How Parents and Teens Use Mydoh

If there’s one thing parents of teens would agree on, it’s that their teenagers would like us to believe they know more than we do. When it comes to TikTok, that’s probably the case. But when it comes to money, we know there’s still a lot for our kids to learn. The teen years are when many kids get a taste of financial independence and go from a weekly allowance to a part-time job. Here’s how Mydoh can help parents teach their kids financial literacy, as well as how to spend and earn their own money.

Start the money conversation with teens early

Raise the topic of financial literacy with your teen, and it’s likely to be met with an 🙄. But, helping teens establish strong money skills early in life through experience pays dividends. Research backs this up. According to the University of Arizona, practice does, in fact, make perfect. Hands-on experience with money prepares kids for financial success. This isn’t to say teens can’t—or won’t—make money mistakes. In fact, making small money mistakes at a younger age could prevent a huge financial disaster down the road.

How parents and teens can use Mydoh

One way teens can practice money skills is by using Mydoh. Mydoh is a Smart Cash Card for kids that comes with a money management app. It’s designed to help teens learn and practice money skills safely and securely. Because there’s nothing like hands-on experience to learn the value of a dollar. Here’s a bit more about how they work.

1. Spend

Phone with Mydoh app

If you asked your teen what they think it means to be financially responsible, they probably say, “making money.” And earning your own buck is important (we’ll get to that shortly!), it’s just as important to learn how to manage your spending. This is especially true given how easy it is to access credit. According to Equifax Canada, the average Canadian owes over $73,000. One of the ways Mydoh can help teens practice safe spending is with their own Smart Cash Card.

For teens: They’ll receive their own Smart Cash Card, a reloadable Visa Prepaid Card. It can be used online or in-store via Apple Pay or anywhere that Visa is accepted to buy what they like, when they like. This means no more remembering to carry cash or hijacking your credit card to order the latest makeup or the newest game release on Steam. Kids and teens can also now order Mydoh by Me, a customizable Smart Cash Card that allows them to express their personality!

For parents: You’ll be able to view what your teen is spending their money on, and how much. The Mydoh app even lets you react to their spending with encouraging emojis. There’s also the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can’t spend more money than they have. No worrying about your kids digging themselves into a hole of consumer debt! But if your teen does need a top-up of cash, Mydoh has an instant transfer function and funds will be transferred immediately. Plus, you can lock and unlock their kids’ Smart Cash Card, right from the app at any time if need be.

2. Earn

Phone with Mydoh app

Having your own money in your back pocket feels good. And when you know you’ve earned that money yourself, it feels even better. If your teen is too young to start working at a part-time job in the summer or on weekends, they can still earn money to spend with the Mydoh app. Mydoh Tasks lets parents add one-off tasks or schedule weekly chores. And adding new tasks in the parent’s Mydoh account is easy!

1. Go to the Earn screen in the app and tap on “Add a Task.”

2. Choose a task category or customize your own.

3. Fill in the title (such as dusting) and any additional details (like “Be careful not to break anything”), then mark it as a one-off or recurring task.

4. Set the completion date for a one-time task, or if it’s a recurring task, set the days of the week the task needs to happen.

5. Enter an amount that you would like to pay your child, and tap Create Task!

As tasks are completed, your teen can check chores off in their Mydoh account as “done.” Your teen will only be paid out each Saturday (or as we like to call it: Pay Day) if all tasks are completed. That way, there’s no skirting around doing half of what needs to be done.

For teens: Whoever came up with that phrase “death and taxes” forgot to include laundry. Learning to wash and fold their own laundry and prepare a simple meal are skills that will carry your teen through college and into adulthood. Your teen will also experience the satisfaction that comes from getting paid for the work they’ve done. It’s a little thing called taking pride in what you do.

For parents: Tasks help your teens understand the value of earning money, and you get a dishwasher that seems to load and unload itself. As well as some practice in adulting, having chores leads to higher self-esteem and long-term success in school and life.

3. Save

Establishing a financial goal is an important part of creating mindful spending habits. But saving for the future can be a challenge – especially for kids and teens. That’s why we created a savings goal feature in the Mydoh app.

For teens: Saving for a concert ticket or a new gaming console? Savings Goal makes it easy for teens to save for up to three item. They can save with a target date and amount in the ‘Goals’ bucket, for things they have their eye on. They can also save for the future, with no target amount or date in the ‘General Savings’ bucket.

For parents: Savings goals can help kids with impulse spending and help them practice delayed gratification. Kids can easily tell if their goals have not been completed, and how much money and time are left to complete them. Once they’ve achieved their goal, you can celebrate their accomplishment with them!

