The Super-Sweet Birthday Idea I’m Stealing from Instagram

published Jan 11, 2020
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Credit: Rob and Julia Campbell/Stocksy

When it comes to celebrating friends’ birthdays, specifically the kinds of friends who you don’t see on a regular basis, you have a few options: You can send a text that day (ideally in the morning to show that you’ve remembered, but not TOO early that you wake anyone up!); you can send a card (assuming you’ve remembered and planned in advance!); or you could place a call with your actual voice, but it’s 2020 and that’s a hard sell these days.

Because it is 2020, though, I have another idea. Spoiler alert: It is super-sweet and you will want to steal it. Full disclosure, though, I can’t take credit for it. This idea comes from a total stranger who happened to do it for a friend of mine, who posted about it in her Instagram Stories.

Anyway, moving on. The super-brilliant-and-thoughtful idea:

Use Venmo to send your friend $5 with a sweet little note, suggesting she use the money to buy a coffee on you at some point during her special day.

How great is this idea!? First of all, the app is free (you do both have to be on it, though, so be sure to check). It’s a step above a text on the thoughtfulness scale. Heck, it may even be sweeter than a mailed card (and this is coming from someone who loves cards). And it takes exactly zero pre-planning. Once you get the calendar alert, you can send $5 that day and be sure it will arrive on time.

It’s just such a good idea, I plan on stealing it and using Venmo to send all my friends coffee money. (And no, this is not sponsored by Venmo — or anyone!) If you’re not on Venmo yet (that’s you, Heather!), please sign up so I can send a birthday surprise!

How do you help your friends celebrate their birthdays?