Girl Math Is All Over Social Media, but What Is It? Here Are 12 Examples of How It Works

Kelly Corbett - Author

Sep. 8 2023, Published 11:53 a.m. ET

women sitting on couch with shopping bags, tweet overlay
Source: Getty Images; Twitter / @_senikamurillo

The Gist:

  • Girl math is a term coined to describe the unique (and illogical) mathematical reasoning applied by young women.
  • It emerged on social media in July 2023, after a group of New Zealand radio hosts came up with the term to justify a friend's big purchase.
  • Now, women everywhere are using girl math to help them reason with some of their unnecessary purchases.
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In the world of math, there are lots of different types like geometry, algebra, calculus, and trigonometry. But there's also something called girl math.

Girl math is a term coined to affectionately describe the unique mathematical reasoning applied by young women. It's a realm where formulas, numbers, and logic take a back seat. Rather it is the internal reasoning women use to justify their spending habits and sometimes unnecessary purchases. Think of it as a coping mechanism.

women shopping
Source: getty images

The term was first introduced in late July 2023 on the New Zealand radio station FVHZM, where hosts Fletch, Vaughan, and Hayley used what they called "girl math" to justify how a friend getting her hair done was basically free. Since then, the term has spread like wildfire amongst young women on social media.

Although the formal rules of girl math haven't made it into textbooks yet (and never will!), numerous women have shared what girl math is to them on social media, and there seems to be a consensus on what girl math's fundamental principles are. They are as follows.

If you pay for something using your existing balance on Venmo or Cashapp, it's free.

If your bank account balance doesn't change, then you have nothing to worry about.

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If you overspend today, you can make up for it by not buying anything tomorrow.

It's all about balance.

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Buying tickets in advance for events makes the event free the day of.

And if the event is free the day of, it means you can treat yourself to merch, a fancy meal, etc.

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If you talk yourself out of making a big purchase, you've actually made money.

Sure, you may have FOMO, but now you're a millionaire!

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If you pay for something with cash, it's actually free.

It doesn't matter how many bills you take out of your wallet. If you haven't swiped your credit card or taken money out of your bank account to buy something, then it's free.

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If your plans get canceled, then you've actually made money.

If your plans to grab dinner with a friend were canceled, it's actually a good thing. Now, instead of spending money, you're making money. Cha-ching!

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Spending money abroad doesn't count because it's a different currency.

If you live in the U.S. and travel to England, everything is free because you're spending pounds not USD.

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If someone pays you back for something, you've actually earned money.

If you spotted a friend for something and then later paid you back, you made a profit.

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If you buy something in store instead of online, you're saving money because you don't have to pay for delivery.

Going out to eat rather than ordering food for delivery is a great way to save money.

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Not taking advantage of a sale is actually losing money.

Things go on sale for a reason — to help grow your bank account!

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If you buy something and return it, you've made money.

It's all about the profit!

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If you spring for something extra to qualify for free shipping, you actually just saved money.

Bonus points if you can actually use the item!

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