Guide to Giving an Allowance to Kids & Teenagers

Do you remember the first time you spent your own money? Felt good, didn’t it? Receiving your first allowance is a rite of passage. Not only does it mark a new phase in the parent-child relationship, one that’s evolving away from constant supervision toward more freedom of choice, but it’s the first time your kids might handle money of their own. 

Entering the world of chores and allowance with your kids comes with responsibility and a few very important teachable moments (this is money management, after all). But guess what? It doesn’t have to be complicated. 

In this guide, we’ll break down why kids should have an allowance, how chores and allowance go together, what age to start an allowance, the three types of allowance, amount of allowance by age, and how to talk to your kids about financial literacy

We’ll also look at how a money management app for kids, like Mydoh, makes beginning a weekly allowance or monthly allowance easy by letting parents set up regular allowance payments from their account to their child’s.

Read on to learn how to get started.

What is an allowance for kids?

An allowance is giving your kids a set amount of money on a regular basis (either a monthly allowance or a weekly allowance) in exchange for completing chores or with no labour required. The best approach is the one that works for your family, but a hybrid of both methods is popular (more on this below). 

It’s a big step for all parties involved—kids taste the freedom of having their own money to manage and parents enjoy watching them take on new responsibilities as they mature. It’s a promise between you and your children that, if kept, results in a win-win for everyone.

Why should kids get an allowance?

It can be difficult to accept that your kids are growing up; we still see their baby faces behind their morphing, maturing ones. But they are, and it’s important to give them the opportunity to prove it to you. An allowance is a clear-cut way to demonstrate responsibility. You enter into a deal—we give you x amount, you do y. 

Using a chore and allowance app that focuses on money management can be a good way to ease into an allowance routine. Mydoh provides parents with oversight, so you can still have some control over how your kids spend their money, thanks to the transparency between accounts. Kids have the freedom to manage their money, while parents have the ability to monitor how they’re doing. You can even react to purchases with emojis (think about using the applause emoji when they make a good decision). 

A teenager putting his allowance money into a piggy bank

4 reasons why parents should give an allowance

1. Allowance builds confidence

Managing your own money is a big step, and kids recognize this. Taking pride in paying for something on your own feels good at any age. Watching your kids’ confidence grow as they learn how to navigate money is rewarding for you too.

2. Allowance creates teachable money moments

It’s up to you if you want to give total spending freedom, but whether you monitor purchases or not, it’s important to talk to your kids about what they plan to do with their money. Discuss spending needs versus wants, saving early for something they want, donating money to a cause close to their heart, and buying gifts for others.

3. Allowance encourages responsibility

Giving kids money to manage on their own says, I trust you to handle this because you’re responsible. This can boost feelings of importance and self-worth. That’s powerful.

4. Allowance creates a safe space to mess up

Spending regret happens at any age, but by giving kids a low-stakes space to learn through trial and error, they understand how to deal with it early. When they spend all their allowance on candy, for instance, they’ll realize they can’t buy that game they really want. When that happens, you can have a conversation about how that makes them feel and what they might do differently next time.

3 types of allowance 

Let’s break down the types of allowance and how they work. One of the first things to consider is frequency: Will you choose a weekly allowance or a monthly allowance? It’s important to be consistent and deliver on your end of the promise in a timely manner, regardless of the type of allowance you decide on. Mydoh makes it easier to remember because when your kids complete a task and mark the task as completed in their account, they’ll get paid on Pay Day, which happens every Saturday. 

Here are the three types of allowance. 

1. Chore-based allowance

This version is probably the most familiar—a child is assigned household chores and promised a certain amount of money upon completion. The chore can be anything from a daily task, like loading the dishwasher, to a weekly duty, like taking out the recycling, to an as-needed job, like washing the car. 

Chores depend on the age of your child; you are the best judge regarding what they can accomplish, but it’s important that they can accomplish it. Assigning a chore that’s too difficult to complete properly doesn’t help anyone—you will have to redo it and your kid will feel like they failed. 

Pros: Paying children money for doing chores is classic and, to be honest, it helps keep the house clean (there’s that win-win!). It teaches the value of earning money for a job well done. Chores can also teach kids important life skills.

Cons: Some argue that children should contribute around the house because they are part of the family; plus, they live there too. Does paying them undermine this value?

