Freebie Friday: When She Makes More


You may remember that I went to FinCon in New Orleans, back in September. FinCon has been organized annually for the past four years, and I’ve travelled to and attended it for the last three. Like any conference, there is always a room full of swag for people to take home. I learned my lesson this year, when I decluttered my place and found I was still holding onto old swag I never used. After that, I knew I didn’t even want to be tempted by swag again, so I avoided it at all costs.

I did bring one thing home, however, which was a copy of Farnoosh Torabi’s newest book When She Makes More. When I first started reading it, I actually wondered why I was even bothering. I’m single, so the only “family” I’m supporting is me, myself and I. But I knew there was a chance I could be a breadwinner one day, so I kept reading – and reading and reading and reading – and I finished the book in less than 48 hours. (Clearly, I enjoyed it.)

At first, what stood out most were some of the racy facts. For example, did you know that women who are the main breadwinners still do at least 2/3 of the housework? Or that men are least likely to cheat when their female partner’s make approximately 3/4 of his salary? And apparently (get ready for this one), the greater the income disparity, the greater the problems with ED (you know what I’m talking about) and reliance on drugs to remedy it. Whoa.

But it wasn’t all dim and grim. There were some exciting facts, too. My favourite was that a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center found millennial women are very close to closing the gender pay gap, relative to other generations. In fact, while we often hear that women still earn just 71 cents for every $1 men earn (and this is true across the board in the U.S.), 18-32-year-old women actually earn 93 cents for every $1 men earn in their same age category!

Anyway, those are just a few of the stats that stood out to me. The book in its entirety is meant to show how both women and men feel when the woman is the breadwinner for her family. I found it fascinating:

“While we might be cool with a female breadwinner on a cognitive level, unconsciously our brain still expects a man in that role. This dissonance affects attraction, since both men and women use the unconscious brain to determine whether or not someone of the opposite sex is good-looking, and what assets that person would bring to a relationship, before fine-tuning it with their thinking, conscious brain. In that situation, a woman’s brain would initially signal that a man who doesn’t make as much money as she does would be less appealing, and the man’s brain would signal that a woman who makes more could be threatening because he wouldn’t have his role as alpha provider.”

The book is also filled with advice for couples in this situation, but I found most of it would be useful for any couple – no matter who makes more money. When I was done reading the book, I paid it forward and mailed my copy to a girlfriend in San Francisco… and now I want to giveaway 2 copies to you!

To enter this giveaway, you can follow me on Twitter (2 entries), tweet about it (3 entries), like my Facebook page (2 entries) or leave a comment on this post that answers the question below (3 entries). You can also do all of these things for a total of 10 entries, or tweet about it daily to squeeze in a few more. (Remember to use Rafflecopter to make your entries count!)

Since the content is universal, the “Freebie Friday: When She Makes More” giveaway is open to readers worldwide. This giveaway starts on Friday, November 7th at 12:00 a.m. PST and ends on Thursday, November 13th at 12:00 a.m. PST. The winner will be announced in a blog post on Friday, November 14th at 4:00am PST. Good luck!

Why do you want to read this book?

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  • Hey – Happy Friday!
    I have been waiting for your first giveaway :)
    I saw this book and debated if it would be interesting to me… I thought yes because I have a fairly high income for my age (and being female!) and also kinda assumed I would end up being the breadwinner… but maybe not because I’m *kinda* single (aka on my own, not supporting anyone, although I do have bf now) …. and then I thought maybe not because he makes just about the same as me, and going forward he will be the one making more. I don’t know if he would be considered the breadwinner though because his income will maybe be 15-25% more than mine.
    Anyway – based on your review I definitely think I would enjoy it, and even if I do win I will pick up a copy!

  • Uncannily, this is a topic I have recently started reading about more. I am the only female in my position, there are 18 in the same position, in my company. In recent months I have begun to really notice the disparity and it sucks because I also have more education than others. On the other side of things, I am also the breadwinner. I don’t feel that that has made an impact on my relationship, but the time I put in at work most definitely does. If I don’t win it will be going on the library list!

  • This book sounds awesome!! I’m the breadwinner, and I anticipate I always will be because of the career trajectory we are currently on. I’ll admit it took some getting used to in terms of that dissonance you (and Farnoosh) mentioned, but we’ve worked ourselves past it. I’m so intrigued – I might just have to check it out of the library if I don’t win :)

  • Like you, I am single, but make decent money. I will most likely make the same or more than a future spouse. I’m looking forward to reading how to balance that.

  • I’d definitely give this book a read – as a female breadwinner there have been a few adjustments that I wasn’t expecting. Maybe this book could help me articulate the differences and handle them better.

    Most of the women I know are breadwinners, and I think it’s becoming more and more common – which is a good thing!

  • I have been interested in this book since I saw it covered on another blog – it sounds like she takes what could be a pretty cliched topic and really engages with it. As the ‘professional’ half of my pairing, I’d love to muse a bit about how it affect the ‘power differential’ and the best ways to proactively address that. I’ve been scoping out my library but unfortunately they don’t have it yet. Thanks for running the giveaway!

