Ah, the gap year. It’s a year, usually between high school and the start of college, where students work, travel, or relax before the following significant change in their growth.
One curious mind online is wondering whether taking a gap year between University and their first corporate role is worth the hit to their finances. Several people had opinions about whether a gap year was beneficial or would be a detriment to our questioner’s financial well-being. These are some of our favorites.
1. Life Experience
The most-liked response to this person’s question was that no one takes a gap year for their finances.
Instead, they do it for the life experience. It’s a simple matter of what you value more, money or time.
2. Never a Better Time
Another great reply came from someone who reminded the person asking this question, “There will never be a time like now.”
As a single person, it’s much easier and cheaper to travel and spend a year just figuring everything out. But, as our respondent pointed out, “Add in a mortgage, partner, kids, pets, etc.,” and it becomes much more challenging to get that same experience.
3. Similar Experience
One person helped put the question poster’s mind at ease by sharing their experience. They took a gap year, traveled overseas for over a year, and still landed a great job with little extra effort. It is common for a grad role to take a year or two to fill.
Another shared some sage advice that is well-versed for just about anyone. “You’ll always regret what you don’t do, but you’ll never regret what you do.”
This advice might not apply to everything in life, but if you’re contemplating a vacation, a gap year, or anything else you deem essential; imagine your life ten years from now when you didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Do you like the image that it creates?
5. Carpe Diem
The Latin phrase means ‘seize the day.’ It’s often given as advice to people pondering which direction to take concerning a big decision.
With our question giver, the advice mainly be to take the gap year, enjoy the experience and let the cards fall where they will.
6. English as a Second Language
A traveler gave an excellent option for teaching English overseas. The gap year could be about travel and learning another culture, but it could also bring in an income, and the experience looks fantastic on a resume.
If finances are genuinely a concern, this is a great way to get a gap year and earn a little income simultaneously.
7. Solid Finances
While most of our commenters encouraged our curious poster to take that gap year while they were young, one took the opposite opinion. They skipped taking a gap year, having come from a family of modest finances and said they “didn’t regret” going straight into work from school.
8. Life Skills
A final beautiful point made by an individual was to remind the person who was indecisive that a gap year can offer so much more in life skills than money will ever be able to buy. And while money is essential, it’s not the end all and be all of life. Life is for the living, after all.
This thread inspired this post.
This article originally appeared on The Cents of Money.
With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.