Tips for Teaching Kids About Money

Children around the age of three begin to grasp the concept of numbers and counting. And by the time they’re starting grade school, it’s a great opportunity for parents to introduce the concept of money. Here’s some fun and simple ways you can teach the ABC’s of money to your kids and start them on a path to becoming a financially independent adult.

How to introduce your child to money

Your child’s first introduction to money should be tangible. Now isn’t the time to introduce concepts like how to use a credit card. And you can’t get more tangible than playing with money – especially coins. Coins can be picked up and held in their hand, placed in pockets, or slid into a piggy bank. If you think about it, your first introduction to money was probably through coins too. Maybe your parents gave you coins for your allowance, or you had a grandparent who placed a Toonie in your hand whenever you visited.

Explain a coin’s value

Introduce each Canadian coin to your child and tell them it’s value. Preferably you want to give them an actual coin to hold (and keep). Kids are likely to assume the larger the coin, the more it’s worth. Explain that although a 5 cent nickel is larger than a 10 cent dime, it’s actually worth less. Encourage them to examine each coin, front and back. Ask questions: What do they notice about it? Is there an animal or a picture on it? Are there edges rough or smooth? Counting coins is a great way to not only learn practical money handling skills, but also an opportunity for parents to sneak in a little math.

4 fun games to play for kids using coins

At this stage of your child’s financial education, you want to let them play! And fortunately, there’s plenty of fun and easy games and activities that parents can engage their kids in to learn not only the value, but also how to use money. For these activities, you don’t need a stack of actual coins. If they’re available, great. If not, you should be able to buy plastic Canadian coins online or at the dollar store. Alternatively, get crafty and print your own Canadian coins.

1. Skip Counting

Skip counting, that is being about to count by 5s, 10s, or 25s, is one of the first steps in being able to count money. To help your child practice, you can use skip counting songs. Jack Hartmann has some songs available on YouTube that are designed to teach skip counting.

2. Money sorting

This is a fun and easy game to play that not only only teaches practical money handling skills, but also an opportunity for parents to sneak in a little math. You can play along with your kids. Every person gets a pile of coins. Make it a mix of nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars. Then count them out, adding up their value, and see who has the most money. While kids are still learning, start small and ensure the mounts of coins are just enough to add up to a dollar, then increase the pile as their abilities grow.

3. Play shop

Once your child understands the value of each coin, it’s time to build on their knowledge and put it into practice. Set up a mini-store and put them in charge of the check out (bonus points if they’ve got a plastic cash register to play with, but a plastic jar works just as well!). If you have more than one child, they can take turns shopping or being the shopkeeper. Use items in the cupboard, like tin cans, and price them ahead of time. Keep the amounts low so your child practices adding dimes, nickels, quarters or even dollars, and then is able to make change.

4. Play online

Peter Pig’s Money Counter is a free online game that helps kids aged 5 to 8 practice identifying and counting Canadian money. They’ll even learn a few facts about our currency to boot! Money Master is another free online game where you can choose your currency rate and level of difficulty, from easy to advanced, then click and drag coins and dollars across the screen to equal the value shown.

A young boy stacking coins

Explain to kids the concept of earning money

Many of us saw our own parents going out the door in the morning for work. And while the current pandemic means we’re more likely to move from the kitchen table to the home office for yet another Zoom meeting, kids should understand that the Bank of Mom and Dad doesn’t just happen. You work for money.

Parents can help kids understand the concept of earning money by giving them a weekly allowance. An allowance could also be tied to doing fun chores around the home. The bonus for kids is studies have shown that tackling tasks around the home helps build their competence and self-esteem. Mydoh can help make the process even more fun for kids aged six and up. The digital money management app lets parents set tasks and pay out an allowance each week. You know what they say? Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for life.

