Money Talk: How Does a Freelance Writer and a Commercial Fisherman Make It Work?

We’re still on the money train, as much as I loathe to talk about it. But, since I’ve written about dildos, I can no longer pretend that discussing money in public is ill-mannered anymore.

Even if talking about money makes me feel like I’m flashing you right now.

Last week’s post shared how-to fairly split monthly bills with your partner when one makes more than the other. Now, I’m sharing how a commercial fisherman (Chris) and a freelance writer (me) are planning a future:

We are still figuring it out.

(Keep reading for tips we’re using to make it work!)

And, I realize that we may have to revisit a financial plan as long as we live.

If you’re wondering why Chris and I are financially clueless after dating for almost four years, I hear you, and I wondered the same.

Until I remembered, S/V Astrologer

2016: This was taken after Chris said we couldn’t sail to Mexico that year due to weather, after the shittiest haircut of my life (see above), and while in the middle of sailing the Gulf Islands in Canada. (Although nice, is nothing like Mexico.)

Our last three years were spent living and traveling on a sailboat (Sailing Vessel or “S/V” Astrologer!). Traveling made it easy to keep money separate, only to combine for groceries and marina bills.

Plus, there’s the fact that “boat life” is much different than “land life.” The bills are different, your priorities are different, and you feel as if you are in another world.

Because you are.

Chris and I in 2017 in La Paz, Baja, California, Mexico. We were sitting outside the laundry mat for our clothes to dry. Since we had to load the dingy and row to shore, this was our biggest errand of the day. #boatlife

Now that we’ve sold our boat, this is the first time we’re living on land together.

I’m anxious and excited to see where we’ll end up in California, even though it’s expensive as hell. We plan to live out West during the commercial lobster season – which runs from October to March – and will spend the rest of the year traveling in our Sprinter Van (name = Guitaré!) and living on the East Coast.

Why? Good question!

Traveling between coasts provides the adventure we desire and what we want most: quality time with family and friends. (My family is in Wilmington, NC, and Charleston, SC. Chris’ fam is near Santa Barbara, California, and Lummi Island, Washington – East/West represent!)

Plus, the fact that we DON’T want kids frees up time to explore where our partnership can literally take us. The only thing that would hold us back would be money.

Go figure.

Christmas, 2018 when Chris and I traveled to a secret part of Death Valley in our Sprinter Van “Guitaré!” Bi-coastal life means opportunities for spur-of-the-moment trips like this! Bring it.

Freelance life

I love the idea of splitting finances, like here, but the tricky part is relying on income since we both run small businesses.

I’m a freelance writer – my business is myself – and personal income varies monthly (which I’ll break down for you in a future post!).

Chris is a commercial fisherman, and since we have no idea how lobster fishing will go, he can only rely on the check he’s handed after commercial salmon fishing in Alaska this season. (I’m still learning how the lobster fishery runs, so stay tuned as I report from the front lines!)

So, get to the point. How do you make it work?

Through lots of research, we’ve found that keeping finances separate and paying the same percentage of income on bills (not the same amount of money, as seen here!) is key for us.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of help out there to plan for the future. And I’ve curated another golden nugget for you.

For example, I’ve been toying with the idea of visiting a financial counselour with Chris for a while. And after reading this post from The Every Girl, it confirms that we should!

Especially since we’re engaged, it’s time to hunker down and get dirty with the details.

One of my favorite takeaways is #2 (below):

The Every Girl website

Things that make you go, “Duh.”

Thank you, The Every Girl for this excellent guide with tips on combining, partially combining, or not combining finances. A real gem.

Click the photo below for a link to the full article:

As Chris and I figure out financials, I’ll be sure to clue you in. I hope some of these ideas help you find financial contentment.

It will be well earned. 🙂

What do you think? Are you in freelance work, paid a salary, or stay-at-home? How do you handle your finances, and what tricks work for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments below!

Catch up on the Money Talk series!:

Money Talk: Mistakes We Made When Splitting Finances (& How We Fixed Them)

MONEY TALK: A Freelance Writer’s Income Exposed

And even more relationship stories for you…

Sex & Dating a Commercial Fisherman

Dating A Commercial Fisherman: Q&A w/ Photographer Bri Dwyer

How-To Long-Distance Date a Commercial Fisherman

[UPDATE] 9 Things To Know When Dating a Fisherman

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