time off http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9178/all en-US 5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lazy_summer_afternoon_0.jpg" alt="Lazy summer afternoon" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We know how retirement is supposed to go: You spend 40 or more years working, and then, hopefully after saving enough money, you retire from the working world in one grand finale.</p> <p>But what if you could instead take several breaks throughout your career? What if, after working 10 years, you decided to take a year off and return to a full-time job later? What if you decided to do the same thing all over again 10 years later?</p> <p>That's the idea behind the mini retirement, a small but growing trend among people who don't want to wait until their senior years to pursue goals or just relax, away from work, in a way you can't during weekends or short vacations. You can do anything you want during these miniature retirement periods: travel the world, spend more time with your kids, start an online business, or pursue a hobby. And when the mini retirement ends, you return to work full-time, either at the company you left or a new one.</p> <p>A mini retirement is similar to a sabbatical, but sabbaticals tend to be one-off breaks, whereas mini retirements are intended to recur throughout your career. A mini retirement may also be used to explore other career paths and make a transition, while a sabbatical often involves going back to the same job you left.</p> <p>Taking a mini retirement comes with many benefits, but if you're not prepared, it can also put a strain on your financial stability. Here are five money moves you need to make before embarking on a mini retirement of your own.</p> <h2>1. Budget what you'll need</h2> <p>To get an idea of whether a mini retirement is even feasible, you'll need to figure out how much money you'd spend during your break from work. This means factoring in the costs of travel if your plans include taking a long trip. It means considering the cost of health insurance, which you will probably have to pay for on your own once you leave your full-time job. And, of course, it means budgeting for everything from your monthly mortgage payment, to your children's education, to the weekly groceries. Whatever you do, don't embark on your mini retirement without first determining how much money you'll be spending during it.</p> <h2>2. Save, save, save</h2> <p>Once you have an idea of how much you'll need for your mini retirement, you'll need to start stashing money away for it. Depending on your income and your mini-retirement budget, this could take several years. For instance, if you think you'll need $40,000 during your mini retirement, you could plan to save $10,000 a year for four years.</p> <p>This kind of saving takes discipline. Keep your eye on the goal to stay motivated. It also helps to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-interest-by-reducing-savings-friction" target="_blank">reduce savings friction</a> by, for instance, having funds automatically deposited into savings every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget" target="_blank">How to Save Up for a Big Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>3. Determine your new final retirement goals</h2> <p>A mini retirement can help rejuvenate you during your working days, but it will also change your financial strategy for your final retirement. If you aren't earning a full-time salary for a year or more, your retirement savings simply won't grow as quickly. You'll have to be realistic about what steps you'll have to take so that you will be financially ready for your final retirement.</p> <p>This might mean saving more money each year. Or it might mean pushing your final retirement back a year or two. You'll have to determine how the pain of taking those steps compares to the benefits you'll receive from a mini retirement.</p> <h2>4. Pay off your debt</h2> <p>You don't want to enter a mini retirement burdened with high amounts of credit card debt. It will be much more difficult to pay down this debt if you're not earning a steady income from work. So, before you leave your job for your break, get that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt" target="_blank">credit card debt down to zero</a>.</p> <p>While you're at it, clear as many of your other debts as you can, too. You probably won't be able to pay off your mortgage loan, but you might be able to pay off your car loan. Any debt that you can eliminate before taking a mini retirement will help make the transition away from a full-time salary easier.</p> <h2>5. Resolve to rein in your spending</h2> <p>You might have big plans for your mini retirement. But remember, big plans often cost big money. Be realistic about how much you can spend while taking your break from work. The more you spend, the more difficult your transition will be.</p> <p>It's OK to travel, but you don't have to stay at the most expensive hotels or eat at the costliest restaurants. And if you're staying at home during most or all of your mini retirement, resist the temptation to spend big on shopping trips, movies, and restaurant meals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-types-of-overspenders-which-one-are-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Types of Overspenders &mdash; Which One Are You?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Before%2520Taking%2520a%2520Mini%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Taking%20a%20Mini%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Before%20Taking%20a%20Mini%20Retirement.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-overseas-retirement">How to Get the Most Out of Your Overseas Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-ira-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">5 Dumb IRA Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement mini retirements sabbatical saving money time off traveling work leave year off Thu, 02 Nov 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2040658 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Keep a Personal Problem From Hurting Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_just_need_some_time_off.jpg" alt="I just need some time off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People have problems; that's just a fact of life. Most people also work for a living, and sooner or later, the two are going to collide. When a personal problem does land on your doorstep, the last thing you want to do is bring it with you to work. That can cause all sorts of additional issues, and they can compound your personal issues even more. So what do you do? How do you separate personal problems from the daily grind?</p> <h2>Don't talk about your problems to anyone at work</h2> <p>It may seem like the most obvious piece of advice, but it is the one most commonly ignored.</p> <p>All too often this is the way it goes: A trusted friend tries to help you out by telling a manager why you may be off your game. From there, it becomes an issue that several people know about. And before long, half the people in the company are aware of it. It doesn't matter who you think you can trust, and what kind of confidence you swear them to, it will leak. Loose lips sink ships &hellip; and careers.</p> <h2>Find someone outside of work to support you</h2> <p>It's imperative to get emotional support at this time, and that means talking to someone completely removed from your work environment. Avoid anyone who doesn't work at your firm, but knows a lot of people that do.</p> <p>This can mean going to support groups, using online forums (where you can remain anonymous but get advice), or if worst comes to worst, calling a crisis hotline such as <a href="http://www.samaritansusa.org/programs.php" target="_blank">Samaritans</a>. Don't be afraid to ask for help, because a problem shared really is a weight lifted. Just make sure you do it in a way that cannot create another problem &mdash; namely, a career problem &mdash; on top of whatever else is troubling you.</p> <h2>Find helpful ways to deal with your emotions</h2> <p>Not talking about your problem at work can be tough, especially when people treat you poorly without knowing what you're actually going through. So, look into helpful and productive ways to deal with the emotions that can build up in the workplace.</p> <p>One of the best ways to hash out emotional stress is going to the gym, especially if your office provides a workout facility on-site. Otherwise, going to the gym before and/or after work, or exercising at home, can do wonders for your emotional pressure cooker. If working out doesn't do it, find a new hobby, or really go all in on projects at work to keep yourself from thinking about your stress.</p> <h2>Talk to your boss about the need for flexibility and understanding</h2> <p>You don't have to breathe a word about the specific problem you're facing. You can simply say something like, &quot;I'm going through a problem that's important and stressful outside of work, and need your help in managing my workload and the expectations of other departments.&quot; Your boss knows you're not a robot, and if you have been a superb employee before the problem arose, he or she will do whatever possible to help you ride out the storm.</p> <p>You may be given the option to telecommute, or have some of the responsibilities lifted from you for a while. Just remember, a company and a boss can only do so much. If this drags on for months or more, the patience of those you work with will wear thin.</p> <h2>Consider using sick, vacation, personal, and FMLA days</h2> <p>If the problem is so intense that you just find it impossible to concentrate on your work, look into taking some much-needed time off. You will definitely be able to use vacation and personal days. It's possible you could also use sick time, or bring the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to your defense. This U.S. labor law requires employers to give workers job-protected unpaid leave in the event of a qualified medical or family emergency.