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While men have traditionally had the title of "breadwinner," times are changing. These days, moms are the sole or primary provider for their households more than 40% of the time.

Jennifer Barrett, the chief education officer for popular investing site Acorns, wrote about her experiences in this role in her new book "Think Like a Breadwinner," which highlights how women can shift their financial lives into a higher gear.

Q: For women who want to take their financial lives to the next level, what advice would you have?

A: It starts with income, because that will be the springboard for all your wealth-building efforts. You want to be making the most you can in your role at any given time, and that does mean asking for it. Women traditionally are paid and promoted less, so it's important that we advocate for ourselves.

Step two is to use every paycheck as an opportunity to become less dependent on your next paycheck. With every check that comes in, put some into savings and investments, so that money is working for you and you're not working for your money.

Q: Millions of women have been leaving the workforce during the pandemic. Are you worried about that trend?

A: As schools reopen and child care options increase, a lot of women will go back to the workforce. And what this pandemic has done is shine a light on issues that have always been there, like women doing most of the household work. I'm encouraged by the fact that we are now having conversations about that.

Q: You talk a lot about self-criticism and self-doubt — do you find that is more prevalent among women than men?

A: When parents talk to daughters about money, they talk about budgeting and spending. When they talk to their sons, they talk about investing to build wealth. So if women are not getting that message, it's not surprising they feel anxious about investing.

That's why women need to get comfortable talking to each other about wealth. Ironically, women are more successful investors than men, so there is a big disconnect between our actual performance and how we perceive ourselves.

Q: Can being a female breadwinner bring up any relationship issues?

A: One of the most important things you can do is communicate openly with your partner about expectations and assumptions.

For instance, my own expectations about motherhood came right up against my responsibilities as a breadwinner. I tried to do everything and got completely burned out. I'm on the other side of that now. It's not about the quantity of time with your kids, it's the quality.