25 of the passengers and crew are still missing. Boats were cancelled for two days and I decided to stay on this island to get caught up with tax filing and work. Of course my disappointment pales in comparison to the sinking of a boat, but it is still hard when things don’t go to plan.

We did a little day trip to Nusa Ceningan and saw the most beautiful blue lagoon! I didn’t even know it existed before I visited, but was completely blown away.

On the 21st I’ll be returning to Bali for a week before heading to Singapore. I have managed to get all my accommodation comped there (around $1,200 value) as well as those little add-ons with the Four Seasons in Singapore. I am actually really looking forward to Singapore – it’s one of my favourite cities in the world. After Singapore we’re off to Thailand for a few weeks and then Europe.

I would say the last week or so has been heavily focused on work rather than being on holiday, but that’s Ok. I have some new projects to launch and I want to keep up the momentum of this month.

How are things going for you wherever you are in the world? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on luck/being lucky.

The Perks of Being a Travel Blogger

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Prior to starting this blog earlier in the year, my other blog – a travel blog – has been my main focus up until this point.

I have been writing on it for 2.5 years and it really opened a lot of doors for me; it’s why I can now make a lot of money each month from sponsored posts. It’s why I can now become location independent and live wherever I want.

To say it’s changed my life is an understatement – it’s completely redesigned my life and given me opportunities I could only dream of.


As most of you who read this blog are finance bloggers, I thought it could be interesting to share the perks of being a travel blogger with you…

1) A Network of Travel Geeks
Planning to visit somewhere? No worries, all your other travel blogger buddies have probably been there or at the very least know someone who has. Want suggestions of where to stay, eat and what to do? An group of well-travelled friends are at your call.


2) FREE Accommodation/Cheap Travel
Ok, so it’s not really free but more of a barter agreement. For this trip to bali, I have sorted out about 20 nights free accommodation. I could have been sponsored for the whole time, but one of the places I want to go is booked out almost everywhere, so I would rather just go and pay for it myself. Today I have a beautiful big suite room (nightly price of $400) with an infinity pool and another pool on the roof, just cause. Yesterday I stayed at a luxury resort, with my own 24/7 butler. Yes, butler.

In exchange for exposure on my blog I was provided with free accommodation in numerous parts of Bali. What does this have to do with finance?

It has lowered my travel costs considerably and I’m staying in way nicer places than I would otherwise be able to afford.

For example, as my accommodation and buffet + A La Carte breakfast was complimentary, I have paid $4 for a small snack for lunch and Ben and I went halves in a $16 forty five minute long taxi to our new destination. So that’s $12 for me, so far. Later we’ll go to dinner and I’ll probably spend $10 and I might get an hour long massage for $6.


My daily total for today: $28 to stay in 5 star accommodation, eat well, get a massage and a private taxi to a new destination.

Or some $210 a week.

Of course the days vary and overall I have spent a lot more than that, because of the initial excitement of arriving and certain activities we did. But yes, a perk of being a travel blogger is cheap travel. I’ve also done a bunch of sponsored activities during my travels which help keep costs down.


3) Having a Network of Friends Everywhere
This is something finance bloggers can probably relate to, but it’s different because travel bloggers are constantly on the move. I’ve had so many people comment on my blogs to meet up with me or others that I knew were in a certain place. It’s great for meeting new people!
I love being a travel blogger. It was really hard to blog about travel when I was stuck in one place, but now we’re on the road again I feel like I am back into it.

So that was my weekend in a nutshell.

What did you get up to this weekend? Would you be down with cheap/free travel?

Tips for Balancing Work and Travel

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With only two full days left in Christchurch before we head off on our adventure, it’s starting to sink in:

I’m finding it very hard to balance work, saying goodbye to friends and family, unpacking and cleaning a whole apartment and getting everything ready before I go.

It’s SO exhausting, however soon I will be warm and overindulging in $5 hourly massages.

While I will be on holiday, I’ll also be at work. It will be a new challenge.

I have been thinking long and hard about how I’m going to make sure that this is both a successful holiday and period for my business.

In the past I have travelled as a scruffy, carefree, budget traveller.

Now I am traveling differently – with a bigger budget and with more responsibilities (work, clients, my blog readers – you guys!)

I am actually working with a few hotel brands during my travels on my travel blog, so will need to turn up looking somewhat presentable, rather than like a backpacker who just slept in a hammock for a few days and bathed in the ocean.

