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Cracking the Code of 'Girl Math' – A Gen-Z Guide to Money Magic

Alright, all of you Gen-Zers, gather 'round! We're about to delve into a world where $5 coffees can be considered free, where retail therapy doesn't count if you didn't budget for it, and where finding deals is a financial superpower.

Welcome to the realm of "Girl Math" – the quirkiest, most irreverent way to make sense of your finances.

Now, before you dismiss this as something your grandma would scoff at, hear me out. "Girl Math" might sound like a term from another era, but it's surprisingly effective in making our complicated financial lives a little more relatable and a lot less intimidating.

The Wonders of 'Girl Math'

Have you ever wondered if that morning latte you bought with a pre-paid card is technically free? Or if you're losing money by not buying something during a retail sale? How about that item you paid for in cash – is it now considered free? If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, congratulations, you've dabbled in the mystical art of "Girl Math."

Take Alyssa Davies, the founder of Mixed-Up Money, for example. She and other Girl Math pontificators were featured in a recent CBC news report where we first heard about this phenomenon. Alyssa creates TikTok videos about money and finances where she sometimes employs "girl math" to explain her spending decisions.

But here's the kicker – it's not just women who do this sort of rationalizing; we all do it when it comes to our expenses.

The "girl math" trend has taken rationalizing spending to a whole new level. Imagine finding a MacBook, regularly priced at a hefty $1,450, on sale for $1,300. "We have already earned $150," says TikTok creator vialsss, and the logic here is that by finding the item on sale, the $150 price difference is basically money in your pocket.

Sounds like financial wizardry, doesn't it?

Or how about returning something at Zara for $50, then buying something else for $100, and claiming it only cost you $50? That's the kind of math TikTok user samjamessssss calls "girl math."

The original $50 doesn't count because, well, it was already spent. Makes perfect sense, right?

Getting the Basics Right: Ground Rules for 'Girl Math'

Now, before you embark on your own "Girl Math" adventures, let's lay down some ground rules. Because, let's face it, even magic needs a bit of structure.

Rule 1: "If you bought it, it's free… right?" Sure, that $5 coffee you bought with a prepaid card might seem like a gift from the caffeine gods, but it's essential to remember that it's not truly free. You've pre-paid for it, so it's more like delayed gratification. Be mindful of your prepaid balances; otherwise, you might find yourself in the red.

Rule 2: "Retail therapy doesn't count if you didn't budget for it… or does it?" Retail therapy can be a real mood booster, but only if it's within your budget. "Girl math" can't magically make your overspending disappear. Make sure you set aside some guilt-free shopping money in your budget. It's okay to treat yourself if you've planned for it.

Rule 3: "Finding deals is basically a financial superpower." "Girl math" excels at finding deals that others might miss. If you manage to snag a bargain, like that MacBook on sale, pat yourself on the back. Just remember that these savings don't mean you've suddenly earned extra cash. It's more like a victory lap in your financial journey.

The Great Debate: Is 'Girl Math' Sexist or Respectful?

Now, let's address the elephant in the room. Is "Girl Math" sexist, or is it, in fact, respectful? Some critics argue that the term itself is "infantilizing." But hold on, I see it differently. Calling it "Girl Math" just makes it sound cooler, right?

Alyssa Davies, the founder of Mixed-Up Money, calls it "Gen Z slang" and believes it's worthwhile because it puts women at the center of financial conversations that might not happen otherwise. It's like a trend created by women, for women, and that's what makes it feel a little less "icky."

Sure, negative stereotypes exist around women and money, but does "Girl Math" perpetuate them? Davies doesn't think so. This trend is all about counting, budgeting, and rationalizing spending decisions in a fun and relatable way.

Sound financial principles, after all, remain the same, even if the math is gendered.


In the end, "Girl Math" is like your financial BFF, always there to help you navigate the tricky world of money. It may be a bit irreverent, often hilarious, but it does serve a purpose. It makes talking about money and purchases a lot less intimidating. When a trend like this appears, we realize we're not alone in our peculiar financial habits.

So, all you Gen-Zers, embrace the magic of "Girl Math." Have fun with it, but don't let it replace sound financial practices. Remember to budget, save for the future, and live your best financial life.

And always keep one eye out for those fantastic deals – after all, finding them is basically your financial superpower in action, "Girl Math" style!


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