6 Genius Ways To Use Venmo In Your Relationship

Kylah Benes-Trapp

There's nothing apps can't help us do: Connect with friends and family, feel like losers on a Saturday night (#FOMO) and — perhaps what we all need the most help with — manage our finances.

Especially in our relationships.

Enter: Venmo. If you don't know it, it's a social media-style app that lets you pay or charge your friends for any expense you want (free of charge). If you choose, each transaction you make will show up on a public newsfeed where other people can like or comment on it.

It's like Facebook, only instead of watching your aunt debate politics on her FB status, you can watch a guy you made out with in college charge a girl named Theresa with a taco emoji.

I love to use Venmo in my relationship, and it turns out, I'm not the only one: According to our new reader survey, 30 percent of Millennials use Venmo to pay/charge their SO for dates, and 28 percent use it to pay/charge their SO for household bills.

Four percent even use it to stalk their exes. (Though, I'm sure more do, and just won't admit it!)

But 55 percent of millennials don't use Venmo in their relationships at all.

This, to me, is a shame. The app is amazing and slightly creepy — two qualities everyone knows makes for the perfect social media experience.

So, to the 55 percent of millennials who don't know what they're missing, here are all the wonderful ways you can use Venmo in your relationship:

Split rent, utilities, meals and more.

It's super convenient to use Venmo to split bills with your SO, like rent and utilities (if you live together), meals, vacations and more. You can pay your SO directly, or you can charge them. "Venmo me" is a phrase I've said countless times in my own relationship.

I personally would rather not be charged for a dinner date (it kills the romance), but that's something you can obviously discuss in your relationship.

Send secret payments.

You don't need the whole world to know you're chipping in for the sex toy your SO got you.

To make your transaction private, make a payment and click on the little icon that says "Friends" in the bottom right corner. Then, change it to "Participants Only."

Or you can make all your Venmo payments secret by going to Settings > Privacy & Sharing.

Keep track of how much your SO owes you.

Splitwise is a cool app that works with Venmo that tracks you and your partner's shared expenses each month. The app keeps a running total of what you owe your partner (and vice versa) over time.

Then, within Splitwise, you can use Venmo to pay those outstanding expenses at the end of the month.

"Lots of folks use Splitwise to share expenses in romantic relationships," Josh Criscoe, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Venmo, says.

"It's a way to track everything in one place, and at the end of the month, you can say, 'OK this person paid for these many expenses, the other person paid for these many.' And you see whether you need to reconcile back and forth."

This blog post from Splitwise details an exact how-to.

Make everyone jealous of your relationship with cute, inside-joke captions.

What does it mean when you caption a payment to your SO with an eggplant, blue heart, soup and baby emojis?

To your SO, it means you're paying for the pasta dinner he cooked for you.

To the rest of your friends looking at your Venmo transactions, it's an inside joke they'll never understand because they're not in your adorable, hilarious relationship.


Check that your SO is not cheating on you.

It would take a special kind of idiot boyfriend to make the Venmo transactions with the "other woman" public.

But just in case your boyfriend ends up being that special idiot (or in case he doesn't know you can make Venmo transactions private), you can use Venmo to check if he's cheating on you.

Just go to his profile and check his transactions.

Did someone named Heather pay him for beer bottle and wink emoji last Thursday, when he said he was at guys' night? Or maybe a pasta dish and wine emoji? Stay woke.

Have IRL conversations about money.

If you're nervous about having those uncomfortable money conversations with your SO, Venmo is a great, low-pressure way to start.

But it's important to remember that Venmo is not the be-all-end-all of money convos. Yeah, you still need to have one of those IRL.

"The conveniences of digital payments make things easier, and do take some of that awkwardness out, but you actually have to have that conversation," Criscoe says.

"Things like Venmo are really great when [payments are] among friends, on dates, or in longer-term relationships, but making sure you address how you're gonna handle shared expenses up front will save a lot of heartache down the road."

Kylah Benes-Trapp