2. Pure allowance

This concept focuses on teaching kids about financial responsibility by paying an allowance regardless of household duties. Your kids may do chores, but that is not why they are receiving money. 

Pros: Separating the chores from the allowance helps kids understand that chores are a part of family life. It still teaches them money management without the added pressure of “If I don’t vacuum the living room, I won’t get paid.”

Cons: Some feel that paying an allowance without tying it to a specific task doesn’t teach kids the lesson of earning money for doing a great job. 

3. The hybrid approach 

Blending the two methods offers the best of both worlds. Kids receive an allowance that’s not tied to chores, as well as the opportunity to earn extra cash through larger tasks like washing windows or weeding the garden. This approach teaches money management and gives them an incentive to earn even more. 

Pros: This approach works especially well with older kids who can comfortably complete larger household tasks—including babysitting younger siblings. It’s flexible for parents, so they can decide how chores are completed and how they’re rewarded in their home.

Cons: Depending on the child’s ambition, parents may run out of tasks for them to do. You can always put a limit on how much extra allowance can be earned.

At what age should you give your child an allowance?

Many kids are ready to handle regular chores and payments by around age 10. But the decision is personal, and what age to start allowance depends on the child. Some factors to consider are interest and maturity level. Has your child been asking specifically for an allowance or for certain items you aren’t prepared to pay for? Do you feel they are ready to take on a new responsibility? You know your kid best. 

A mother and her kids creating a chore chart on a whiteboard

How to determine which allowance type is right for your family

As mentioned above, some families believe chores and allowance should be as separate as church and state, while others feel it’s a simple way to help kids learn about the value of work. Both can be true, hence the hybrid option, but how do you decide? 

1. Figure out what type of allowance you want to give

By the time your kids are ready for an allowance, they’re probably already handling some regular chores such as tidying their room, feeding a pet, or emptying the dishwasher. How is that going? Do you think a cash incentive will help your child complete these tasks faster or, let’s be honest, with less complaining? Maybe a chore-based allowance is a good fit. If the chores are already being done and you have a nice routine established, try a pure allowance. 

2. Assess different kid’s needs

What works for one child may not work for another, and there is nothing wrong with having different allowance types between siblings. An older teen may be better suited to a hybrid with larger tasks; a young tween may benefit more from a straightforward approach where they complete a few chores each week and then collect an allowance. Mydoh makes it easy to set this up—you create a task like “feed the dog” and assign it to your child. When they’re done, you will get an alert through the app.

3. Determine how much freedom to give

This is a big one. Young tweens starting with their first allowance may require more monitoring as they navigate having their own spending money. On the other hand, you may want to give them total freedom to see how they do first. They may surprise you! You could consider setting limits to what they can buy, like no violent video games.

How to set an allowance for your kids

Once you’ve decided what type of allowance you will be giving, it’s time to talk numbers. It’s important to be fair and set an amount that will give your child the chance to buy even something small, as well as save and donate a portion. 

1. Look at your expenses

How much can you spare for allowance from the household expenses? Crunch the numbers and leave room for an increase as your children age. Will you be able to keep up your end of the bargain with multiple children?

2. Determine an allowance amount by age

A good rule of thumb is 50 cents to $1 for every year of the child’s age per week or twice a month. For example, a 13-year-old would receive $6.50 to $13 per week or $26 to $52 per month. 

• Allowance recommendations for kids under 10 years old: Start small with younger children, so they get a feel for having their own money. Try a range of $2 to $5 a week. 

• Allowance recommendations for tweens 10 to 12 years old: Once they’ve proven they can handle their money, it’s time for a raise. As kids age, they may want more expensive things. Try a range of $5 to $12 a week.

• Allowance recommendations for teens 13 to 16 years old: Older teens will need a step up; try a range of $13 to $16 a week. If your teen has a part-time job, you can decide if that warrants lowering or even removing the allowance altogether.

Use our kids allowance calculator to help assign chores determine how much money to give your children.

3. Decide when you will pay out the allowance

Choosing between a monthly allowance and a weekly allowance is personal. A good recommendation is to start with a weekly allowance or twice-monthly allowance so kids can see their funds add up more quickly. Receiving money every week gives kids something to look forward to—Pay Day! And with Mydoh, Pay Day is every Saturday. You just set the amount and frequency, and the money automatically goes to your child’s account and Smart Cash Card.

