Bear with me whilst I channel Carrie Bradshaw as I step onto my soapbox.
….camera pans to Michelle sitting at her laptop writing her article as she looks out the window on what is the theme for the today’s episode…LOL
(I don’t share my opinions on many things but this has been on my mind and I wanted to share my thoughts)
In this day when we are encouraging women to educate and empower themselves and take responsibility for their finances, are we really talking about Girl Math in the context we are?
In case you haven’t seen the many memes, reels and Tik Tok videos doing the rounds of young women talking about Girl Math, according to it’s an invented set of “rules” that women can use to justify impulse spending.
It almost reminds me of a dating book that was out many years ago called The Rules which was all about playing hard to get. Anyway, I digress!
I am all for financial empowerment for women but not in this context.
I have to agree with who suggested that the trend hints at a term called Bimboism, which suggests that women are so hairbrained they think they can justify spending money is saving money. That women don’t understand money or numbers so they use distorted logic to justify their purchases.
Is the message we are sending to our Millennials, that as long as you can justify your spending using Girl Math, then frivolous spending is acceptable?
A few examples doing the rounds include:
  • Anything under $5 (or $10) is considered free
  • Anything paid for with cash is free
  • If you return something for a refund, then use that money to buy something else, then your new purchase is free
  • If you return something and don’t buy anything then that is a profit i.e free money
  • ANY money spent at an airport is free because it’s money that doesn’t count
  • Neither does any money spent on holidays
  • Purposely find extra things to buy (that you don’t need) just so you qualify for free shipping
This apparently took off around August this year when something was posted as a tongue in cheek principle to justify spending money on silly things, however it has now gone viral and you can see Girl Math logic everywhere.
One example I saw, is that if you pay $400 for a handbag, and use it every single day, then in just over a year the purchase costs you $1 a day so it considered to be free. (this logic actually almost works if you are using the cost versus value method – minus the free part!)
Another was if you spend $200 in one shop, then go into 5 others and don’t buy anything, then you have saved money so the $200 doesn’t count.
Oh! Another one, that had me shaking my head in disbelief is that you round DOWN the cost of a purchase, so if you bought something for $199, then it really only cost you $100 when you tell your partner of your purchases – I have an issue with this one on multiple levels!
I know this was all initially meant to be deliberately unserious, but you know how subliminal messaging works, right? If you hear it often enough it can appear to be true and this trend, of Girl Math, it actually DISempowers women to be financially responsible.
To give you a bit more background, from my research it seems it started out as a lighthearted and witty joke amongst women online however has evolved into an opportunity for men to criticise women for lacking money skills. This then escalated into a gendered debate about math mastery which is turn, has turned into women creating a Boy Math movement where men are being put down on a personal level for things like saying they are really 6ft when they are 5ft 10, or being afraid of gold diggers when you only have 3 pairs of socks to your name. If you google Boy Math there are some pretty lowbrow suggestions out there that have nothing to do with money, or math, which shows it has declined into a men versus women debate at a deeper level.
This Girl Math trend buys into the belief that women just want to spend, however I believe we have a much deeper desire for what our money can do for us.
If used to the best of its ability, we can create beautiful nurturing homes for our families, provide great education to give our children a good start in life, we can provide healthy nutritious food and a wonderful lifestyle for ourselves and our loved ones.
Our money can provide an avenue to upskill ourselves so we can work in a vocation that we love, which can provide an income stream that could mean we no longer have to work in a traditional 9-5 role, and provides freedom to work from home.
Our money can be used for investments so in the future we can have a comfortable retirement and not be reliant on the government to support us whilst living on the breadline.
Women in general have a low belief in themselves of their ability to handle money, however they control a high portion of household expenses across the world. It is so important now more than ever that we take advantage of education available to upskill ourselves so that we can maximise money to its best ability in creating our Wealthy Lives.
I think it’s time we broke the stereotype of women not understanding money, don’t you?
Let’s change the conversation of money, together.
Your Money Matters 🫶