Feb. 15, 2021

Can I afford this?

Can I afford this?

Nothing fuels doubt about your ability to take a career break like financial concerns and questions.

To build momentum you want to confidently say, “Yes, I can afford this.”

Dollars and cents are just one way to describe where you are right now. From there you can map how close you are to your target…your career break…your World of Away.

You may not believe me when I say this but creating a career break budget can boost excitement and calm your anxieties.


First, a budget helps you find your financial starting point. You identify income/savings and expenses (see Week 5 if you want help with this).

Second, your budget can tell you how much you still need to save and/or earn to afford the career break you want. But how do you figure out how much it will cost to live in World of Away?

Start with the basics:

  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Transportation

For some people it might feel premature to focus on finances so early in the planning process. I believe that when you apply numbers to any BIG DREAM it lends precision to charting your course and helps you get where you want to go!

A career break is an investment. Reviewing my financial picture helps me decide how much I can afford to put in.

What level of investment will make it an enriching experience?

What type of returns am I looking for?

To really answer these questions, I evaluate where my career break stands between the pillars of my financial life, my income and expenses.

TIP:   I set a spending limit as I prepare for my career break.

I scrutinize anything over $100 and ask myself:

  1. Do I splurge now?...
  2. Or profit in World of Away?

This simple strategy reinforces my career break’s long-term gains. It keeps me actively investing in it.

At this point, the career break I’m planning for 2022 isn’t yet tangible. I can’t toss it on a scale and measure its value per pound. But I can add weight to it by re-balancing my financial priorities.

With two kids in college, my husband and I are looking closely at how to trim all our living and travel costs. We want this next career break to enrich our lives without creating any debt.

We are researching the cost of living in World of Away and estimating travel expenses as we  build a career break budget that helps us figure out what we can afford to invest in World of Away.

How will you decide what to invest in your career break?

Be really whole

And all things will come to you                                     

-- Lao-Tzu