When my boyfriend got down on one knee in Bryant Park and promised forever, I never imagined the subsequent months would be spent stressing about our wedding budget. But like many engaged couples, romantic discussions about our future quickly turned to serious talks about our finances.
Married people warned me how expensive weddings can be—especially weddings on the East Coast—but I never truly believed it until I was engaged. Within two months of our wedding planning, my fiancé became visibly stressed about how we would afford a walk down the aisle. One night after a long discussion about money, I decided I had to step up my game. Although I make less than my fiancé, my profession as a writer provides a powerful opportunity to earn extra cash through freelance projects. I had not, however, taken advantage of this opportunity for several years.
Over time, I had lost the inspiration to brainstorm articles, work on my book, or make freelance connections. The desk in my living room was the enemy, a reminder of laziness and dreams unfulfilled.
But the budget gap threatening to create distance between us was just the push I needed to dive back into my abandoned freelance work. So I cleaned off piles of mail from my desk, placed a plant in the corner, and returned to writing endeavors I had procrastinated on for months, even years. Suddenly I saw my career as more than just a job; it was the gateway to our future. Behind words on the computer screen were mortgage payments, our kids’ college funds, our retirement savings. For the first time, my writing success hinged on something bigger than just me—it was a family affair.