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March 15, 2021

Think Like A Breadwinner with Jennifer Barrett – Episode 38

Today on the show, we welcome Jennifer Barrett. She is the author of “Think Like A Breadwinner” – a wealth building manifesto for women who want to earn more and worry less. Her book will be released on April 6, 2021 – PRE-ORDER TODAY!

A financial journalist first, Jennifer then moved to the management track, working for Newsweek, New York Times, Hearst, NBC, CNBC. Now she works at Acorns – an app to help people save more money. 

We talked about how she worked at DailyWorth – one of the first sites to focus on reaching women with money knowledge. And now thankfully, there are many sites that are trying to reach women.

Jennifer stresses how important it is for women to find your people. Female leaders and female managers, who feel like they’re the only in their company, need to seek out other women and organizations to support and inspire them.

Chief is a female only network Jennifer is a part of that is expanding all over the country. There are more similar groups – Luminary, The Riveter, Hey Mama, AllBright, Dreamers and Doers being a few.

Jennifer shares more about the Acorns App. It’s the spare change investing app. When you use your debit card, they round up the purchases and invest the change. It makes investing so much easier.

They have added so many features to the App. Jennifer is the founding editor of their teaching site – Grow. The site is independently run, important to be more of a financial literacy site and not just a content marketing portal. Several years ago they partnered with CNBC and they help produce content and have joint initiatives.

Jennifer’s book, “Think Like A Breadwinner”, was written from her own experience living in New York in a one bedroom apartment with her husband and toddler. She had been at Newsweek for 7 years and hadn’t negotiated her salary during that time.

Even though she thought of herself as independent, Jennifer realized she wasn’t truly independent, she was just treading water. She knew she needed to be more proactive. 

After further reflection, Jennifer realizes if she had been raised like a man who expected to be the breadwinner, she would have made very different choices. Then she asked herself, going forward, what kind of choices would she make if she was thinking like a breadwinner.

Jennifer talks about how with each paycheck, use it as an opportunity to be less dependent on the next paycheck. Every time you have money coming in, ask yourself what is the most I can take out of this check to put towards my future, to start growing that money. One day you will be less dependent and not live paycheck to paycheck.

It was also important for Jennifer to start negotiating like a breadwinner. She shares how it was difficult at first and how important and helpful a female network can be in this situation. 

Previously to being in management, Jennifer thought what they’re offering is what they can afford. She learned that there is usually budgeted ranges for salaries with the expectation that a candidate will negotiate.

Jennifer believes you can have a job you love and get well compensated for it. Check your market value often, especially if you stay in a job long term. And go for promotions, even if you don’t feel 100% qualified. 

Parents talk to their daughters differently than they talk to their sons. Parents talk to their daughters about budgeting and shopping smartly, clipping coupons. They talk to their sons about building credit, investing wisely and all the skills you need to be a successful breadwinner and provider.

The thinking and teaching has not evolved to meet the reality that most households are dual households and also many women are single parents. Being able to create the future you want on your own, without having to depend on someone else, is the real distinction.

Jennifer also explains the ripple effect of how an extra five thousand dollar raise can affect your long term financial life. This is another reason it’s important to negotiate for raises.

Even though Jennifer had great role models in her parents, they didn’t have conversations about money. She also didn’t have any conversations with school counselors or advisors. When Jennifer got a job she began a cycle of overspending and then earning more.

Jennifer found out in her late 20’s that her grandmother had a large portfolio when she died. Both her grandmother and her mother were excellent investors and savers. Her grandmother invested in every company she spent money with which led to a very diversified portfolio of stocks. She also didn’t touch her money for decades.

With her own children, Jennifer teaches them about pricing, investing and they have open conversations about money too. 

The definition for success Jennifer gives is being able to have the life and the impact she wants to have and to support the people and the causes she cares about.

The 3 words that come to mind for her when she thinks about the word money are freedom, power and impact.

Jennifer’s Website – www.jenniferbarrett.com

Jennifer’s Instagram –www.instagram.com/jbarrettnyc

The educational arm for Acorns.comwww.grow.acorns.com

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