The Euro Crisis Presents a Unique Opportunity for Freelancers
Unless you’ve been living underneath a very large rock for the past couple of years, you’ve probably heard that Europe is teetering on the brink of financial armageddon.
While there’s no shortage of doom and gloom in the the global outlook, it’s not all bad news – especially if you’re a freelancer. There’s opportunity in every crisis, and mobile workers are now in a better position than ever.
As freelancers who aren’t tied to a desk and a physical location, we’re uniquely poised to take advantage of the shifting financial landscape.
The Euro Crisis in a Nutshell
The Euro (EUR) is used by 17 member states within the European Union. The common currency performed well in the early 2000s, but since 2009 has been embroiled in a severe and complicated debt crisis.
The net result of all this is that the EUR has nosedived in value, relative to most other major currencies.
The looming threat of one or more Eurozone members defaulting on their debts has scared the bejesus out of currency investors, who are dumping the Euro en masse and looking for a safer place to park their money.
The net result of all this is that the EUR has nosedived in value, relative to most other major currencies. The US, Canadian and New Zealand Dollars are all worth significantly more against the Euro now than they were three years ago.
The biggest winner, however, has been the Australian Dollar, which has gained a whopping 60 percent on the Euro since early 2009.
Dollar-Earning Freelancers Can Capitalize on a Weaker Euro
The huge advantage that remote freelancers enjoy is the ability to earn money in one place and spend it somewhere else. If the bulk of your freelance income is dollars, you might want to give some serious thought to a long-term working holiday in Europe.
As an Australian freelancer living in Germany, I’ve watched the value of my income rise steadily over the last couple of years, without ever increasing my fees or taking on extra work.
I’ve crunched some numbers and determined that my cost of living here in Berlin, taking account of the current exchange rate, is less than half of what the same lifestyle would cost me in Sydney or Melbourne. Earning the AUD while spending the EUR has been a very favorable arrangement. And Berlin is an amazing place to live.
For a regular 9-5 desk jockey, currency fluctuations mean next to nothing. But for freelancers and remote workers, this is the stuff we thrive on. We’re the lucky few who can jump the fence and turn financial turmoil into personal gain. So I say pack your bags, and get in while the getting is good.