Here are my tips for balancing work and travel:

1) Stay Fresh and Focused
If I’m dirty, I am instantly less productive. I’m not a sweaty person, but Asia can be really intense, especially with the humidity. I always carry around wet wipes to clean my hands and face in an instant and a good solid deodorant to prevent excessive sweat. Now that I’ll be dealing directly with hotel managers, marketing managers and so forth, I want to feel and look good even if I’ve been on a plane for the past 13 hours.

2) Set Dedicated Work Hours
Unfortunately New Zealand has the worst timezone for my clients who are based in the UK. I stay up really late in order to get things finished during their business hours. On the flip side, Asia is going to be way better for business, but I don’t want my days to be ruled by my work. I am planning to set aside 2 hours a day that are ‘set work’ hours where I knuckle down and get things done. Throughout the rest of the day I’ll check my emails sporadically, but I want to set a limit to checking my emails 3 times per day on my phone.

As much as I enjoy my work, making money and checking out other blogs… I like life. When we’re in Thailand I want to do a three day trek and just disconnect from the Internet. I’ll try to time it carefully so that I minimise the impact on my business, but I want to disconnect. I want to lose myself in my travels, exploring and being ultra present in the moment. I haven’t had a full break from my work in over a year… even when I went on holiday to Queenstown recently I did a little bit of work!

4) Set Goals
I have a few projects in mind for diversification that I do not want to start until we’re settled in Panama. As it’s a new direction I want to head in, I want to brainstorm thoroughly and have the time and energy to research it properly. However, there are smaller projects that I have started, but not completed yet, so I want to keep these ticking over while I am traveling and just chip away at them slowly.

I really hope that I can balance a kick-ass holiday with moving forward in my business.

Have you ever travelled and worked at the same time? How did it go?

Is there anything you’d like to see in particular about working/traveling/location independence? It all starts in three days!

My Mobile Office

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Three and a half weeks and I’m on the road.

We have a loose goal of winding up in Panama sometime towards the end of the year, October probably, maybe November if we spend a little bit of time lingering in Europe. My travel plans will depend largely on workload, the fact that we are meeting Ben’s parents in the South of France for 2 weeks in mid September and, of course, our plans to become tax residents of Panama.

Once we’re in Panama we’ll have a clearer idea of if we’re basing ourselves in Panama long term or just setting up bank there and moving on. We have no idea.

At the very least, we will have from the end of July through to the end of October on the road, nomadic. Moving from one place to another, sampling the best the city has to offer and then moving on. That’s at least three months juggling work, life and travel.

For me, it is my dream! For others, it would probably make them a bit anxious.

The truth is, my work isn’t that demanding.

In order for it to function – exist as it does but not grow – I probably only need to spend 1-2 hours a day maintaining things, organising my writers, forwarding email and negotiating deals. However, to take things to the next level I probably need to spend at least double that, which can be quite challenging when you’re balancing flights, crappy WIFI connections and actually enjoying your time overseas, so how do I do it?

Firstly, I have all these things in my “mobile office”, many of them are new editions to make my life easier:

mymobileoffice1. MacBook Air: It doesn’t really matter what kind of computer you use, I use Macbooks because I prefer their function over Windows computers. I bought this laptop a year ago when my Macbook Pro was on its way out and I love how light it is. I have back problems and so it really makes a big difference for me in having such a light computer.

2. Samsonite Carryon Suitcase: Again, with the back problems. In the past when I have travelled and worked I have just placed my stuff into my backpack and walked around with it. Now I will be placing all my work stuff in this suitcase, as well as a change or two of clothes for carry on. It has a few compartments which will make dealing with adapters and cords even easier to keep organised.

3. Wireless Apple Keyboard: My old Macbook was so worn that the keys had fallen off, so I bought this keyboard. I actually find it a lot easier to use because the keys are slightly thicker so on days when I have a lot of writing to get through, I whip this badboy out. My partner, Ben, also has an iPad which this keyboard might be handy to use with it on the days where our laptops are flat.

4. Pacsafe Bag: This is sorta part mobile office, part travel girl. I had always just deal with generic bags overseas, but I wanted something more secure for our time in Europe. Pacsafe bags have heaps of safety features, including being slash proof and it fits my laptop in it so it will be perfect for walking to cafes to get some work done.

5. Mighty Purse: This clever little clutch purchase CHARGES MY PHONE. It is amazing. I have used it a ton since being it a month ago and know it will be so helpful on the road. Quite often when I’m traveling I’ll buy a local sim and just deal with emails on my phone, so having a fully charged phone is essential.

6. A Moleskin Notebook: I like writing down thoughts, ideas and goals in a little notebook. Sure, I could do it on my iPhone but it doesn’t feel as nice or as personal, so I prefer old school.

