Sabbatical: How Will I Pay For It?

Filed in Personal Status

Sabbatical: Need Money?

The number ONE question everyone asks.

“What about the money?” and its close cousin.

“I don’t have the money”.

Humor me for a moment. Maybe you can get the money. Maybe you don’t need much money (depends what you do).
Here’s a few tips (A lot of tips) for making more, saving more, and getting stuff for free.

Make Money

  • Get Better
    • Read Books
    • Take Classes
    • Informal Learning
      • Speak with co-workers
      • Go to lunch with a mentor and with senior staff
      • Read productivity blogs (and implement suggestions)
      • Read career-specific blogs (and implement skills)
  • Performance Awards – if performance awards are available then perform better and work more
  • Ask for a raise
  • Take another job
    • Freelance similar work for other clients (make sure you speak with your supervisor and hr department first
    • Take on a different type of job using other skill sets
  • Freelance or work remotely while on sabbatical (Not the most desirable. Take careful consideration before continuing any form of work while on sabbatical)
  • Start a micro/lifestyle/muse business
  • Get creative
    • Ask for more money
    • Ask your friends for ideas
    • Crowdsource
    • Propose a three month break with a signing bonus to a new employer
      (very bold move – be prepared and confident to pull this off)
    • Propose a purpose that benefits your current employer — ask them to fund a portion or all of the trip as a corporate expense (what benefit are you bringing to the company as part of this trip?)

Save Money

Note: You don’t have to go right away. Save for three years then take a sabbatical. It might seem like a long time but what if you don’t save it all? How long will it take then? And consider this -- once you setup this program you can take a sabbatical every 3-7 years. :) 
  • Automatic Transfers
    • Setup an additional savings account – no debit card, separate it as much as possible from your main accounts, possibly even setup at a new bank
    • Transfer a fixed amount on each pay date — start with $50 (or more) and increase as you adjust to your budget

Reduce Expenses

  • Reduce current expenses
    • Call utility companies – ask for a reduction, ask what other plans they offer
    • Alternative energy suppliers – more of these are popping up nowadays
    • Review monthly expenses
      • What can you cut? (ex: monthly charge for online software that’s not used)
      • What can be modified (ex: cell phone plan)
    • Create a budget
    • Hire a financial planner to help guide you and to keep you accountable
    • Debt
  • Reduce home expenses while away
    • Sell or rent house/condo
    • Trade/swap home – see
    • Sell car (perhaps loan to a friend at cost)
  • Sell Some Stuff
    • Sell Your Crap program
  • Other
    • Pre-pay expenses that will recur while away (enforces you actually doing it)
  • Free Stuff
    House sit
    House swap
    Work on a boat
    Work at a hostel
    People you meet on the road (“Yes it does happen” – tell my Sao Joao Del Reistory)


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