Female Breadwinners – Is This The New Norm?


Is there a happiness penalty for women who earn more than their partners? You don’t have to give up your satisfaction at home to accomplish your career goals. As women, we have to carve our own way. MoneyLion has outlined some tips for women to strike the happy balance as the primary income earner in a family. 

Women bringing home the bacon

Female breadwinners are on the rise. As our economy and society begin normalizing women in the workplace, we are starting to see our culture accept this forward-focused trend. 

Female breadwinners statistics

According to the Institute for Family Studies

  • 15 million or 25% women in heterosexual marriages are the female breadwinner, and in 1960, this number was only 6% of married heterosexual women.
  • 6% of female breadwinners said they were satisfied by their family life, but non-female breadwinners were much happier with a 70% satisfaction rate. 
  • 48% of men believe they should be the primary income earner.
  • There is a correlation between sharing household chores and happy marriages. 

Life management hacks for busy women

Work smarter, not harder. Busy female breadwinners should implement these life management tips for women to make life easier. 

Outsource tasks that aren’t worth your time

You can’t do it all. That would be impossible. A good life management tip is to know what your time is worth. You could even go as far as to calculate the monetary value of an hour of your day. If a task isn’t worth your time, outsource the task and hire someone to help. 

What’s bogging down your time? Is it weekly cleaning? Hire a housekeeper. Do you hate mowing your lawn? Hire a landscaper. As the primary income earner, you have to be protective over your time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is not a weakness. Instead, pat yourself on the back for prioritizing your time. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for more

You may be the primary income earner of your household, but that doesn’t mean you should let your accomplishments stop there. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better salary when the opportunity arises. 

Before going into any salary negotiations, know your worth. Research your industry, speak to your peers, and prepare your talking points. Never be the one who throws out a number first, and do not show all of your cards right away. Be confident in your skills and expertise. After all, better pay and benefits will improve your family’s life. 

Don’t be afraid to go it alone

If you feel you aren’t accomplishing your goals within your company, try becoming a certified woman-owned business. There are tons of programs that can help you get started. Don’t be afraid to take the leap and create your own business.

If you feel like there are no other rungs to climb in your ladder, starting a business might be the answer. You bring a unique perspective to your industry. Don’t be afraid to go it alone by starting a business. 

Don’t apologize for what you earn

Never apologize for your success as a woman. Your success is also your family’s success. All members of a family have to work hard to create the culture inside your household. The money you earn will benefit everyone’s life in your family. Additionally, fewer financial burdens can improve your relationship because it means there will be less money-related stress. 

If what you earn as a female breadwinner is a problem for your partner, try addressing the root of the issue. Is there a problem with jealousy or insecurity within your relationship? Address this possibility with open communication. 

Assess how you are handling the money, and use the golden rule. Remember that you wouldn’t want your partner to hold all of the power if they were the primary income earner. Budgeting and financial goal-setting should be equal and collaborative so that you both feel involved and valued. 

Acknowledge all contributions matter

In navigating relationship dynamics where there is a female breadwinner, it can be crucial to stop and acknowledge all of the household contributions, not just the money aspect. Cooking, childcare, home repairs, and even moral support have tremendous value for everyone. It isn’t always about money. 

Sometimes, members of a family need acknowledgment for the contributions that they do make, even if they’re not money-oriented. Never assume that someone is already aware that they are appreciated. Take time to check in with your partner, communicate your needs, and support your significant other’s contributions. Your family’s success is based on your ability to work as a team. 

Understand that traditional gender norms don’t have to exist at home

Workplaces aren’t perfect, but there have been tremendous strides in terms of workplace equality. Similarly, get rid of traditional gender norms in your home. Many women still feel pressured to perform the tasks of a conventional stay-at-home mother and wife on top of working a full-time job. In many situations, female breadwinners are the ones who hold the most household responsibilities, such as unpaid domestic labor and caring for sick family members

It is both partners’ responsibility to contribute to domestic labor. Both partners must contribute, and there has to be clear communication over this issue. Male household members have to contribute equally in terms of parenting, cleaning, chores, and errands. 

But also, as women, we have to let go of the impossible expectations that we place on ourselves. Many female breadwinners experienced childhoods where they were raised by stay-at-home moms, but comparing ourselves to past generations is unrealistic. 

Help other women along the way

Don’t be afraid to help other women along the way. We all rise together. Chief co-founder Lindsay Kaplan explains some ways women need help in the workplace, saying, “Mentoring other women in the company on a regular basis…[is necessary] to help facilitate and discuss the challenges women face at the C-suite level.” With this type of support system, you will create a fantastic network of women who will support you as well. This is pivotal for collaborating, networking, and discussing salaries. 

The future is bright for women

Female breadwinners are the new norm. Our futures will become brighter as more and more women make strides in their careers. But why wait for a bright future? Create one for yourself today with a MoneyLion investment account! Our investment accounts can help you to create a passive financial safety net for your future.

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