4. Set expectations around giving and receiving allowance

The important thing is to communicate clearly what you expect from your child in order for them to receive their money, whether that’s daily chores, grades, or behaviour. If you’re doing the hybrid method, clarify which tasks will receive payment and which ones should be done to help the family. Taking away allowance as punishment is not recommended because it might cause undue pressure and anxiety. And let your child know that they can earn increases as they age—it’ll give them something to look forward to.

Looking for seasonal chore ideas for your kids? Read our articles on spring chores, winter jobs for kids and summer chore list

Teen girl holding phone stands next to woman who is smiling in kitchen.

Important money conversations to have with your kids and teens

Before you begin an allowance, teach kids about money at an early age with the whole family—even young kids five and under can grasp the basic concepts. 

Here are some conversation starters.

1. Explain that almost everything costs money, like the water they use to brush their teeth, electricity, internet, and gas. Kids often have trouble visualizing the big picture when talking about family finances. You can help them understand that it’s a privilege to have money to spend on the things they want after covering the things they need. 

Explaining socioeconomic differences can also be helpful for kids. One key learning might be not to brag about your allowance to others, as some kids do not have this privilege. 

2. The concept of spend, save, give is popular because it emphasizes that allowance is not just for frivolous spending (although it is OK to treat yourself now and then!). Managing money is about more than buying what you want—it’s about developing a healthy relationship with finances for life. 

Save: Saving 10 per cent a month is a good start. Your kids may want to earmark what they’re saving for. Teach them the value of saving money for a contingency fund; they may be interested in starting a savings account with higher interest (explain interest to them as well, if that’s the case).

Spend: Here’s the fun part! You may want to put parameters around what they can buy—do they have free rein, or are some things off-limits? Talk to them about quality versus disposable items and the value of their money. If you buy three poorly made sweaters at $10, is that more valuable to you than buying one sweater at $30 that will last? Being open and available for money conversations takes the confusion away. Let them know they can ask you anything.

Give: Donating 10 per cent is a good rule of thumb. It teaches philanthropy and is a great life lesson in helping others. You can research a cause together and set up a regular contribution; they can save up for a large donation or make a new donation every month. It’s up to them! Consider donating to community initiatives sometimes. This will help teach kids the value of putting their money back into where they live, learn, and play.

The benefits of using a money management app for chores and allowance 

While there are some pros to giving a cash allowance to kids, the truth is that they’ve been well exposed to the digital world by the time they’re kids and teens. It can be easier to spend online when the money doesn’t feel real, and this is actually a great reason a money management app like Mydoh can be helpful. It teaches kids how to deal with digital finances right out of the gate—something we as parents never had the opportunity to learn until adulthood. Kids live their whole lives online, so why should their finances be any different? 

Everything is self-contained and monitorable in the Mydoh app. You open a parent account, invite your kids, and set a recurring amount. Parents can enter tasks and assign values to them, or send money with no task completion required. If you decide to include tasks, you will get an alert when your child says they’ve completed one. The Smart Cash Card can be locked and unlocked at any time, and all purchases are visible. Kids can spend online and in-store (up to the allowable limits) anywhere Visa is accepted by using their Smart Cash Card.

Are you ready to talk about chores and allowance with your kids?

No matter how you plan to structure allowance, the most important thing is to consider the pros and cons of an allowance and chores—from deciding what type of allowance suits your family to planning conversations about good money habits, responsibility, and philanthropy. Your kid or teen is ready for more responsibility. Are you?

Download Mydoh today.

Guide to Household Chores for Kids & Teenagers

If you, as a parent, find yourself doing most of the chores around the house, it may be time to assign more tasks to your tweens and teens. Not only does giving your kids daily chores help lighten your load, but taking on those responsibilities will also prepare them for adult life, like when they will need to manage homes of their own. 

Did you just groan at the idea of managing a list of chores for your kids? We get it. Researching age-appropriate chores, staying on top of your kids’ list of chores and even creating chore agreements can be, well, a bit of a chore. That’s why we created this guide. With some of the tips you’ll find here, you’ll (finally!) get help around the house while preparing your kids for their future.

In fact, add in a weekly allowance tied to a chart for chores (more on that below), and the lessons extend to money management. After all, financial literacy is a key component of adulting. Earning money—and spending it!—is one of the best ways to practice.