Mydoh helps parents give their teens real-world financial experience

We all want the best for our kids. To watch them grow up and succeed in the world. As your teens become more independent and ready themselves for post-secondary education or entering the workforce, now is the ideal time to give them the tools they’ll need to master their own financial future. Mydoh can help spark your teens’ financial independence with real-world experience of earning and spending their own money.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

How the Financial System Works in Canada

At Mydoh, we know the importance of having conversations with your kids about money from an early age, which is not to say that, as parents, we have all the answers. That’s especially true for parents who are also newcomers to Canada who are also learning to navigate a new financial system as they settle into their new life. In this article, we’ll demystify finances for new families and highlight how Mydoh can also help your kids gain financial freedom while learning how to earn and spend their own money wisely.

Read more: The Newcomer Parents’ Guide to Banking in Canada

Why financial literacy is important for newcomers

Arriving in a new country means educating yourself on many things: finding a job, a home, a family doctor, a new school for your kids. Another thing you’ll need to learn about is how the financial system works in Canada, so you can protect and grow your money.

How does the financial system work in Canada?

To help you navigate the Canadian financial system, here are a few things you should know about:

  • Credit score – Whether applying for a personal loan, credit card, or line of credit, one thing that will affect your ability to obtain credit is your credit score. A credit score is a three-digit number that ranges from 300 to 900. It is based on factors like how much debt you have, whether you pay bills on time, or if you miss payments. A higher number indicates you have an excellent credit history. To help build your credit score faster, start with a single credit card and strive to pay the balance in full each month. The RBC Newcomer Advantage is one option for new arrivals to obtain a credit card without a credit history. Learn more about how to build a good credit score as a newcomer.
  • Mortgage – In Canada, most people who want to purchase a property require a mortgage. All major banks and financial institutions have a mortgage specialist who can help you navigate this process. Depending on where you choose to buy a home, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage before putting in an offer on a house. The maximum mortgage offered by a bank is 95 per cent, however, there are some limitations. Learn more about how to finance your first home in Canada.
  • Family benefits – One of the perks of living in Canada is access to family benefits which are paid out by the federal and provincial government. These benefits are designed to help families with the cost of raising children. They include maternity and parental leave as well as a Canada Child Benefit (CCB). The Canada Child Benefit is a tax-free monthly payment paid by the CRA to eligible families with children under 18-years-old. Some families may also be eligible for additional provincial and territorial benefit programs.

Banking in Canada

The banking industry in Canada is regulated by the government, which means newcomers should feel safe and secure about where they put their money. There are five major banks in Canada, as well as a number of smaller credit unions or financial institutions. One of the first steps you’ll probably take when you settle here is to open a bank account.

Types of bank accounts in Canada

There are two primary bank accounts available in Canada: a chequing account and a savings account.

Learn more by reading Chequing vs. Savings Account: What’s the difference?

Types of savings plans in Canada

There’s also a number of other financial products available to help Canadians save. Popular savings plans in Canada include:

  • TFSA – A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a registered savings account that helps you earn money without paying tax. To open a TFSA, you’ll need to be aged 18 or older and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Your TFSA can be made up of different investments, such as stocks, mutual funds, bonds or cash. The Canadian government determines the maximum amount you can contribute to a TFSA in any given year.
  • RRSP – A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a government-approved investment account that helps Canadians plan for retirement. Any interest earned is exempt from tax as long as the funds remain; however you generally have to pay tax when you receive a payment from your RRSP. One of the benefits of investing in an RRSP is annual contributions to your account can be used as a tax deduction.
  • RESP – A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a savings account for parents or family members who want to save for their child’s post-secondary education. Parents can watch their investments grow tax-free, and in addition, the Canadian government will make contributions to your child’s RESP of up to $7,200 over the life of the plan.
A new immigrant family researching the Canadian financial system on a laptop

Challenges facing newcomers and the financial system in Canada

Newcomers to Canada face their own unique challenges when it comes to understanding the financial landscape and managing their money. They include:

  • Building trust – Of the many new relationships you’ll develop in Canada, one will be with a bank or other financial institution. Ideally, it’ll be a relationship that will continue for years to come. That relationship usually begins by opening a bank account as a newcomer. Most banks have accounts suited to newcomers and international students and should be able to help you build your credit history in Canada.
  • Sending money – Newcomers who want to send money within Canada can use Interac, a bank-based tool that safely sends money via email or telephone. PayPal is another option available for sending money in Canada or around the world. Most banks, like RBC, also offer international money transfers through online banking. It’s important to remember that when sending money overseas, the Canadian government tracks amounts over $10,000 to prevent crimes like money laundering.
  • Learning a new language – While Canada officially has two languages: French and English, most people in the country speak English. Having strong English language skills will help you in many areas of your new life, including achieving your financial goals. The Canadian government provides free language classes for permanent residents, and each province has a number of English as a Second Language (ESL) resources available for newcomers.

