# Is Girl Math Really Helping The Girls?

Photographed by Amanda Picotte.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of fans who went to see — or are going to see — Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, you likely spent a good portion of your paycheque on tickets, accommodations, outfits, and more for a single night of fun. Yes, the concert is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity but you may find yourself struggling to defend the hefty price tag. Our suggestion? Do girl math.
While this isn’t exactly a new way of thinking, New Zealand radio show Fletch, Vaughan & Hayley has pushed the practice further into the public eye with their new segment called — you guessed it — Girl Math. In a recent segment, the crew helps prove that a listener’s \$330 special occasion dress purchase is reasonable, while an economist listens on and shares his opinion. “She’s going to wear it three times. This is not a \$330 dress, it’s \$110,” says Hayley. Another producer chimes in, saying that this dress has resale value and if the listener sells it for over \$110, then one of the wears is basically free. They go back and forth and make such a case for the dress that at the end of the clip, the economist agrees that this purchase is, in fact, a good one — meaning that the girl math is girl mathing.
The segment — and consequential virality — all started off the air. “Our show producer Carwen needed to get her hair done but it was super expensive, and our social media producer Shannon started organically girl mathing it,” Hayley tells Refinery29. “I jumped in and the boys were gobsmacked at how we got the cost of her haircut down to next to nothing — basically free — so we put it on air.”
Before girl math had a name, we called it logic. At its core, girl math is a common thought process among people, most often who identify as women (hence its given name), that helps to justify how we spend our money, from big ticket items broken down by cost per wear to the feeling that using cash isn’t really costing us because if it’s not coming directly out of our bank account, it’s free. It’s the feeling that when you return something, technically you made money because it went back into your account.
While we’ve been using girl math for what feels like forever, the recent discourse around it has us wondering: Why do we even feel the need to dissect our spending like this? Tori Dunlap, founder of Her First 100k and author of Financial Feminist, points out that when traditional experts give financial advice, they often tell us to stop spending money on things they deem unnecessary. “It’s ‘stop spending money on lattes or manicures or designer bags.’ It's not [football] season tickets or video games or golf clubs,” Dunlap says. “We're told that the reason we're not rich is because we're spending money, and then we're told to stop spending money on things that are innately feminine. We're being told that those things aren't worth your money and aren't valuable.” Thus begins the cycle of justifying those purchases to yourself, aka girl math.