How to Handle Being a Breadwinning Woman

By Mary Beth Storjohann via

We still have a long way to go for equality, but here’s a stat that should make you want to cheer:

42% of working women with children say they’re a breadwinning woman — meaning they make more than their spouse and bring home the most income for their households.

That number is likely higher when you consider households where both women and men work and she earns more (but doesn’t have children; that 42% only counted moms).

While there’s absolutely nothing bad about making more money, you might have some unique challenges to face or consider when you make more than your spouse. Here’s what to think about (and how to handle both your finances and your feelings).

How to Work Your Wealth When She Makes More

There are some specific things you should consider for your finances when your work brings in more money than your spouse.

First, make sure you take care of your own retirement savings. Some research suggests that women save half as much as men (because they feel more obligated to take care of others before addressing their own needs), even though women usually live longer.

That’s a bad combination that can set you up for failure in your later years. Take advantage of a 401(k) if your job provides it. Or set up the right retirement plan for entrepreneurs and make sure that, after paying taxes and business expenses, the next deduction from your gross revenues as a business owner goes toward funding that retirement account.

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