• You’re losing money if you don’t purchase something when it’s on sale.
  • You’re losing money if you don’t spend enough to qualify for free shipping.
  • You’re making money whenever you skip your daily coffee or soda run.
  • Anything in your Venmo or Apple wallet that isn’t immediately spent is free money


I have two beefs with Girl Math.


First, I'm going to state the obvious.  None of these statements above are good sound financial advice.  In fact, they are harmful.  Girl math hides behind this cutesy, girly persona of making overspending whimsical and funny.  When in fact, we have a debt problem in North America. 


The amount of household debt held by Canadians is $2.32 TRILLION.  The math tells me that's an average of $60,000 per person and that includes all people including children who can't get debt.   


In America, it's even bigger at $17.2 trillion, an average of over $100,000 per person.


So to make a joke of overspending and support our societies infatuation with the consumption of things is just harmful.  What kind of message is this sending to the young viewers that are consuming this content (of which I presume are mainly female)?  That money isn't real, overspending is cool and funny, and consumerism and acquiring stuff is fulfilling and necessary, regardless of the financial position it lands you in. 


Ok, I might be stretching on that last one, but this phenomenon perpetuates all of the things that we are trying to undo in our society:


Spending beyond our means.  Buying things for the sake of buying.  Acquiring stuff means you are wealthy and rich and successful. That having more stuff will make you happy.  That none of it matters -  you can YOLO for the rest of your life, because who knows if you'll even live until your 60s.  Struggling with money and living paycheque to paycheque is normal.  So is having credit card debt.  My kids will support me when I'm old.


If that's your cup of tea, fill your boots.  I'm not going to giggle and share this joke.  It's not a joke.


And in case that isn't enough of a compelling reason to stop it, with women earning 80 - 90 cents for every dollar that men make....all the debt they carry takes them more time to pay off, because they have less disposable income.  To make matters even worse (just financially!) we also live longer, and therefore need more money to retire and live.  So no it's not funny.  It's not cute. 


My second reason is even more infuriating.  It's this concept about making overspending, and chasing sales something that only women do. It's essentially attaching gender to these spending and money behaviours.  This is so patronizing and harmful to women.  We are already trying to break the stereotypes that women are bad with money, that they can't be trusted with money.  That saving and cutting coupons is for women, and investing and wealth building activities are reserved for men.


And if you don't believe me, there have been studies done that indicate that there are differences in how the mainstream media and advertisers speak to men and women.  This is the messaging that we are subliminally being told.


Girl math is perpetuating a generational and systemic lack of confidence that women have about their self worth, about their ability to demand an equitable wage, and regarding their ability to manage and grow their money independently without the guidance or assistance of a man.


So no I don't think it's cute, and I won't lighten up on this.  Men have debt, women have debt, they both overspend, they both emotionally spend, they both buy things they can't afford. It's got nothing to do with being a girl or a boy.  So just stop making it a gender specific thing.  And stop making a joke of our collective debt problem.


Let's keep the conversation and narrative open about making sound money decisions and weaving financial acumen skills and conversation into our everyday life.  I'm here all day for that.


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Much love, gratitude and money xx