I don’t need fancy cars or diamond rings

It wasn’t that long ago that I had an unhealthy addiction to MSN Money. Specifically, the message boards. I never once posted a message, but boy did I stalk those threads. I’m nosey; I love to read about other people’s lives, and how to handle finances.

One thing that keeps cropping up is the theme of women as breadwinners. Women who make more money than their partners, who lack motivation, education, or a highflying job.

Everyone tends to immediately dismiss them as deadbeat husbands and advise GET A DIVORCE – but is there really something wrong with just wanting to work a 9-5 (or whatever) job and live the simple life?

I’m not talking about guys who obviously leech off their partners, I’m talking about relationships where the woman wants more from the man and often tries to push that onto him. She’s frustrated because he doesn’t want, in her eyes, to advance. Frustrated at the income gap, or at his inability to decide on the next move.

And you know what? THAT’S ME!!! I see myself in those posters, and it’s quite frightening.

Do you believe that everyone has a career path they were made for? I think I may have done once, but not anymore. I say this from what I’m observing with T, with myself and my friends who are working, studying or something in between.

I think I can honestly say that I don’t care if he has no true calling, if he just wants to do a bit of everything. As long as there’s some job security, and some stability. Once he pays off his debt and finishes building up an EF, I think I’d be content just chugging along with both of us making steady money (fingers crossed), living within our means, prioritising good food, travel, concerts and other experiences. And of course, saving for a house of our own once we’ve seen a bit more of the world.

And I say steady, because there’s nothing worse than trying to get by on an irregular income. That’s something we did, and are probably going to have to continue to do to an extent. T’s new company doesn’t have work for him this week, and although he’ll try to find a temp gig to fill in, there’s no guarantees.

I think this is the key to surviving as a freelancer: If single, ONE of your gigs has to pay regularly and if in a relationship, one of you must have a steady kind of job. The main source of income can cover bills and expenses, while the other stream/s go toward saving, or however you want to manage it – but there HAS to be a regular paycheck to keep you fed and clothed.

5 thoughts on “I don’t need fancy cars or diamond rings

  • Reply quarterlifegirl March 23, 2010 at 17:30

    I used to think that I was in that situation….BF freelanced for two years and his income was extremely irregular. In the end he was downright broke. It was depressing thinking that I would never be able to stay home if we decided to have kids because we’d starve. Fast forward a few years and he now has a full-time job (and is still following his passion!), so at least it’s a steady income regardless of where he wants to go with it.

    You mentioned the idea of “advancing” in a career. Maybe it’s because I’m disillusioned with my career, but I have lost all desire to “advance”. I think “advancement” and I think longer hours, more a slave, less time with the family, more stress…..it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. (Again, that may just be a sign that I shouldn’t be doing what I was doing anymore.)

    Anyway, I liked the post. Lots of stuff to think about…

  • Reply Sense March 23, 2010 at 21:08

    Oooh, the WIR board? I’m a member of it and posted really often about 3-5 years ago. It’s how I found some of the blogs on my blogroll…I was really addicted, too.

    Re: the rest of your post, I think what some women are actually saying is that they want some security. That means that they are happiest when their partners can offer a steady paycheck, advancement, etc. because this allows most women to dream of a brighter future with their partner/boyfriend/husband/whatever.

    T is still young and sounds incredibly smart and talented and skilled in many ways, I’m sure he’ll find his path. That may mean that you’ll have to be the secure, stable one for quite a while, and will have to deal with some financial uncertainty, though.

  • Reply Tasha March 23, 2010 at 23:21

    I have a career that I knew I was gonna go for in the last year of my college/uni life. Same goes for J. Now, after having spent many moments on personal finance and on what to do about life, I realized that I actually want to try becoming a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Seriously!

    All this working, after 11 years, got me to evaluate if I really want to spend 40 hours a week on a job until I’m 65. I love what I do but I haven’t pursued a hobby or tried on something before I had a child and plenty of time. With a child now I want to spend more time with him and still want to try something, like art classes.

  • Reply Investing Newbie March 24, 2010 at 04:09

    This is a very interesting post. I do think your perspective on this debate has everything to do with what your preferences are. A lot of my friends are confused when I say that I want to be with someone even more successful than me, especially since I am a pretty ambitious person myself.

    I don’t think having money is enough, but definitely having ambition is a must. If you don’t have any desire to improve yourself (in whatever arena, professionally, academically, artistically…) then I don’t know if I could live with that. But as long as you know who you are today, and see yourself being better than that person tomorrow AND are taking the necessary steps to be that way, then hey, we can be friends…lol!

  • Reply Financial independence is sexy | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander January 14, 2012 at 18:00

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