The $600 Financial Windfall You Are Missing Out On

financial windfall

What if I tell you that you could put $600 into your pocket every year going forward without having to pick up more work or cut expenses?  That, quite to the contrary, you would have to work less.  Would you call me crazy, delusional, or something a bit more colorful?  There is one financial windfall in life we all can’t seem to help themselves but lose every year.

The $600 Financial Windfall Waiting For You

The American “work 24/7” culture has led to a steady decline of vacation days taken since the 1980s.  From 20 days to an all time low of 16 days per year.  This equates to an average of $600 per worker handed straight back to their employers instead of taking some time off to relax and breathe.

financial windfall vacation day decline

On a good note, there has been a slight uptake in the last few years from 16 to 17 vacation days taken.  Could this be some of us realizing that 24/7 work isn’t necessarily the way to financial health?  That quality time with family and friends is more important?  Or that side hustles are more lucrative then extra hours spent at our day jobs?

660 + million vacation days worth $66.4 billion are being forfeited!
$600 of that is your very own financial windfall!

There are many reasons why Americans choose not to take full advantage of vacation days offered to them by their employers.  Some of them are:

  1. fear of losing their jobs
  2. concern about coverage of responsibilities
  3. lack of planning throughout the year with too many days left at the end of the year

How about a change in thinking?  Taking your vacation time is about more than the financial windfall you are missing out on.  It is also about working to live, not living to work!

  1. You cannot be laid off for taking your allotted vacation time.  That would be against the law.
  2. If your responsibilities aren’t covered in your absence, it will make your management realize your worth.
  3. Set up a plan on January 1st as to when to take your vacation days.  If you have busy seasons, take time right after.

It is time to take advantage of all vacation days offered to you by your employer!  Make plans to take them all throughout the year.  Talk to your employer about coverage.  And most importantly, don’t lose out!

Spend time with your family and friends.  Take a trip.  Or read the book you have always wanted to read but didn’t have the time to.  It is important for your mental and physical health to take breaks!

” Work to Live.  Don’t live to work!”

financial windfall work to live don't live to work

If you liked this post about the financial windfall you are missing out on, check out this complete listing of personal finance must reads!

9 thoughts on “The $600 Financial Windfall You Are Missing Out On

  1. I make sure to take all my allotted vacation days. More often than not, I’ll spend them doing other side hustles and running errands. The $600 becomes a lot more then and many people are missing out.

  2. I didn’t realize it would add up this much, but I have really tried to commit to using my Paid Time Off days each year so I can maintain a healthy work/life balance. My biggest hurdle is just not planning… I keep saying “I’ll take time off”, but then I get busy and never plan the PTO! I finally took a full week off last week for a staycation (family visiting part of the week) and it was incredible. I kept thinking “I need to do this more often” 😉

    • Financial Muse says:

      I’ve taken staycations myself and they’ve been awesome. I don’t need to go anywhere. As long as I don’t lose my days, I’m good 🙂

  3. I’m such a huge fan of taking time off, it just helps me recharge! I think America has a really unhealthy obsession with work to the point that I feel like the minority for wanting to enjoy things outside of work. Most of my friends and my boyfriend are very career oriented types–they have different reasons for wanting to work so much, but at the end of the day, I’ve never felt so compelled to throw myself into work like they do. I feel like a slacker if I’m working the “normal” 40 hours a week! Work to live, don’t live to work is the best saying!

    • Financial Muse says:

      I’m glad to hear you are drawing a “line” between working and living. And I agree, a 40 hour week can be looked at as slacking off, which is so unfortunate.

    • Financial Muse says:

      I think you might be right. Millennials appear to have more of an appreciation for work-life balance. My current management is solely “older generation” and their go to phrase is “after 5 pm is the second shift”. Work-life balance means nothing to them!

  4. Everything still comes to the value we place on ourselves. Time is money. While $600 may be far reach to some people, it is actually just a dime to others. However, your article is an eye opener and it will help many people ensure they don’t leave any money on the table.

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