Beth is a midwesterner who moved to Austin, Texas with her partner and two dogs. They’ve been together for ten years, are about to get married, and prefer to keep their finances separate.
Together, they love to travel, see new things, and experience experiences. They especially enjoy going to shows or just visiting friends and family.
Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.
How did you discover Braid?
I learned about Braid through Corey, a friend of ours on the Braid team. After he gave us a rundown of Braid Pools, we signed up and got our Braid debit cards right away.
We always split our expenses because our bank accounts are at different banks, and we don’t have a joint bank account. The more we had to split bills, the more annoying it became because we kept tabs on it by saying, “I’ll get it this time, you get it next time.” Which just got harder and more complicated the more we went out.
When we started using Braid, we pooled money for our going-out expenses. Our pay schedules are different so I contributed an amount every week and he would match it later on.
It worked well for us because instead of splitting the costs for everything, we could just spend from the pool
What were you using before Braid?
Before Braid, we mainly used Venmo to split dinners and rent. We would go back and forth between “you paid for the last two dinners, so I’ll Venmo you $40” and not long after saying “you paid for something else, so I’ll give you back $20.” Then I’d Venmo him for my half of the rent because rent comes out of his account.
That system got frustrating and we used Braid so often that we realized we didn’t need to use Venmo anymore, so we stopped using it.
Now I take money out of my paycheck every week and add it to my personal money pool. Then at the end of the month, I pay my partner the full rent money. It’s nice because I can spread out my monthly rent payments and keep them in a separate place from my main bank account.
How do you use Braid now?
We mainly use Braid for our fun fund, splitting costs on trips with friends, and other random savings or expenses.
Our fun fund is what we use if we want to buy tickets for shows, go out to eat, or get take out. Our Grubhub subscription automatically comes out of there. I use it for Amazon purchases too.
Using Braid on trips with friends is convenient. As a group, we put the same amount of money into the pool and use it for everything from getting gas to picking up the restaurant tab. Then if the pool ever dries up, we all contribute the same amount of money back in.
Braid is also a way for us to save money together. We have a fund for our two dogs that we treat like children. When you go to the vet, you can expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars. We save up for those vet visits and pay for them using the dog fund. So now, we don’t worry as much about the cost because we can set money aside for it.
We also have a fund for random wedding expenses.
That’s when Braid started to work well in our lives. It’s nice that we’re able to put money towards these types of expenses because they inevitably come up, and now, we’re prepared for them.
Did you experience any difficulties with setting up?
It’s been a while since I first signed up but I remember the process was similar to setting up a PayPal or Venmo account.
Now that I’ve connected my card to Apple Pay, I rarely think about having to input my card details now too.
Did you have any learning curves?
With any app, the biggest learning curve is realizing the possibilities of what it can do. We used Braid very robustly in the beginning and as we continued to use it, we learned how much we could do with it.
When I'm out with a group of friends and four of us have Braid but the fifth person doesn’t, I always want to tell them how much easier it would be if they used Braid. Since we rarely use cash, we easily pool all our money together.
Braid is efficient and cooperative so that one person doesn’t have to take the heavier load of the bill.
Do you have a favorite feature?
I love the personal money pool! I keep my fun money in there because I wouldn't create a separate bank account for it. So whenever I have extra funds at the end of the month, I put them in there. It comes in handy!
The Braid debit card is great too. I normally have my physical card paired with our fun fund but if I need to go to the vet or pay for wedding expenses, it's easy to switch between pools and pay for a variety of expenses with the same card.
Braid Note: Pairing your card with different pools is done with your physical card. Each pool comes with a separate digital debit card.
Any final thoughts?
When my partner and I put money in a Braid Pool, we both have accountability for it. It’s not in my bank account and it’s not in my partner’s bank account either. We both get to see and contribute to it.
Another benefit is that it doesn’t feel like we’re paying out of pocket as much because the pools are like extra funds.
I can see how Braid can be useful for many different scenarios. In my life, it works great for everything from vacationing with a group of friends, going to happy hours with coworkers to saving for vet expenses.
There are just so many hidden benefits and I love how user-friendly it is.