Since your kids probably live on TikTok and Instagram, using an app to track and manage their chores and allowance is an easy way to teach financial skills. That’s where Mydoh comes in. It’s a money management app and Smart Cash Card for parents and kids that helps encourage good decision-making around money. Through the app, you can coach your teens and tweens on the value of a dollar.

What are chores?

Daily chores and weekly chores are ingrained in grown-up life that we sometimes forget what they actually are. Taking out the garbage and recycling, emptying the dishwasher, and vacuuming are just a few of the chores around the house that never seem to end. That’s the point: They repeat. Like painting the porch, a once-in-a-few-years job isn’t a chore, but folding laundry or sweeping the floor are definitely house chores. 

Why are chores important?

Kids may beg to differ, but, according to research, doing age-appropriate chores is vital at all childhood stages, even for children as young as three. That’s because household chores boost kids’ sense of responsibility.

In tackling a list of chores, they are taking care of others and caring for themselves. Learning social responsibility and self-care helps increase teens’ and tweens’ self-esteem and gives them skills they can use throughout their lives.

7 values that chores teach

While it’s a bonus for you to have the kids pitch in with the domestic labour, chores also teach kids important values. Here are a few.

1. Responsibility

According to Psychology Today, chores instil kids with a sense of being needed and teach them how to take care of themselves and their own needs.

2. Pride

Household chores for teens and tweens encourage skill-building, and when they become proficient, they earn respect and validation from their peers, siblings, and adults. Just ask any Canadian teen who mows the lawn or shovels snow—friendly neighbours and passersby often encourage and praise their work.

3. Confidence

Unlike mastering quadratic equations or the five-paragraph essay, kids can easily get a handle on managing household chores. And accomplishing these tasks on the regular can really boost their self-confidence.  

4. Independence

Tweens and especially teens have an innate desire to become more independent. Having chores to do (and an allowance tied to them), fosters their growing sense of self-sufficiency. (Tip: Mydoh can help you coach your kids on saving and spending responsibly.)

5. Decision-making

All household tasks come with decision-making requirements, from the simple (like how much dish soap to use) to the more complex (like working safely with sharp gardening equipment). Doing a chore is great practice for this important life skill.

6. Commitment

Completing chores in exchange for an allowance is an excellent way to learn and practise stick-to-it-iveness. Dependability is an important quality in the workforce and a valuable social skill that cements relationships.

7. Empathy

Parents are not robots, and our lives can be busy and stressful. We deserve a break from the endless cycle of sorting laundry, cooking meals, and making beds. Chores and chore agreements enable our kids to see how much work running a house is. Pitching in will help them practise their empathy while lightening our loads.

Teenager loading dishwasher as part of her weekly chores

The best chores to assign by age 

What tasks should your 16-year-old be doing? What’s an appropriate chore list for a 10-year-old? Glad you asked. These are some appropriate chore ideas for tweens and teens. 

What are good chores for kids under the age of 10 years old?

  • Setting and clearing the table
  • Taking out the garbage and recycling
  • Putting away groceries
  • Sweeping floors
  • Making simple foods (toast, cereal)
  • Sorting and folding laundry
  • Changing bedsheets
  • Mopping the floor
  • Dusting
  • Unloading utensils from the dishwasher
  • Light yardwork (raking leaves, watering plants)

What are good chores for tweens 10 to 12 years old?

  • Any of the above chores, plus: 
  • Snow shovelling and other winter tasks
  • Walking the dog
  • Bringing in the garbage cans
  • Helping with meal planning and making grocery lists
  • Food prep (peeling and cutting vegetables, microwave cooking, making simple dishes for the oven and stovetop)
  • Being a “parent’s helper” for younger siblings 
  • Filling and emptying the dishwasher
  • Vacuuming

What are good chores for teens 13 to 16 years old?

Any of the above chores for kids, plus:

  • Picking up or taking younger siblings to school or extracurriculars
  • Babysitting
  • Doing laundry, start to finish, including putting it away
  • Washing the car
  • Shopping for food
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Cleaning the kitchen
  • Cooking a full meal for the family (maybe they have a day of the week they’re responsible for)
  • Mowing the lawn and other yardwork
  • Managing household tech (changing the Wi-Fi password each month, troubleshooting tech issues around the house, organizing cords and cables) 

Looking for more chore ideas for your teenagers? Read our articles on summer chores, winter jobs for kids and spring chore ideas for kids

How do you motivate kids to do their chores?