7. Fuji X100s: I previously owned a 5d Mark ii, but have recently “downgraded” to this camera. It hasn’t come in the mail yet, but I can’t wait. It’s not so important for my finance blogging, but pretty key for my travel blog.

8. iPhone 5s: Having a smartphone means I can deal with emails without having to lug around my laptop, which dramatically reduces stress. It also means I can easily use Twitter without logging onto a computer.

Where do I work on the road?

Anywhere and everywhere!

I like to make the most of the down time and, trust me, there’s a lot of it. Time waiting in airports, on buses, trains, planes or even on ferries. For example in Thailand you can choose to take the overnight bus or ferry between Chiang and Bangkok. I chose the train because it’s easier to work and then tethered my phone to my laptop. Using my local sim and the internet plan I had, I managed to get a few hours work done before watching a movie, falling asleep and waking up in a new town.

Is it hard working “on the road”?

Yes and no. I think it would be hard trying to juggle a 40-50 hour week on the road, but thankfully that’s not my reality. There can be times where the Internet is so crap you can’t manage to load a post, but for the most part I don’t find it too bad. At the end of the day it’s the same work I’d have to do if I was in my hometown, just with the added bonus of being somewhere cool to explore.

That’s my mobile office. Do you have any bits and pieces you simply can’t work without? Share in the comments below

20 Random Facts About Me

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I have seen a few other bloggers do these “facts about me” posts and I actually really enjoy reading them. I figure if you’re going to hear about me yabba on about money, finances and goals, you might like to learn a little more about me.

1) I can’t swim – yes, that is pretty weird considering I come from New Zealand – a tiny little island surrounded by water.

2) I was stabbed when traveling in Indonesia, yet still advocate solo travel.

3) I hate cucumber, passionately. If it’s touched anything it’s ruined it. Scumbag cucumber.

4) I HATED PARIS. It smelled like PEE, everywhere. UGH. Most overrated city I’ve ever been to. They should call it PEERIS.


This is me dressing up as a devil for a children’s celebration in the Czech Republic when I was an au pair.

5) I have been the full time carer for each of my sisters (2 at a time) for over 2 months. The longest period was 2 years when I was 19-21.

6) I met my boyfriend, Ben, on a chance visit home. He was a flatmate to my old flatmates and sleeping in my old room. Talk about easy!

7) My favourite country in the whole world is Cambodia. I had such a great time volunteering there and have visited a total of five times. It’s pretty funny though because I wasn’t even going to visit Cambodia as someone described it to me as “boring” and “dirty” – glad I didn’t listen.

8) I studied Genetics at university and never used my degree once. I doubt I ever will, but I don’t think it was necessarily a waste.

9) I am terrified of heights… to the point where I doubt I could ever bungy jump or sky dive, even though I like the idea of it.


Me at Coachella. Best time ever!

Me at Coachella. Best time ever!

10) My spending weakness is coffee… I will pay almost anything for a good coffee. I am getting better at limiting how often I have them, though.

11) I was born in Sydney, Australia but moved to New Zealand when I was a baby. I am a New Zealander, through and through!

12) Aside from my student loan, I’ve never been in debt – I really don’t believe in financing anything you can’t afford.


13) I hate parallel parking, to the point I’ll spend 10 minutes driving around to avoid parallel parking – I can’t be the only one?

14) My favourite food is Thai food, Mexican and Indian.

Me finding the lemurs. They loooooved it.

Me finding the lemurs. They loooooved it.

15) I can type so fast that I find it really frustrating when I have to write anything by hand because it seems so inefficient.

16) One of the consequences of travelling for so long is that I hate folding laundry or doing dishes. 2.5 years of travel has “ruined” me in terms of being a good housewife.

17) I know a bit of Spanish and a few phrases in other languages, so whenever I am anywhere that doesn’t speak language my silly brain will pick out random words from my vocab of languages… e.g. I’ll be in Indonesia and my brain will think “Hey, not speaking English, use this random Czech word to reply” – ugh, durrr.

18) Whenever I like a new song I have to listen to it on repeat until I hate it. It drives most other people around me insane. My current repeat binge is Broods – Bridges.

19) I’m really bad at not buying myself new clothes. I think I look a lot more scruffy sometimes than I should. I think it’s partially because clothes are so expensive in NZ and partially because I’m always planning to go back to Asia, where all my nice clothes get ruined anyway.

20) I love Personal Finance blogging and the awesome community here. It’s been so much fun reading other people’s blogs, sharing comments and getting to know all you lovely folk out there.

So do me a favour, please. Feel free to post one random fact about YOU on this blog post so I can get to know you a little better

My Travel Plans

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I know this is a personal finance blog and that’s a big part of what I write about, but I’m going to be doing a lot of travel in the coming months, I mean my life is going to be travel.

