Is A Week’s Worth of Wages Worth A Shorter Vacation?

August 2, 2011 at 2:45 AM 6 comments

Last week I wrote about my impending layoff and my thoughts on forgoing a week of vacation so I can receive a week’s worth of wages instead of time off. My employer will pay out any accrued time, so if I don’t spend the time lounging poolside I’ll earn it back in my last paycheck.

When I first thought of this idea it seemed like an absolute no-brainer. After all, I’ll be without work for an indefinite period of time after the layoff. I’m not exactly sure how long I plan to stay home with the little one, but I’m guessing anywhere from six months to a year is a possibility.

On one hand putting that money in the bank seems like a really good idea, on the other hand an extra week at the beach relaxing without a little one around seems like a pretty splendid idea too! After all, this will be the last vacation my husband and I take before the baby arrives so maybe I should just kick back and enjoy the silence and serenity while I can.

My original plan was to take a solid two weeks off this summer, but when the news of the layoff hit I decided to cut my vacation in half. As the week nears I’m reconsidering my options. Is it crazy to work when I’ve already scheduled the time off just so I can earn an extra week of wages?

Hmmm. I really can’t decide what to do on this one. I have a feeling it will come down to a last minute decision.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Candice  |  August 2, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    While it may be a smart decision to pocket the money, sometimes you have to think about the benefits of taking the vacation. I am also leaving my job to start a new job in a new state. I decided to go for the benefits of taking my vacation time, rather than just the money for it. For me, the time off to decompress and relax before I move interstate and start a new job is more important than the money. Our vacation, however, was a frugal staycation.

    Reply
  • 2. Pam  |  August 2, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    This is a special time in your marriage, one you'll never have back. I say, knowing that you have considered all financial ramifications, take the extra week and really enjoy your last days as a young, childless couple.

    Reply
  • 3. Newlyweds on a Budget  |  August 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    I can see it both ways. As someone who highly values experiences over physical things, I can see why the two week vacation with your husband would be worth it. However, it's not like you're not taking vacation at all, you're just cutting it by a week.
    So, I guess if the extra week's worth of wages isn't going to make or break your budget, than take the extra week off. But if you just don't really need the money, take the vacation.

    Reply
  • 4. Anonymous  |  August 2, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I don't know what state you are in or the unemployment rules there. But where I am the unemployment forms ask HR if the laid off employee is getting paid any time (like vacation, sick, etc.) after the last day of work.

    It could affect your UC eligibility. IF that is a consideration it might be better to just take the time now.

    Doesn't have to be a week "doing nothing". Your vacation can be shorter and it can be a week of "prepping" or researching frugal meal planning – OAMC (once a month cooking) or some other new project.

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  • 5. My Frugal Miser  |  August 3, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Obviously it's up to you to decide what you value most. Personally I would opt to receive the extra pay. Even with the baby, you're going to have so much down time once you stop working. I'd take that extra week of pay and either put it towards the mortgage or in my retirement account. The other consideration is whether your employer needs you. It sounds like you have a great employer if you are able to still work there knowing you will be laid off soon. If they still need you, the right thing to do might be work the extra week if it helps them out.

    Reply
  • 6. One Frugal Girl  |  August 3, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    @Candace – My husband and I will be traveling to our beach home, which is pretty much like a frugal staycation. Although we're in a different state, we cook and eat every meal at home and don't pay for anything other than gas.

    @Pam – I completely hear you. The whole last days as a childless couple thing definitely has me leaning towards sticking w/ my original vacation plans.

    @Newlyweds – You are absolutely right, not having the money certainly won't break me and work has been stressful so I think the time and experience of vacationing might be the right decision.

    @Anonymous – I never even considered the impact to unemployment. Thanks for the suggestion to investigate that before making a decision. I'm not sure that I'll need to apply for it, but if I do I certainly want to know the repercussions of this decision.

    @My Frugal Miser – I like your answer. My employer definitely needs me, but given the fact that they are letting me go I'm not sure I have the motivation to give up vacation for them. I'd definitely be giving it up so I can bank the money as you suggested. I do agree that I'll have a lot of down time after the baby arrives and that's really what was making me lean in the direction of forgoing vacation.

    Reply

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