</p> <p>While you may think it will look bad to take extended time off, it will be far worse to stay at work and put in a terrible performance. In some cases, your lack of concentration could lead to disastrous consequences. Better to be away and working things out than at work and messing things up.</p> <h2>Seek professional counseling</h2> <p>Thankfully, the stigma of seeing a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist lessens with each passing year. However, there are still people out there that avoid them at all costs out of embarrassment. Really, that should be the last concern on your mind.</p> <p>You need to solve the personal problem that's weighing you down, and professional counseling can be a great help at this time. The counselor may not be able to solve that problem directly, but even just talking it through with them can open new possibilities and avenues of success. At the very least, it's a confidential source in which you can confide, and that in itself can be a huge help.</p> <h2>Keep a daily reminder to remain positive, calm, and professional</h2> <p>When you get up in the morning, along with your usual routine, add something that gets you ready to tackle the workday &mdash; both emotionally and physically. Tell yourself that this will pass. Remind yourself that you're a good person in a bad spot, and bringing that issue to work will not help your situation. Take a deep breath and say out loud, &quot;I'm going to do a great job today, because I'm a great employee.&quot;</p> <p>It may feel corny, but doing it every day before work gets you into the mindset of being a real pro. The power of positive thinking is proven, and by getting into the best state of mind and avoiding negative thoughts, you will do much better at work. As the brilliant work coach Tim Ferriss says, &quot;If you sit down in a negative state, you will be thinking first and foremost of problems, and not solutions.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Keep%2520a%2520Personal%2520Problem%2520From%2520Hurting%2520Your%2520Career.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Keep%20a%20Personal%20Problem%20From%20Hurting%20Your%20Career"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Keep%20a%20Personal%20Problem%20From%20Hurting%20Your%20Career.jpg" alt="How to Keep a Personal Problem From Hurting Your Career" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job">3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income counseling Crisis gossip job leave job security personal issues personal problems privacy professionalism stress time off work Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Paul Michael 2030974 at http://www.wisebread.com Job Hunting With a Long Employment Gap http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-with-a-long-employment-gap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-hunting-with-a-long-employment-gap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-544340484.jpg" alt="job hunting with an employment gap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking for a job after taking time off, either by choice or circumstance? You're not alone. In the recovery years since the Great Recession, career gaps have been stubbornly common. While an employment gap can make finding a new job trickier, there's no need to panic. Experts say there are plenty of ways to get your foot in the door.</p> <h2>Network</h2> <p>It's always important to tap your social and professional connections when job hunting, but even more so if you are facing the headwind of getting back into the workforce after an absence. If you find your network has shrunk in recent years, make new connections by joining a professional organization or meetup in your area and attending local events. Volunteer work is also a great way of expanding your professional skills and network. A job recommendation from the right connection can help answer an employer's questions about your dedication and capabilities before they even get asked.</p> <h2>Go back to school</h2> <p>One of the big worries employers have about people who haven't worked in awhile is that their skills will be out of date. Getting a graduate degree, taking a certification course, or even just attending a continuing education class in your field can quell those concerns. This activity also shows that you're serious about returning to work and not just fooling around. Best of all, attending some kind of training gives you a recent activity to list on your resume, pushing the work gap lower on the page.</p> <h2>Look for a &quot;returnship&quot;</h2> <p>Some companies, including Goldman Sachs and Sara Lee, have offered these short-term jobs as a springboard for returning workers getting back into their careers. If you can't find a returnship, consider an ordinary internship, especially if you want to change or shift your career role. Yes, it could be humbling to compete against college grads and possibly work for no pay, but it's a lot better than doing nothing and letting the gap widen.</p> <h2>Write your resume carefully</h2> <p>One of the first images a potential employer sees of you likely comes via your resume, so it's important to use this as a tool to stop the door from being slammed in your face. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-resume-mistakes-that-will-hurt-your-job-search" target="_blank">10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search</a>)</p> <h3>Don't be super specific on dates</h3> <p>If your employment gap is a matter of months, not years, there's no need call attention to it by using the month that you started and ended each job. Say you started at XYZ Corp in June of 2012 and were laid off in August of 2015: Just list it as &quot;XYZ Corp. 2012&ndash;2015.&quot;</p> <p>This is not being dishonest with the hirer; you can disclose the gap if it comes up in the interview. But it could save your resume from being discarded before you get the chance to have that interview.</p> <h3>Include temporary jobs</h3> <p>So you made lattes or answered phones when your job as a graphic designer ended. You may want to include these gigs on your resume rather than leave a gaping hole. And expect the subject to come up in the interview as well. &quot;Regression&quot; in job responsibility and pay is not taken lightly by employers, but it's still better than a gap.</p> <h3>Self-employment counts</h3> <p>If you did freelance or contract work in between jobs, you could cover that period with a heading that conveys this. If you have a company name, list the company as the employer. The fine line here is to avoid misleading the hirer, or to appear to be engaging in puffery. Give yourself credit for achievements in self employment, but don't try to make it seem like more than it was.</p> <h3>Just list the gap</h3> <p>If your gap was more than a few months, and you weren't working a temp job or working for yourself, you're still going to have to address the gap. You don't want to jump right from a job that ended in 2015 to the present with no explanation.</p> <p>That doesn't mean you have to title it &quot;unemployed&quot; and leave it at that. You could title it with a substantial volunteer position you held during that time, or any training courses you attended.</p> <p>Another idea is to describe what you were doing, without going into unnecessary detail about anything that's not relevant to your job search. If you spent your employment gap caring for children or other family members, or recovering from an injury or illness, simply leave it at that.</p> <h2>Look beyond the resume</h2> <p>While the resume will be just the facts, the other information you provide to your potential employer can offer context.</p> <h3>The cover letter</h3> <p>The great thing about this document is that you're not tied to a chronological format like with a resume. The cover letter is your sales pitch, so start with why you're excited about this specific opportunity, and sell your skills and achievements. Then, take a line or two to explain your career lapse. Keep it upbeat and forward-looking, and never apologize.</p> <h3>The interview</h3> <p>If you're lucky enough to land an interview, expect to address the career gap. Recruiters and managers give the following tips for dealing with employment gaps in an interview: Be prepared with a list of talking points about the gap. Don't act surprised or defensive when it's brought up. Be honest, even if you were fired. Dishonesty is a big red flag. And whatever you do, don't dwell on negativity.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fjob-hunting-with-a-long-employment-gap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FJob%2520Hunting%2520With%2520a%2520Long%2520Employment%2520Gap.jpg&amp;description=Job%20Hunting%20With%20a%20Long%20Employment%20Gap"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Job%20Hunting%20With%20a%20Long%20Employment%20Gap.jpg" alt="Job Hunting With a Long Employment Gap" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-with-a-long-employment-gap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-your-job-hunt-from-busting-your-budget">How to Keep Your Job Hunt From Busting Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012">Job Search Tips That Will Get You a Job in 2012</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ask-for-your-old-job-back-after-leaving">How to Ask for Your Old Job Back After Leaving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-networking-tips-for-the-recently-unemployed">7 Networking Tips for the Recently Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting back to work employment gap job interviews networking recession resumes time off unemployed Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:31:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2028008 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Get Over Your Post-Vacation Blues http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-get-over-your-post-vacation-blues <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-get-over-your-post-vacation-blues" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sad_work_502957193.jpg" alt="Woman trying to get over post-vacation blues" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's something that every vacation has, and it's something we cannot avoid: an end. After all the planning, the shopping, the traveling, the fun nights out, the wonderful weather, and the incredible food, it's time to come home. And for many, the first step back into the house can bring some serious post-vacation depression. But it doesn't have to be that way. Follow these tips and you can avoid that vacation letdown for good.