Show kids that things cost money

We all know that before they can even walk, kids are little sponges, soaking up the world around them. Your child has already watched you going into the store, selecting an item off the shelf, then handing over a little plastic card, before leaving with it in hand. Now that they’re a bit older, help them make the connection between wanting a toy and paying for it. Explaining that things cost money doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply explain when they ask for a toy car or a pot of slime that it will cost $5. Rather than paying by plastic, let them practice spending their own money for the item. Let them physically hand over their money to the cashier and pocket the change.

Learning about financial literacy should be, well, child’s play. So, give your kids an opportunity to play with coins (while sneaking in a little learning) and some real world practice of earning money around the home.

Use Mydoh to teach kids about money in Canada

Mydoh is a money management app for kids that comes with a digital Smart Cash Card to give them some real-world experience with spending their own money. Parents can create weekly chores for their kids, and set up weekly allowances to their kids’ Mydoh Smart Cash Card. Find out how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

7 Tips to Teach Your Kids How to Save Money

As parents, we’re often our child’s first role model. That’s also true when it comes to money. While feeling responsible for our childs’ “financial education,” may sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be! Here’s how you can talk to your kids about finances, as well as some practical tips to help them build a plan to earn and save their own money.

When should kids learn about saving money?

Research shows that kids’ money habits are formed by the age of seven-years-old—so the earlier you can teach them about saving money, the better!

One of the most challenging aspects of teaching financial literacy is we may not have gotten much in the way of education when we were young. Anyone who has heard “money doesn’t grow on trees,” will know what we’re talking about! Financial education, a.k.a. “the money talk,” can start earlier than you think. After all, young children are sponges. Even by watching you buy things at the store, your preschooler is figuring out the power of money. This is backed up by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Read more about why kids and teens should start saving money early

How do I talk to my kids about saving money?

Kids are naturally (and relentlessly) curious. When they’re young, explain that in order to earn money, you need to work; that money is an exchange of energy. It doesn’t appear as if by magic. If you’re out shopping and they ask for their favourite toy, that’s a teachable moment to explain you don’t have the money to pay for it, but they could use the money in their piggy bank another time. Before you head to the supermarket, set a budget and involve them in sticking with it.

As your kids grow older, let them know they can come to you with questions, or involve them in money-making decisions that affect the whole family, like whether to book a cottage or take a road trip in the summer. If you’re negotiating a new job offer or researching which robo advisor to invest with, share the experience with them. Be open and honest about the realities of making and saving money. The bottom line when it comes to teaching our kids about money, is to start. Answer their questions truthfully. And if you don’t know, well, that’s a teachable moment for you both to look online or speak to a financial advisor and seek out the answer.

Read more about the parents guide to financial literacy for kids

7 tips for teaching kids to save money

Here are some strategies parents can use to help their kids earn, save, and even wisely spend their own money. If your kids learn to practice good money habits when they’re young, they’ll be firmly on the path to becoming financially responsible adults.

1. Learn the difference between want vs. need

One of the most essential skills your child can learn when it comes to saving money is understanding the difference between a want and a need. Why? Once they grasp a “need” is a new pair of sneakers for phys ed, but a “want” is a trendy pair of black Nike Huarache trainers, they can make decisions about how to spend their own money. Is the item something they need or simply want? And is it worth spending their cash on? Learning the difference will help empower your child to make decisions to save for what really matters.

2. Set a savings goal

Help your child set a savings goal. Maybe it’s a bluetooth karaoke system or cool Air Hog drone. Whatever it is, ideally, it should be a goal that excites them! It should also be a realistic savings goal. After all, a year is an awfully long time in a nine-year-old’s life. Make sure it’s just long enough that your child is willing to delay gratification in order to get what their little hearts desire. If they don’t know how much the item costs, research the cost, so they know exactly how much to save. Remember those fundraising charts that were shaped like a thermometer? Encourage your kids to draw their own and colour it in as their savings grow each week. That way they have a visual representation of what it is they’re saving for and how close they are to success.

Tip: Mydoh’s savings goal calculator for kids makes it easy to see how long it’ll take kids and teens to reach their goals!

