If it is getting harder and harder to work those 10 hour plus days, and you feel older than you are. Maybe it is time for a break. But what type of break? Maybe a day off or a "sick" day is all you need, but what if you are yearning for something more?
How to save money for a year off, can be daunting at first, but if the idea of a sabbatical is looking better and better all the time, then maybe it is time to really sit down with your finances, and any significant others in your life and really think about what you would like to do. Maybe you will need a "sick day" just for the planning phase.
We get so caught up in the projects at work or the hours there and the long commutes that we just go through the motions. We buy more and more things on credit to help us get through our day. Many of us figured our freedom and traveling, or possibly going back to school, or just doing what we want, were on hold until the golden handshake at 65.
But what if you are feeling burned out now at 35? or 45? or whatever age you are. You maybe have that yearning in the pit of your stomach to do something wild, something meaningful or just nothing at all. That yearning can be hard to squash. But knowing how to save money for a year off can be another stress. Your friends will look at you like you are crazy and would only consider it, if they won the lottery!
But there is one difference here. You are about to save money for you. Not a bill, not for anything else but you. That makes it just a bit easier to swallow and easier to save money for.
Now if you were one of those frugal people who able to save money from every pay since you ever started work, then that is great, you already have a nest egg, you just have to figure out how to let yourself spend some of it!
But if like most people, you have responsibilities, such as rent, mortgages, kids, cars or whatever, then you will need to get creative in how to save money for a year off.
The first thing you have to do is sit down and figure out what you would like to do with a year off. You will need to be able to support yourself as well as be able to pay for the extras you want to do.
So how to save money for a year off, all depends on what that year off is.
If you are volunteering to build houses for habitat for humanity in another country, for example, then you will most likely have cheap accommodations and you won't be doing any mall shopping in small rural villages. You will not need quite as much money, as someone wanting to tour Europe or going back to school.
Volunteering is a great way to get back your drive. It will be something totally different from what your daily grind was, and is refreshing for your mind, body and soul. You will head back to work a year from now, feeling better about yourself and life, and you will be a changed person for it, and it can be added to your resume.
Whether it is cycling with a backpack and staying at hostels in Europe or just touring your own country, accommodation and meals take a big piece of any budget. So you need to work out what you will do about this. Try to allow for obvious expenses, so that your money will last your year.
How to save money for a year off
Most of us, just can't do this tomorrow, you need a bit of warning and planning. But all of a sudden you are going to feel more energetic just at the thought of this plan.
Start automatic savings to save money
Start with the budget for your home now. Pare down everything you can. Keeping that prize in mind, this may not feel too much like roughing it. Then take any savings you can and have them automatically transferred to a savings account each pay.
Slash your budget big time
Really look close at the bills.
reduce your TV costs, do you really need 500 channels right now? Just remember the prize you are aiming for
Stop eating out totally. Eat at home, bring your lunch. Remember your prize when you are getting sick of the sandwiches! To save money for a year off takes some sacrifice.
Meals out and takeout can wreck any budget, stop these and you will save, and get healthier to boot!
Figure out how much you will need to travel for a year
Try and figure out the costs, such as airfare, train, public transit, equipment such as good backpacks, bicycles, helmets, food, lodgings. Will you stay in hostels? Or bed and breakfasts? How much to see attractions etc.. Just a good rough estimate and then maybe add a buffer 10%.
To save money for a year off, will now require you to figure out just how much to save. Take your approximation and then divide it by a year, or whatever amount of time you can continue working for before this big trip. If you are planning this for next year, and are allowing a year to save, then work out exactly how much per month you need to save.
Then get that amount taken off of your pay, and learn to live with what is left.
Rent out a room
If you are in a house or have room in your apartment, you can rent out a room for extra money to either help pay for present expenses or to help to save money for a year off.
Rent your house or sublet for the year
You can maybe take that year off sooner if you can temporarily get rid of present expenses, such as rent or mortgage. This way you only need to save money for your year off and not have to be worrying about paying for your present house or apartment while you are away.
If your idea of a great year off does not include leaving your home, then it wouldn't hurt to consider renting out part of it. We did that. We rented our second floor to a couple, we share the kitchen, but for the most part we don't see them. This way we can come and go and travel knowing that the household expenses are still being paid, plus they will watch our for our pets!.
This is not for everyone, but it is one way to cut back on expenses to help to save money for a year off.
Now you need to find out if you can take a year off work. Will they hold the job open for you? If not, are you willing to take the risk that you will find another one at the end of your sabbatical? Maybe add some padding to your savings for that.
As long as you are not presently trying to keep up with the Jones's, with new cars and bigger houses, even a modest salary can prepare for a year off. So if your brain lights up at the thought of a year off, then maybe it is time to rejuvenate and be a better person for it when you come back. To save money for a year off is a great investment that will pay off for years to come.