The Venmo solution to the high cost of living

The message painted on a car window in the parking lot said, “Honk!! Just Married—Venmo @. . . “ followed by a woman’s name.

Venmo is a popular app you can put on your phone to securely send and receive money from friends and family. It is widely used among younger people and handy for splitting a dinner tab, sharing the cost of a gift, and apparently for asking strangers to help foot the bill for your wedding.

Miss Manners and Emily Post never covered Venmo etiquette. If they had, I imagine their response would have been to put “please” at the end of the request plastered on your car window. Good manners are timeless.

My first response is that it was crass to ask random people to help pay for a wedding.

But I thought about it a little more, and a little bit more, and I wound up thinking, well, “Honk!! Just Bought Groceries! Venmo Me!”

“Honk!! Car Needs Fill-up! Venmo Me!”

“Honk!! Three grandkids with birthdays this month! Venmo Me!”

Suddenly, I had more messages to put on the car than the car had windows. Clearly, we’d need to get a bigger vehicle.

“Honk!! Just Bought New SUV! Venmo Me!”

High cost of living got you down? Can’t pay your bills? Demand others pay them for you!

Recently, financial gurus have advised people to calculate their personal rate of inflation as opposed to the 8 percent rate of inflation touted by the government.

Determine your monthly expenses for food, housing, clothing, transportation, medical care, recreation, education, etc., then, subtract your monthly spending a year ago from your current monthly spending and voila! you have your personal rate of inflation.

Everybody is feeling the squeeze. The husband announced he was going to take me somewhere expensive the other night. He took me to the gas station.

A year ago, our grandkids set up a lemonade stand to capitalize on the neighborhood garage sale. (We start our entrepreneurs young.) I carefully explained that their total intake, minus supply costs, would equal the profit. When I reminded them that the Walmart frozen lemonade was $1 a can, they did some quick figuring, followed by murmurs of watering down the lemonade and going heavy on the ice.

Wait until they find out that this year the same lemonade that was $1 last year is $1.25 this year. It will be multiplication, subtraction, decimal points and percentages rolled into one. Real-life math and real-life rate of inflation.

“Honk! Lemonade Up 25%! Venmo the Kids!”


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