Vacation Pay

“A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.” ~Morris Fishbein

As mentioned last week, taking a break on a regular basis is absolutely necessary in order to succeed in private practice.

Unfortunately many therapists look at the financial side of doing this, panic, don’t stop to refresh, and end up burning themselves out or worse, suffer from vicarious traumatization. Vacations are mandated in all other industries, and are best practices for maintaining your own self-care. And when you run your own business, unless you can wrap your head around the non-negotiable need for vacations, they can really sting when you take them.

If your business needs you to be working to gather income, vacations can be a double hit on your budget if you don’t plan for them in advance. You will end up paying for the awesome trip you took, as well as the loss of income during the time you were away.

But the last one is avoidable.

A vacation pay fund is an account that you pay into weekly or monthly when are working, so you can pay yourself when you’re not – sort of like unemployment insurance for yourself. When calculating how much you would need to put away, you may want to use your break even numbers, or you can aim to maintain your regular income. Regardless, having money set aside for the times you need a break will help you truly enjoy the time you are away, instead of fretting over finances the whole time.

Action Item: Determine how much money you need to set aside, and on what schedule, so you can pay yourself when you go on holidays.