I Make More Money Than Him

Tips to Gracefully Handle your Outearning Status

Many women find themselves in the sometimes uncomfortable position of being the majority breadwinner in the household, which raises the question, “Should I be worried?” The key to navigating this touchy subject is awareness, not worry.
 
Fact: Women outearn their husbands in nearly a quarter of households with spouses between 18 and 65 years old according to data from the American Community Survey. Also discovered in Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households, researcher Marianne Bertrand and colleagues at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that many women with high potential to outearn their spouses – consciously or not - hold themselves back by staying home, taking lesser jobs or working part-time, choosing to not to put that strain on their relationship. In fact, the divorce rate is higher for couples where a woman outearns her husband.
 
Now that you’re one of those brave women who said yes to the career of her dreams, here are some tips to handling your new found knowledge:
 
Talk about the fact that you’re blazing a new-ish trail.
No matter who outearns whom, the healthiest goal is for both partners to have equal say in family matters, expenditures, social events, etc. Being co-bosses of the family is a lofty goal, but one that can be achieved with frequent “status of the family” check-ins.
 
Recognize that household workload will be a problem.
Hate to break the news, but wives who outearn often end up doing much more of the household chores, not less, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey . This survey shows that while husbands spend an average of 20.8 hours a week on household chores and childcare, wives spend 33.5 hours weekly on these activities, which researchers believe that wives who outearn do so to quell their partner’s fears by doing more household work, but picking up more than your fair share of dirty socks will only lead to unhappiness, resentment and burn out. A better idea is to divvy up household chores fairly.
 
Discuss financial decision-making
The default mode of marriage has been that the primary money maker dictates big financial decisions, but that should change. The partnership in your marriage should extend beyond the marriage license and into financial decisions made by both parties, not based on who makes what money. Talk about your expectations and how money was handled in your family of origin. Create family policies surrounding money spending and ask each other questions like: Is it a big deal if one spouse wants to spend $150 on concert tickets or new shoes? Do you feel that a certain asset like the house or condo you’re living in belongs to one person more than the other? Should that person then make the refinancing or even the decorating decisions? Answer honestly. Then draft a money decision making plan that works for your family.
 
Consult a therapist  
If you’re getting into repeated and heated arguments about money, financial power, and chores, it’s time to see an objective counselor to help you find innovative solutions.

 

Gym Bag Basics 101

Essentials every gym bag needs

As someone who used to hit the gym at 5am before going to work, I know a thing or two about how to have a gym bag that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. And even though I now work from home, I still like the convenience of showering at the gym or yoga studio – which means what? I still need a well-stocked gym bag!

I’ve come to learn that the key packing just the right stuff for a gym visit is to think minimalistic and to take advantage of what the workout facility provides like body wash, shampoo and conditioner, although I usually pack my own conditioner. Here are a few of my other gym bag tips:

Fill a designated shower/makeup bag with key essentials like travel-sized face cleanser, hair ties, a brush, deodorant and duplicates of makeup essentials such as a tinted sunscreen and lip/cheek color combo product. You should also throw in skin care and perfume samples you’ve received along the way and use them at the gym. Note that you can always add to this always-packed bag, but you can never subtract. Just think, if you remove your hair brush to use at home, then you’ll most likely find yourself without one at the gym.

Have gym towels if your gym doesn’t provide them. I have a couple of towels that are a bit thinner (more portable) than my home towels. One is always clean and folded inside my bag.

Keep shower sandals packed and always wear them. Some gyms are super clean, but most aren’t, so keep your feet from ever touching the floor, especially in the shower where bacteria is plentiful.

Throw in a mesh or waterproof bag for your wet towel and dirty clothes – especially if they’re staying in your car all day.

Skip the complicated outfits on gym days. If you’re getting dressed for work at the gym, pack easy, lightweight clothes like shift dresses, leggings, and even a simple top and flats are nice post-gym outfits, and make sure to pack extra undergarments.
 
Unload your bag as soon as you get home and repack at night if you’re going to the gym in the morning. Believe me when I say that a packed bag is a great motivator! 

Self Care Rituals

Invest in Yourself. Reap the Rewards.

