‘Girl Math,’ the latest trend to take TikTok by storm, is basically a clever way to describe the “creative” logic women apply to justify and explain their purchases, especially big-ticket items. Recently, a New Zealand-based radio show Fletch, Vaughan & Hayley thrust the concept into the spotlight with a new segment dedicated entirely to the phenomenon.
A recent installment—which garnered over 6 million views on TikTok—applied Girl Math to a listener’s indecision about investing in a full set of linen bedding valued at $656. The hosts of the show helped her reason through the splurge. They looked at the number of items included (4 pillows, a top sheet, a bottom sheet and a duvet, so 7), then they assessed that cheaping out on a less luxe set could be costly, too. (“Her partner runs hot, so now you’re sweating through whatever cheap sheets you’re going to buy instead and the mattress protector…which will run you $200 to replace,” one of the hosts explains.)
Finally, the cost-per-use is evaluated: If the listener were to use the sheets 365 days a year and you round the total cost up to $700, she’s getting a good night’s sleep for $1.90/night. Divide that with her partner and you’re down to 95 cents. “It’s basically free!” the hosts proclaim.
But is Girl Math brilliant or offensive? We asked a personal finance expert to weigh in.