3. Encourage kids to make their own money

In order for kids to learn how to manage their own money, they first need to have their own dough. On top of receiving money for birthdays or holidays, encourage your child to make their own. The most obvious way is through an allowance, which can be tied to daily or weekly chores. Even kids as young as three-years-old can benefit from helping. Chores not only help develop responsibility, but your child will feel like they’re contributing to the family. Encourage older kids to earn their own money outside the home, whether that’s making money online as a kid, a part-time job babysitting, or walking the neighbourhood dog.

Read more about how to encourage kids to start a business at a young age.

4. Give them opportunities to earn money

Tackling tasks at home is a great way for kids to earn extra income. These chores could be daily (like making their bed) or weekly (watering the plants). Mydoh makes doing chores easier. Parents can create daily and weekly tasks in the Mydoh app, which helps kids aged six and up to keep track of what needs to be done. Instead, Mydoh does the work of nagging for parents with reminders to complete tasks! Set a task, enter a completion date, and assign a dollar amount for that particular chore. As kids complete each task and mark it “done” they’ll bank some coin, which is automatically paid out on Pay Day. Mydoh comes with a Smart Cash Card, so kids can spend what they earn.

Read more about best chores for kids to earn money.

5. Have a place to save money

Earning money is one thing, and being able to spend it is another (and your kid would argue way more fun!). But, being able to save it is an important part of financial literacy too. After all, we’d argue there’s only so many Squishmallows one kid needs. Graduate your kids from their first piggy bank to their own savings account, like RBC Leo’s Young Savers account. Having a real bank account helps kids feel a sense of ownership over managing their own money. For older kids, guiding them through accessing their account online takes the mystery out of things like logging on to pay a bill or send an e-transfer. Look for a bank account with low or no monthly fees, no minimum balance, and easy access to the funds.

Read more about opening a bank account for your child.

6. Don’t punish mistakes

We all make mistakes when it comes to money. Your kids will be no different. They’ll spend on an item they’re convinced is a “need,” only to discover it’s a fleeting “want.” Or they’ll buy a new video game without seeing if it’s on sale elsewhere. Part of helping kids learn about money is allowing them to make mistakes. Instead of punishing them or lecturing, discuss their choices and ask your child what they’d do differently next time? What did they learn from their experience? Mydoh also makes it easier for parents to “put pause” on their kid’s spending with its “lock card” feature. On the flipside, it’s tempting for parents to swoop in and rescue our kids when they make a mistake. However, there’s also value in resisting our impulse to protect. Your child will learn money is a finite resource, once they’ve spent it, it’s gone. Better to learn that lesson now when they’re young, rather than 28! That way, they’re more likely to make wiser choices in the future.

Learn more: 10 money mistakes teens make and how to avoid them.

7. Set a good example

This is probably the hardest tip for parents to embrace. Setting a good example when it comes to money means practicing what you preach. And while we all wish we were Warren Buffett, it’s okay to fess up to your own money mistakes, or show your children that you’re always open to learning. Next time you go online to pay the bills, get your child involved. Teach your kid how to use a credit card responsibly (and explain to them why it’s important to do so!). Another way to set a good example is to give age appropriate examples of what you spend—and why. It could be explaining why you chose a generic brand of apple juice over the branded juice boxes, or why you made the decision to buy a second-hand car outright vs. leasing a brand new model (hint: cars depreciate in value!). What’s important is looking for ways to share your money-making decisions with your kids and demystify the world of finances.

Learn more: 10 common money mistakes parents make and how to avoid them.

The best way to teach kids to save money is giving them real-world experience

Mydoh is a money app that comes with a Smart Cash Card designed especially to give kids some real-world experience of making their own money, as well as saving it or spending it on what their heart desires. Parents can create weekly tasks for their kids to tick off and set up a weekly allowance to their kids’ Mydoh Smart Cash Card. Learn more about how Mydoh works.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

How to Make Money as a Kid Online in 2024

A big part of learning how to manage money is making your own in the first place. With their sense of curiosity and willingness to take risks, kids are natural entrepreneurs. When you combine their innate mastery of digital tools and apps, there’s no shortage of opportunities for kids to start up their own ecommerce business. Here are some ideas on how kids can make money online and some helpful tips to get them started!

