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Don’t Let ‘Girl Math’ Fool You


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September 03, 2023

Two new trends have been circling social media: girl dinner & girl math. While they may seem harmless enough (and entertainingly funny), girl math highlights the ways we all can rationalize away indulgent purchases. However, all women should be careful with how far these rationalizations go. Not only could they ruin your financial future if overused, but it plays into the stereotype that women aren't smart enough to care about their money. A recent Washington Post article explores the psychology behind girl math:

The essence of "girl math":

· "Girl math" is not about complicated calculations; it's about justifying purchases that might seem extravagant or unnecessary. The trend involves individuals breaking down the cost of luxury or non-essential items into smaller, seemingly insignificant expenses. By comparing the cost of the desired item to everyday expenditures, like daily coffee runs or ordering takeout, people rationalize their impulse purchases as minor deviations from their routine spending.

Psychological Anchoring:

· Anchoring is a cognitive bias where individuals rely heavily on the first piece of information they receive when making decisions. In the context of "girl math," the original price of a luxury item serves as an anchor. By breaking down the cost into smaller increments, the anchor point fades into the background, making the purchase seem more manageable and less significant than it initially appeared.

Instant Gratification and FOMO:

· The fast-paced nature of social media encourages instant gratification, and the fear of missing out amplifies this impulse. The "girl math" trend exploits these psychological drivers. By framing luxury purchases as rewards for hard work or even as investments, individuals feel justified in indulging themselves to seize the perceived opportunity before it slips away.

Escaping Reality:

· In a world filled with stress and responsibilities, the allure of luxury purchases offers an escape from reality. "Girl math" taps into the desire for momentary relief and pleasure. By portraying these purchases as affordable, individuals feel they're not jeopardizing their financial stability, further fueling their emotional need for a pick-me-up.

While the "girl math" trend is intriguing, it also underscores the importance of mindful spending. If you spend money for something that's on sale, you are still spending more money than if you didn't buy it at all. It's important to have self-care in life and enjoy money you've worked so hard to earn, but there is a balance between treating yourself and maintaining financial prudence.

Additional Reading: How Can You Get Clever About Hiding Your Purchases on Amazon? Chick-fil-A Is Changing Their Rewards Program on April 4th

If you would like to receive more information on making smart money moves for your future, be sure to contact us today!


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About the author

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Allison Baines

Wealth Plan Design Manager

Allison graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's of science in family & consumer sciences as a double major (financial planning & consumer economics). She started at oXYGen Financial shortly after in the Fall of 2014 and has been building her career in financial planning ever since. One of her biggest accomplishments was passing the CFP® exam in 2018.

Allison was born and raised in Dallas, GA but currently lives in Ball Ground, GA with her husband Rob and their son Carter. They also share their home with a Labrador named Sunny and a German Shepherd named Lola.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. Investor Disclosures: https://bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation.

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice. https://Bit.ly/KF-Disclosures

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