Nov 24th, 2023, 09:00 AM

What Is Girl Math?

By Johanna Sletten Larsson
Image Credit: Johanna Sletten Larsson
It isn't "justifying irresponsible decisions" anymore, it's Girl Math.

Many women around the world use 'Girl Math' on a daily basis, kids, teenagers and adults. Yet many of these women might not know what Girl Math is, because it wasn't until recently that this term became a trend on Tiktok. For those who might be new to this term, you might realize that you too use Girl Math on a daily basis. Recklessness and reasoning around money or math aren't a problem anymore, it's's Girl Math. So, what is Girl Math? Girl Math is being able to justify a purchase or an action in a completely rational and smart way.

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AUP student Ebba Skoog said that the last time she used girl math was when, “My old landlady and I fought for months because she lost one of my luggage that I had stored in her basement. It got to a point where I had to ask the school for help, they helped a lot, yet this landlady wouldn’t budge. So, incredibly generously of AUP, I got a reimbursement for the lost bag. Now, this is basically free money, so everything that I’ve spent since getting that reimbursement has been free.” 

Selma Sebnat, a 21 year old student in Copenhagen said, "Every week I have decided to have one day where I don't spend any money, not on food, transport, anything. That means that no matter how much money I spend on the rest of the week, I've saved money by not spending anything for one day of the week."

When asked when the last time she used Girl Math, Molly McPhillips, another AUP student, said, “This morning, I bought a coffee with cash, and when you pay anything with cash, then it’s free. So, I started my morning off with a free coffee!” 

Anneli Bogren, a 21 year old student in Stockholm said, "I bought two dresses, and the plan was to return the dress that I didn't like as much. When I returned the dress that I didn't like as much, which was about 90 euro, I bought a t-shirt for 40 euro. This meant that I basically earned money on the t-shirt since I returned the dress which was 90 euro, meaning that I made 50 euro."

Girl Math is not only about finances, it can be anything from day-to-day tasks, to packing lists. Some more examples of girl math are: If you don’t spend enough to get free shipping then you’re losing money. Packing fourteen pairs of underwear for a five-day trip. If you purchase a jacket for 70 euros, yet you wear it ten times, then it’s only seven euro. Using two hands to hold eight items. If you don’t buy something on sale, then you’re losing money. Planning to get ready in two hours even though it only takes one hour to get ready, because ten minutes to shower in Girl Math is half an hour, or taking twenty minutes to do your makeup in Girl Math is an hour. 

While some call it “justifying irresponsible decisions”, some decide to see it as “Girl Math.” It essentially allows us to romanticize different areas in our life, and make it cute *insert sparkle emoji*. Although, Girl Math may suggest that the stereotypes surrounding women and finances are true, however, women are statistically better at handling finances than men. Despite what the name suggests, there is nothing feminine about Girl Math at all. The seemingly gendered term is not only applicable to women, anyone can use Girl Math. Yet, as human beings we all have a desire to belong to something, so when something is labeled as a ‘girl’ thing, whether it be Hot Girl Summer, Girl Dinner, or Girl Math, it creates a sense of community or sisterhood.