Girl Math, The Ellevest Way

By Sallie Krawcheck

You know what we’re loving? 

You may guess that we’re loving how women flexed their economic muscle this summer. And showed up in droves for Taylor, Beyoncé, and Barbie

We do. We do love that. 

And what we love even more: that, in going out in joyous groups to forms of entertainment that are unapologetically pro-women, feminist, strong, gorgeous — women arguably kept our country out of a recession

(You’re welcome, country.) 

We also sort of love that it was the summer of “girl math.” (Which, btw, is really “everybody math.” Because each of us justifies our splurges and spending in ways others may not.) 

Now, is girl math strictly correct? 

Not exactly. For example, if you buy your coffee with a pre-loaded gift card, your coffee isn’t technically “free.”

(On that note, if you invest and your returns compound — so you make money on your money — could that be considered free money? Or is it sort of magical money? Or both? Or is that simply “lazy girl” investing: Not having to do much work, but letting your money do the work for you?)

Sure, girl math has made us scratch our heads and LOL. But when you look at it from a different angle, it turns out girl math is kinda powerful. This summer, it served women as a defense against the tired tropes we’re told every day — like women are “bad with money.” When you’re up against non-stop patronizing messages, girl math can help relieve some of the stress women feel around spending. We don’t believe in zero-fun budgets anyway.

With girl math in everyone’s feeds, it also served as a reminder for all women that nothing should be an excuse for ignoring your financial situation and decision-making. 

Timely, because this summer was also the summer of divorce, with celebrity breakups dominating headlines, confirming research that shows divorce rates increase at the end of summer. Not to bring down the mood, but more than half of women defer to their husband for money decisions during their marriage. And of the women who outsource their finances to their male partner, 74% have a negative surprise when the relationship ends. (By the way, Ellevest has two (!!) Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFAs) on our Private Wealth team of all-women financial advisors. Learn more about how to manage your money after divorce, here.)

So, if girl math can teach us anything (can it?), it’s that money is not just money. Money can be the power to live the lives we want. To leave that relationship. To use your finances after divorce to get the best revenge — building wealth.

Ultimately, what we love is that women have been making money moves and have been talking money. And having fun with it. And that, with each of these — the concerts, the movies, the girl math — women haven't been letting those old feelings of shame — from a lifetime of negative messages around money — drag them down. People have tried to denounce or mock Barbie and Taylor (and for Taylor, this has been the case at each era) and even Beyoncé (dare they? They dare!); but that noise was drowned out by all the fun we’ve been having. 

It was quite a summer. 

And now let’s bring on pumpkin spice latte season. 

(Because also: You’re welcome coffee-industrial complex for the $600 million in pumpkin spice lattes that *mostly* women have bought since they were launched 20 years ago.) 

Parting fall advice? Just buy the f’ing pumpkin spice latte

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.