</p> <h2>1. Plan extra days off before you return to work</h2> <p>Before you even go on vacation, make sure you give yourself at least a couple of days at home before you have to go back to the office. It's hard to fault people squeezing every last drop of vacation time at a resort or holiday destination, but if you don't plan ahead and give yourself downtime when you return, you will really feel the blues. So if you're planning a week off to a sunny destination, add a couple of extra days to your vacation request. You may think you're wasting it by being at home. However, going back to work after getting back to the house the night before is a surefire way to feel the night-and-day of vacation versus work.</p> <h2>2. Tackle as many to-do items as you can before leaving</h2> <p>Make sure you have as much done as possible at work before leaving the office for your vacation. That means finishing up projects, delegating to co-workers, and reminding people well ahead of time that you will be gone. Set up out-of-office messages on your phone and email accounts, and tell people that issues will be addressed as soon as possible after you return. The last thing you want to do is come back from a lazy vacation to a bunch a fires that need to be put out. The same goes for your home life, too. Don't leave anything until your return that can be dealt with before you leave. From chores to bills, the less you have to deal with, the smoother your transition will be. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work</a>)</p> <h2>3. Organize your home for the return</h2> <p>Before you leave, you're excited, energetic, and ready to take on the world. You have that pre-vacation buzz. But coming back home, that person is gone. In their place, is someone worn out from travel. Do your tired self a favor before you leave, and get the house ready. Clean as much as you can. Do the laundry. Make the beds. Get all the dishes cleaned and put away. Coming home to a disorganized home will just add to your stress. Coming home to something clean and tidy, with a pristine bed ready to be slept in will make you feel so much better.</p> <h2>4. Prepare yourself before you come home</h2> <p>This is important. A lot of people have this attitude of &quot;I'm not even thinking about that until I'm back from vacation.&quot; To be fair, a vacation is time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, so bringing them with you may seem futile. But if you work out daily, and have been giving yourself a break, get in a workout at the hotel. If you were putting off thinking about grocery shopping, or bills that need paying, start to prepare a list on the flight home. By doing this, you are not suddenly faced with a list of items that must all be addressed at once. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ease into the daily grind gradually</h2> <p>When you get back home, you can be tempted to dive right back into the chores and routines that you wanted to leave behind for a week or two. Instead, make a list of the items you need to address, and which ones are important versus which ones can wait. Do you really have to do three loads of laundry on the first night home? Why not just unpack a few essentials, order some takeout, and relax with a movie or TV show for the night? Don't put undue pressure on yourself to stop the vacation the second you open the front door. A few days of gentle transition will really help.</p> <h2>6. Take some time to go over photos and memories</h2> <p>It used to take hours, or days, to get the photos of your trip developed at the local photo kiosk. These days, you have your entire collection of photographs instantly on hand, and ready to be screened on the 50-inch TV in the family room. The day after you get back, make a point of going through the great memories of your vacation. Prepare a few snacks and drinks, and flip through your photos leisurely. Don't rush it. If there are friends and family around, share your experiences. What was funny? What sucked in the moment, but can be laughed about now? This is all part of the process of truly enjoying the vacation after the fact.</p> <h2>7. Bring some of the vacation back with you</h2> <p>Just because you're no longer on vacation doesn't mean you can't do some of the things you did while you were away. Did you visit a place that served up wonderful local cuisine? Try to recreate it at home. If there was a certain kind of music that you listened to on your adventures, look it up and make a playlist. Smells are important, too. You can find candles and oils in thousands of different scents. When you're in the bathtub, sipping the same wine or beer you had on vacation, listening to the same sounds, smelling the same smells &hellip; it's like a transporter beam back to the holiday you just had.</p> <h2>8. Don't forget the souvenirs</h2> <p>Just like photographs, souvenirs can be wonderful reminders of the good times you had on your vacation. Most of the time, we buy goodies for our family and friends, but don't think about ourselves. Make a point of bringing something small, but meaningful, home from your vacation just for you. It doesn't have to cost a lot; it could even be a shell from the beach, or a trinket from a tourist shop. Put it on display on your desk at work, or on the nightstand. Every time you see it, it will bring back great memories for you.</p> <h2>9. Start planning your next vacation soon</h2> <p>After a few days, start looking forward to your next vacation. It may be a few months away, or the same time next year, but beginning the planning process now can take the sting out of returning from a well-earned break. Do you want to go back to the same place again? Do you want to venture to a different place? Or do something really out of the box? Just by thinking about it, you get back into that excited state you were in before your vacation started. And it also gives you plenty of time to save for the vacation.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-get-over-your-post-vacation-blues&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520Over%2520Your%2520Post-Vacation%2520Blues.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Over%20Your%20Post-Vacation%20Blues"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Over%20Your%20Post-Vacation%20Blues.jpg" alt="9 Ways to Get Over Your Post-Vacation Blues" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-get-over-your-post-vacation-blues">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">How to Make Sure You&#039;re Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-luggage-on-your-next-trip">9 Ways to Protect Your Luggage on Your Next Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work">How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel post-vacation blues time off travel tips vacation vacation time work stress Tue, 05 Sep 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 2014097 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Reasons You Shouldn't "Vacation Shame" Your Coworkers http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_work_654187068.jpg" alt="Woman being vacation shamed by coworkers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2015, Americans left <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/work-martyrs-cautionary-tale" target="_blank">658 million vacation days</a> unused. It's a problem that has continued to ingrain itself in the American way of life, and it's only going to get worse. It even has a name &mdash; &quot;work martyrdom&quot; &mdash; and one of the most troubling reasons for it is feeling guilty about taking paid time off.</p> <p>Have you ever felt guilty about taking vacation, or made your coworkers feel guilty for taking time off? Well, you shouldn't. It's dangerous, and bad for both you and your company. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Actually Take All Your Vacation Days This Year</a>)</p> <h2>1. Vacation is vital for good health</h2> <p>You wouldn't want to make your coworkers physically ill, but by guilting them out of their vacation time, you could be contributing to some very serious health risks. The Framingham Heart Study, the world's longest running study of heart disease, has some frightening statistics on vacation and health. The biggest &mdash; that men who failed to take a vacation for two years or more were 30 percent more likely to experience a heart attack than peers who took regular time off.