  • Sounds like an interesting read. When you say “breadwinner” are you meaning that the husband stays at home? Or that the women has a higher income? I have a higher income however; we both work the same hours in a work week therefore; we share the house work 50/50. It works great for us and it make us both feel that we contribute to our life outside of work. Also, my boyfriend has no problem with me making more, eventually it may even out but it doesn’t bother us if it doesn’t :)

  • Ahhh I’ve seen this book pop up on a number of PF blogs and I can’t wait to read it. I’m like you, currently single, so although it doesn’t necessarily apply to me right now, it’s always good to learn about different relationship angles.

  • I know the academic literature on pay gaps, and you’re right that they don’t really exist for college-educated men and women who are on the younger side. They still exist for older age groups and non-bachelors holders, and it’s not clear what will happen when our generation is older (i.e. whether the problem will be fixed as we age, or whether the gaps will appear later as we age).

    The rest sounds really interesting, but the statistics geek in me wants to read the sources of the stats you cite about cheating/ED/housework. :) It would be really hard to prove that those things are causally related, and not just co-occurring by chance, and if the book manages to cite studies that do so, I’d be super intrigued.

    These are the types of stats that sound sexy, but make me very suspicious – for example, maybe the greater income disparity leading to greater ED could be because the disparity is greatest for men who get laid off, people who get laid off drink more alcohol, and more alcohol and stress leads to more sexual difficulty. That would not mean “income disparities cause ED,” it would just mean “these two things happen together and are related by a complicated chain of factors.” That’s just an example, but I hope it makes sense.

    Anyway, thanks for the suggestion, I’m requesting it from the library now!

  • This book sounds intriguing! I am also single, hoping to earn more than I do now in the future, but I know that I have a nagging expectation that if I ever were to marry, that that man would earn more than I do. It annoys me that I think this way, even though it’s not particularly bad, because I feel that I am discounting men who earn less than I do. Anyway, I am interested to find out more about this author’s view on the subject! Thanks for this review!

  • This book sounds very interesting to me. It’s a topic that concerns me, as a female who makes a good salary, and also in a male dominated field (engineering).

  • My BF and I had similar earnings when we met 5 years ago as broke students. Our areas of study ended up having vastly different career potential (accounting v.s. anthropology). I made a lot more than him for a few years until he took a lucrative job on the oil rigs in order to pay off his debt and fast-track a big trip we’re planning.

    It’s never been a major issue for us, but I have noticed that he was pretty adamant on paying his ‘fair share’ when I made more – even though I was happy to cover for him now and then. Now that he makes more, he’s more relaxed about it.

    Having been on both sides of the earning scale, I would be interested to see how my own experience has lined up with the research in this book!

  • I may not make a super high salary (or even close, really), I do make slightly more than my husband. Actually, he’s told me more than once that it would be really nice if I shot up to the top of my career field and then he could quit his job and freelance for a pittance, doing what he loves. In other words, we have had no issues with my making more money than he does. On the other hand, I find this topic really fascinating, because so many men DO have problems with this. I have wanted to read this for a while to get some insight to the topic.

  • I want this book because I will make a lot of money… I know my husband wont mind me being his sugar mama!

  • I am very interested in reading this book. I am the breadwinner in our family now and while my husband seems to be fine with it, I could certainly use some tips to make sure I am being sensitive to how he might be feeling.

  • I’m interested in the topic of this book, because currently I am the breadwinner. My husband says he’s okay with it, but he also has very traditional values. I feel the advice would help a lot!

  • Like you, I don’t have a “family” to provide for, but I think the knowledge in this book could be useful for anyone. Plus, gender differences and how they relate to everything in life have always been fascinating to me.

  • I’d love to read the book because I recently got married and make more than my husband. I’d like to read about this issue before any of them come up in my own marriage. I’d be better equipped to deal with them.

  • SO relevant to me right now. Have a post on this kinda brewing :) Always thought he would be the main earner but that has not panned out, and looks like I am going to be the breadwinner hereonin.

  • I’m curious to read it as my previous two long term relationships I made more money than my boyfriends, even as a student. I learned how to be in that role (probably because the guys I dated like being “kept”! Lol!) In my current relationship (which I plan on being my last), I make less than half my fiancé. It’s so hard! It drives me insane that I cannot afford to equally spilt our bills or I need to rely on him for fun stuff like vacations. I think this book would provide great insight into my feelings and how to be successful with love and income earning.

  • Hi,

    This is a great giveaway. As a working woman – who makes $30000 more than her spouse – it would be a perfect read for me.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share this book with your readers!

  • This book sounds quite interesting, and applicable to my own situation. I am not the breadwinner in my relationship, however, I have a degree in a lucrative field and am always pursuing continuing education, while my partner has no post-secondary education. He earns a considerable amount more than I do, however there is a part of me that feels because he works in an industry that contributes to our GDP, whereas I work in a public service sector, that he in fact deserves to earn more than I do. I do anticipate in the future that the tides could change (as they often do with industry) and I may become the breadwinner, and I do wonder how that will impact my relationship, so this book would be a great read for me!

