The Unwritten Rules Of Venmo

The Unwritten Rules Of Venmo

Group dinners are an absolute beating. You know Sarah is going to show up late, you know Jeff is going to drink about five more drinks than everyone else, and you know there’s going to be that awkward “alright, how are we divvying this up” conversation at the end. Yes, it’s always going to end with someone biting the bullet and tossing in their Chase Sapphire.

Which means one thing and one thing only – Venmo receipts are about to get dolled out like adderall at a bachelor party.

Money ruins friendships, families, and businesses alike. And even though Venmo made it a hell of a lot easier to pay your dues, there are still some social intricacies that need to get sorted out before Sarah says, “Honestly, like, how dare she charge me for that? I don’t even like edamame.”

Never request money if not previously discussed.

There’s no bigger asshole in the world than the drunk friend who regretfully buys a round of shots only to toss out a hungover Venmo request for said shots. Yes, Venmo has created a world of accountability, but that doesn’t wash you of the stupid drunk decisions you deserve to have anxiety over. I mean, yeah, I couldn’t have forecasted that the Patron shots were going to be $14 each at that hotel bar either, Chip – but that’s why I didn’t offer to buy any.

If you sit down for a group dinner, establish the rules early and often. Take control, get the credit card points, and tell everyone, “Yeah, I’ll just Venmo everyone.” Sure, there’s going to be someone who orders the steak when someone else orders the caesar, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles at group dinners.

Fulfill your requests within a reasonable amount of time.

No one wants to be the negative Nancy who has to send a reminder or follow-up text. If you can’t spare the thirty bucks your friend covered you for, you probably shouldn’t be going out in the first place.

Yes, Venmo has a “remind” feature for your slacker friends who somehow hope you forget that you paid for the group. But that should be seldom used. Emily blacked out the night before when you sent it? Yeah, remind her in the morning. But when it’s been three days and Emily still hasn’t paid you for your utility bill, it’s time you reassess the type of person Emily is.

Never utter the words, “My Venmo isn’t working.”

There’s always one in the group.

Venmo has a five-star rating on iTunes based on over 900 reviews. Venmo was acquired by Braintree for $26.2 million only for Braintree to be acquired by PayPal for $800 million in 2013. So, uh, yeah, pretty sure Venmo has the means to make sure all their customers are able to easily fire off money to one another. Outside of shitty cab drivers who refuse to take credit cards, there’s pretty much no one in the world who make it difficult for other people to literally hand them money.

“My Venmo isn’t working” is code for, “I’m hoping you forget I owe you this money.” Missing a credit card payment is one thing, but defaulting on your friend’s is just downright despicable.

Be discreet.

You’re buying drugs. We know this. If Venmo was a person, he’d look similar to Christopher Moltisanti, and that’s not a good thing. Yes, people are going to be jokesters who put “Tommy paid Derek for BLOW JOBS!” and those people aren’t funny. Making that joke is the digital equivalent of playing the “Penis Game” in a movie theater after the age of 14.

For your sake, adjust your settings so only you and the other parties see what you’re sending. Using the cigarette and needle emojis to signify that you paid someone for dinner the night before is lame. And if you are actually paying someone for cigarettes and needles, you’re worse than the friend who claims their Venmo isn’t working.

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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