Geoarbitrage for dummies: How I doubled my monthly savings in one simple move

TL;DR — Geoarbitrage isn't complex. I leveraged it to double my savings every month while also doubling my quality of life. If you earn income remotely, don't ignore this strategy.

Ever heard the term geoarbitrage and thought to yourself “ehh… I’m not a banker. I don’t understand these terms“?

I used to think that way. But it’s much simpler (and more attainable) than you may think it is. Here’s how I leveraged geoarbitrage to double my savings every month:

First, what is geoarbitrage?

“Geoarbitrage” is technically the leveraged difference between your earnings and your cost-of-living.

Geoarbitrage sounds way fancier than it actually is. It’s simple:

Essentially, geoarbitrage is the art of making your money go further by earning in a strong currency and spending in a weaker one.

Tim Ferriss first popularized it in The 4-Hour Workweek. And the strategy has become really popular since 2020 with digital nomads, remote workers and expats looking to upgrade their lifestyle while also reducing their expenses.

"Earn dollars, spend pesos" by Tim Ferriss quote

But geoarbitrage doesn’t necessarily require international travel. Granted – That’s how you can save the most money. But you can still save a lot of money by just moving intranationally and reducing your expenses.

For example, if U.S.-based, you could just move from a high-tax, high-cost-of-living city like San Francisco to a zero-persona-income-state-tax, low-cost-of-living city like Las Vegas or San Antonio and maintain your high-paying tech job.

Boom! Same amount of money coming in. Way less money going out.

That’s geoarbitrage in a nutshell.

Why would someone geoarbitrage?

Inflation has wrecked the West. It’s no wonder Americans, Canadians and Western Europeans are fed up with their high-cost-of-living societies. $100,000 a year used to be a great salary.

Now? With a $100k salary, you’re barely scraping by in most cities.

But imagine this – Better access to premium amenities, services and lifestyle and saving boatloads of cash every month while still earning your high-paying salary or running your successful online business.

Geoarbitrage is a big FU to your employer and government.

With access to the internet, you no longer have to live physically where your company is headquartered, where your customers live or work, or where you earn.

A luxury lifestyle at a fraction of the cost, all thanks to geoarbitrage.

This ain’t a fantasy. I live this reality.

How to take advantage of geoarbitrage

Essentially, you can geoarbitrage by earning in a high, developed-world currency (like dollars, euros, or bitcoin) and spending in a lower, developing-world currency (like pesos or rupees).

But let’s get down to brass tacks:

Step 1: Set up location-independent income streams

You have three options here:

  • Remote job
  • Remote passive income streams
  • Location-independent business that serves developed-world customers

But without this second piece, those income streams mean nothing: First-world currency earning power.

It’s extremely difficult to leverage geoarbitrage if you earn a local salary. So that’s why you must continue earning dollars, euros or bitcoin before reducing your expenses in a lower cost-of-living location.

Step 2: Research destinations

The world is your oyster. You won’t find the perfect fit immediately when you start traveling.

So pick a general region based on factors like climate, community, infrastructure, travel access, cost-of-living (obviously), language, cuisine, and safety.

Here are some of my top picks:

  • A tier (biggest geoarbitrage opportunity) — Thailand, Vietnam
  • B tier — Central America, South America
  • C tier — Southern Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe
World map cost-of-living

Then experiment. Expense reduction isn’t the only purpose of traveling or living in another part of the world. You want to test out several locations.

Who knows – You might just find you’re more free, happy and wealthy elsewhere 👀

Remember, the perfect place is a myth.

Step 3: Leave your high-cost country

Sort out the essentials:

  • If renting, break your lease or wait for it to end
  • If from the U.S., relocate your legal residence to a zero-income-tax state (i.e. AK, FL, NV, NH, SD, TN, TX, WA, WY)
  • Forward your mail to your new residence

Now, make the jump.

Don’t get bogged down in overplanning. You don’t need a water-tight plan.

My experience geoarbitraging

In 2021 I quit my job and started my first company. With zero employees and strictly-online services, I quickly realized that I didn’t need to live where my customers were.

So to reduce my expenses as I was growing my business, I took a mini trip to Latin America and was set to return in three months.

Those three months have turned into three years.

I lived in 10 countries in the first two years and ended up investing in Colombia and basing up here to get residency and citizenship.

I would’ve never thought I’d be happier, healthier, wealthier and free-er in another part of the world … had I never made that leap.

Here’s a look at the data:


I’d just left the U.S. where I was spending 3-4k USD a month on a budget.

I spent an average of $1-2k USD a month in total while living in Colombia, Ecuador, Panamá and Costa Rica.

In the first few months, I lived in apartments and Airbnbs but got lonely quickly – as fast-travel nomadism often does. I switched to hostels and didn’t splurge for the next few months.

Again, I reduced my expenses 50-75% to give myself some more breathing room and focus on growing my company.

And still, my quality of life still improved dramatically from my life in the U.S.


Since basing up here in Colombia and giving up my budget, I spend an average of $3-4k USD a month.

This same lifestyle would cost me north of $6-7k USD in a comparable U.S. city. So I’m saving about 40-60% more while enjoying a way better quality of life 😊

Since I’m earning significantly more than I was two years ago, the lack of pressure on my finances feels really good.

So what now?

Sure, geoarbitrage helps you slash your expenses. But it’s a temporary strategy.

It’s easy to get complacent and think “Since I reduced my cost-of-living, I can reduce or maintain my current income.”

Your goal should still be to earn enough not to worry about expenses or cost-of-living.

You can’t save your way to financial freedom and generational wealth.

Geoarbitrage is a temporary fix while you optimize your finances and grow your revenue or income.

So take this time to travel purposefully, experiment with different locations and find which make you happiest, healthiest and free-est.

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