How Much Money Do You Need To Take A Sabbatical?

One of the big questions I had to answer when I started thinking about taking a sabbatical was “how much longer will I need to work so that I have enough savings to take a sabbatical?”

To calculate that time, I built a spreadsheet that looks at your savings goals and savings rate to calculate when you can start your sabbatical!

If that sounds useful, check out the spreadsheet and instruction links below; I’m actively working on the calculator and its instructions so let me know if you find anything unclear or have ideas to make it more useful!

How to use the Sabbatical Budget Worksheet

  1. Review Bottom-Up Budget and update values.
  2. Compare your bottom-up budget to your actual monthly spending over the last few months; is it reasonable/achievable? Are there opportunities to reduce your costs?
  3. Answer the questions below and update values in Time to Sabbatical Calculation. Only update numbers shown in red.
  4. Review time to sabbatical and estimated sabbatical date.
  5. Party! 🎉

Budgeting Questions

Each of these questions has a corresponding line in the Budget Worksheet; enter them there.

  • How long do you want to take a sabbatical for? B6
  • What projects do you want to save for before leaving on sabbatical? Travel? Emergency fund? Write down a summary here and enter the values in cell B3 onwards
  • How much money can you save every month between now and leaving on sabbatical? B8

Ideas for Improvements

  • Add guidelines for how long you might want to take a sabbatical. The more I think about this the more I think the target should be a year unless you have a reason for leaving your job sooner and won't be able to save for an entire year off.
  • Recommend emergency fund amount based on monthly cost calculation.
  • Graph different spending scenarios and show how that impacts time to sabbatical.
  • Add dropdown menu for cost frequency to support one-time, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual costs.
  • Write and add user guide to
  • Write about how to add uncertainty to budget calculations.
  • Create templates and update links for public use.

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