Last week a twitter influencer type decided to share his hot take on couples splitting their expenses using venmo.
As we over here at Smoov know all too well, this is a hot topic but you can also see based on the 1.3M views on his tweet, the public square agrees.
That being said, there is a lot of nuance here. A LOT.
If you have some time, read through the comments as they are wildly entertaining. But more than anything, a fair takeaway is that this topic is super close to home for people and evokes a passionate and emotional reaction.
Our founder Tucker had to drop some commentary on the thread to set the record straight and we figured it’s worth turning that tweetstorm into a blog post.
Here are some Smoov thoughts on the couples using venmo scenarios.
The first and most obvious point is that every couple is different. Furthermore the two individuals in the couple have different personal relationships with money.
Their personal relationship with money is formed by a number of factors.
Their socioeconomic background and upbringing. Our first impressions with money come from our parents and family.
Their formal education around personal finance. Not really a subject taught in high-school so this is highly dependent on someone's exposure through college.
Ongoing education around finance whether professional or through personal motivation. In the information age someone can learn as much as they'd like about a subject. When two people form a relationship, they're not starting from the same place with regards to financial literacy.
Once we have a better understanding of the background of someone's relationship with money, we need to consider their current circumstances to get a sense of how they’re going to interact with money in their relationship. This too is determined by a number of factors.
Earnings. How much someone makes when they start a relationship impacts their perspective on financial autonomy. As younger generations get married later in life, with more individual wealth and higher earnings, this autonomy is key. Respecting it brings divorce rates down.
Savings and net worth. Two individuals starting a relationship aren't going to start at the same point. Savings and net worth are a key factor here as both impact their perspective on money.
Investing strategies. Most Americans do not invest. The likelihood that a couple has the same strategy and perspective around investing is very low. So the partner who requests $ from the other may want to put that $ in the market for their future.
Spending habits. America is a society of consumers. Two people forming a relationship probably have completely different spending habits.
Consumer debt. Same example as investing but maybe the partner requesting $ on venmo needs it to pay down credit card debt.
So the biggest key here is that there is no silver bullet.
What works for one couple is not guaranteed to work for another.
That said, the most likely path to success is transparent communication around finances and mutual respect.
So remember, next time you’re scrolling through venmo’s social feed (idk why) and feel the urge to judge a couple for sending money to each other, ask yourself if you can answer all of the above points about that couple and respect the fact that we all have dramatically different experiences and relationships with money.
Ultimately there are few things more complicated than the intersection of romance and finance.
That's WHY it's the leading cause of relationships failing.
AND – that’s WHY we’re building Smoov to help!
Don't forget you can sign up for our beta version to keep your relationship finances private.
Until next time Smoovers. Take it easy and keep it Smoov.