How to Give Yourself Vacation Pay

Have you seen this silly Facebook post?

This month has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 800+ years. This is called money bags. So copy this to your status and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. Those who read and do not copy will be without money.

It cracks me up for a few reasons:

  1. This phenomena occurs nearly every year in one month or another. That's just what happens when you have 31 days in a month and the first day of the month falls on a Friday.
  2. Do people really believe this silliness? Really? C'mon, seriously?

Nonetheless, it reminds me of a little money trick someone taught me. When a month has five paydays, take that fifth week's pay and put it away somewhere hard-to-access. (Like a savings account you can't access with a debit card.)

Typically, we plan our monthly budgets on four weeks/paydays, so don't just absorb that fifth paycheck, sock it away. You probably won't even miss it. Use it to create a cushion.

But here's the extra awesome catch: I work for myself, performing fee-for-service massage, so when I don't massage, I don't make money. When I take a vacation of more than four days, it can be tricky to keep my income on track. That's when I draw from my fifth paycheck savings, if I need it.

Knowing I've got a cushion helps me prevent that pre & post vacation overload. You know, where I over-schedule trying to fit everyone (and their cash) in right before I go away, and end up crashing the first 2 days of my time off. Then I over-schedule for when I get back and the anxiety of that ruins the last 2 days of my vacation. Having that financial cushion prevents that overload tendency.

I understand that not every business owner cuts their own paycheck weekly. I pay myself twice a month. I do, however, make weekly deposits of my income, and I try to put a chunk (or all) of that fifth deposit into savings.

There are many ways you can adapt this technique to be useful in your saving efforts. None of them include sharing silly superstitious status updates.

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