It's OK to compensate, but it is
a concern that you're compensating enough. It's awful to finish a 'compensated' project and it doesn't turn out right. Don't ask me how I know. . .
All I can suggest is that you make sure you're using the right weight yarn for the project, and make your swatch more
than 4 inches wide so you can measure actual stitches rather than measuring the width of the swatch. This way the edge stitches don't throw your count off.
Another thing is not to worry about row gauge as much as stitch gauge. It's easy to make something longer or shorter, but not wider or narrower.