How Mydoh helps kids new to Canada

We understand it’s not just parents who need to be savvy with their money. The Mydoh Smart Cash Card will help kids learn and practice money skills in the real world. As it’s a reloadable Visa Prepaid Card, your child can never spend money they don’t have.

The Mydoh Smart Cash Card also gives you an overview of your child’s spending and lets you react to their purchases with encouraging emojis. That way, you can see where—and when—they’re spending their money responsibly.

In addition, you can set weekly or one-off tasks for your kids to complete and set up a weekly allowance.

Learning financial responsibility early will set your children up for success as second-generation Canadians.

Smiling Asian family with boy sitting on man's shoulders and woman holding boy's hand.

Additional financial resources for newcomers

Newcomer bank account in Canada

RBC is one of the largest banks in Canada, and their RBC Newcomer Advantage is designed to help families who recently settle in Canada with their banking needs. Families can even open an RBC Newcomer account while in quarantine or before they arrive in Canada.

Useful guides and tips to prepare for your move to Canada

Another invaluable resource for families settling in Canada is Arrive. Designed to help you in your Canadian journey, Arrive offers newcomer resources such as webinars on finance basics, preparing for your job search, and finding your home in Canada, as well as informative articles for newcomers and expert financial advice.

Make your new life in Canada a prosperous one

Settling in a new country can be stressful. But having a plan for your finances can help ease that transition. Educate yourself on the Canadian financial system and familiarize yourself with the various savings and investment plans available to you. Parents can also help their kids gain independence and learn a few money smarts with Mydoh. After all, there’s nothing like real-world money experience to learn the value of a dollar and build a strong foundation for their future in Canada.

Learn more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

How to Explain What a Credit Card is to Your Kids

When it comes to teaching our kids about money, parents tend to focus on saving and responsible spending. And while these are cornerstones to raising financially smart kids, another aspect of money management is handling credit.

We’ve either been there ourselves or know someone who ended up drowning in credit card debt. As parents, we want to prevent our kids from making the same mistakes. This is why it’s tempting to avoid discussing credit cards at all. But failing to educate kids, especially teens, about how to use credit cards effectively isn’t going to necessarily prevent them from obtaining one as soon as they’re able.

Here’s how to explain to your kids what a credit card is, how to use it responsibly, what your teen should look for in their first credit card, as well as how the Mydoh Smart Cash Card is a great alternative for tweens or teens.

Credit cards: the good, the bad, the ugly

First off: a credit card is neither good nor bad. Objectively, it’s a piece of plastic with a long line of numbers. But what it can do seems like magic—especially to kids.

“You mean you can use this thing to buy stuff you don’t actually have the money for? Cool!”

The good

Credit cards do have a place in smart financial management. They can be used to purchase goods and services you could not otherwise pay for all at once, like a dream holiday in Bali. They’re also super handy for booking that idyllic hotel stay once you arrive, as well as purchasing items online. A credit card is also a great tool to build a good credit history, which we will elaborate on in this article.

Learn more Credit 101: A guide for parents and teens.

The bad

Your first credit card can be a slippery slope. That $500 credit limit is quickly reached then it’s raised to $1,000. Then $2,000. And perhaps at that point, you apply for a second credit card. Then maybe a third. Before you know it, you owe thousands of dollars in credit card bills which leads to a downward spiral of growing interest and a minimum balance that never seems to go down. In the end? That exotic vaycay or new couch ends up costing you far more than the original price tag.

The ugly

Credit cards are ubiquitous in Canada. So much so, that by the end of 2019, Canadians had racked up a staggering $100 billion in credit card debt. The average Canadian now owes approximately $4,465 in credit card debt alone. On top of this, delinquency rates for credit card payments (where users missed at least three payments) are also on the rise in Canada.

How do credit cards work?

Teach your kids what a credit card is, how it works, and how it can actually be a great tool when used correctly.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is not the same as a debit card. But because they look pretty much the same, especially to kids, it’s important they understand the difference between the two. Explain that a debit card deducts money you already have directly from your bank account, and it’s what you use to pay for things like weekly groceries or gas, rather than handing over cash.

