How To: Accrue Vacation as a Freelancer

It’s nice to be a freelancing coworker in a coworking space.  We can avoid workplace politics, cubes, a set work schedule and any number of HR forms.  One thing I miss about working a 9-5 job is accruing vacation.  Now, I never thought that I had enough vacation but at least I could look at my paycheck and see those sweet vacation hours pile up.

As we find our schedules packed with more family than clients, it’s the perfect time to set vacation goals for the year. The joy of freelancing means we don’t have to pick the same 2 weeks each year and can take frequent short trips to renew ourselves.

So the question becomes, “Why aren’t we accruing vacation?”  If anything, we’re working more hours than most 9-5ers and taking less time off because we’ve lost our work/life balance somewhere along the way.  I say, let’s start accruing vacation and USING it.  Pick how many weeks of vacation you feel you need per year and do the math.

2 weeks off = 1.54 hours of vacation accrued per 40 hours worked

4 weeks off = 3.07 hours of vacation accrued per 40 hours worked

6 weeks off = 4.61 hours of vacation accrued per 40 hours worked

You can do the same for sick leave as well depending on how much you tend to need.

Are you a freelancer who rewards yourself with vacations?  Where do you like to go and what do you do on your vacations?

  • Angel Kwiatkowski

    Freelancers can accrue vacation too!

  • Yes! Vacations! We must have vacations… otherwise what’s the point? Headed to Vegas this weekend. (technically one day off from the regular workweek) Regularly take a day here or there during the winter to snowboard and in the summer to rockclimb. I save up for the amazing vacations just like I did when I had a 9-5. Hopefully headed to Costa Rica in July.

  • I think the best part about taking vacations as a freelancer is that you don’t have to ask for permission to go!

  • What’s a vacation? Oh wait i use to go on those at my last job. Actually I go to MEX-EE-COOO at least once a year. I have big secrets on getting the best hotel rooms for cheap.

  • What a cool idea to formalize vacation time. If one set aside $ at the rate indicated, you’d have a fund to pay yourself during your vacation time. Will have to give some thought to implementing…

  • Ron, that is such an awesome idea to set aside not only the hours to take vacation the but the $$ to do it. Now if we only knew someone who could code that out for us….. ;)

  • Reu, feel free to share your secrets for cheap vacationing anytime!

  • Freelancers can accrue vacation too!

  • Freelancers–tell us how you take vacation.

  • @freelancefolder Accruing vacation as a freelancer

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