As adults, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has fundamentally disrupted our working lives and businesses have had to pivot to adapt. Kids too have had their own challenges with online learning, returning to school during COVID-19, and finding ways to connect with friends. As a result of these changes, businesses have had to evolve. Reliance on technology has led to a growth in e-commerce and social media-driven businesses. Teenagers and tweens are masters of social media sites like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, and they’re able to use them to become paid social media influencers. You may not know who Charli D’Amelio is, but chances are your tween does! So do 108 million other TikTok followers. Another trend we’re seeing in 2023 is supporting local businesses, especially those that are environmentally-friendly, or are purpose driven. All of this is great news for kids looking to start up their own business or make money online.

3 life skills your kids can learn from making money online

Starting an online business isn’t only great for your kids being able to contribute to their education fund or save up for that new gaming console, but they’ll also learn some pretty cool life lessons along the way.

1. Business 101

On the most practical level, the best way to learn how a business operates is by running your own. No matter if your child decides to sell homemade jewellery online, or make slime on their own YouTube channel, they’ll have the opportunity to learn about what it costs to run a business and how profit margins work. It’ll also give them the opportunity to think about how they want to brand themselves, analyze the marketplace, and how to finance their startup costs.

2. Forge their own career path

The traditional career path has gone the way of MySpace, and today more and more small businesses are popping up in Canada. Kids who run their own business online learn that a job opportunity is what you make it. They’re more likely to be confident in taking risks, or try different careers without worrying about settling on one job for their adult life. After all, who says you can’t create makeup YouTube tutorials and help solve the global water crisis?

3. Develop communication skills

The average kid is already a pretty good sales person. Any parent who has argued back-and-forth about a later bedtime would agree. But when kids run their own business, it takes those negotiation skills to another level. Now they’re in the real world learning to deal with customers, how to communicate effectively, and even how to negotiate on price.

A teen girl making jewellery to sell online

7 business ideas for kids to make money online

Here are seven online business ideas your kids can try themselves. However, we do suggest that your budding entrepreneur bounce any business ideas they have off you first. That way, you can help guide them if their idea doesn’t sound feasible or needs your support to get it off the ground.

1. Sell crafts or jewellery online

If your kid is naturally crafty, then making jewellery or crafts and selling them online is a great small business idea. An Etsy site is a popular way to sell your wares. Zandra Cunningham did just this when she created her own lip balm at nine-years-old. Fast forward a few years and she’s now a TEDx speaker, author, and philanthropist—as well as owning her own beauty brand! And Maya Beaudry was also nine when she started Kokom Scrunchies. Parents should also be aware of the sign up rules for sites like Etsy. Kids need to be at least 13-years-old and have the permission of a parent.

Read more about Maya and Kokom Scrunchies in our article on trailblazing teens!

2. Make YouTube videos

Kids are pretty tech savvy and now most laptops come with a built-in camera so it doesn’t take much investment to set themselves up as a YouTube creator. There are a lot of kids out there doing it. Ryan’s World has an impressive 28.6 million subscribers and started when the 9-year-old began unboxing and reviewing toys on YouTube. Kids can create videos based on any subject they’re passionate about, whether it be a makeup tutorial, or building worlds in Minecraft, like Canadian YouTuber GamerGirl. Kids and teens can make money through ads or sponsorship. Parents should also be involved in setting up a YouTube channel to help protect their privacy and manage expectations.

Read more: How to make money on YouTube as a kid.

A teen boy streaming video games on Twitch to earn money online

3. Streaming

Similar to being a content creator, if your kid loves playing video games online or watching streamlined live content on sites like Twitch, they should consider creating their own. Twitch was designed to bring gamers and content creators together through live-streaming games. The platform can be monetized to make money through donations from Twitch users, brand partnerships, or subscriptions. Canadian Twitch user, Shroud (Mike Grzesiek), first started playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and is now one of the world’s most watched (and lucrative) streamers.