Kids and teens should understand that a credit card is essentially a loan from a financial institution. The bank agrees to let a person borrow a fixed amount of money (your credit limit), with the understanding the money is paid back. The amount can be paid back in full each month, or a credit card user can make only the minimum repayment (usually around 3 per cent of the total owed).

Learn more about debit cards for kids

How does credit card interest work?

Ideally, you want to pay off your credit card in full each month (and model this yourself). That way, you’ll avoid paying interest. Kids need to understand that if they don’t do this, the financial institutions will charge interest on the amount borrowed. And that the longer they take to pay it back, the more that interest is going to add up!

What is the typical APR for a credit card?

In Canada, the typical APR (annual percentage rate) on a credit card is 19.99.

How do you pay off credit cards?

Help your kids understand that if their credit card statement is $1,000 and they don’t pay the balance in full by the date it is due, their next credit card statement will include interest charged on the unpaid amount.

So, if they were to carry a credit card balance of $1,000 for, say, a new computer, and only ever made a monthly payment of $50 on their card, it would take over two years to pay it off.

Learn more How to pay off debt fast: A guide for parents and teens.

The importance of building a good credit score

One benefit to having a credit card is it’s a great tool to help build a good credit history, which is important. As your credit score dictates everything from whether you’ll be approved for a car loan, to applying for lower interest rates on personal loans, to qualifying for a mortgage.

Parents showing their child how a credit card works

3 tips for securing your teens’ first credit card

Perhaps your teen is now asking for their own plastic. Before you consider saying yes, here are a few credit card tips to consider.

1. Talk to your teen first

Your kids may want their own credit card, but are they ready for one? As Spider-Man’s uncle Ben Parker once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Reiterate that the money they have access to doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to the lender, and eventually, they’ll have to pay it back! Discuss limits on spending ahead of time, the practicalities of paying their credit card bill online and emphasize the importance of paying on time.

Ask them what system they have in place to remember bill payments (this can be as simple as a monthly reminder in their mobile device). One of the dangers of access to credit is it can be tempting to justify a want as a need and put the cost on plastic. Encourage them to make it a practice to purchase items only when your teen knows they have the funds to pay the credit card bill off.

2. Research the right credit card for your teen

There are many credit cards on the market. So even if your teen is ready for their first credit card, encourage them to do their research first and look for the best option, such as a student credit card. Here are a few things to consider:

Annual fee – Look for a credit card for now or a low annual fee. There are no fee credit cards on the market, like the RBC Rewards+ Visa card.

Credit limit – When it comes to their first credit card, a financial institution will usually set the credit card limit. Talk to your kids in advance about agreeing to keep the amount they can access low and to discuss credit card limit increases with you in advance. By the time your teens are off to college, they should be focussing on acing their midterms, not debt.

Cardholder protection – Your kids may not think about this, but they should. Does the credit card they’re applying for offer cardholder protection? Signing up for a credit card that offers purchase security and extended warranty insurance could be a good idea as it automatically protects card purchases against loss, theft or damage—usually for up to 90 days.

Cashback or rewards – One of the real perks of using a credit card and paying it off each month is racking up travel rewards points or cash back. The RBC Cashback Mastercard lets students earn up to 2 per cent cash back on grocery purchases and 1 per cent cash back on all other qualifying purchases.

3. Teach your teen how to build good credit early

As we mentioned earlier, when used correctly, a credit card is a handy tool to help build a high credit score. Take time to explain to your teen how this plays out later in their life. Being responsible with their credit card today means lower interest rates on that car loan they may need, renting their first apartment, even being able to get their own cell phone account. In all of these scenarios, a credit score check is usually required.

If they do need to carry a credit card balance, remind them that using up to only 30 per cent of their available credit at any given time is going to lead to a higher credit score. Your teen should also be aware that late or missed payments are also going to impact their score and, depending on the financial institution, could lead to being charged a higher APR.

How Mydoh Smart Cash Card is a great alternative to credit

The Mydoh Smart Cash Card is a great precursor to a credit card. It’s a good stepping stone for teens in learning to build the money skills they need and making sure they’re ready and well prepared to handle the world of credit. Mydoh is a reloadable prepaid Visa card, so your child can’t spend more money than they already have. And parents get oversight on what they spend—and how much. Like a debit card, the Mydoh Smart Cash Card can be used online or anywhere that Visa is accepted. There are no additional fees to load money on the Mydoh Smart Cash Card.

What makes Mydoh even smarter is kids can also track their own spending in the app and see where their money is going, which helps them make savvy financial decisions. Parents can also monitor their child’s spending and react with emojis to individual purchases. The card can also be locked right from the app if you need to put the reins on your kid’s spending or if their Smart Cash Card or mobile phone is lost or stolen. And for additional peace of mind, Mydoh is powered by RBC.

