I took two weeks off—two weeks, in a row—this month.
It was the first time I’d been on vacation for two consecutive weeks since I started freelancing seven years ago. Honestly, I probably haven’t taken two full weeks off since I graduated from college, fifteen years ago.
The time off cost me roughly $4,000 in potential freelance earnings, if we assume that I would have been able to complete the same number of assignments that I usually write during a typical week.
I also took this break during a period of time when I was earning more than I ever had in my entire freelance career. In other words, my earning power per hour was higher than it had ever been, and yet I chose to spend 400 potential work hours not working.
Why turn down the opportunity to keep earning, especially when I know this situation might change at any moment? (Clients come and go fairly regularly, and often without advance notice.)
Because, as the Financial Samurai puts it:
The Financial Samurai notes that we are currently in a bull market (that’s the good one), and although that doesn’t necessarily mean that your individual financial situation is bullish, it’s worth asking yourself if you can spend this year both meeting your financial goals and spending a little extra.
During a bull market, you’re making money way beyond your normal expected income (day job, side hustle income, passive income). In other words, bull market money feels like “free money” or “funny money.”
Your goal is to calculate how much funny money you’ve made each year from the bull market and proceed to spend some of it on yourself, your family, and your loved ones. You don’t have to spend 100% of your bull market gains each year. However, you should try to allocate and spend at least 10% of the funny money living it up.
I spent $3,249.81 on my two weeks of travel. That’s between 3 and 4 percent of what I anticipate earning this year—but note that the Financial Samurai is suggesting to spend 10 percent of our atypical, bull market gains, not our total earnings.
I’ll probably earn $30K more this year than I did last year, for example (pretax, not counting investment gains). $3,249.81 is just about 10 percent of that.
The rest of my extra cash is going straight into savings and investments, because bull markets don’t last forever.
If this year has also been a better-than-usual one for you, how have you allocated your bull market money?
Also: when was the last time you took off two weeks in a row?