In only 4.5 weeks my partner and I will become location independent and we’ll start our journey to paying no taxes legally.

It’s very exciting!

If you’ve been reading this blog for sometime, you might know my plans seem to keep changing, they keep evolving as I learn more about tax laws or think more about what’s going to work best for my partner, Ben, and I.

On the 30th of July we fly into Denpasar in Bali. Ben loves to surf, so Bali was an obvious choice for us. We’ll spend 3-4 weeks chilling out in Bali, enjoying the lush green rice field paddies in Ubud and then heading to some of the Gili Islands.

After then we’ll likely fly onto Singapore so Ben can catch up with one of his friends and see Singapore. I have been to Singapore a number of times and I LOVE the food there, as well as how much of a city it is – it’s so crazy modern, efficient and clean. In some ways it doesn’t even feel like Asia!

Although we haven’t booked flights yet, we’ll make our way to France to meet up with Ben’s parents in September, where we will spend some time in Southern France. Here comes the tricky part: we want to get to Panama as soon as possible and start our permanent residency process, but also want to make the most of Europe while we’re there.

I’ve seen a lot of Europe, but there are a few standout places I’ve not visited yet that I’m really interested in seeing, including Italy, Greece and Slovenia.

We’ll also be heading to a Travel Blogging conference in Athens (when I get around to booking tickets, whoops!) which will be a great way to network with other bloggers and brands.

After then, my plan is sort of to get to Panama as soon as possible. The permanent residence will take 4-6 months to process, which is a bit of a pain, but I think it’ll be worth it.

Panama? Why Panama?

I have been researching my brains out for sensible and safe ways we can minimise our tax bill to as close to zero as possible. Out of all the countries I’ve researched, Panama is REALLY appealing to me for the following reasons:

1) In Panama there is no income tax on income generated overseas, which means our tax bill would be basically 0%
2) I can apply for a “Friendly Nations” Visa which means, if approved, I will be a permenant resident of Panama
3) There are no restrictions on how long I have to be in Panama to maintain my residence
4) It is relatively “inexpensive” to set up, although I’ll have to jump through a few hoops
– It’ll probably cost me about $6,000 in admin fees and lawyer fees to set up a business and apply for the visa
– I have to set up a business in Panama to prove economic ties to the country
– I have to maintain $5,000 USD in a bank account in Panama
So it’s not as easy as rocking up and asking for a visa, but compared to other countries like Malaysia it is a great option for me.
5) They speak Spanish in Panama and I’d love to become proficient in this language
6) Beautiful beaches, relatively inexpensive living costs, solid economy, they use USD, great surf for Ben

Will we live in Panama?

Probably for part of the year if we like it, but the good thing about becoming a permanent resident in Panama is that if we are “nomadic” and travel around continuously, then we can be non tax residents of anywhere else and because of our permanent residence in Panama (on paper) it’ll look like we are tax residents of Panama. I think, just to be safe, we might spend more in Panama for the year than anywhere else, but first we’ve gotta go check it out!

Long Term Plans?
It’s hard to say as Ben hasn’t seen much of the world and doesn’t know what he likes or doesn’t like. I know I am quite comfortable being away from home, living on the opposite side of the world and moving around pretty regularly. We can’t really make any ultra long term plans until Ben has had an opportunity to indulge in the nomadic, location independent lifestyle.

Next year we have loosely pencilled in attending some cool festivals such as Coachella, especially if we’re living in Panama which is relatively close.

So there we go, our travel plans.

Wanna know the craziest thing? Traveling, seeing cool parts of the world and exploring new places will cost me less than living at home. Ridiculous.

I know this is a personal finance blog, but would you still like to read about where I am in the world? Let me know in the comments below.

Is Not Paying Taxes Immoral?

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I have made it pretty clear I want to pay as little in taxes as possible. Recently I did a guest post over on MakingSenseOfCents where a few people mentioned they don’t think it is right to not pay taxes.

I understand both sides of the coin.

I am grateful for all those who before me paid taxes to ensure that I had affordable education when I was a child at school, for the decent roads that are in New Zealand and for the public healthcare system. I recently posted about what growing up poor taught me about money and revealed that both my parents relied on welfare when I was growing up, despite them not living together.
I can’t imagine what life would have been like for my invalid father without such benefits, provided by tax payers.

So… Why am I Okay With Not Paying Taxes? 
Firstly, I have no intention of living in New Zealand for the foreseeable future. Although New Zealand is extremely beautiful, I do not feel connected to the country. I feel it is relatively expensive, compared to many other countries I have visited, even including the United States and Spain. Why should I pay taxes when I am no longer using any of the services, even as far as using the roads?

