WTF is Financial Autonomy?
And why does it matter?
Financial autonomy… it’s a hot topic in 2022. But what does it mean? And why does it matter?
To understand financial autonomy, it’s important to understand what’s happening on a macro level with relationships as a whole.
First and foremost, as we’ve written about before, couples are getting married later in life than their predecessors. 35 is the new 25.
One of the major impacts this is having on relationships is that millennials as whole, are actually driving down the notorious 50/50 divorce rate that our boomer parents created.
In the words of Frank Sinatra, “only fools rush in…” the younger generation has taken more time to get married and as such, the likelihood of separation or divorce has lowered.
The byproduct of this, is that by the time two individuals become one couple, each of the partners has built more economic wealth for themselves, and as such have become more accustomed to living a life rooted in financial autonomy, aka when I want to buy something for myself or someone else, I don’t need to ask anyone’s permission.
So how does a couple who are definitely committed to each other and fully in love, maintain something that they both individually value - financial autonomy. Because as we all know they’ve both worked hard to earn it.
As of today there are basically three existing solutions for couples looking to maintain this sense of autonomy while also reflecting a level of financial commitment to the relationship, and frankly all of them kind of suck.
Option 1: Open a joint checking account that you both contribute to. Cool this works but it opens a lot of uncomfortable questions. For example, how much do we each contribute? And what happens if we break up? Also presenting this option too early in a relationship could be perceived as clingy.
Option 2: Open a joint credit card. Okay great now we can at least get reward points to travel and whatnot, but who’s credit is being impacted by this card? What are the possible negative implications of a bad break up? How do we know who pays how much every month if we don’t make the same amount of money? We can’t pay rent or our mortgage with a credit card. Who wants to put a bank in the middle of their relationship?
Option 3: Use a money transfer app to manually settle up. Paypal, Venmo, Cash App etc are all great options to send money back and forth. The problem? They can be awkward. What’s the right $ amount to settle up over? What happens when things are left in venmo purgatory - send a reminder? They’re also manual… and time consuming… and inaccurate. Also, you have to do math.
Now… What if we introduce a cheeky little 4th option?
An option that allows you to demonstrate a deep sense of commitment in your relationship, while also maintaining your financial autonomy. An option built for modern couples. An option built for modern technology.
Introducing Option 4: Smoov.
This option allows you to sign up directly from your phone. No bankers, no new bank or credit card accounts. You’re used to sending money back and forth from your phone, so this is familiar territory. With this option you’re able to keep using the cards you already use, especially your favorite rewards cards. You can share transactions from your private view - yes a private view, to your shared view with each other. Set up a split % based on what makes the most sense for your relationship, and override it on a per transaction basis if you need to. Settle up directly from the app whenever you want.
If you break up - no worries - just hit the break up button and we’ll take care of the rest.
Which option are you choosing?
In the spirit of self awareness, we’re biased here.
That being said, the whole reason we’re working on Smoov is because we looked at the first three options and said wow seriously these suck. They suck because they’re not built for a generation of independent people who happen to be in relationships. They suck because they don’t use the full potential of technology. They suck because they don’t have us in mind.
Correct me if I’m wrong.
So, WTF is Financial Autonomy? And, why does it matter?
Financial Autonomy is the feeling of independence with your finances, your savings your investments and your expenses. It's the voice in your head that says if you want something, and you can afford it, you can buy it. It's a feeling of control.
Why does it matter? It matters because it's something anyone in a relationship is going to have to recognize and address. Answering the question, what does this relationship mean to my financial autonomy? How do I demonstrate my commitment to the relationship, and maintain my autonomy?
Relationships are all about compromises, changes and adjustments - but it seems that couples who are able to strike this balance between commitment and autonomy are the happiest and most successful.
In short, Smoov is built specifically for couples, to embrace their commitment in the relationship and also continue to foster a sense of financial autonomy.
If you’re not already on the waitlist, sign up and we’ll invite you to use our private beta in short order.
We’re changing the way couples manage their expenses together and Financial Autonomy is at the backbone of our platform.
Tell a friend to tell a friend.
Until next time - take it easy and keep it Smoov.