Read more: How kids can make money playing video games.

4. Sell vintage

The days of feeling embarrassed about wearing hand-me-downs are gone. Vintage clothing is back and thrifting is in. If your kid has a passion for all things fashion and can spot a retro pair of Adidas trainers or ‘80s Levis, they could make money selling vintage clothing online. Sites like thredUP and Depop make finding their customers easier.

5. Photography

Budding photographers with a decent smartphone and access to editing software can make a little money selling their images as stock photography. While they may not quite be ready to license original images to Shutterstock, kids should check out sites EyeEm, 123rf, or Foap to make money from their talents.

6. Sell digital products

If your kid or teen loves writing, they could design and sell an e-book or publish their own books. Storyjumper lets kids create and publish their own books, as well as read books written by other children. While those with a great eye for design could also create and sell original artwork or posters on sites like Etsy. There are plenty of free or cheap illustrator tools to help, such as Photoshop or Canva. Toronto-based Leeloo started drawing pictures like cool Raptors logos when she was just 7-years-old and sold them on t-shirts. Leeloodles designs are sold online and through the Drake General Store.

7. Sell old toys online

Does your child have a collection of Thomas the Tank Engine trains you spent hundreds of dollars on, or an IKEA bin filled with My Little Ponies sitting in the basement? Your kids can turn their old toys, books, even clothes into cash by selling them online on sites like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. Parents will probably want to be involved in the process. This could mean posting it on social media on behalf of your child (Facebook requires you to be 13-years-old to have an account) and helping to facilitate the sale safely. But kids can still take photos, write up the ad, decide how much they want to sell it for, and negotiate the price.

A young teen taking photos to sell on the internet

How to help your kids develop their business ideas

Okay, so your kid has a big idea to start their own business online, but they aren’t sure where to start. Here are some tips for parents to help mentor today’s kids so they might be tomorrow’s Jeff Bezos.

Encourage your kids to take their business ideas seriously and explore their feasibility.

Get you kids to brainstorm any and all ideas they might have and how it would look. Tools like MindMeister make that easier (but pen and paper works just as well too!).

Introduce them to friends and family who have their own online business and ask if they’ll help mentor your child.

Research the market. This could be as simple as your child deciding to design and sell earrings online then asking their friends what sort of jewellery they’d love to wear, or what are some cool designs they wish were available in a store.

Have your kids set a budget for any material costs and then project how much money or profit they’ll make as a way of assessing the feasibility of their idea and setting prices.

Check out organizations like The Lemonade Project that are designed to foster an entrepreneurial mindset in kids and give them the tools to set a goal and make a plan.

Keep them motivated along the way by listening to stories of real life entrepreneurs and success stories (and earlier failures!). There’s plenty of inspiration to be found through TED Talks or podcasts like We Regret to Inform You.

Get inspired and read Kid Entrepreneur: Meet Sweet August.

How your kids can create a budget to start making money online

Unless you’re prepared to fund the cost of their latest business venture, it’s also important for your child to learn to set a budget as part of running their own online business. This doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. It can be as simple as encouraging your kids to sit down with a handmade table and create three categories: how much their materials cost, how much they can sell their goods or services for, and how much profit they’ll make. This can help them set their prices, so they’re not operating at a loss. Factor in one-off expenses such as setting up a website or purchasing software like Photoshop.

Okay, but what if your kid doesn’t have the capital to start? Earning money by doing chores is a tried and true method of learning about the value of money. Mydoh is a money management app for parents and kids. Your kids get a Smart Cash Card and you can track their earning and spending history. It’s designed so parents can set weekly or one-off tasks and Mydoh takes care of the rest – automatically transferring money from your account into your child’s Mydoh account. This is a great way for your child to put in a little sweat equity as part of getting their business venture off the ground.

