He Said/She Said: Our Income [Now and Later]

money grab

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My husband and I are…different.

He is rational, while I am emotional. He is cautious and conservative, while I preach the necessity of taking risks in order to move forward. He worries about immediate income — ensuring that we don’t go homeless or hungry — while I give him an ulcer by concerning myself with the future.

Last night, our differences sparked a major argument.

The month before, I (very reluctantly) agreed to a temporary on-site proofreading gig at my husband’s office. I neglected to negotiate a decent rate, leaving me earning less money than I would have liked. I spent hours at the office staring in to space, thinking of all the work I could be doing at home. And I worked 14-hour days in order to handle my other freelance responsibilities. I no longer had time for fitness, fun, or home cooked food, and I quickly succumbed to health problems for the first time in awhile.

When my time with the company ended, I was thrilled. I had time to attend exercise classes again, and to cook healthy meals. I had more time to devote to the articles and essays I had been cramming into the early morning hours. I had time to start pitching and submitting again, in an attempt to secure future assignments. I had time to continue working on my eBook. And, most importantly, I had time to start the career coaching certification program that I had been putting off. It was my hope that, if I completed the program within six months, I could then start earning more (and more regular) income by next year. It was a long-term plan and — in much the same that payment for magazine and newspaper pieces is delayed until after publication — it wouldn’t bring immediate results. But I thought that the wait was worth it.

Yesterday, my husband mentioned that his boss might be calling me again soon, and my stomach dropped. He insisted that I accept the work. I insisted that, if I did, I couldn’t move forward with my career plans.

Who’s right? Perhaps we both are. But if that’s true, how can we find a middle ground?

Do any of you have examples of a time when you put off immediate financial gratification for future gain? How did you make it through the lean times? I have faith in my eventual success but, at the same time, I want to pull my weight.


Related: A Gig That’s Worth Your Time


  1. Suggestion. Negotiate either half time or a higher rate. It’s sounds like half-time would work better for your plans. But if you were paid more it might make it worth it to you?

  2. Or, do it freelance but off-site so you can get it done when it’s better for you (and still be able to do your other freelance duties).

  3. Hey there syd. I think that it might be worth if it I could pull off negotiating a higher salary. Thankfully, the boss lady hasn’t called me yet, so I haven’t had to make any decisions. 🙂

    Oh god, Margie, I wish they would let me do it off-site. But the way they operate makes it impossible for this to happen. I remember a past on-site gig, though, that totally would have been possible to accomplish off-site. It made me so frustrated!

  4. I think you can only take this job if you negotiate a rate you feel happy with, no matter what your husband thinks. When we are underpaid, we end up resenting it, and it’s good for all us freelancers to demand a fair wage.


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