    It’s also interesting to see other women commenting on this post who are the breadwinner, or who are also anticipating becoming the breadwinner in the future. We are not alone! :)

  • Yay! I’m so excited for all your Friday giveaways!

    This books sounds awesome, and very applicable to my situation. If I don’t win, I may just have to get my hands on it anyways to give it a read.

  • Hi Cait,

    I love giveaways, especially more books giveaways ! This books seams very interesting and is the latest add to my indigo wish list.

    I am currently the breadwinners in my relationship. I work full time during the day and go part-time to university as my boyfriends go to school full time and work part time.I’m sure I can use a bit of the book advice. :)

  • Mine think this sounds like a very interesting book that is exploring a huge shift in society. In our house I bring in my cash per month, but hubby has benefits and a pension so we make very close to the same.

  • I find this really interesting. It’s a topic that I would like to see from another perspective. This never came up in my household as a kid. My parents (both college educated) both worked full time at the same job and earned the same salary. I don’t remember either of them doing a lot of housework (I’m serious-we started doing our own laundry, etc. at a young age) so that was never an issue. I do remember my mom saying it was extremely important that they both work even if they lost the second salary to childcare and car maintenance. This was because they were paying into pension and social security so they were earning money for the future. I earn the same amount as all the male coworkers at my job so that really isn’t an issue either. My youngest brother makes much less money than his wife and they have already decided that if they have kids and decide to forego childcare, he will quit his job and stay home. By the way, I grew up in a conservative, rural midwestern home. So it isn’t as if my upbringing was particularly progressive.

  • I’m single and have always thought it was shallow to have income as a criteria for a mate. I met another single woman recently who insists that the men she date make more money than her. Maybe this book could convince me that having a man who makes more than me is actually just one of those practical things that should be on my list of things a potential mate should have.

    • Unless I’m misunderstanding your point, that’s not what the book is about – nor do I hope that’s what it makes women believe. The book simply highlights the fact that, for the first time in our history, there is a rise in relationships where the woman makes more than the man, and guides women and couples on how to deal with this situation (if either partner is uncomfortable with it).

  • I’ll read this book if I win it, but I have to admit there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to because I hate to acknowledge that this is still a major issue. No one should freakin’ care who makes more, but imbalance is hard, no matter how you slice it.

    I out-earn my fiance, and he does experience some discomfort with that. Not too bad, but enough that initially he didn’t even want me to blog about it because he hated people knowing he made less. After a few weeks he decided he didn’t really care, so now I’m working on a post, but I’m treading carefully. While there’s less than a $10,000 difference in our salaries, my freelance/blog income puts a few ten thousand dollar more in my pocket, and that’s what tips the scales.

    You & I are pretty close offline so you can probably see all the ways I’d be a huge pain in the ass for someone that wants equitable earnings between partners. I hadn’t even secured $100,000 in annual earnings before I decided I need to make $150,000/yr by age 35 to be happy. I don’t even have six-figures in personal assets but I’m already scheming about how I’m going to make my first seven-figures. Honestly, I must be so annoying. Thankfully my fiance gets me and gives me a wide berth to achieve (and this is why I’m marrying the man!). He doesn’t try to talk me out of my grandoise ideas, even if it means financially he’ll be left in the dust (he’s still going to earn a great income in his career, but it won’t match my goals).
    The most important thing we’ve found is that even if I’m paid more, I don’t get to make my career a priority over his. That is to say, as much as I like to joke that he’s going to be a stay-at-home dad, I would never ever make him, or even ask him, to do that if he expressed any reluctance. The second thing is that we share the wealth. I’ve barely been in my new position five seconds (ie. 3 weeks) and I’m already making a sincere and dedicated effort to be generous with my extra income. If I make more, I contribute more to the household, period. Taking on more expenses doesn’t hurt my budget one bit but it provides him with more of his own money to save and invest. Thankfully I’m a generous spirit to begin with so I love spending on things that we’ll both enjoy, and I love that my higher income means a great lifestyle for myself AND my partner. I’ve also promised him a new car so that helped him come around ;)

  • I am single, but make decent money. I will most likely make the same or more than a future spouse. Find this book very interesting and I’m looking forward to reading how to balance that in the future.

  • I’ve had this book on my radar since seeing it mentioned in a few different blogs and from a few different personal finance writers. I am also the breadwinner (although it’s partly because I got lucky, worked hard but got lucky) and I find many (but not all) of my friends end up in relatively equal careers moneywise, however the imbalance is still there. I find the topic interesting if not frustrating. I might not be the breadwinner forever but for the time being we make it work and I’m lucky to have a relatively balanced household (it’s not perfect but we try)

  • Interesting! This would be a great read- my SO is in the military so there may come a time in my career where I’m eventually making more than he is- especially if I decide to start my own business. Would be good for BOTH him and I to read!

  • My partner has always made about 50% more than me, that is until this year. He recently lost his job and I’m now the breadwinner of the family. It has definitely been a transition for us both. This books sounds like it would provide some good insight into our situation and likely some helpful tips.

  • I think the dynamic discussed in this book is very interesting and would love to read the author’s take on it!

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