Future entrepreneurs not only need to know how to earn money, but how to spend it wisely too. Mydoh is designed to give kids some real-world experience of making their own money, as well as saving it or spending it on what their heart’s desire. Parents can create daily tasks for their kids to tick off and set up allowances to their kids’ Mydoh Smart Cash Card.

Download the Mydoh money management app and Smart Cash Card for kids.

How to Teach Your Kids Good Money Habits

‍Why is teaching kids good money habits important?

For some parents, that question is scarier than any inquiry about the birds and the bees. In a 2019 survey, 25 per cent of parents were either very or extremely reluctant to talk about financial topics with their kids, and another 25 per cent classified themselves as “somewhat reluctant.” 

We feel squeamish talking about money for a number of reasons. We don’t want our kids to worry about money, or we think they may tell the neighbours how much we make. We feel that we don’t know enough about money or personal finance to teach our kids about it, or we’re worried we’re not good role models when it comes to spending and saving — and that our kids will find out about, or, worse, emulate our less-than-ideal money habits.

But if we want our kids to develop good money habits, parents need to get comfortable with talking to them about things like spending, saving, debt, and investing. If we don’t talk about money, we’re sending the message to our kids that money is something mysterious, shameful, or even scary. And it’s hard to form good money habits with those beliefs.

Having honest conversations about money is even more important when you consider that Canadians today are carrying record amounts of debt. In fact, according to Credit Canada, the average Canadian household debt has increased four times in 30 years: we now owe $1.78 for every dollar earned. So, we owe it to our kids (pun intended) to help them develop smart money habits and set them up for a healthy financial future. 

Learn more: How Canadians teach their kids about money.

A father teaching his daughter how to save money using coins from a coin jar

Teaching kids about good money habits starts at home 

We’re not suggesting that parents have to break out tax returns and pay stubs in order to talk about household finances. In fact, telling your five-year-old how much you earn could be counterproductive; most elementary school kids won’t get the difference between $1,000 and $100,000.

Instead, start with what’s most familiar to kids: their home. Take a little tour of the house and talk about what it costs to keep it running. You can show your kids the monthly bills for electricity, water, heat, property taxes, and home insurance, and they can tally up the amounts. Discuss rent or mortgage payments and let them know how much it costs — literally — to keep a roof over their heads. You can also talk about how much you spend on groceries, gas, and insurance for the car, as well as expenses like medications and clothing. Another important lesson is talking about saving for retirement or post-secondary education

These conversations are tangible ways to help kids learn the difference between wants and needs. When they know the real costs of living, it’s easier for kids to understand why you don’t order pizza every evening or why there’s no money in the budget to buy that $200 pair of sneakers. 

And when kids have a sense of just how much cash goes to running a household every month, then how much you earn begins to make more sense. Younger kids begin to understand that it costs a certain amount of money each month to live. For teens who are contemplating their first job or starting their career and entering the workforce, information on how much you earn and how much it costs to run a household can help them make informed choices and entrench good money habits early.

Tip: Mydoh’s savings budget calculator helps kids and teens see where their money is going and how much they can save.

Talk to your kids about good and bad money habits

One of the easiest ways to teach kids how to develop good money habits is to give them an allowance, and then use it as a teaching tool. 

With little kids, the classic “three jar” system works well: they can divide their weekly allowance into three containers marked “spend,” “save,” and “give.” This gets kids used to the idea that some of their cash is meant to be spent now, some saved for later, and some used to make the world a better place for others. Let your child pick the charity for their “give” jar — maybe an animal shelter if they adore dogs, or a charity to honour a loved one who’s been ill. They’ll be more excited about giving back if the cause is one they care about.

As kids get older, you can up their allowance, along with their financial responsibility. This could mean gradually making your kids responsible for more and more of their own financial decisions, like buying their own clothing beyond the basics, video games, or trips to the coffee shop. Once they’re old enough, encourage your teen to get a part-time summer job to pay for these extras and save for their future. 

