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Newsletter for May 2015
September 24, 2015

May 2015

New ideas ~ A good book ~ And, writing appetizers

Who’s more important?

Last week I read an interesting article… about money.

Or, rather… “mixed-income” couples (MICs), i.e. one person who earns money from freelance work and the other, employment.

Jane Hodge(1) says planning and budgeting for large purchases (like vacations, a new car, a backyard pool, or an expensive home repair) may be especially challenging for MICs.

One problem, she says, is that MICs typically allocate the employed person’s earnings to the important bills – like the house, the car payment, and utilities. And, the freelance person’s to smaller, discretionary spending – the extra things … like restaurant meals, saving for vacation, must have “treats,” or some other little item.

Hodge suggests couples consider allocating the freelancer’s income to important bills too. That way the couple doesn’t minimize the contributions (or earning potential) of this person. To me, that suggestion encourages the freelancer to value their income. To some degree, valuing their own earnings might be an incentive to earn more. :-)

When MICs view the freelancer’s income as discretionary spending, or as I say “maybe money,” it’s almost as if to say the freelancer doesn’t really make money. But, freelancers do make money – some of them make very serious money.

I have done both – freelance and worked for an employer. My friends also come from diverse background and represent both sides. So, I appreciate Hodge suggestions for equalizing MIC situations.

But, what stood out most in Hodge’s example was the freelancer was also the family caretaker.

Many freelancers choose freelancing for its flexibility – yes, to take care of children, an elderly parent, or something else. And, yes, freelancing does offer flexibility – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a freelancer earns less money than someone who’s employed.

In many cases freelancers earn more. (I know quite a few!!!) And, you can be employed but work for a company that pays strictly on commission – like hair stylists and sales positions.

Whether you’re a freelancer or an employee, you could be in a situation where your earnings are variable from day to day, week to week, month to month, or year to year.

Sometimes in relationships we look at our partner’s earnings as their only contribution. Money is a contribution, but action causes those earnings. Just as action causes the house to get clean, the kids to get to school, and the meals to appear on the dinner table.

Couples who stay together . . . value each other. They appreciate the contributions of their mates, children, and of all family members. Both monetary, household chores, and caretaking. That’s the messages in this month’s recommended book.

You are one of a kind – no matter what your work and it’s return. Someone needs you. And, you need someone too.

All the best,


1 Hodges, J. (2015, May 4). How mixed-income couples plan: she freelances in ‘gig economy’ he’s fulltime. The Wall Street Journal, R4.

Book Recommendation

This Month's Book Recommendation: The 5 Languages of Love by Gary Chapman

Some books are “shelfers,” meaning … they become a reference and stay on your bookshelf for years. This month’s recommended read, The 5 Languages of Love (by Gary Chapman), is definitely a shelfer.

Chapman begins by discussing relationships. Each person, he says, has a different way – a language - of giving love. Some people do it through acts of service, others by physical touch, kind words, gifts, or listening. And, each person also has a preferred method of receiving love from others – what they perceive as loving gestures from someone else.

One chapter is devoted to each of the 5 love languages. He describes them all. Then at the end you can take Chapman’s test and identify the way you give love and enjoy receiving it. (Plus, you can test your mate too!)

Over the years, I’ve used the knowledge to understand all relationships better. If you’re in a rut or stalemate with your spouse or someone else you love, this book may help. It certainly made all the difference to me.

P.S. Chapman also wrote a children’s version.

Whet Your Writing Appetite
with these . . .

HOT and FRESH writing appetizers –

Here are three writing appetizers to get you thinking and writing:

1. Think of a profession (a job, a career) that you think is crummy, gross, or terrible. Write a letter to an unknown person (i.e. someone you make up) who does that job – include why you appreciate their work, thank them for doing it, and share how it makes your life better.

2. Homemakers are important people, who almost never get any return (other than clean houses, happy kids, and happy mates – hopefully. (Some would justifiably argue that point.). Think about how much value homemakers provide – what pay do you think they deserve for their services? Then write a persuasive essay persuading someone to pay them that much.

3. A genie comes out of a lamp and gives you two choices - work for yourself (i.e. freelance, self-employed, business owner) or be employed and work for someone else. Make the choice. Share what your job would be, how you would help others, and why it would be important for you to do that kind of work as either as a freelancer or employed person.

Note to New Subscribers: The writing prompts can be used in classroom or for creative free writing. Enjoy and be creative!

P.S. Have something to share about today's issue? Please share!

P.P.S. Did you miss an issue? Free back issues are available.

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