Stamina is everything for the modern woman, but if we want to be our most productive, it starts with taking care of ourselves the way we’d take care of others. So, why is it then, that so many women struggle when it comes to investing in me time? Whether it’s because we don’t value ourselves enough or we simply are so busy that every second counts, if you’re not at your best, you can’t do your best. With that in mind, here are some simple self-care rituals that will get you on the road to feeling fresh, looking alive,  and kicking butt across the board.  
 
Morning meditation
Sure, it can be hard to take time for yourself, especially if the entire point is to sit still and breathe, but setting aside just 10 minutes a day to meditate has been proven to work wonders. Clearing your mind will help you better focus throughout the day and decreases your stress levels by improving your oxygen flow. An added benefit? You’ll look and feel calm, rested and ready to take on anything…from a screaming threenager to a difficult client to a significant other who needs a shoulder to cry on. 
 
Helping hands
Getting your nails done can seem like an indulgence, but the results can’t be overstated. Ignoring the fact that our hands are quick to show signs of aging, (which makes caring for them paramount), dedicating yourself to having pretty hands – no matter the length of your nails is an easy and inexpensive way to pamper yourself. Whether you go to a salon or do the job yourself, the ritual of a weekly steam, deep-moisture treatment and cuticle cutting (with or without the polish)  goes a long way in making you feel good every time you catch a glimpse of your digits, whether on your steering wheel, on your smart phone or on your partner!
 
Shed your skin
Had a rough day? Start the week feeling fresh with a full body scrub that will boost your physical and mental state of mind while it enlivens dull skin and sheds dead layers of skin to reveal your inner glow. Just note that too much scrubbing can do damage, so  don’t overdo it. The solution? A weekly sloughing performed as a self-care ritual. Make your Sunday night or Friday morning shower all about your favorite exfoliator and give your entire body a good scrub, focusing on knees, elbows and any problem spots. Then, cream up with your favorite luxurious moisturizer and voila – a whole new you! 

Is Your Smartphone Aging You?

Put down the device and step away from the screen

Ever since smartphones became commonplace, people have been questioning their impact on our bodies. Do they cause cancer? Can the radiation impact our brains? Are they actually addicting? And while none of the studies conducted thus far have gone on for long enough to offer conclusive evidence, one definitive truth about the impression they’re making on us physically has come to light.  Our smartphones may be aging us.
 
How you ask? The answer is three-fold.
 
The Bacteria
It’s already well-documented that our phone screens carry germs. In fact, they’re said to be even worse offenders than dirty everyday objects like money and keys. That’s because the screens can be cleanser-resistant, so even our best attempts at maintaining germ-free PDAs is a huge fail. But how does bacteria make you age? By irritating your skin, of course. When fingers go from screen to face they transport germs to whatever they touch. This can lead to redness and extra oil, which can cause blemishes of all kinds (including acne) and all kinds of irritation. Repeat offenses take their toll and the wear and tear causes irreversible damage.
 
The solution? Keep your phone as clean as possible and try to avoid touching your face. Or maybe, just put it down.
 
The Sleep Issue
Who doesn’t keep their phone next to the bed these days? Smart people, that’s who. It’s been proven that the light from cell phones, tablets and computers makes it harder to fall asleep and leads to lighter REM cycles. Experts suggest putting the devices away two full hours before turning in to avoid this. But if you’re like the masses failing to heed this advice (no judgments – we’re all guilty much of the time), you’re sleeping less and not as deeply. Hence, you’re more apt to looking tired and wrinkles are bound to set in even faster, which brings us to the final way technology makes us look older, faster.
 
The Wrinkles
According to dermatologists, lines and creases are apt to develop if you spend a lot of time texting or otherwise on your smart phone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re glued to the Facebook App or emailing with your colleagues 24/7, staring down at a device in your hand keeps your head tilted, and that repeated downward gaze can lead to more lines forming in the neck than would otherwise form. Hence, your face may not suffer, but a prematurely creased neck will lead to making smartphone addicts age more rapidly. The horror!
 
One answer? Remember the Michelin Tire Man (all rolls and creases) the next time you’re compelled to stare at the phone – it just may be enough to stop you!
 
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