DEFINITION of 'Breadwinner'

The primary, or sole, income earner in a household. Breadwinners, by contributing the largest portion of household income, generally cover most household expenses and financially support their dependents.

BREAKING DOWN 'Breadwinner'

The term breadwinner is most often used to refer to single income families in which one of the members works to generate income and the other stays at home to care for dependents. The term is based on the word "bread", which is slang for money.

  1. Income

    Money that an individual or business receives in exchange for ...
  2. Immediate Family

    A person's smallest family unit, consisting of the closest relatives, ...
  3. Dependent

    An individual whom a taxpayer can claim for credits and/or exemptions. ...
  4. Gross Income

    1. An individual's total personal income before taking taxes ...
  5. Household Income

    The combined gross income of all the members of a household who ...
  6. Debt-To-Income Ratio - DTI

    A personal finance measure that compares an individual's debt ...
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  1. Are my Social Security disability benefits taxable?

    Social Security disability benefits may be taxable if you receive other income that places you above a certain threshold. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does comprehensive income get reported on my 1040?

    As of 2015, on the standard IRS Form 1040, your comprehensive or total income is calculated through lines 7-22. This is different ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some good free online calculators for AGI (adjusted gross income)?

    Both and offer free online calculators for figuring adjusted gross income, or AGI. Calculations ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does the IRS say about what constitutes taxable income?

    Any amount of income, which is defined as earned money coming in, not just wages, is considered taxable by the Internal Revenue ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    While there is no hard rule for how much of a person's income should be discretionary, Inc. magazine points out that it would ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Where on my 1040 form do I report AGI (adjusted gross income)?

    On a standard IRS Form 1040, you add up and report adjusted gross income, or AGI, on line 37. Line 37 appears on the first ... Read Full Answer >>

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