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How to Read the Vacation Balance on a Pay Stub

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In many full-time jobs, paid vacation time is part of your compensation package. Depending on the position and how long you’ve worked with a company, the number of paid days off you get per year will vary. According to, most employees in the U.S. receive between two and four weeks of paid time off per year.

Many companies distinguish between paid sick days and paid vacation days. While you may qualify for 14 days of paid time off, you might find that only seven of those days are vacation days. You can determine how much vacation time you have by checking your pay stub.

Scan your pay stub for the words “Vacation Balance.” They may be abbreviated to read “VAC BAL,” “Vac Time” or “PTO” (paid time off).

Find the number or numbers to the right of that entry.

Read the numbers listed after vacation balance. Different companies report vacation time differently, so you may find that you have a single number listed there or several numbers. A single number almost always lists the amount of vacation time you have available. If there are several numbers, look for column headings to determine to what each number refers. Common balances include total annual hours accrued, the number of hours used and the hours available.

Divide the number of hours remaining by the average number of hours you work in a day to determine how many days of vacation you have left in the year.


Heather Robson has more than 10 years of professional writing experience with articles appearing in publications such as "Portland Magazine" and "Treasure Valley Family Magazine." Her education is in physics and English literature, so she's ready to tackle any topic that comes her way.

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Kiattisak Lamchan / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages