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How To Create a Budget For Your Sabbatical

Are you planning on quitting your job to travel the world?🌍 OH, EXCITING!

Now that you’ve made the decision, you’re probably busy with tackling how to actually make it happen.

So today, let’s dive into one of the first steps: how to create a budget for your sabbatical.  

Throw aside your preconceived notions of what a budget is. For many, budgeting can feel restrictive, boring, scary, and complicated….

Yet budgeting for your long-term travel is super important!


But don’t worry, you don’t have to do it alone! We’re here to take you step-by-step and make budgeting feel EMPOWERING!

Ready? Let’s go!

There are two important components of budgeting:

  1. Define how you will be spending your money. In this case, it will be on your sabbatical, yes, but we’re looking for more clarity and details!
  2. Based on the end goal, calculate how much money you will need to earn/save



Step 1: Get clear on the sabbatical experience you hope to have


Your budget and saving plan will be very specific to you: to your needs, your travel plans, your current financial situation, and your post-sabbatical plans.

So let’s get a clear idea of what your sabbatical could look like and how much you may need to make it happen.

1. Start a Pinterest board

When planning for your sabbatical we want you to feel INSPIRED. Remember this is a very unique experience, and we want to make sure that your sabbatical is aligned with you and what you’re hoping to get out of the experience. 

We love using Pinterest for the inspiration phase. Gather ideas on a Pinterest board, and let yourself dream. But make sure this is YOUR dream. 

Follow us on Pinterest now and you’ll also get additional financial tips & inspiration for your sabbatical.

2. Non-negotiable list

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your sabbatical? Is there a specific country? A specific length of time? An activity you do not want to miss? 

Whatever it is, write it down. It can also be useful to write down your nice-to-haves so you’ll know the difference and which ones to prioritize. 


Pin this for later!📌

How to create a budget for your sabbatical

3. Ideal day-week-month

Picture yourself during your sabbatical – where will you wake up (a hotel or a hostel)? Where will you eat (at home or at a restaurant)? Which activities will you do?

Picture your ideal day, week, and month to get an idea of the budget you will need.

4. Things you need to do/buy before leaving

Are there things you will need to buy or projects you will need to finish before flying out? Get clear on those so you don’t run into any emergencies or surprises. 

5. At-home expenses + additional expenses

Write down the expenses at home that you will need to continue paying while on your sabbatical (mortgage, insurance, storage, student loans, online subscriptions etc.) and take note of the recurring expenses you will need to add while on your sabbatical (travel insurance, memberships, etc.)

6. General buffer

What kind of buffer would you like to build into your budget to handle unexpected events or expenses? This can be a set dollar amount or possibly a percentage of your total budget. Imagine being on your sabbatical and needing a new cell phone, or getting stranded at one of your destinations and needing to buy a last minute ticket. How can your budget anticipate these types of things?

Step 2: Calculate how much money you will need to save


Once you have a clearer idea of what your sabbatical will look like, you can start putting numbers to it

Creating a savings goal for your sabbatical can seem daunting! How will you know if you’ve saved up enough? What will it take to feel confident and comfortable to say goodbye to your current job (and income)? 

We’re here to help! We’ve created this Sabbatical Budgeting tool to go a little deeper – to help you break down the different stages of your sabbatical plan, set a measurable savings goal to work towards, and track your progress along the way. 

This tool can give you an overall budget for your entire trip and also allows you to see how one destination compares to another. Seeing the different stages of your trip broken out may also serve as a gauge to use while you’re away. It can help you decide if you want to extend your time in one location, add or change one from your original plan, or even eliminate one if you’ve spent more than you anticipated in earlier legs of your journey.

Need some help estimating expenses for each destination? Check out Wikitravel or Budget Your Trip for location-specific information.

As with all budgeting exercises, this tool should be used to give you a ballpark estimate, not to make you feel like you need to strictly adhere to it and track every dollar-and-cents transaction. It’s okay to deviate from what you had originally planned. That being said, the budget gives you some spending guardrails and offers a reference point to help you make decisions along the way. 

Financial planning can seem scary but when you take it step by step it can really become your best ally in your sabbatical journey! 

Let’s start your sabbatical off right with smart financial planning!

Like this article? Make sure to Pin It so you can go back to it later! 📌

How to create a budget for your sabbatical
How to create a budget for your sabbatical

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