16- Girl Math: the cognition behind females overspending.

image @mishaderooij (pintrest)

Hello Readers,

I have been laughing out loud all week at the ‘Girl Math’ trend circulating on TikTok. It is so relatable and also, it is hilarious that the majority of us think like this. I wanted to do some research into our spending habits as a gender. Surprisingly, statistically, women are better with money than men, this could be because we take fewer risks and are better at saving but we even spend less! Undeniably, the elephant in the room is we earn less, but we will leave the gender pay gap discussion for another day. So where does the ‘girl math’ mindset come from? In today’s love note, we will delve deeper into the cognition behind girl math, having better spending habits (if you want them, because I don’t) and share a lot of L-O-L’s along the way. Enjoy!

I know that I make conscious decisions to avoid money. I always spend first, and check my account later (never blindly, I always have a rough idea). However, the circulating rumour that all women are bad with money is a myth! Some women just enjoy overspending. Could we as a gender have better financial health? Sure! But that doesn’t mean we are terrible with money. From my findings, commonly, women spend because it makes them feel better, in some cases; they see spending as a reward and in others for self-esteem or they are overcompensating for a time they were deprived of the luxuries they have today. None of these are bad reasons, you make your money, and you should be able to enjoy it. 

To understand where this stems from we have traditional households that go back centuries, how you were raised and your relationship with money, and the patriarchy to blame. 

Traditionally, the world is set up so that the men handle the money. In a lot of marriages, where the male figure is the head of the household and breadwinner, the women in the relationship tend to ignore the finances and often the subject of money is taboo. In these cases, the messages would translate to their kids and that’s how the cycle continues. 

Negative relationships with money can also be due to being too money-conscious as a child. This means your parents constantly made you aware of money. You may have heard phrases like ‘We can’t afford that’ or ‘Money does not grow on trees’. These people can end up on either end of the spending spectrum because they see money as security. 

In summary, Money habits are never innate, they are learnt through the relationship you had with money as a child. If you are looking for better financial health here are some brief tips that may help:

1. Budgeting

Set up your account to have your money leaving without you having to manually do it. This includes savings, any investments, bills, credit cards etc. You can budget for your discretionary expenditure and set these up based on what you want for your life and your financial goals.

2. Always be aware of how much money you have in your account.

A tip that I will be taking. Don’t be afraid to check your balance, pre-spending. It might just save you from overspending.

3. Talk more about money with people you trust.

This does not have to be specific, like ‘I have ‘x’ in my bank account. I mean discuss investing, and savings accounts with good interest rates. Percentages your friends save based on their income. It might help and will avoid the subject from being taboo. You will become more comfortable with money and learn more.

4. Investment funds.

I will have to do a detailed article about this, as it’s something I’m still learning. From what I have learnt so far they are supposed to be low risk and a good way to watch your money multiply long term. 

5. Be open to spending.

I know you think that this is very contradictory, but spending should not just be a reward. It may improve your relationship with money if you know you can spend it whenever you like. Purchases shouldn’t feel guilty or like a reward, every time you spend. 

To finish,

I thought I would share some ‘Girl Math’ to lighten the mood, here are some phrases that made me laugh out loud!

  1. “Paying half in cash means I got a discount”
  2. “Cash is free” (because it really is!, kidding haha!)
  3. “Cancelled plans are money I made”
  4. “Cancelled plans mean more money to spend on clothes!” (Logical, haha!)
  5. “If there is £50 more to free shipping, I can add more to my basket and save”
  6. “If I spend money before I get paid, I won’t lose any money”
  7. “Paying for my holiday in advance means when the holiday comes it’s free”
  8. “My student loan is free money”
  9. “If I buy a round of drinks, and all my friends buy me a round, all the drinks they get me are free”
  10. “Buying clothes in a different country means they are automatically cheaper”
  11. “If I go on a date and he pays, I’ve made a profit”
  12. “If I bought something and it’s more expensive somewhere else, I’ve made money”

Best for last, haha!

   13. “If I spend £900 on shoes, and wear them 900 times, technically I only spend           £1 per wear”

I hope you enjoyed this! I certainly did! Have a blessed week.

Use this week to girl math your way out of any situation and become elegant with your money!

-With Love,

JK x

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