Friday, October 29, 2010

Trading Vacation Days for Cash

First: a warning. I know I'm going to sound like a whining whiner who whines, but I realize this and write anyway.

One of the great perks about my job is the generous amount of paid time off I get. And a lot of this time can be carried from year to year and used for a dream vacation, a maternity leave, or cashing out at retirement. I currently have 16 vacation days saved and that's after taking nearly three weeks off for my wedding and honeymoon in July. I accrue a new vacation day every two and a half weeks (or 4 weeks a year to be exact). On top of that I get a week of Personal time come January 1 of the new year. And I have 28 sick days accrued. There's more (overtime) but I'll stop bragging.

Anyway, I've always really appreciate this about my job and the fact that we aren't discouraged from actually using our time like so many Americans apparently are is something I don't take for granted. Sure, time off has to be approved but I've found as long as it's not during our crazy busy time of the year it is usually approved.

So when I got a notice saying that I could exchange 3 vacation days for $500 towards my my share of the health insurance premiums, I had to think about it.

First, I did the math. I make $1861 a pay period pretax. Out of that amount, $110 is taken out pretax towards my health insurance premiums for DH and I. $1861/10 = $186 a day x3 = $558.

Then, I thought, it's not like I'm actually earning more money if I'm working three more days a year for it. In fact, after taxes this will only net me like $10 a year if I consider the extra time worked. And isn't a vacation worth more to me than $10 a year?

I told all this to DH. He said I was using fuzzy math and I should take the money. When I pointed out that I could save up a lot of time for a potential two week African Safari in 2012, he told me there was no safari in our immediate future. :-(

Bubble bursted, I submitted the form to H.R. today.

I still want to go on that safari though, but DH is right that we have other financial goals we need to focus on instead.

Sorry lions.


DH said...

Actually what I said was that the vacation days are renewable and we'll never be able to use them all because I get so many fewer days that you do. Plus there's a cap on the number that you can carry so eventually you won't be able to carry the extra days.

Sallie's Niece said...

LOL, thanks for clarifying honey! And I forgot that part. :-)

FB @ said...

Sometimes cash is cash to me.

I'd certainly take the money for my debt and forget the calculation of earnings or whatever.

I guess it's like wanting a dollar in your pocket rather than 3 in the sky :P Or something like that.

Anonymous said...

I'm almost the opposite - I'd trade cash for vacation days! :)

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