What if your kid spends all their money on a coveted hoodie and has nothing left to go out with friends? Instead of bailing them out, gently point out they’ve learned a valuable lesson in budgeting. The Mydoh app lets both of you track kids’ spending, while empowering them to make choices about purchases without going into overdraft. In a pinch, the app’s Lock Card feature is a good way to pause their spending while you have a money talk with your kid.

Learn more about how Mydoh’s money app for parents and kids works.

Young Black boy leaning on the table looking at jar of coins with Black man smiling in the background.

Discuss your own money habits

What if you’re carrying a credit card balance? Maybe you haven’t yet taken advantage of your employer’s matching-funds offer for your RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). Or maybe you’ve done a little too much online retail therapy.

While your initial reaction might be to feel shame, these situations are opportunities to teach your kids powerful lessons about good and bad money habits. Better still, they’re a chance to model accountability and make changes in your own financial habits.

Read more: 10 common mistakes parents made and how to avoid them.

Speaking of accountability, consider showing your kids your credit card statement. Granted, you may have to take a deep breath first, especially if your credit card debt has gotten out of hand. You and your kids can then brainstorm ways to change your spending habits and pay off the balance. For example, have your kids help you identify the “wants” versus “needs” on the bill and make a plan to stick only to the needs. Find other sources of cash, like selling unused items on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, to help pay down the debt. You can explore other financial options with older kids— like using a line of credit that offers lower interest rates. Make a thermometer chart to track your progress and have a celebration when the debt is gone. 

Teaching kids good money habits with games

The strategies mentioned above for paying down credit cards are an example of “gamification” — using the same properties that make games so addictive and applying them to other areas of life. Like (cough) developing smarter money habits.

Games are a great way to teach kids about money and to motivate them to develop healthy money habits. Online, you can find lots of printable worksheets and money games that teach kids basic money concepts in fun ways. 

3 board games to teach kids better money habits:

  • Little kids might love Lemonade Shake Up!, which introduces number recognition as well as the concepts of saving and working for money. 
  • The Allowance Game teaches kids from first grade and up how to handle money and make change for larger bills. 
  • Old standbys like Monopoly and Monopoly Junior teach currency recognition, addition and subtraction, as well as debt and the opportunity costs. When you buy Park Place, you may not have enough money for Boardwalk.

The importance of encouraging financial responsibility in children

Talking about money has tangible, immediate benefits. A 2015 survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that a 15-year-old who talked about money with their parents scored higher on financial literacy.  

The lesson here is whatever you do, keep talking to your kids about finances. Being able to have honest conversations about our financial goals, beliefs, doubts, setbacks, and triumphs is one of the best ways to cultivate healthy behaviours and attitudes toward money.

Read more: 8 reasons why financial literacy is important.

Find out how Mydoh can help give your kids a real-world experience of earning and spending their own money today. Download Mydoh today to learn more.

A Guide to Spring Chores for Kids and Teens

Spring is in the air. And so is pollen. And dust. And that bright spring sunshine is making you realize just how, well, grimy the house has become over the long winter months in lockdown. It’s time for spring cleaning.

That’s the bad news. But the good news is that your kids and teens can help. What’s more, adding kids and teens to the chore chart pays even more dividends: it’s an opportunity for kids to feel useful and practice taking on tasks and challenges in life.

The benefits of giving kids chores

Helping out around the house also helps kids develop a sense of family belonging: that sense that they’re a part of a household “team.” Doing chores builds your kids’ understanding of and respect for what it takes to run a household. After all, any kid who has had to mop the mudroom floor is going to think twice before running through the house in dirty boots. Chores help build valuable life skills that kids will need when they move out and are responsible for cooking their own meals, cleaning their dorm room, doing the laundry, and figuring out how to pay their own bills.

