You're completely right Rene. I messed up - again...
Next time I will tell him that he'll have to add it to the que of milestones he has for me, so that I can do the urgent task in a month or two, after I have completed all the other ones.
I knew I should have asked about this in the forum before I let him pay me for work I hadn't done. Next time I'll make sure to do that before agreeing to stupid stuff like this.
I agree with everyone else who has commented in this thread. You're a business. Would your client think he could go to the gas station or the grocery store or any other business and take what he needed and tell them he'd get around to paying them in a couple of months? Any professional should realize that you have to be prepared to pay for goods and services when you request them, or on the pre-agreed timeline.
You seem confident the client intends to pay you. Several of us seem to doubt that. But, let's assume that you're right and the client's intentions are good. This is a client who is so financially unstable that he/she has to ask a freelancer to defer payment. How confident can you be that the budget will ever allow for paying you?
I'e worked on milestones that aren't funded, but only with clients that I know and trust and have been working with for a long period of time. I'm willing to take that risk (and it is a risk) because I know they're trying to keep deadlines AND (this is important) they've been reliable for an extended period of time.
Hasn't been a problem.
That being said, with any client that I don't have a long relationship with;, I wouldn't do this. There's nothing wrong with demanding (politely of course) that a milestone be funded before you begin work. In fact, it's what Upwork reccommends.
Something I do with regular clients is switch everything to an hourly contract with manual time. Then we agree on a rate and I just add the time there. (i.e. if we agree to $100 per article, and one article a week we move to an hourly rate of $50/hour and I manually add 2 hours each week). This keeps the work flowing and the payments regular without requiring the client to fund and release each milestone each week.
Again, this only works with clients whom you trust and have a long-term relationship with. You have less protection with manual time than automatically recorded time.
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