The Mydoh app is a great stepping stone for teens to learn financial responsibility and spend money wisely—without parents worrying if their child will go into debt.

Giving your teen a credit card can be a great step in helping them learn financial responsibility. Learn more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

The Most Popular Summer Chore List for Kids and Teens

With summer comes warm weather, beach days, the ice cream truck’s familiar tune—and seasonal home maintenance (ugh!). Summer chores can be a pain, but they’re also the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility and the value of money while they take a break from school. Paying kids and teens to help out at home, in the garden, or at the family cottage fosters financial independence and leaves them with a lasting sense of accomplishment. So, what are you waiting for? Pour yourself a big ol’ glass and get delegating!

Indoor summer chores for kids and teens

It may be gorgeous outside, but there’s still plenty to do inside the house. Take advantage of kids’ and teens’ extra free time during summer break to finally clear out the clutter in the attic or round up old toys and household items for a garage sale. Summer is also the perfect season to organize closets, mudrooms, and dens before everyone returns to school and work come fall. If you’re embarking on any trips, involve your kids and teens when it comes to budgeting, planning, and packing. These indoor summer chores won’t just save you time—they’ll help kids and teens feel like productive team players while earning an extra buck!

A child helping her mom cook

Indoor chores

  • Tidy up gardening or storage sheds
  • Clean out attic
  • Wipe down patio and sliding doors
  • Sort and price items for a garage sale
  • Help plan and budget a summer vacation or weekend getaway
  • Create a packing list and pack for trips
  • Help open/close the cottage
  • Wash swimwear by hand
  • Pick their own clothes for camp
  • Do camp laundry
  • Pack camp lunches
  • Plan and pack a family picnic
  • Clean guest rooms
  • Organize and clean sports equipment
  • Write thank you cards if you stayed at a friend or family member’s cottage
  • Pack away winter clothes
  • Mop mudroom
  • Organize closets or shoes

Outdoor summer chores for kids and teens

There’s no better season to spruce up your lawn and garden, and the good news is kids and teens of all ages can lend a helping hand. From spotting stray rocks and insects to weeding, planting, and mowing, there’s no shortage of ways for kids and teens to help out while soaking up those summer rays. To keep them motivated, assign outdoor chores that align with their interests. Does your child love flowers? Teach them how to plant and care for the ones in your front yard. Is your teen an animal lover? Work together to construct a bird feeder or backyard pond complete with fish to feed. The best chores aren’t just busy work; they’re opportunities to learn something new.

Kids helping their mother with gardening outside

Outdoor chores

  • Weed the garden
  • Water plants and flowers
  • Mow the lawn
  • Rake up lawn clippings
  • Remove rocks and debris from the lawn
  • Trim overgrown hedges
  • Check for slugs or insects in plants
  • Help plant and maintain a vegetable or herb garden
  • Pick ripe vegetables or herbs
  • Wash the car
  • Sweep the patio
  • Wash patio furniture
  • Take out trash/recycling/compost bins
  • Walk the dog(s)
  • Wash/wipe down the dog(s) after walks
  • Spot and pick up pet waste
  • Check the mail
  • Look for loose screws on outdoor play equipment
  • Help find tools while an adult sets up new play equipment or patio furniture
  • Cook easy items like hamburgers or hot dogs on the barbecue
  • Stack wood
  • Fill bird feeders and baths
  • Take care of the sandbox
  • Tidy up outdoor games and toys
  • Help construct a backyard pond

Looking for more seasonal chores for kids and teenagers? Read more about winter jobs for kids and spring chores for kids

Use Mydoh to set up and pay kids for summer chores

Mydoh’s Earn feature is an easy and fun alternative to traditional chore charts for kids old enough to use their own devices. You can use the Mydoh app to set predefined tasks, create custom chores, and choose how much to pay them for jobs completed on time. As your kids complete tasks, they simply mark them as “done” in the app, making their progress a breeze to track.

Mydoh automatically transfers funds from parents’ accounts to kids’ accounts for completed jobs on “Pay Day,” which is every Saturday. This helps to teach kids and teens what it’s like to earn their own money, value a dollar, and start thinking about financial literacy.

If your kids aren’t old enough to use their own device, it’s still good to get them organized with a physical chore chart.

Summer chores can help kids master important life skills like personal responsibility, teamwork, and what it takes to run a household. With the help of Mydoh, they can also learn important money skills. Find out more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.