</p> <p>A Marshfield Clinic study showed that women who took at least two vacations per year were less likely to suffer from depression than those who don't take time off. Other research has shown that not taking vacation can also lead to higher blood pressure, stress, poor family relationships, and if you're extremely overworked, even suicide. So, it's vital to actually encourage coworkers to take time off, especially if they look worn out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-proves-it-you-need-to-take-a-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Science Says We NEED to Take a Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>2. Vacation refreshes the mind and body</h2> <p>Research has proved it; when you take a vacation, you are improving your mind and your overall health. And if you work with people who need to be great at their jobs in order to make you and the company thrive, then you should encourage vacation time.</p> <p>A vacation is to a person what a reboot is to a computer that is slow, glitchy, and taking forever to do tasks that used to be done quickly. Mental breaks <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/" target="_blank">recharge the mind</a>, and improve memory, productivity, and creativity &mdash; all vital in almost every job out there. You will find that although you may miss them when they're gone, your coworkers are upgraded versions of themselves when they return. And, they will be eager to dive in and get things done.</p> <h2>3. Vacation is just as much of a right as a bathroom or lunch break</h2> <p>Would you shame a coworker for daring to leave their desk for an hour to eat a meal? Would you point out that they could be doing valuable work when they are heading to the bathroom? Well, of course not. These are needs, and vacation is just as important as either of those.</p> <p>Vacation time may not be granted by U.S. law, but most employers offer paid leave as part of the benefits package. It's right there with health care and sick time (which, by the way, people also feel guilty about taking).</p> <p>The bottom line &mdash; every employee who takes paid time off has earned it, and they are simply using a benefit that comes with the position. In the case of people who don't get paid time off, which stands at around 25 percent, you have even less reason to shame them. They are losing money by taking this time, and that is a difficult financial decision for anyone to make.</p> <h2>4. Vacation keeps good employees at the company</h2> <p>An unhappy employee is one that is looking for another job. A 2015 Talent Trends survey found that one out of every three employees is actively looking for a new job. That's almost a third of the people at your company, right now, that wants out.</p> <p>It is a fact that it costs a company a lot more money to replace employees than it does to retain them. For entry level employees, it's between 30 percent and 50 percent of average annual salary. That figure increases to 150 percent for midlevel employees, and a <a href="https://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/what-was-leadership-thinking-the-shockingly-high-cost-of-employee-turnover/" target="_blank">whopping 400 percent</a> for high-level or specialized talent. And guess what? One of the big reasons people move on is the lack of a good work-life balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a>)</p> <p>It is in the best interests of your company to keep people around, because it will not be spending excessive amounts of money retraining staff. Want a raise? More travel? A promotion? It's more likely to happen if people aren't quitting due to lack of time off.</p> <h2>5. Vacation broadens the mind</h2> <p>Well, to be more accurate, travel broadens the mind. But it's a little hard to travel if you don't take a vacation.</p> <p>In some careers, especially ones that require creative or lateral thinking, this can be a great asset to the company. A well-furnished mind is one that can draw from many life experiences. This can translate to new, innovative ideas and suggestions, and lead to positive changes at the company. This, in turn, can boost productivity and profits, and even lead to expansion.</p> <p>Someone who is staring at the same four walls day after day, month after month, is not going to be as valuable to the company as someone who has gone out into the world and done something new. Your company needs people who are well-traveled, not overworked.</p> <h2>6. Vacation boosts organizational morale</h2> <p>Who wants to work in a company filled with miserable, exhausted, irritable employees? That's what you get if you work in an environment that vacation-shames people.</p> <p>When you have very little to look forward to, coupled with a hectic work schedule and poor work-life balance, you're not going to be much fun to be around. Compare that to someone who is planning to go on vacation. They are recognizably happier and more enthusiastic, because they're looking forward to doing something fun. For those weeks, or months, they bring a sunny disposition with them to work. Then, they go on vacation and come back rested, refreshed, and ready to help.</p> <p>This is all good for the company, and good for you. You will get a lift from their energy, instead of being dragged down by morale that's in the gutter.</p> <h2>7. Vacation leads to better performance reviews and higher salaries</h2> <p>Put this in the &quot;strange but true&quot; category if you like, but a 2006 study by Ernst &amp; Young found that each additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took led to performance reviews that were 8 percent higher the following year. And, of course, higher performance reviews lead to increased salary bumps, promotions, and greater opportunities within the company.</p> <p>Why would this be? Well, look back at all the reasons given in this article for taking a vacation, and the answer becomes obvious. Employees that take vacation are sharper, happier, healthier, and more productive than coworkers who do not take time off. Naturally, this translates to better performance at work, a better attitude, and a better review.</p> <p>So, even if you're not vacation-shaming anyone (and hopefully that's the case), you should look at your own vacation plan and increase your days off. It will positively impact your career.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Reasons%2520You%2520Shouldnt%2520Vacation%2520Shame%2520Your%2520Coworkers.jpg&amp;description=7%20Reasons%20You%20Shouldn't%20%22Vacation%20Shame%22%20Your%20Coworkers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Reasons%20You%20Shouldnt%20Vacation%20Shame%20Your%20Coworkers.jpg" alt="7 Reasons You Shouldn't &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/they-offered-you-a-promotion-and-no-pay-raise-now-what">They Offered You a Promotion and No Pay Raise. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-work-life-balance-is-off">9 Signs Your Work-Life Balance Is Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-jobs-you-may-not-have-considered-but-should">9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career">How to Keep a Personal Problem From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income employment health benefits promotions shaming sick days time off vacation days vacation time working Wed, 05 Jul 2017 08:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1977385 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/falling_in_love_is_so_much_fun.jpg" alt="Falling in love is so much fun" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us dream about being able give up the day job and settle into a life of freedom, flexibility, and financial security in retirement. But unfortunately for many Americans, this dream is getting further and further out of reach. The reality is that the average age at which U.S. citizens are able to retire is on the increase.</p> <p>Being financially prepared is rightly a large concern, particularly because people tend to make big plans for when they do finally retire. It also means that some people put off following their dreams with hopes that they will be better able to afford them later in life.</p> <p>But if you're sensible with your savings and clever with your planning, it's possible to find a balance between securing a comfortable retirement and still living life to its fullest.</p> <h2>Take more time off</h2> <p>Taking vacation is something that shoots fear into the hearts of millions of people. Reasons for this vary from being worried about the amount of work that we'll face when returning to the job, to fears of losing our job altogether as a result of taking too much time off. It's a sad fact that the majority of Americans don't take their full vacation allowance each year, with 55 percent reporting leaving days unused, according to Project: Time Off.</p> <p>If you're among the large number of Americans who don't use their vacation days, then the first step to getting more holidays is simply to take them. Booking your vacations far in advance will allow your employer to plan effectively for the time that you're not there. It also gives you time to help ensure that whoever is covering you knows what they are doing and is properly prepared.</p> <p>If you're already using your allotted time off, consider asking for more. Requesting extra vacation is understandably daunting for many people, but as the old saying goes, if you don't ask, you don't get. It helps if you can provide justification for your extra holiday time, like a dream trip to Europe, and it's even better if you can demonstrate it will have a positive effect on your productivity. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review directly linked having more vacation days to an ability to get work done quicker.</p> <p>Another option that many don't even consider is to take unpaid time off. Though this may seem counterproductive, it's basically like buying extra vacation days. If you value your time off then it can work out to be very cost effective.</p> <p>Ask your employer about &quot;banking time,&quot; which basically allows you to work overtime shifts for regular pay (instead of the regular time-and-a-half), and then use those banked days to extend your holidays or take a few extra days off throughout the year when you need a break from the grind.