How to be A Successful Breadwinner?

Article by: Nipapan Poonsatiansup, CFP® Independent Financial Planner


The ideal element of life consists of a good career, quality of life and most importantly, a supportive family. But most of us do not have a picture-perfect household and one of the pressing matters usually cames from money problems i.e., lack of money, run up debts or stress as a breadwinner. Even though “not everything in life is money but life starts from money”, a good financial management is pivotal for raising one family.


Most families consist of 3 members where both parents are working to raise their children. On many occasions, a father became a sole breadwinner to support the whole family, adding more stress to the head of family.

These families need a careful financial planning and for each family member to be aware of their roles. The head of family should give stable and adequate household income whereas money spenders appreciate the value of money and spend consciously.  The following is how to manage finances of household with sole breadwinner.

  • Earnings should exceed spending to ensure sufficient amount of monthly savings. And try to find additional sources of income to mitigate risks from losing main source of income.
  •  Prepare emergency funds at least 6 times of household monthly expense baseline.
  • The head of the family of breadwinner should have sufficient life insurance coverage for household expenses for at least 5 years.
  •  Ensure all family members have health insurance coverage to prevent unexpected medical expense.
  •  Limit your debt run up and borrow when only necessary or good debts.  Avoid wasteful or bad debts and all debt repayment value should not exceed 40% of monthly income or else living a stressful life making ends meet.
  • Create a habit of living economically but not to the extreme. Allow some room for investing in knowledge or education. Travels and sightseeing trips are also a necessary as reward in life
  • Asset management is necessary to at least win over inflation. Learn about investment and make sure  the value of your asset increases constantly by investing in a diversifed portfolio to prevent investment risks.
  • Have discipline in building up assets and saving funds, enough to cope with unforeseen financial struggles. At one point in your life, you will encounter both good and bad economy. Do not forget to plan for your retirement. 
  • Ensure all member in the family are happy and healthy so you don’t have to pay for expensive medical bills.
  • Manage a good work-life balance. Openly discuss issues with family members with understanding. Ultimately, nothing matters than “being healthy in a happy family”.