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Balancing The Importance Of Vacation With Financial And Work Commitments

TD advises on smart choices that help Canadians invest in themselves

TORONTO, March 18, 2014 /CNW/ - For many Canadians, competing financial demands - like paying down a mortgage, child care costs or retirement planning - and busy work schedules can make taking a vacation seem like a luxury rather than an important savings goal. Striking the balance between financial and work commitments on one end and investing in the time to recharge with loved ones on the other can be a challenge and result in some Canadians missing out on vacation.

According to a recent survey for TD, 93 per cent of Canadians working full-time consider vacation time important to keeping themselves happy. Additionally, 92 per cent of Canadians working full-time believe that vacation is important time for reconnecting with family and friends. Yet four in ten (43 per cent) working Canadians say they don't take their full allotment of vacation days each year. Reasons for not taking full vacation included being too busy at work (29 per cent), facing unexpected last minute problems and challenges at work (25 per cent), and feeling there is too much that has to be done before and after a trip to make it worthwhile (21 per cent). Furthermore, two in five say they can't afford to go on vacation.

"By making smart financial choices, the cost of a vacation doesn't have to prevent you from taking a break," said Stephen Menon, associate vice president, credit cards, at TD. "Whether a long weekend close to home or extended international travel, a bit of planning and a savings routine can make it easier to invest in something that is important for all of us - the benefits of a vacation and spending time with family and friends."

Hellen Buttigieg, life coach and founder of We Organize U, agrees with Menon. "It's important to plan for the meaningful experiences in life," said Buttigieg. "With fewer vacations days than many other countries, Canada is one of the most vacation-deprived nations in the world. With so many competing demands on our finances and being very hard working, it's important we don't lose sight of the reason why we are working so hard. Going on vacation is not time or money wasted, it's an investment in our health, our peace of mind, our relationships and, in the long run, our productivity."

Finding the work-life-financial balance

Financial planning for vacations doesn't have to be hard work nor does it need to put a big dent in a budget. It can be easily incorporated into everyday life through tracking of expenses and monthly credit card bills, gaining an understanding of where money is going, paying bills on time and using a credit card that has a reward program for essential purchases.

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