</p> <h2>Focus on discounted, cheap, and free experiences</h2> <p>A great way to enjoy the quality of life that you crave without breaking the bank is to take advantage of discounted and cheap experiences. You might have a list of things that you want to do, see, or accomplish in your lifetime that you're putting off because you think it's too expensive. Instead, try looking out for when it's possible to do these things on the cheap.</p> <p>Always wanted to visit a certain country? Research when high season is and make a plan that allows you to go in low season instead. This will save you money on flights, accommodations, and many activities to do while you're there.</p> <p>Create a bucket list with a twist. Rather than containing activities that cost money, focus on experiences which cost little but provide you with a high sense of personal achievement. Physical activities are good for this, like hiking a certain mountain route or running a marathon, as well as things that will tax your brain like writing a book or learning an instrument.</p> <h2>Move somewhere cheaper</h2> <p>Lots of people envision moving away to a rural area or a tropical place when they retire, but why put it off until then? Moving to a cheaper city, state, or even country could allow you to live out your dreams, save more, and work less all at the same time. If you're not tied to your home by your job, then it doesn't necessarily even have to be a permanent move. You could spend half your time in the cheaper place having fun while still saving money.</p> <p>Numbeo ranks the U.S. as one of the most expensive places to live in the world. This means there's a lot of choice if you are looking for somewhere cheaper to settle down abroad. With 8.7 million Americans living overseas, you won't be alone. There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/x-exciting-world-cities-you-can-afford-to-retire-in" target="_blank">attractive, cheap locations</a> that could be the perfect place to call your new home.</p> <p>If you don't know where to start, write a list of what's important to you in your everyday life and research which places can accommodate those aspects of your life. Lots of countries in South America, Asia, and Europe are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries" target="_blank">significantly less expensive</a> than the U.S. but still offer a great standard of living.</p> <p>Moving to a new country isn't a decision to be taken lightly, and definitely not one that should be made based purely on cost. You need to be sure that the move is right for you and is one that will have a positive impact on your life. But there's no need to hold off until you're 65 to move to an amazing location.</p> <h2>Work from home</h2> <p>If your career is getting in the way of living the life you want right now, then perhaps it's time to start thinking about changing to something that will allow you to do this. The office environment is rapidly transforming, and working from home is no longer a rare and prized entitlement for the lucky few. If you don't have to spend time commuting or dressing for an office environment, you can free up time to do more of what you want to do.</p> <p>Lots of employers are becoming more flexible when it comes to this idea and there is a wide range of opportunities that are well suited for remote work. Advancements in technology have made remote working progressively easier, with a Gallup survey showing that 43 percent of employed Americans spend some portion of time working from home.</p> <p>Some industries that have embraced remote working include finance, insurance, and information technology, so it's a bonus if you already have a background in one of these fields. But even if you don't, the trend of working from home is growing, and may hit your industry soon.</p> <p>Don't confuse working from home with doing less. It's not a way to ease into the retired life in that sense. What it does bring is flexibility around when you work, as well as potentially huge savings in the time wasted getting to and from the office. It's also common for it to lead to increased productivity thanks to having fewer distractions at home than in a typical office environment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-retirement-hotspots-that-are-cheaper-now-than-ever-before">9 Retirement Hotspots That Are Cheaper Now Than Ever Before</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-before-taking-a-mini-retirement">5 Money Moves to Make Before Taking a Mini Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-vacation-shame-your-coworkers">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t &quot;Vacation Shame&quot; Your Coworkers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Retirement discounts experiences moving relocating remote retired life telecommuting time off travel vacation time work from home working Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1958436 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_traveling_000018933123.jpg" alt="Woman going on vacation without getting behind on work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a self-employed freelancer, and the breadwinner for my family, I understand the importance of balancing work and life. This means that I have to make time for family, friends, and travel, so I have to put my business on the back burner.</p> <p>No matter how much you enjoy your work, there will be times when it has to take a backseat to other personal or social priorities. This is particularly important during the busy summer months when you'd rather spend time outdoors or on a road trip.</p> <p>So how do you enjoy a getaway without feeling guilty or stressed about work when you return home? Here are six tips for going on vacation without getting behind.</p> <h2>1. Consider Taking a Workcation</h2> <p>The definition of a workcation is simply that you're taking your business with you while you're away, and plan to work a few hours a day. Essentially, you do work while you're on vacation. While this may seem like defeating the whole purpose of a vacation, setting aside even just one hour a day to check in could alleviate a lot of stress and worry. It's never fun to come back from a trip to find an overwhelming inbox. Just be sure to limit your time and return to vacation mode guilt-free.</p> <h2>2. Set a Vacation Autoreply</h2> <p>This tip may be one that's suggested a lot but setting a vacation auto reply for your email inbox will help you set (and keep!) boundaries while you're away from the office. Clients need to know they won't be hearing a reply quite as quickly, and you need the peace of mind knowing that you aren't under pressure to respond right away.</p> <h2>3. Return Home a Day Early</h2> <p>When I worked at my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">full-time job</a>, I usually returned home from vacation on Sunday, the day before the regular work week was to begin. Doing this allowed me to stretch my vacation out as long as possible. The downside though, was that I felt rushed coming home and sometimes had to deal with jetlag the next day at work.</p> <p>I've since learned to book flights and trips where I return from a vacation <em>a day early </em>so I can prep the upcoming week, buy any groceries to restock the fridge, and do a few loads of laundry. That extra day is the most effective thing I do to make sure I don't get behind on work, or feel rushed when I step into the office Monday morning.</p> <h2>4. Write Down a List of Homework</h2> <p>If you're unable, or don't want, to take your work with you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-forget-to-do-before-leaving-for-vacation">while on vacation</a>, write down a list of things you need to accomplish when you return. Think of this as a &quot;homework&quot; list of to-dos so you won't be scrambling to get organized when you arrive home.</p> <p>Make a game plan before you leave that ensures all of your projects and client work will still be completed on time. When I create my homework list, I usually bring it with me so I can add ideas and tasks throughout the vacation. Getting it written down, and off my mind, ensures I don't forget what I need to do and keeps me from stressing about it the entire time I'm away.</p> <h2>5. Reassess Your Schedule</h2> <p>Now that you have your list of homework, take all of those tasks and break them down into specific priorities. Which ones absolutely <em>have </em>to be completed this week? Can you postpone some appointments to make room for more important to-dos? Review your schedule and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-personal-time-from-work-and-be-happier">prioritize everything</a> that needs to be done based on the level of importance.</p> <p>When the week is over, if you only get four or five tasks completed, which ones will make you feel most accomplished? Move these to the top of the list and tackle them first! Any time you have remaining at the end of the week can be used to catch up on less important tasks.</p> <h2>6. Prepare for Setbacks</h2> <p>What happens if you lose your phone? How can you get work done with the Internet? What happens if you forget the power cord to your laptop? (That actually happened to me once.) Before heading out of town, prepare for any unexpected emergencies that might pop up.</p> <p>Create a backup plan for getting in touch with your boss, or checking in with your team if you need to. The last thing you want is to be on vacation, and off the grid, when an emergency happens and you have no way of getting in contact with anyone.</p> <p>As you take time off to enjoy the summer holiday, use these tips so you can return home less stressed. You'll have more fun and actually look forward to your return, without getting behind on work.