Adult Daughter Reveals The ‘Parent Math’ She Does When Her Dad Asks Her How Much She Paid For Something

Sometimes, it’s just easier to tell a little white lie.

Adult daughter walking outside with her dad. Chonchit, South_agency / CanvaPro

As you grow older, it’s inevitable that your relationship with your parents also grows — sometimes for better or for worse. We become different people, so do they.

Actor and content creator Giana Carli, took to TikTok to share the one specific thing she does to keep things light-hearted with her dad, and it’s not the socio-political internal debate most of us tackle. She lies about her spending.


Carli said she uses ‘parent math’ to justify purchases to her dad when he asks what they cost.

When Carli talks with her dad about new purchases, like a new couch, for example, she’s hardly ever honest with him about how much it costs. “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” she wrote in the caption of a recent video.

“I need to do a little math in my head, similar to girl math,” she said, after recreating her dad asking the price of her new couch, “I like to call it the parent price.”


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Carli explained ‘parent math’ as cutting the cost of something in half or exaggerating a story that makes the purchase ‘better’ to her dad.

“Now, what I really paid for the couch was $2,100, but my dad is never going to find that out.”

Not everyone is able to wait and spend time searching for sales or the best price, but of course, Carli doesn’t mind her dad thinking she did just that.

Woman online shopping on her laptop. Valerii Honcharuk / CanvaPro


“It has to be an exaggerated story. The more exaggerated the better,” she added. “He’ll never find out.”

Carli even admitted to telling her dad she paid “in cash” to get a better discount — which won her all the praise she needed from her father. 

But, by the end of the video, one thing was very clear: she wasn’t doing “parent math” for the praise but simply as a kind of justification for her spending.

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Many Gen X and boomer parents aren’t willing to acknowledge the actual change in the economy.

“I’m convinced this is why boomers don’t understand how bad the economy is,” one person wrote in the comments. However, the truth is that “money guilt” is radically impacting many young people — not only do they feel guilty for spending money on “personal things,” but they’re often forced to “explain” why they need it.


A common complaint is that older generations are quick to condemn people for spending money on comfort, happiness, or simply for joy. There’s obviously a line between irresponsible spending and the latter but it’s a burden many younger generations are forced to deal with.

@parweenmoneycoach Even bringing home a drink or outside food - oh gosh the comments your immigrant parents will make can be really triggering and lead to you avoiding your finances and feeling alone.“How could you spend THAT much?”“This is why you can’t buy a house!”“wasting so much money, you should be saving it”^So you start to HATE the idea of budgeting, feel guilty spending money, and overall de-motivated with your finances because it’s such a negative environment.SIGH - you’re here now, in a safe space to learn about money management from someone who gets it (me!).💸 Start with my free ebook for specific money tips as 1st gen daughter’s 🔗 bio#moneyshame #browndaughterproblems #guiltspending #firstgendaughter #immigrantparents #spendingproblems #hidingmoney #moneycoachforwomen #moneyavoidance ♬ a little peace of heaven - dea

Generation Z and millennials are two times more likely to feel “guilty” about money than their older counterparts. Perhaps this has been perpetuated by their parents and grandparents, who learned it from generations before them.

“I always feel like I need to tell my parents the real price because they need to know how rough it is out here,” another person added. “But, usually that backfires… They’ll always come up with an excuse for why my high spending is my fault.”


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.