It was bound to happen: The “girl math” trend that started on TikTok over the summer has found its way to fine jewelry—and some companies say this bubbly take on how to rationalize your spending is a good way to get customers’ attention.
Jewelry brands such as Jenna Blake, Briony Raymond, and Jade Trau have mentioned “girl math” in customer emails, public relations pitches, and marketing, playing with the idea that if you rationalize the purchase of fine jewelry for yourself or as a gift, you’re a smart—and, of course, well-accessorized—shopper.
“Girl math” is credited to content creator Samantha Jane, whose August TikTok explaining the term has more than 3.6 million views. It’s about justifying purchases that bring you joy, even if the numbers don’t technically add up. Examples of girl math: Anything that costs less than $5 is free. Buying an additional item to get free shipping when you are shopping online is savvy. If you return an item for $50 but then spend $100 in the store, it’s like getting 50% off.
“My version of girl math for jewelry is: If you wear your $6,000 earrings 365 days a year for two years, they really only cost you $8.21 a day—which is much less than you spend on your daily shake at Erewhon,” says Jenna Grosfeld, the Southern California–based founder of Jenna Blake. “Hence, they’re a steal!”
Raymond says she relates to girl math’s lighthearted approach to assessing cost per wear. “It’s a fun way to rationalize one’s fine jewelry purchases, by considering a new acquisition as ‘only’ X number of dollars per day for a year,” Raymond says. “Or better yet, you’re making money by investing in a classic piece that will stand the test of time. Win-win.”
Nadia Fernandez, a certified financial planner and personal coach at Financial Finesse, considers girl math a fun concept in personal finance. That is, as long as you budget, save, and invest in addition to shop.
“It doesn’t change the reality that a good budget—and not tongue-and-cheek financial reasoning—is what allows you to splurge on small indulgences, guilt-free,” Fernandez tells JCK. (Hey, we had to balance economic reality with fun TikTok trends.)
“While ‘girl math’ makes you think about how you are managing your money, it nevertheless ignores the fact that money spent, no matter the amount, is money that is not growing for you,” Fernandez says. “It is the opportunity cost principle that is missing, which ultimately is one of the keys to building wealth.”
Okay…so now that you’ve set aside an emergency fund and contributed to your 401(k), you’re ready to buy some beautiful jewelry. Here are a few suggestions for the next time you use girl math at a jewelry store or e-tailer.
Top: Jumbo diamond Sloan hoop earrings ($13,640) from Briony Raymond, one of the jewelry designers who have referenced “girl math”—a concept popularized on TikTok—to market their work (photo courtesy of Briony Raymond)@jckmagazine
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