One of the most popular courses at Staples High School is Financial Literacy.
A junior recently won a national award in the field.
Yet a June graduate has taken the internet by storm, with TikTok videos explaining to her father how concert tickets, Venmo accounts, free shipping and the like can be “free” money.
It’s all tongue in cheek, of course.
The teenager is Marley Brown. The 2023 Staples grad is now a first year student at the University of Massachusetts.
Her father is Austin Brown.
Their 4-part TikTok series is called “Girl Math.”
In the first video Marley said, “If I buy concert tickets for two people, and those people pay me back, the money they pay me back for is free” — because the funds had already left her bank account.
“But then you just use the money twice,” Austin noted.
Marley disagreed. According to “girl math,” getting the money back meant it was free.
That video racked up more than 1.6 million views.
That’s nothing compared to their third TikTok. Explaining — quite clearly, according to many followers — that paying Starbucks out of money already in the app makes it free (though her dad disagrees), they were watched over 11.5 million times.
Marley also explains to her father why not buying something on sale is akin to losing money …
… and the difference between “feeling” something is free, versus the reality of it.
And, of course, the Wall Street Journal.
Somewhere, Marley’s Staples Financial Literacy teacher is laughing.