"The Story of my Life Told in a Cold Transactional Way"Submitted by Blue Rock Wealth Management on September 15th, 2015
Recently I heard of an app called Venmo. Have you head of it? No?.. me neither until recently. Here is how it works.
You can make and send payments to your friends without exchanging cash. Instead, you use an app. You can use Venmo like a bank account or you can link an existing bank account or debit card to your Venmo account to conduct transactions.
Why would you do this? I honestly do not know. You'll have ask someone younger than I. What I thought was interesting was the transparency of the transaction. On the app, there is a news feed that shows what someone paid another, the reason, the amount, even including names. For example, it says "Samson B pays Mark T $25 for electricity."
The feed almost reads like a life story. I heard a story of jilted lover who began charging her ex using the app for things like "half of a couch." Their torrid breakup was exposed for all for the world to see through the cold quantified transactional history.
I've long known a person's spending habits told a story. As an advisor, people share very intimate experiences with you because those experiences often impact them financially. Sometimes those are traumatic experiences like a child entering an expensive drug rehab but more often (thank goodness) it's a series of transactions that point to behavioral tendencies.
For example, a random series of purchases at the mall show you impulsive. Maybe you fail to follow through. You bought a language learning course that you used for one day. Or, you are nervous about the future so you are hoarding cash in your checking account.
Until I saw this, I thought these stories were reserved for one's intimate partners & friends and sometimes his or her financial advisor. If you use this app, you put it out there for all of the world to see. Is this a good idea? Again, I do not know. What I would ask you to contemplate is, what story do my spending habits tell of me? Am I allocating my resources toward the things that matter most to me (my children's education, securing my family's future, etc..)? Am I generous enough? Am I too generous? Technology makes it easier for us to go back and read of our own personal history. Leverage it to change, if needed, and write the future of your dreams.
By Jennifer Johnson