It is not uncommon for people to take a sabbatical from work for various reasons. It could be to discover one’s self and take out time to live life, by taking a break from work and following heart’s calling. Backpacking through Europe, writing a book, course correct career choices, study break or to simply rejuvenate, there are numerous reasons why people go on a sabbatical. For women marriage or motherhood could also necessitate the same. However, taking a sabbatical shouldn’t mean that you have to depend on others for money. With proper financial planning and savings at your disposal, your sabbatical can be whatever you want it to be, but not a period full of cash crunch and stress.
My sabbatical was very short, but because I had my planned my finances, it helped me big time. – Saritha Devapunje
Saritha Devpunje, director at Magneton Technologies Pvt Ltd and Orbagnize, had to take a sabbatical after her husband tragically passed away in a car accident. She recalls, “While I was married I always wanted to keep my money separate, otherwise we women end up spending all that we earn, as we think we bring in secondary income at home. However, I never did that and maintained a good amount of savings all the time, not because of any event that I was expecting in life, but just so that if I ever take a sabbatical, I could use it.
But I lost my husband in a car accident in December last year, leading to a forced sabbatical as I couldn’t work. You can understand the kind of mental trauma I experienced. While my in-laws are well-off, I didn’t have to take any help from them, as I had my own savings. I could move on and moved out as well and have again started my own business from this month. So the sabbatical was very short, but because I had my planned my finances, it helped me big time.”
A great rule of thumb is to have an emergency stash of living expenses for your day to day for a year, plus a bulk amount apart from this in case of illness, hospitalisation, etc. Also, do remember to look at instruments to park your money in rather than it just lie in the savings account. – Kiran Manral
SheThePeople Ideas Editor and Author Kiran Manral took a sabbatical after the birth of her son. While she didn’t plan financially for it, she wouldn’t recommend it to others. She says, “I took a sabbatical from work when I had my son, and didn’t earn my own money for over a year post that. I’m sad to say I didn’t plan at all for this break and was privileged enough not to worry about income or EMIs. But I do recommend if you are planning to take a career sabbatical to first save to have enough for your living expenses for at least a year before you take one, and optional sources of income lined up, if there’s an emergency and you need to get back to work. Also don’t completely go cold turkey, keep doing little projects so the income keeps coming in, albeit little, albeit sporadically. A great rule of thumb is to have an emergency stash of living expenses for your day to day for a year, plus a bulk amount apart from this in case of illness, hospitalisation, etc. Also, do remember to look at instruments to park your money in rather than it just lie in the savings account.”
Forced or out of choice, sabbaticals are period where you allow yourself to heal and rejuvenate or give your life a new direction. Proper financial planning can keep unnecessary stress out of the equation and help you achieve your motive much more easily.