What Is ‘Girl Math’ And Should You Be Using It?

It's a common habit, but financial experts warn about the downside. What Is ‘Girl Math’ And Should You Be Using It? Giphy

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With inflation draining everyone’s wallet and the threat of a recession still on the radar, it only makes sense that people are looking for ways to cut expenses wherever possible.

But just because you think you’re saving money doesn’t necessarily mean you are. And that brings us — like many things do these days — to a current TikTok trend.

It’s not just for girls

Don’t blame us for the somewhat biased and fundamentally misleading name, but “girl math” is making the rounds on social media to describe a type of internal accounting that people often use to excuse poor spending habits regardless of their age or gender.

A few examples of this ideology include:

  • Feeling as though anything that costs just a few dollars doesn’t really count.
  • Considering the decision to skip a trip to Starbucks as a source of income.
  • Spending more than you otherwise would just to qualify for free shipping.
  • Thinking that passing up on a sale is the same as losing money.

Most of us are guilty of some or all of these financial fallacies, and TikTok users are shedding light on the issue. Hopefully, the “girl math” trend will encourage everyone to address their own personal issues instead of proliferating harmful stereotypes.

Lessons for everyone

On a fundamental level, it makes sense that humans justify their bad spending habits. Shopping can be cathartic in some situations — particularly when there’s a sense of saving money involved.

As behavioral finance guru Dan Egan explained: “It is not necessarily good or bad. It’s that we keep money in separate little mental accounts that exist only inside of our head. And those mental accounts lead us to act very differently when thinking about spending or saving.”

But relying on faulty mental accounting can result in big problems down the road.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee August 25th, 2023
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