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  • Writer's pictureaxisaberdeen

How Think Like a Breadwinner Can Help Women Take Control of Their Financial Future: A Book Review

Who should read it: Anyone wishing to take charge of their finances and discover the freedom and power that come from thinking like a breadwinner.

Why you should read it: This is a book that’s all about mindset and reframing expectations of traditional gender norms – a combination of the author’s personal experience as well as case studies and published research provide a well-rounded perspective on some of the issues women can face managing their finances along with practical advice on overcoming these hurdles.

The number of women who are the principal earners in their households has increased significantly over the past few decades, but the author of this book highlights that many girls still grow up with the notion that taking financial responsibility for themselves is scary and out of their reach. She notes research shows boys are taught from an early age to think about growing wealth through building credit and making investments, whereas girls are more likely to be taught about saving for a special purchase or how to manage a budget. This carries over into adult life, with young single women being the least confident demographic when it comes to being proactive about managing their wealth.

Through the opening chapters of the book, the author investigates some of the societal and cultural factors that have prevented women from embracing a breadwinner mindset, delving into examples of how the media influences our perception of gender roles when it comes to money. There’s a great example of how many publications aimed at women encourage the coveting of 'investment pieces' for wardrobes and the irony of how this strategy is unlikely to yield any future gain being completely contrary to the basic objective of investing to grow wealth (unless we’re buying Hermes handbags, of course).

We’re encouraged to shake off these constraints and embrace the benefits that come with thinking like a breadwinner by following six steps:

1. Dismantle and discard the beliefs that no longer serve you

2. Get clear on what your desire – and allow yourself to dream big!

3. Build a strong financial foundation and investment plan

4. Strategise your career and compensation to support the life you want

5. Establish a strong partnership or support system

6. Seek out other breadwinner-minded women who can encourage and inspire you

The subsequent chapters of the book cover each of these steps in more detail, providing practical advice on various topics including building credit, how to start an investment portfolio, negotiating your salary, and how to better understand your personal values in order to create a financial plan for the future that resonates with the things that are important to you. There is also much discussion about navigating some of these issues with a partner and perhaps children to consider as well, with lots of real-life stories of how different women have coped with the challenges they’ve faced becoming breadwinners.

The final part of the book talks about the age-old question of whether we can really 'have it all', with the conclusion being that this is actually a pretty empty concept. The author rather encourages us to embrace the breadwinner mindset as a tool to set ourselves up for the life that we want and define our own personal vision of success:

The real promises of thinking like a breadwinner are:

- Freedom

- Agency over our own lives

- The power to choose our own paths

- The ability to live the life we want

- The confidence to know we can provide for ourselves and for others

- The relief of not being reliant on anyone else

- The discovery of whole new thresholds of possibility within ourselves

- The capability to lift others up as well

And who doesn't want that?



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