How to get more holidays in 2018

I’m writing this blog post from our Lake Taupo holiday villa in New Zealand. It’s 6am and my family are still sleeping!!

While this weekend was mostly a road trip with my rowing club for racing, we extended the weekend by soaking in some of the local hot spring pools and tourist attractions! Here’s where we stayed at Taupo DeBretts a hot spring resort and caravan park. It’s awesome still being able to swim in Winter, thanks to the natural hot spring water.

 

Today is all about how to get more holidays in 2018.  Taking regular holidays is good for your health and I think it helps with business creativity.  It can also help you have some space from important but tedious jobs.  Life is about seeing new places and meeting new people and spending time with those who mean the most to you!

Most of my clients are also Facebook friends so it’s great when I see them posting their holiday pics on Facebook.

I chose this topic today because I’ve been there where some of you are now, working 40+ hours a week in an office with the end of your responsibilities seeming to never get any easier or smaller.

Instead of burning out let’s chat about how you can have more holidays.

  1. Chose an employer who offers flexi days or allows you to take single day annual leave. The great thing about single days of annual leave is that you can plan your annual leave days a year in advance to coincide with your countries public and bank holidays.  Voila! A longer weekend. YAY. PRO TIP. Apply for annual leave months in advance so you have first dibs! I learned this the hard way, being one of the only newbies to forget to apply for a longer weekend, sitting is a super quiet deserted office. Don’t let this be you.
  2. Become self employed and work as a contractor or a temp.  Temp contracts are great when you have a special holiday planned but you still need to make some money before your big adventure.  I worked as a temp accountant when I first moved to London and then again in between having my two kids.  It’s low commitment and allows you to plan longer amounts of time off.  Just try to save a few months living expenses before the holiday so you can really enjoy it.
  3. Ask for leave without pay.  I’ve twice used this to have a longer holiday in my accounting jobs.  The first time I asked for 3 months leave without pay so I could go to Europe and do a Contiki tour bus trip and the second time I asked for 5 weeks off. I lived in a backpackers hostel on the beach in Mallorca.  Good times! The bonus was when I came home I still had an income to go back to!
  4. If you’re under 30 you may be eligible for a working holiday visa in a foreign country.  At 26 I was given a working holiday Visa for England. Later I was sponsored by my employer when my Visa ran out.  Getting sponsored is a little bit of paper work, but many University graduates get sponsored for work overseas where their skills are in short supply.

Here we are at the Huka Prawn Park near Lake Taupo in New Zealand.

Yesterday was Monday though, so I had about 20 bank reconciliations to do for my bookkeeping clients.

My clients didn’t insist this on me. I decided long ago I would start each week with Monday bank reconciliations.

Here I am sitting by the Huka Lake. We’re watching a Jet boat fling some tourists around. At the same time I check what work I have in my Receipt Bank app for the day.

With hundreds of bills flying my way each week, I don’t want to enter them by hand.

The business app I can’t live without in my bookkeeping business

Receipt bank saves me hours every week staying on top of supplier invoices. It helps me with data entry accuracy and filters duplicate bills. It’s powerful artificial intelligence that connects the dots the more it’s used.

I’ve seen some cases where new clients have connected Receipt Bank to Xero themselves. They turned on all the “on” buttons and then they had delivery dockets, sales orders, receipts, invoices, statements all going into their Xero bills folder. Trust me, just let the invoices flow into Xero.

When I guide a new client onto Receipt Bank I’ll gradually feel out how much automation they need.

Their suppliers can email the bill directly to receipt bank. Or the client can use it without involving their suppliers. Bills received by snail mail can be photographed by the app and processed by the app. The app can read the invoice with about 95% accuracy. The app doesn’t always get it right. It can’t read image logos. It also may get the currency wrong and create a duplicate supplier. These can all be fixed luckily.

I’m so grateful a few years ago I was listening to a Xero representative speak at a technology expo about their app partner of the year, Receipt Bank. I tried it for myself and loved it.

Balancing work commitments and family

Although I spent most of yesterday fishing, eating prawns and bush walking with the kids, I still planned to get my work done.

So at 4pm my husband took the kids down to the hot spring pool. I smashed out somewhere between 20-25 bank reconciliations in Xero with the help of Receipt Bank.

It’s amazing how technology has completely changed my life.

My husband is a consultant too so some days he’s making good money and some days he’s making nothing.

We take advantage though when he has days off, because I know several times a year he’ll be away from home for a week or just unable to help at home at all.

The result of using cloud apps to redesign my business

Here are some photos from our long weekend. It’s amazing how much living we can enjoy in a short amount of time, even in our home country.

Living like a tourist in the country I live in has been a great way to make new connections with my kids and husband. Whether we stay in a 1 star caravan park or a nice hotel it’s always good spending time away from home for a few days as we’re talking and playing together the whole day.

I’m no longer striving to be a senior tax accountant for a large firm. It’s really never been my passion. Helping mums understand their money so they can start their own business and have the flexibility and time with their kids when they’re little is my passion.

I read recently by the time we’re 20 we’ve spent for than 90% of our face to face time with our parents. Knowing this I’m more focused on my face time with my kids before they grow and want to leave home.

Conclusions

How we get more holidays:

Chose an employer who gives flexi days and allows single annual leave days tacked onto Public Holidays

Apply for annual leave months in advance before everyone’s doing it

Apply for leave without pay for extended overseas holidays or time to renovate the house etc

Apply for a working holiday VISA before you’re 30

Become a contractor or a temp.  Take contract jobs that can fit around your holiday plans.

And

More holidays are possible when tools and routines are used in your business. Machine learning is real and helping millions of business owners get back time for family and more holidays in 2018.

Decide the routine for your business and remain relentless toward the pursuit of a simpler way.

Extend your weekends and be a tourist in your home country. Whether you’re in a 1 star or 5 star resort, mix it up and get to know your kids and partner better.

What next?

If you’re interested in finding out more about my business and the free guides I have for entrepreneurial women join the Finance Squad freebie library.

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