This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Your vacation is not a savings account

Posted by Paul
Over the years I have been surprised by how many people I've met that use their vacation time as a savings account. The idea is that many companies will pay you for any accrued vacation when you leave the job.

Because of this some people specifically avoid taking vacation so that their accumulated time piles up, giving them a nice fat check when they leave the company.

I think this mindset can be a huge mistake especially when I see people using their accrued vacation as an excuse to not build up an emergency fund (figuring that their vacation time pay can be their emergency fund).

If you don't take that vacation, then after a while you'll miss having that recharge time and you'll probably start burning out at work.

Setting aside the issue of your own happiness, I think that taking your vacation makes sense from a purely long term financial standpoint. Ever see those coworkers who let themselves get burnt out? They're crabby, pessimistic, and generally not very productive, right? Do you think these people are the ones who get promotions or raises come review time?

When you see that you have a bunch of vacation time saved up, don't start calculating how much money that'll be when you leave. Instead take some time off and recharge! No one says you have to spend a ton of money on some jet-setting vacation. If you want to be frugal, then go camping, or even just stay home and have fun by seeing movies or going to your local museum.

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