When She Makes More

24 Apr 2014

When She Makes More

Written by esyra17star Published in

As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself playing the role of chief breadwinner in your family. And if you’re a female entrepreneur who makes more, you may face unique challenges supporting your business and family at the same time.

In fact according to an academic study of over 1,000 women, with a relative split between women who make more and women who make less, female breadwinners say they tend to feel more pressure to “make it all work” – from finances to career to housework.

What’s more, when she makes more, she is more likely to agree with the following statements:

I would spend more time with my family, but work interferes.

I feel pressure to advance my career.

I feel pressure to maintain my income stream.

So, how does a female business owner who’s bringing home the bacon manage the finances with her partner and create a sense of equity? How do she avoid feeling like she’s “doing it all” … all by herself? And how to best involve and engage your spouse or partner in your business so he doesn’t feel isolated or left out?

Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance expert and author of the new book, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women.

Her top recipes for busy, top-earning entrepreneurial women who want to thrive in their financial and personal lives include:



In a marriage where she makes more, it’s extremely important to ‘level the financial playing field’ and to give his income a real sense of purpose because it can easily get out-shadowed by what she makes. For example, have his income afford major milestones for the family such as an annual vacation, college savings or the down payment on a new car.

It’s also important to divvy up your bank accounts to create more financial harmony. For business owners, the system you ultimately choose should have FOUR buckets – yours, mine, ours and the business.   

At the same time, it’s necessary to be transparent in terms of how money for your business gets spent, saved and invested so you’re both in agreement and on the same page. This also avoids any insecurity about how the money is getting managed between personal and business needs, something female business owners have expressed to me as an emotional concern. As one woman, who runs a media company, told me: one of the challenges was communicating to her husband the necessary business expenses she needed to afford for her business and what she would take home as “personal income.” By being transparent about her expenses with her husband she was able to get him to understand that the expenses were justified and to her, it didn’t feel like she was depriving her family of money.  

Include your partner in quarterly meetings to review budgets, expenses and goals. Even if he’s not an active partner in the business, he is your life partner and deserves to be in the know. Share and have access to online accounts and passwords through free password managers like PassPack and LastPass. Sites like Manilla.com can also let you view all your monthly statements – for work and family - in one place.



In interviewing female entrepreneurs and the secrets to their success and happiness, I learned that many create conscious boundaries and non-negotiables regarding how they spend their time between work and home life. For some it means turning off the blackberry between 6pm and 9pm. Then once the kids are asleep spend up to one hour catching up on potential emails, but then reserving the rest of the night winding down and spending time with your partner.   For others, a non-negotiable may mean taking their kids to school so not creating any appointments until later in the morning.



Doing a good "job" as a business owner and spouse doesn't mean doing EVERY job. Yet that is where we women often default. 

You’d be surprised to learn that women who earn more take on a larger share of household work and childcare. Researchers believe that a woman who suspects she is threatening to her husband because she earns more than he does will try to engage in a larger share of home production activities, particularly household chores. In one study, some women who are the main breadwinners report to doing at least two-thirds of the housework.  

Stop the madness! I dedicate a nice chunk of space in the book to the benefits of outsourcing help from cleaning to cooking, and even how to outsource jobs for your business to lift the pressure. And while you do have to pay money to outsource tasks, when you consider how much your time is really worth, the value becomes quickly apparent.   



It is paramount that female entrepreneurs who make more not just ask for help from their partners and spouses (e.g. help me make dinner or help me pick up the kids today) but rather assign entire domains to them and have them be entirely accountable for big chunks of the relationship and family structure. For example, have him completely in charge of nutrition and food, which means he is responsible for stocking the fridge and pantries, planning meals and packing lunches. Perhaps he is primarily accountable for the family’s retirement and investment planning. Together decide what can be the various areas in your lives that he can reign over and be the ultimate provider in that way. It’s beneficial for your state of mind and healthy for his ego.

Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance expert and author of When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women (Hudson Street Press, May 1). Pre-order a copy of her book and receive numerous freebies. You could also win one of several care baskets from some of Farnoosh’s favorite services and brands including TaskRabbit, Evernote and Stella & Dot. You might also win lunch with the author and a backstage pass to the NBC Today Show! Just click here.


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