Graphic by: Gwyneth Gravador
There is a misconception that women are bad with money. This “claim” has only been enlarged because of the trend — girl math. But the truth of the matter is that girl math is logic.
The fact is girl math does not mean that women are irresponsible with money. The entire concept is actually rooted in behavioral economic theory.
The concept of girl math has been used by people forever, but now because the concept has a name — specifically a name associated with women — it suddenly becomes an irresponsible way of spending money in some perspectives.
When I buy a cup of coffee through my Starbucks app with my preloaded money, the cup of coffee is free. Concert or movie tickets brought months in advance means it’s free. This is a concept called sunk cost.
The money for these things has already been allocated, so when you’re deciding if you want to continue with your rewards program or not because the money has already been spent, it is not factored into your decision.
Another concept of girl math is that when I can buy something extra I was not originally purchasing to not spend any money on shipping. Oftentimes when I am buying something from Amazon, I make a purchase of $25 because that way I get free shipping.
I will be paying $25 whether or not I buy an additional item, but this way my money is spent on an actual object that I can use rather than shipping costs that I will not get anything in return.
When women say cash is not real money, that does not mean we do not understand how finances work.
However, in the digital age, cash is also a form of a sunk cost. We understand it’s a very real form of money, but since it’s already been allocated out of our bank accounts, it creates the illusion that it doesn’t affect us.
My dad and I use the same concept while measuring the value of an item, also known as, cost per wear. How much value does the item hold in your life and is the price justifiable?
I asked my dad what he specifically looked for when he bought a car. He said, “Comfort, price, mileage and maintenance.”
I also look for the same things when I make my purchases. I do this in different ways, but the only difference is I often buy merchandise from an artist I really like or books.
Women just have a more sophisticated and calculated way of spending their money.
In 2008, when Iceland jailed their bankers for financial meltdown, women came to their rescue. In the U.S., women make less than men do — especially women of color — yet they still have lower credit card debt than men.
Girl Math. Girl Dinner. There are a multitude of things women have been doing for ages that are now being given names.
In the year of Barbie, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, if there is one thing I have noticed is that women are embracing girlhood. And while it has been great, the patriarchy doesn’t seem to like it. Which for me makes it even more fun.