Is it okay to send Venmo requests for less than $5? | The Tylt

Is it okay to send Venmo requests for less than $5?

Most social platforms have developed their own etiquette rules. On Reddit, you don't self-promote; on Instagram you don't post more than once a day. But on Venmo, etiquette reflects both modern and conventional perspectives on money. Everyone uses transactional apps like Venmo, from penny-pinchers to the laissez-faire, so the ground rule can get muddled. Some say sending a Venmo request, regardless of the amount, is fair and should be expected. But others say anyone who sends Venmo requests for less than $5 is stingy. What do you think? 

FINAL RESULTS
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Is it okay to send Venmo requests for less than $5?
#RequestLessThan5
A festive crown for the winner
#LetItSlideOnVenmo
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Is it okay to send Venmo requests for less than $5?
#RequestLessThan5
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According to Mashable, Venmo requests of less than $5 are inappropriate regardless of context. End of story. Mashable's Martha Tesema proclaims:

You should know that your friends will probably judge you for charging someone for any amount under $5. (This obviously varies from person to person. We all have bills to pay.) Chances are, you and your friend's slightly uneven debts will eventually even out.

Think about the things you might cover for your friends that cost less than $5: a cup of coffee, an Uber, transactional fees after splitting a meal, tater tots, whatever. In a world where Venmo doesn't exist (circa 2008), few people would ask their peers to take out their wallet to cover a random $3 charge. Venmo shouldn't be any different. 

#RequestLessThan5

The beauty of Venmo is that it opens up the world of easy, no-hard-feelings transactions. If your co-worker forgets their wallet, you can spot them for lunch or coffee and not worry about whether or not they actually have cash in that wallet to pay you back. Whether the request is $2 or $20, the act of requesting money itself should not be seen in a different light. 

Small costs add up quickly, and everyone who uses Venmo should understand that to some degree. Venmo puts everyone on the same page. Requesting a few bucks in cash would probably make you appear stingy in other contexts, but on Venmo, it's just a fair common practice. 

#LetItSlideOnVenmo

Yet, it seems Venmo's transactional nature is having the reverse effect on users, and old money etiquette has set in. No one wants to be "that person" to request a charge under $5.

Vox's Rebecca Jennings asked a few of her own friends about their thoughts on the matter, and the majority rejected the idea of requesting what they saw as a "trivial" amount of money. Doing so would leave a bad impression on both friends and people you're meeting for the first time. In the simplest terms: requesting less than $5 on Venmo is not polite.

'I do not Venmo request someone for an amount under $5 in general because I feel like it’s an amount that I’m willing to "gift" and also I’d imagine it will sort itself out in the long run. I also am afraid of looking cheap or greedy if I request that amount. Venmo requests in general tend to irk me—even if I know I’m supposed to pay someone an amount, I’d rather have them text me or let me know to pay. Formally using Venmo to request an amount of money is passive-aggressive and very transactional.'
'To be honest, I think it would make me look like a true penny-pincher. Asking a friend or a co-worker for $5 or less is really not worth the awkwardness.' 

At the end of the day, a $5 or less charge will eventually even out. And if it doesn't, $5 is a reasonable amount of money to gift to someone. And if the idea of letting $5 slide really irks you, according to Jennings's friends, maybe you shouldn't be spending money in the first place. 

#RequestLessThan5

Jennings also reported on a few friends who feel that the beauty of Venmo is that it lets everyone return what they owe, which lessens resentment among groups. Plus, refraining from sending small requests might make the person on the other end of the would-be transaction feel uncomfortable by not paying you back. One of Jennings's friends commented:

The money of people in the group varies wildly. I don’t want anyone feeling gun-shy about requesting what I owe because I haven’t requested them.

Requesting trivial amounts of cash is a way to keep the playing field even. By bringing in traditional money etiquette, people are ruining Venmo's original mission: "to change people's relationships with money and each other." 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is it okay to send Venmo requests for less than $5?
#RequestLessThan5
A festive crown for the winner
#LetItSlideOnVenmo