</p> <p><em>What's one thing you do before taking time off from work for a vacation? </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Go%20on%20Vacation%20Without%20Getting%20Behind%20on%20Work.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Go%20on%20Vacation%20Without%20Getting%20Behind%20on%20Work" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Go%20on%20Vacation%20Without%20Getting%20Behind%20on%20Work.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-get-over-your-post-vacation-blues">9 Ways to Get Over Your Post-Vacation Blues</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel">10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-balance-work-and-travel-while-on-the-road">7 Ways to Balance Work and Travel While On the Road</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel career time off vacation wanderlust work benefits Tue, 08 Sep 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Carrie Smith 1545689 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Actually Take All Your Vacation Days This Year http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_boat_000034795992.jpg" alt="Man taking the opportunity to use his vacation days this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nearly everyone recognizes the importance of taking a break from work. Time off makes workers happier, helps them rest, allows them to do things that they love, and improves their attitude and focus at work when they return.</p> <p>Why, then, did 41% of American workers plan to <a href="http://www.projecttimeoff.com/research/overwhelmed-america">not use their vacation time</a> in 2014?</p> <p>There are a zillion reasons, and some of them are even good. However, most of these have some easy workarounds, assuming you give it a little thought and put in a little effort. You shouldn't have to compromise on the breaks you've earned &mdash; and deserve.</p> <h2>1. Plan Ahead</h2> <p>Sometimes, people don't take their vacation days because they can't get the weeks off that they want, or because they don't have time to plan the trip that they'd really like to take. This doesn't have to derail your vacationing efforts, though.</p> <p>If the days you really want are days everyone else is going to want off too, make your best effort to accommodate this. As an example, some workplaces have a lottery for these days, so make sure you participate. Avoid the most congested vacation weeks, and opt for nearby time slots. For instance, it's usually easier to get the week before Christmas off than the week of Christmas.</p> <p>When in doubt, get some vacation days on the calendar even if you don't know what you want to do with them. If nothing else, you can play tourist in your own town and sleep in every day!</p> <h2>2. Work Ahead</h2> <p>Many people don't take their vacation days because they're worried about getting behind at work and returning to a mountain of tasks. While you can't completely counteract this, it's possible to complete most work in advance, or to otherwise plan around your absence.</p> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to plan your vacation during a slow time of year at work, in order to avoid a backlog while you're gone. You can also plan your schedule and make budgets, schedule events, meet with clients, etc., before you go so those tasks aren't hanging over your head when you return.</p> <h2>3. Empower People Around You</h2> <p>If the people around you know that you have confidence in them, they will work just as well when you're gone as they do when you're in the office. This will hold true even if you're a manager or own a business.</p> <p>Make sure that the people you work with know that you trust them to make good decisions even if you're not there. Explicitly explain your trust and expectations. Doing this may also mean that they'll have your back while on vacation, taking care of pressing tasks in your absence.</p> <h2>4. Stop Saving</h2> <p>About 38% of the people who don't use their vacation days are saving time off in case they need it. While it's good to be judicious with your vacations, most companies won't let you save your vacation time forever (and increasingly, many companies won't let you save much at all!). This means that you either use your vacation time, or you risk losing it.</p> <h2>5. Be a Great Employee</h2> <p>Employees also worry about being seen as expendable or as not committed to their jobs when they use all of their vacation time (or worse, when other people don't use theirs). The truth is, your employer is not allowed to fire you for using your allotted vacation time. Still, people worry that this will happen to them.</p> <p>Nip this in the bud by being a superb employee. If you're good at your job and clearly focused and committed when you're there, no boss will begrudge your well-deserved time off. Most companies know that employees who use vacation time are <a href="http://www.today.com/money/importance-taking-vacations-1D80097348">happier and more productive</a> on the job, and taking time off doesn't imply disloyalty.</p> <h2>6. Open Communication With Your Supervisor</h2> <p>Some supervisors seem to discourage employees from taking the time off that they've earned. If this is your boss, talk to him or her about it. You don't have to make it into a confrontation. Simply say something like, &quot;Hey, I'd really like to take my kids to go do X, but I've noticed you seem a little stressed. Is there anything I can do to help you out so that my leaving won't make things worse?&quot;</p> <p>You can also offer to coordinate time off with other employees or with your boss, in order to ensure all bases are covered and everyone gets their due vacation. The goal here is to make this a topic you and your boss can talk about, rather than one that everyone tries to avoid.</p> <h2>7. Remember: A Job Is a Job</h2> <p>In the end, your job is not your life. Your job is your job, and a vacation can help you remember that when you're tempted to put all your time and energy into work. Even if you love your job and it's one of the most satisfying parts of your life, it's still a job. Remember this, and it will help you choose to take every single bit of vacation time you're entitled to, without worrying about what might happen later.</p> <p><em>Do you plan to use all of your vacation this year? What do you want to do with your time off?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-actually-take-all-your-vacation-days-this-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-more-money-by-demanding-it">Earn More Money by Demanding It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-getting-what-you-want-at-work">What you need to know about getting what you want at work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building job time off vacation days work Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1380880 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn a Day Off Into Your Most Profitable Day of the Year http://www.wisebread.com/turn-a-day-off-into-your-most-profitable-day-of-the-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-a-day-off-into-your-most-profitable-day-of-the-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/235832200_3adde267d9_z.jpg" alt="man on phone" title="man on phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Keeping up can be hard. In order to cope, we only focus on what is most pressing &mdash; and our wallets suffer the consequences.</p> <p>Time management guru <a href="https://www.stephencovey.com/">Steven Covey</a> said that all our tasks fall into one of four quadrants:</p> <ol> <li>Quadrant One: Urgent and important</li> <li>Quadrant Two: Not urgent and important</li> <li>Quadrant Three: Urgent and not important</li> <li>Quadrant Four: Not urgent and not important&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>Sometimes the unimportant activities trump important activities just because they are urgent. In our lives, one of the things we often neglect to do are the financial quadrant two activities. As a result, you could have one of your most profitable days by taking a day off and focusing on all the non-urgent yet important financial tasks you've been avoiding. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-monthly-bills-you-can-slash">10 Monthly Bills You&nbsp;Can Slash</a>)</p> <h3>1. Shop Around for New Insurance</h3> <p>This includes all forms of insurance like house, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-health-insurance-plans">health</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-buy-life-insurance">life</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">renters</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-disability-insurance">disability</a>, and whatever other forms of insurance you have. After signing up for insurance and setting up your auto payments, you might rarely think about those expenses. However, spending an hour or two comparing rates could literally save you hundreds of dollars a year.</p> <h3>2. Call Credit Card Companies, and Ask If They Can Reduce Your Rate</h3> <p>Especially if you've been making payments and the credit card company thinks you're going to transfer your balance, they'll be more likely to <a href="http://christianpf.com/how-to-negotiate-with-credit-card-companies/">reduce your interest rate</a>. In fact, the best approach is to watch your junk mail for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-do-a-credit-card-balance-transfer-and-how">0% balance transfer</a> promotion and call the credit card company equipped with some motivation for them to drop your interest rate.</p> <h3>3. Switch to a Savings Account With a Higher Interest Rate</h3> <p>Go ahead and take 30 minutes to transfer your funds over to an account with a higher interest rate or an account that has some type of sign up bonus or incentive.