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Think Like a Breadwinner

Published Wednesday Nov 10, 2021

Author Terri Schlichenmeyer of The Bookworm Sez

“Think Like a Breadwinner: A Wealth-Building Manifesto for Women Who Want to Earn More (and Worry Less)”
 by Jennifer Barrett
2021/ Putnam
$26/340 pages

Some 70 years ago, 40% of all women between the ages of 25 and 54 were the breadwinners in their family. In 2019, that number had jumped to 75%. Author Jennifer Barrett is one of those breadwinning women.

While tending to her young son in the middle of one night, though, she looked around her apartment and realized that things were “unsustainable.” She and her husband wanted another child, a bigger home, and nice vacations, but they had no savings.

The biggest lesson Barrett learned is the one she imparts early in this book: “you—and only you—are ultimately responsible for your future.”

Chances are that you weren’t given much financial instruction as a child.

Most girls, says Barrett, have Princess Fantasies and are taught to “budget,” while boys are taught to invest. Ads feature women shopping with credit cards; men are shown in power suits.

Imagine what life would be like debt-free. Visualize having the freedom to quit a job you hate or start a business or leave a relationship that’s not healthy. Know that it’s not what you make but what you save, and that every dollar in interest you pay on debt is a dollar that’s not earning interest for you. Learn how easy it is to invest. Do research before asking for a salary or raise. And finally, this: “You get to decide how your story is written.” Write well.

With an abundance of first-person stories and statistics that are eye-opening, Barrett shows readers that financial woes have deep roots but that they alone have the power to fix it.

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