Updated: Feb 4, 2022
If you ask any successful entrepreneur or investor for advice about starting a company - and please believe I have asked a lot of them - they will tell you all the best companies are born out of deep desire to fix a problem you're experiencing personally.
Taking it a step further to paraphrase one of my favorite thinkers/writers Tim Urban - "anytime you're doing something and you think, 'this sucks' that's where your opportunity is."
That is how the concept for Smoov was born.
My fiancé and I were sitting down after a weekend of traveling, socializing and going out, and we were tallying up the damage of who paid for what over the past couple days and sending venmos to each other to settle up.
As we're going through this tedious process, naturally we're chatting and come to the conclusion that "this sucks... and there must be a better way."
To specify what exactly sucks here - I'm talking about the process of looking through multiple bank accounts, adding transactions from each of them to excel, cross referencing with venmo, uber eats, door dash etc... and then figuring out who owes who how much.
So I decided to dig in on this concept - looking for a better way and learning if this is a challenge for other couples.
After speaking with dozens of other couples about how they're managing their shared expenses together (disclaimer this is a great way to escalate small talk to medium talk) I uncovered that we were not alone and today there really is not a great way to do this, other than the excel and venmo process.
For the people out there saying, just grow up and join your bank accounts - honestly we just don't want to right now and that is what it is - hard stop.
Sure there are people who do, and that is awesome but at this point Smoov is for the people who also want to maintain some financial independence or simply don't want to deal with the complexity of merging bank accounts.
What I was hoping to learn more about was the people like us - the couples who are late 20's, early 30s', not married yet and both working full time... these are the people who Smoov is for.
Now that I'd gathered some reassuring anecdotal data - I started looking into macro trends - we'll share more about these things on the blog in the future but some of the key points I want to share are as follows:
Millennials are driving down the divorce rate because we're getting married later in life with more financial independence under our belt
The average couple spends over 50 months together in a committed relationship splitting expenses before joining their bank accounts together
Throughout those ~50 months, couples are sharing over $250K together - quarter of a million bucks, not an insignificant amount
So, now I've got all this insight from friends, family and random couples from the many weddings we went to last summer, coupled with macro trends surrounding what's happening with relationships and finances as a whole, I zoomed back in.
What did this mean for us?
I exported all of my and my fiancé's venmo's between each other from 2021 and added them all up...
In 2021 we passed back and fourth over $60,000 worth of Trader Joes, National Grid, Netflix, Movie Theaters, dinner dates, mortgage payments, flights, coffee shops, vet bills, hotels, gas, friends wedding gifts, airbnbs, and anything else you can think of over the course of the year.
And, this doesn't even factor in the expenses that we never got around to reconciling or simply forgot about; because like I said originally, the process of doing so, sucks. It sucks because it's super manual - inconveniently time consuming - and inaccurate.
Is it just me or does that seem kind of crazy?
Not only the dollar amount but also the time invested into attempting to accurately split all of the shared expenses.
What if there was an app that made all this manual nonsense obsolete?
An app that connects with each of your different credit and debit cards (of which the average millennial has 5).
An app that automatically provides you with a running list of all of your transactions from each of your different cards - organizing them in chronological order.
An app that easily allows you to select which transactions you shared with your significant other and send them from your private view, to your shared view.
An app that allows you to set up a fair split percentage, based on income - or not - your call.
An app that does ALL the math for you, and allows you to settle up on the recent damage in one place.
I mean, I'd use that app. SO, that's exactly why we're building at Smoov.
We're building Smoov so we can use it ourselves, and so we can share it with anyone else who's navigating the emotionally charged, and often challenging waters of shared finances for the first time.
The beta is going live in the next few weeks - if you want to test Smoov and provide us feedback, hit us up.
We also want to reward our early friends and community members; so if you're one of the first 500 people on our waitlist, you'll never pay a dime for Smoov.
We are super excited to share what we've been working on with everyone in the coming weeks and months.
Until next time - take it easy and keep it Smoov.
- Tucker from Smoov