</p> <h3>4. Set Up a Budget</h3> <p>One of the biggest reasons why people don't budget is that they don't have the time. Budgeting does take some time to get started, but typically once the ball is rolling, a few minutes a day is all you need to keep up with your budget. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour to get your budget set up.</p> <h3>5. Do Some Investing Research</h3> <p>If you're investing, do you have the lowest online brokerage, or are you overpaying on trading fees? Have you rebalanced your portfolio lately? Take the time necessary to review your investments.</p> <h3>6. Get Your Couponing System Up and Running</h3> <p>One of the intimidating things about couponing is creating and implementing a good system for tracking your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">coupons</a>.</p> <h3>7. Read Money-Saving Articles</h3> <p>Set aside a little bit of time to search for money saving articles in areas where you're overspending. Spending too much on food? Google how to save money on groceries or how to cut dining out expenses. There's a good chance that you'll be able to come up with some good ideas that will save you at least $100 per year.</p> <p>Moral of the story &mdash; turn your time into money.</p> <p>Saving money can be more profitable than earning money (because you don't pay taxes on money you save). As a result, you'll benefit tremendously by taking a day off work to catch up on all those financial tasks you've been neglecting for months. I bet you could easily find a way to save over $500 per year with just one day off.</p> <p><em>What other things do you think people could do to save money during a day off?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-a-day-off-into-your-most-profitable-day-of-the-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-around-the-house">101 Ways to Save Money Around the House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-coupons-for-every-online-store-even-the-ones-that-dont-have-coupons">Score Coupons for Every Online Store (Even the Ones That &quot;Don&#039;t Have Coupons&quot;)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-extreme-ways-to-save-money-that-could-work-for-you">12 Extreme Ways to Save Money That Could Work for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-add-50-to-your-pocket">5 Easy Ways to Add $50 to Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cost cutting coupons interest rates time off Wed, 14 Nov 2012 10:36:43 +0000 Craig Ford 955320 at http://www.wisebread.com Self-Employed? Tips for Taking Time Off Without Trauma http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vacation.jpg" alt="People on vacation" title="People on vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation days from a traditional employer are almost as valuable as the paycheck itself. In fact, since becoming a <a href="http://www.1099mom.com/">work-at-home mom</a> in 2007, I haven&rsquo;t really ever taken a real vacation. Sure, I was forced to check my online meetings and frequent business trips at the door of the hospital when I gave birth to my fifth kid in 2010 &mdash; but other than that, time off has been limited.</p> <p>You may be wondering, then, &ldquo;What makes Linsey qualified to tell me how to take off time from my own business? She rarely does herself.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s amazing what you can learn from your mistakes, however. And so I give you a brief list of the wisdom I&rsquo;ve learned to getting some much needed me-time, even if your small business cash flow limits the &ldquo;when,&rdquo; &ldquo;where,&rdquo; and &ldquo;how often.&rdquo; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-office-habits-to-keep-when-working-from-home">5 Office Habits to Keep When Working From Home</a>)</p> <h3>Look Beyond the Week Off</h3> <p>Some traditionalists claim that you need at least three days away from the iPhone, laptop, and email to truly get into the zen mode that vacations are famous for. I call &ldquo;bull&rdquo; on that theory. The length of time it takes you to get out of &ldquo;work mode&rdquo; and into &ldquo;fun mode&rdquo; has more to do with your personality and boundaries than any industry standard.</p> <p>If I personally know that I am having two days off with no work duties, I take that time and have the best 24 hours I can imagine. Given an entire week at that rate, it may actually be too much and I might never return to my grown-up responsibilities. Others will need far more than six days to let their hair down. That may be a sign that you are wired too tightly into your business and frequent, shorter breaks can help you to learn to appreciate the chunks of life in between your working tasks. Whatever your tendency, seven straight days of vacation can be too costly (both in time and money) to commit to. Don&rsquo;t overlook the value of the short break, and see how you can work on ways to learn to enjoy 24-48 hours of peace. (Like a weekend. Remember?)</p> <h3>Live in the Real World</h3> <p>Looking forward to leaving your online business to pursue &ldquo;other&rdquo; online entertainment endeavors?&nbsp;Try to avoid this, if possible. Yes, role playing games, Facebook connections, shopping for the best online deals, and watching hours upon hours of old <em>Firefly</em> episodes on Netflix can be great ways to unwind, but if your small business requires you to stare at screens all day, your body (and mind) may really need a break from being so plugged-in.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t feel you have to abandon your <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/09/6-great-ways-to-find-online-communities.html">online communities</a> completely, but do try to schedule some vacation time without your gaming buddies. Go outside.&nbsp;See a new &ldquo;real&rdquo; place. Breathe the air and remember what it&rsquo;s like to live in the slow crawl that is tangible humanity. You&rsquo;ll have plenty of time to work on that wicked case of carpal tunnel when you return to work.</p> <h3>Budget for Your Break</h3> <p>If you really want to take a short intermission from your small business, make sure you plan for the interruption in revenue. You can either work ahead of time to earn that money before you go, or set aside a chunk of &ldquo;vacay revenue&rdquo; to help you through in the down time. (I actually prefer to set aside a chunk of money and NOT try to scramble to make up the revenue I will lose. My work schedule is murderous enough without having to try to earn EXTRA before I leave.) A friend of mine does a mixture of both, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/when-to-outsource-for-your-small-business">outsources the work</a> she would have done while on vacation to a friend. She earns 20-40% of her regular fees and can walk away and enjoy her break.</p> <h3>Let People Know Where You&rsquo;ll Be</h3> <p>If you work with hundreds of people in your business, you don&rsquo;t need to email them all individually. A nice &ldquo;I&rsquo;ll be on vacation from this date to this date&rdquo; will suffice. (Be sure to use BCC, okay?) Otherwise, an out-of-office reply lets only those who need you know that you&rsquo;ll be back and to hold any important new business until you return. (No need to alert the world that you&rsquo;re gone unless they are actually looking for you.) Be sure to avoid this common <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-auto-reply-email-telling-people-about-you">out-of-office reply faux pas</a>, however.</p> <p>Just the fact that you&rsquo;re looking to take a recess should be commended. There is much to gain from stepping back from your small business and much to lose by ignoring the need to reconnect with friends, family, or just yourself. Whether you see the world, or just hit a new local eatery, you&rsquo;ll never regret the time off, provided you look ahead and put it into your plan!</p> <p><em>What fun breaks have you taken from your small business?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-tips-for-taking-time-off-without-trauma">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-your-personal-guarantee-on-a-business-credit-card-mean">What Does Your Personal Guarantee On a Business Credit Card Mean?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-small-business-targeting-the-wrong-customer">Is Your Small Business Targeting the Wrong Customer?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship self-employed small business time off vacation Mon, 25 Jul 2011 09:48:05 +0000 Linsey Knerl 633295 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread's Best and Worst Financial Decisions in 2010 http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-best-and-worst-financial-decisions-in-2010 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-breads-best-and-worst-financial-decisions-in-2010" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007864934Smallcr.jpg" alt="Happy sad hard boiled eggs" title="Happy sad hard boiled eggs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With all the rush and stress of the holidays, I find it difficult to spend my late December reflecting on the last 12 months of my life. But now that we're nicely settled into 2011, some of my fellow Wise Bread writers and I have been doing some thinking about 2010 and the great (or terrible) financial decisions we made last year.</p> <p>One of the best decisions I made in 2010 was to splurge on a half-off certificate for housecleaning from <a href="http://livingsocial.com">LivingSocial</a>...for a house I wasn't living in. I usually consider housecleaning services to be an unnecessary waste of money: Why pay someone when I can do it myself? But this year I moved during the aforementioned stressful December, and I realized that I could avoid so much extra work and fretting by hiring someone to clean my previous house for me. Being able to spend less time dusting baseboards and more time with my friends and family was so worth it.