Spring chores for kids and teens

So, this spring, why not get your kids on board and help out with seasonal chores, inside and outside the house? Here are some suggestions for spring chores for kids of all ages:

Chores for 4- and 5-year-olds

  • Make their own bed
  • Put dirty clothes in the laundry hamper
  • Emptying wastebaskets
  • Bring in the mail or the newspaper
  • Set and clear the table
  • Pulling weeds
  • Use a hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs (this one is fun!)
  • Watering the garden
  • Unloading utensils from the dishwasher

Chores for 6- and 7-year-olds

  • Sorting laundry
  • Sweeping floors
  • Helping to make and pack lunches
  • Raking grass and leaves
  • Planting seeds in the garden
  • Feeding pets

Chores for 8- and 9-year-olds

Chores for 10- and 11-year-olds

  • Washing dishes
  • Emptying the dishwasher
  • Walking the dog
  • Washing the car
  • Helping to defrost and clean the fridge and freezer
  • Helping with meal planning and making grocery lists
  • Organizing food in the pantry

Chores for teenagers

  • Cleaning refrigerator shelves and doors
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Cleaning the kitchen
  • Cooking dinner
  • Mowing the lawn and trimming hedges
  • Babysitting younger siblings
  • Troubleshooting tech – when it comes to setting up your new iPad or wireless printer, your teen may be the savviest person in the house.

Looking for more chore ideas? Read more about the most popular summer chores and 7 winter chore ideas for kids

7 tips for how to get your kids to do chores

Okay, now you’ve got a list of spring chores that need to be done. How to get your kids on board?

1. Start assigning chores when kids are young

Even little kids are capable of helping out! And the earlier your kids get used to the idea that they’re expected to help out, the more they’ll consider it a regular part of family life.

2. Don’t insist on perfection

It’s better to say, “Thanks for sweeping the floor!” rather than pointing out the few crumbs your 8-year-old missed.

3. Let kids figure out systems that work for them

If your 12-year-old is happy living out of “clean” and “dirty” laundry baskets, that might be an appropriate trade-off. At least she’s doing her own laundry and wearing clean clothes, right?

4. Be specific about tasks

“Clean your room” might be too vague for a kid who doesn’t know where to start — and chances are, they won’t. Rather, be specific. Let your child know they need to put all the dirty clothes in the laundry hamper, make the bed, put all the books neatly back on the shelf, and find three old toys or books to donate.

5. Be consistent

Make sure your kids know that they’re expected to follow through—otherwise they may try to avoid or put off chores in the hope that you’ll give up and do it for them.

6. Try not to nag

However frustrating it is, you’re better off calmly asking “Please set the table” (then wait a few minutes for your child to respond), rather than yelling at them or constantly nagging.

7. Consider tying privileges to completion

Kids are not always the most motivated to complete their chores and tasks. However, there is an easy way to make sure that they get their work done – tie privileges to completion.

Teachers have been using this technique for years. They allow children to use some kind reward such as going on the computer or watching TV after completing their work. This encourages them to finish their homework in order to get what they want. You can do the same thing with chores. “You can watch TV as soon as you’ve fed the dog and taken your laundry to your room.”

Use Mydoh to set up and pay kids for spring chores 

The Mydoh app lets parents create and assign chores to kids, and then automatically pays kids once those tasks are completed each week. It can be a great way for both parents and children to keep track of kids’ responsibilities, and to help kids develop respect for earning money.

Some parents choose to tie chores to allowance, while others don’t. Some parents take a hybrid approach: kids are expected to do “standard” chores, simply because they are part of the family. But they can earn cash for special tasks, like washing the car or spending a couple of hours helping clean out the garage. There are pros and cons to getting paid for chores. Whatever approach you take, know that the benefits of doing chores extend well beyond a cleaner house or tidier garage.

When kids get paid for chores using the Mydoh app, they can buy things they’d like using their Mydoh Smart Cash Card, or save for larger goals. And when kids learn how to master basic (and then more advanced) chores and feel like they’re making a difference, that builds resilience: they learn that they can handle challenges and make a difference in the world. Next time your child is faced with a tricky situation, they can draw on that mindset to get the job done.

‍Use our allowance calculator to help plan how much to pay your kids for completing chores.

Learn more about Mydoh and how it can help your kids learn responsibility and build good money habits early in life.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.