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Budget for your vacation

For freelancers, time off work is time not making money. However, it doesn't mean you shouldn't take a vacation - it means you need to budget for it.

For example, it could mean raising your rates and taking on more assignments in the months leading to your vacation.

Set up a business account for your freelance income, then schedule regular automatic payments to your personal account so that you have a regular "paycheck". Build some savings in for a cushion.

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A freelance business owner can find it difficult to unplug and unwind when on vacation. There always seem to be deadlines to meet, emails to answer, clients to manage and marketing to do. This is all driven by the fear that you'll lose work or clients if you slow down.

If you can't afford an extended vacation, start small with a few days or a long weekend.

Create a few mantras to help ground you in reality.

If your time off will impact regular client schedules, notify your clients a few weeks in advance. Tell your clients you're taking time off.

Consider hiring a subcontractor to keep things moving when you have busy seasons where you don't want to say no to work.

Build vacation into your schedule ahead of time. Then, block out the time you'll dedicate to vacation and plan around it when scheduling client work.

A key to freelance survival is setting expectations up front.

Without burning yourself out, front-load your work so that you can fit all your projects early. This is easiest when planning ahead and communicating with clients early so that they have a chance to send projects your way.

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