Secondly, none of my income is derived from New Zealand. I have no New Zealand clients; I operate completely independent of New Zealand. If New Zealand exploded I would be devastated, but my business in no way would be changed.

Thirdly, I’ll be a tax resident of somewhere else. When I first decided I wanted to minimise my tax bill, I had thought it might be enough to be a non-tax resident of New Zealand and not become a tax resident of anywhere else and simply pay on tax. While that is possible, it probably wouldn’t stand up to a tax man if he came chasing after me. Instead, I have decided I will most-likely pursue a permanent residency in Panama under the Friendly Nations Visa. Although my personal income that is earned overseas and reported in Panama will be exempt from tax, I will be paying some tax due to the business I will have to create for the visa.

In my case, as I am severing my ties with New Zealand and not using any of the services, I think not paying taxes is moral. If, when I apply to be a non tax resident, my application is granted, then New Zealand has deemed me disconnected enough to not pursue taxing my income. Obviously I will be nervous in the weeks following my departure to find out what my status is, but I think I should be approved as I own no land here and generate no income in the country.

When Is Not Paying Taxes Immoral?
I think that not paying taxes is immoral if you’re breaking the law of any country in order to minimise your tax bill.
I think not paying taxes is immoral if you are operating under the table in a bid to avoid tax.
I think not paying taxes is immoral when you’re using all the country’s services and yet not contributing your fair share.

What I am doing is some clever tax planning while taking advantage of the fact that I am location independent.

To be honest, if my partner never wanted to return to New Zealand I would be quite content spending my days soaking up the sun, drinking out of fresh coconuts and enjoying $5 hourly massages.

If I consistently earned $21,000 a month for every month of the year – I’m not quite at that level, but would like to be – I would save around $70,000 a year in taxes. That’s basically like being paid $70,000 a year to go live in Panama.

So tell me what do you think? Is not paying taxes something you feel is immoral, or given the chance would you like to legally save a considerable portion of your income?

My Plan to Save 90% of My Income

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Last month I made a ridiculous $21,000.

My ultimate monthly goal is $30,000 a month and I would really like to reach that point by the end of the year.

As many of you know it’s often not as simple as just willing an extra $10,000 a month – it can take a lot of work, sweat, tears and even a healthy dose of luck.

While I work on building up my monthly income, number of clients, number of websites, there’s something else I can do to increase my savings rate: lower my expenses.

Sure, I could cut out the few coffees I order a week, start biking around instead of driving and become vegetarian to save money, but how would my quality of life be? I’m already quite frugal.

For my partner and I, a young couple without many responsibilities, there are a few things we can do to dramatically increase our savings rate and it’s all part of my plan to save 90% of my income:

1) Become Non Tax Residents Legally
I’ve written about our plans to become non-tax residents already, so I wont rehash that, but please consider my tax rate is around 30% of my income. By not paying tax I’m essentially giving myself a 30% pay increase, by simply leaving the country. That’s an extra 30% I can push into my savings account. That’s a big difference. It’ll be really nice getting paid and knowing that all the money transferred into my account is my money.

2) Lower Our Living Expenses
Sure, this is obvious – but we’re going to the extreme. We’re leveraging our currency against a cheaper currency and going to spend our time overseas. Where will we go? That’s open for now, but we’ll be starting on the little island of Bali in Indonesia. In a part of Thailand I really like, for example, an apartment is about $300 per month. Our apartment in New Zealand is $360 per week. By simply moving to another country – one that I really like anyway – my living expenses would become a third or a quarter of what they used to be.

Factor in the flights and some luxuries and I think I’d be sitting at about half of the expense of living in New Zealand, but to a higher standard of living.

Last month I saved about 50% of my income – add in the extra I could save from not paying tax – 30% and the extra from living expenses I think I’d be able to save around 90% of my income, each month.

What am I Going to do with that 90% of Savings? 
First, I’ll do a happy dance! I remember being a student and literally having nothing spare each week.

I think I will focus on my student loan, because now that we’re leaving the country it is a liability; I’ll have to pay interest on it now. One thing I am very interested in is investing. I know nothing about it. I understand property investment, however, because we’re applying to be non-tax residents of New Zealand I wont be allowed to own property in the country so that might be something we re-visit at a later stage.

For now I’m focused on getting our apartment unpacked, maintaining my income and making my work more efficient, but I have my eyes firmly on saving 90% of my income.

How much of your pay do you save? 20%? 30%? 50%? Let me know in the comments below