Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!
A cruise to the Bahamas or a trip to that luxury spa aren’t going to get you ahead financially. However, if you’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.
According to the Portland Business Journal, Expedia’s eighth annual Vacation Deprivation Survey shows that 31 percent of Americans will not use all of their allotted vacation days. With most workers averaging 14 days per year, they are giving that time back to their employers in cases of “use it or lose it.” The majority of those not using their total vacation time cite work pressures as the main reason for forgoing time off.
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’t play by this rule. It’s these employees that might consider looking at unused vacation time from a different point of view – 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.
Let’s take a look at what you may save on a typical 5-day paid vacation. Assuming that you work a set number of hours or don’t depend on overtime to supplement your income, you can avoid paying for:
- Gas for the daily commute: $3-20
- Parking and tolls: $1-4
- Lunch out: $5-15
- Wardrobe costs (dry cleaning, etc.): $4-15
These totals are an average, with some employees paying more and others far less. 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!
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. 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!
If you’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. You worked hard for those days. Why not put them to work for you?