</p> <p>One of my worst financial decisions of 2010 also comes via LivingSocial...and Groupon...and all of the other daily deals websites I've signed up for. I love trying new dining and drinking establishments, so I frequently purchase bar and restaurant certificates from these sites. However, multiple times in 2010, I lost track of expiration dates and accidently let certificates I purchased expire. This year, I've vowed to keep better track of these purchases, and every time I buy one, I now mark its expiration date on my calendar.</p> <p>Here are some more of our writers' best (and worst) financial moves of 2010</p> <h3>Temporarily Leaving the Rat Race&nbsp;</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a>: In 2010, I made what turned out to be a great financial decision. I took a month off from work.</p> <p>I run my own business, working for clients on various projects in order to bring in work. I've been doing so full-time for over three years. But I also have plenty of my own side projects that bring in money. I've written ebooks, run blogs, and and generally focused on using my strengths as a writer to build income sources. But I'm constantly frustrated by the fact that I don't have a lot of time to work on these side projects. Personally, I prioritize client work because it's cash in hand &mdash; I get payment a lot faster than when I'm developing a product of my own.</p> <p>In September, though, I told my clients I was taking a month off from work. Honestly, I'd hit a point where I was burnt out, and I was dealing with a family situation anyhow, so I needed some time away. I certainly didn't work straight through October, but in addition to taking a much needed vacation, I figured out a new product that will make it possible to cut back on my client work &mdash; and I got most of the preliminary work done on it. I'm still working part-time to finish it up.</p> <p>Taking a full month off of client work was a tough decision for me &mdash; I had to plan my financial situation very carefully, and it caused me some problems. But it remains one of the best financial decisions I made in 2010.</p> <h3>Taking a Sub-Par Summer Job</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/margaret-garcia-couoh">Margaret Garcia-Couoh</a>: I was all excited when the college I teach for asked me to teach American Lit and World Lit this summer. Normally, I'm bogged down with composition classes so I was super excited to expose kids to literature instead of nagging them about paper writing.</p> <p>Of course in my excitement I forgot that my own kids would be out of school and would have to be in daycare. Then the price of gas went up in our area. Then I found out that since summer school was for less units and for high school students, I wouldn't be paid my regular salary.</p> <p>I'd have made more if I'd have just gone on unemployment. Instead I wound up paying my babysitter and the gas station nearly all the money I made from summer school! On top of that the high school students never read and were ill prepared for discussion. I killed my own summer for no reason at all. Never again! Much more cost effective to just stay home with the kids and have fun!</p> <h3>Asking About a Deal</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a>: Our local Walgreens is over 20 minutes away, so making special trip is not a good use of gas money (or time). When I found out from a deal blog in May that they were clearing out all of their store brand diapers for $2 a pack, however, I jetted down and cleaned them out. I was worried that I was too much of a &quot;deal hog,&quot; so I checked with the manager to see if it was OK. Not only did she approve me buying out the shelves, she brought several more packages up from the back to sell me. &quot;Please take these off our hands so we can stock the new products,&quot; she begged. I went home with my Suburban full of diapers in all sizes and less than $50 spent out of pocket. My new baby, born in June, is set &mdash; for the rest of his diapered life, anyway.</p> <h3>Setting Aside Specific Savings</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a>: The greatest financial decision for 2010 was to set aside money specifically designated to pay real estate property taxes and homeowner's insurance. We haven't had to take such basic actions in the past because my husband and I just recently paid off the mortgage, and these expenses were included in a monthly payment (held in escrow and then paid by the loan servicer).</p> <p>Seeing how much needs to be set aside is somewhat of a wake-up call; that is, though we could afford to make house payments on a larger house (and probably snag a great bargain right now!), certain things &mdash; like property taxes, insurance, plus upkeep &mdash;&nbsp;would still be high.</p> <p>In recent years, we haven't been as disciplined about designating savings. Making this decision helps us focus on saving for saving's sake and reaching longer-term goals.</p> <p><em>Did you make an especially great or terrible financial decision in 2010? Share it in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-breads-best-and-worst-financial-decisions-in-2010">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-savings-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">8 Savings Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-on-a-lot-less-money-3-ways-its-easier-than-you-think">Getting by on a lot less money: 3 ways it&#039;s easier than you think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living financial decisions financial risk savings time off Sun, 23 Jan 2011 22:36:53 +0000 Meg Favreau 469851 at http://www.wisebread.com Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation! http://www.wisebread.com/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new vacation.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">A cruise to the Bahamas or a trip to that luxury spa aren&rsquo;t going to get you ahead financially.<span> </span>However, if you&rsquo;re looking to sock away a couple hundred bucks or more, some time off from work just might be the way to get you there -- if you do it right.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">According to the <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2008/04/14/daily23.html?ana=from_rss">Portland Business Journal</a>, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10517739">Expedia&rsquo;s</a> eighth annual Vacation Deprivation Survey shows that 31 percent of Americans will not use all of their allotted vacation days.<span> </span>With most workers averaging 14 days per year, they are giving that time back to their employers in cases of &ldquo;use it or lose it.&rdquo;<span> </span>The majority of those not using their total vacation time cite work pressures as the main reason for forgoing time off.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">A small percentage of employers will allow unused vacation time to be paid out at the end of the year as an hourly wage, but many don&rsquo;t play by this rule.<span> </span>It&rsquo;s these employees that might consider looking at unused vacation time from a different point of view &ndash; one that may allow them to actually save some money for a large purchase, unpaid bills, or savings. A paid vacation away from work, but within the comfort of your own home, can net you big bucks.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Let&rsquo;s take a look at what you may save on a typical 5-day paid vacation.<span> </span>Assuming that you work a set number of hours or don&rsquo;t depend on overtime to supplement your income, you can avoid paying for:</p> <ul> <li>Gas for the daily commute:<span> </span>$3-20</li> <li>Parking and tolls: $1-4</li> <li>Lunch out: $5-15</li> <li>Wardrobe costs (dry cleaning, etc.): $4-15</li> </ul> <p>These totals are an average, with some employees paying more and others far less<strong>.<span> </span>If you look at savings for an entire week, you could save between $65 and $270 on a 5-day vacation, with no decrease in your income!</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The time away from work may also reap some benefits that are a little more difficult to measure, including: an improvement in mental or physical health, enhancement of family relationships, and the communication of healthy boundaries to your boss and coworkers.<span> </span>Some may even find that it is a perfect opportunity to earn some extra cash beyond their vacation pay by doing odd jobs or participating in a temporary or contract position!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you&rsquo;ve been putting off those much-needed vacation days for fear of falling behind at work, consider the monetary gain of getting away for a bit.<span> </span>You worked hard for those days.<span> </span>Why not put them to work for you?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWanna%2520Put%2520Away%2520Some%2520Cash-%2520Take%2520A%2520Vacation%2521.jpg&amp;description=Wanna%20Put%20Away%20Some%20Cash%3F%20Take%20A%20Vacation!"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Wanna%20Put%20Away%20Some%20Cash-%20Take%20A%20Vacation%21.jpg" alt="Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-a-personal-problem-from-hurting-your-career">How to Keep a Personal Problem From Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job">5 Things You Must Do Before You Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-career-tips-your-younger-self-would-give-you">9 Career Tips Your Younger Self Would Give You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Productivity paid saving money time off vacation work Sun, 04 May 2008 03:55:30 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2064 at http://www.wisebread.com