You’ve no doubt already heard the advice to give up lattes and cable in order to pay off debt. What about after you’ve tried all of the basic approaches and still find yourself unable to gain any momentum with your finances? We’ve been there. It’s like you can never bail out more water than is leaking into your boat. If this describes your current situation, then you may want to try a unique money hack: paying off debt by taking a vacation.
Vacations from work can provide significant benefits to your well-being, but a lot of people just don’t take advantage of their paid time off. According to this Fortune article, 54% of Americans failed to use all of their vacation days in 2016.
There are a variety of reasons why workers say they don’t use their vacation days. Some worry about appearing less motivated to their boss and others worry about the abilities of coworkers who will be handling things in their absence. It might be a good thing to skip going on a vacation – especially if you’re in debt, because you probably shouldn’t be paying to go on an expensive trip anyways. But there may be another way you can benefit from cashing in those days off:
Schedule A Vacation From Work To Hustle Your Way Out Of Debt
Pick a week or two, mark it on your calendar, and do whatever your work requires for scheduling time off. You won’t be going to some exotic location to spend money. Instead, use those hours away from work to do some hustling for extra cash to pay off debt.
Maybe you can spend some time doing a big purge of your house to collect things to sell on Craigslist or at a garage sale. A craftier person could work on creating a bunch of inventory for their own Etsy store or for craft sales. You could start that blog you’ve been thinking about for a while or write an eBook. Even take a whole bunch of surveys online to earn gift cards.
The way this approach really has a significant impact is that you’re still receiving a paycheck from work, while being able to hustle full-time. But wait . . . there’s more! It has been really nice to escape from certain expenses while on maternity leave. We’re not paying for daycare or parking, and my gas purchases are few and far between. You too will likely have some work expenses that you can eliminate during your time off.
If you’re not going to take the time off for your health and sanity, why not use a bunch of vacation days to do something extreme about your finances? Less debt should also decrease your stress levels and give you a little more peace of mind.
If you want to try this approach to destroy some debt, I would definitely formulate your plan of attack well in advance. It would probably be most effective to make a schedule for your time off. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing days to laziness or catching up on chores. Would that be a disaster? No, it might actually be a good thing to trick yourself into taking some time away from work to recharge, but if you want to be most effective with your “vacation,” definitely take your hustles seriously and plan them all out.
A good push in the right direction can increase your momentum, speeding up your journey to freedom from debt. Lower credit card balances means less interest, and fewer monthly payments as you eliminate each one, allowing you to pay even more towards the remaining debt. Gradually your credit score improves, giving you more options. Before you know it, you’re near the top of the mountain peak, anticipating an easy slide down the other side.
Advice about money and life often comes down to one thing: a trade-off. We decide between this or that, now or later, spend or save. You have endless options in the way you choose to live your life. Whether you realize it or not, there are many more possibilities once you start thinking outside the box. How you choose to use vacation time from work may seem like a small decision, but it can have a significant impact on your finances.