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A sabbatical is an extended period of time away (usually from work) where you can rest or pursue your interests. Most people think of them as something that academics or highly paid professionals do, but that isn’t always the case. If you plan far enough in advance, you could enjoy the benefits of a sabbatical too.
Many people find that sabbaticals a chance to recharge and reevaluate your life, improve your mental and physical health, do something different or indulge your passions.
But, as amazing as a sabbatical is, the bills still need to be paid. So how can you fund your sabbatical?
Ask your employer
Many companies now have some kind of policy around sabbatical leave. In some circumstances, there may be a clause built-in to your contract that gives you a period of paid or partially paid sabbatical leave after a certain number of years of service.
Ask your employer if they are open to the idea, or suggest it to the HR department.
Work Through Your Sabbatical
OK, so the point of a sabbatical is to get away from work, or more specifically, your usual work. The idea is not to simply sit on the sofa watching Netflix for six months. You can pick up some part-time work doing something completely different from your current job so that you still feel like you are taking a break from it. If you’re planning on working abroad, you might need a sponsor licence in order to work legally. This isn’t always the most popular option, but if you don’t have the funds for your sabbatical, it might be the way to go.
If your planned sabbatical is a few years down the road, then you have time to start saving. The first thing you need to decide is when you’re going to go on sabbatical and for how long for. Next, work out the amount of money you’ll need for bills and living expenses, and divide that by the number of months you have between then and now.
Once you’ve done the calculations, if the monthly amount you need to save is too much for your budget, then it’s time to start either making some savings or earning extra cash (ideally both).
Sometimes sabbaticals are a chance to work on a project, like writing a book or working on charitable activity. If this is the case, you can start a crowdfunding campaign to help cover expenses while you’re working on the project. There are lots of people out there who are willing to help out for a genuine cause.
Rent out your home
If you’re planning to travel or stay somewhere else when on sabbatical, then why not make some extra money by renting out your home. You can list your property on Air BnB and use a management company to run everything. Or, as often happens with academics on sabbatical, you can rent it out to someone else taking a sabbatical.
Sabbaticals can be a transformative experience but need a bit of planning. You don’t want to be worrying about money at a time you’re meant to be on a voyage of self-discovery.