A mom motivating her kid to help with doing the dishes

We know that doing house chores benefits tweens and teens, but what happens when they don’t want to do them? Giving them chores to do for money can help (pay for work is how many of us are motivated to do our jobs, after all), but some kids will still put up a fight. The word “chore” conjures drudgery even for adults, so who can really blame them? 

That’s why it can help to reframe the word “chore” as a “responsibility,” according to child psychology experts. While a chore brings to mind boring, repetitive tasks, responsibility is something more meaningful. 

Responsibility means someone depends on you. As a teenager, when you fulfill a duty that others benefit from or rely on (like making dinner), it can feel like a more grown-up undertaking than tackling a mere chore.

Then there are the issues of forgetfulness, procrastination and sloppy work, which can make parents feel like we’re always nagging or arguing with our kids about not only why chores are important but also the tasks themselves. 

Read our tips on making chores fun

What to do about chore-ditching teens?

Here are some strategies to help you through these sticky situations. 

For sloppy work, be more detailed in your list of chores. You can write out the steps and post them up if needed. For the dishwasher, for example, instead of just writing “load dishwasher” on a chart for chores, you could break it down like so.

  • Scrape food off the dishes. 
  • Load the dishwasher: cups and mugs on top and plates below.
  • Evenly space out the cutlery in the compartment.
  • Add dishwasher liquid and close the soap dispenser lid.
  • If full, start the dishwasher on the normal cycle.

Embrace natural consequences. Don’t rush in to unload the dishwasher or fold the laundry if your kid forgets to do it. Just take out your own plate and cutlery for use, and fold your own jeans. Sometimes learning the hard way, like when a favourite shirt is too wrinkled to wear to school because it’s been sitting in the dryer for days, is a better motivator than scolding.

Set a routine time to complete chores that are locked to something that happens regularly, like sweeping the floor after breakfast every morning or doing laundry after swim practice on Saturdays. The more of a routine it is, the easier it will be to remember. 

Reward tweens and teens with a small bonus when they do really good work. Let them choose a takeout meal, pick the double feature for your next movie night, or play their own music on the car stereo during an upcoming road trip. 

What is a chore agreement?

Chore agreements or chore contracts outline the tasks you want your tween or teen to do and the time frame for completing them. If you’re tying these chores to an allowance, you will list that amount here too. 

You can print your chore agreements or contracts out for both you and your kids to sign if you’d like. The idea is that those chore responsibilities (and any associated payments) are in writing, it’s all clear, and everyone understands what’s required on the list of chores. 

Chore agreements aren’t standard in every household, though. Many families find that with younger kids, a chore chart will suffice (especially for visual learners), and in some homes, parents do their own chores alongside their kids and use verbal reminders. Whether you use a chore agreement or not depends on family dynamics and what works best in your home. 

What is a chore chart? 

A chore chart is a document you can print out or manage digitally that lists all the household chores that need to be done. A chart for chores can be super simple, like a to-do list on the fridge, or more detailed, like a large calendar, which comes in handy when you’re trying to organize tasks for a bigger family. 

Inexpensive and even free downloadable chore chart templates are easy to find online, or you can build your own. An online search can also yield fun tools you can purchase, like magnetic or pocket-and-card chore charts (which work great for tactile learners). 

Reusable dry-erase posters offer flexibility if the chores need to change a little bit from week to week. Whatever works for your aesthetics, family life, and organizing style, you can find lots of options online or even at a craft or office supply store. 

If you prefer going paperless, the Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card allows you to set up task lists and an allowance, and send your kids money instantly. It also tracks their earning and spending, making it simple to teach them the basics of managing money.

Two teen boys with a woman baking together

How to create a chore chart for your family

Crafty families can break out the glue gun and bedazzle a fun chore poster. Those with no time or patience for glitter can go a more basic route. How you set up and maintain your chore chart depends on your family’s style and needs, and the age of your kids.

How do you make a chore chart?

  • Create a chart using a spreadsheet, word-processing tool or freehand it on a poster board.
  • List the days of the week across the horizontal axis.
  • List tasks on the vertical axis in chronological order (“Make your bed,” “Sweep the floor,” “Clear dishes after dinner”). 

Tips for making a chore chart for older kids and teens

  • List responsibilities on the chart.
  • Include the time of day to complete the chore.
  • List an extra section for weekly duties that don’t come up daily (cleaning the aquarium or washing the car, for example)
  • For teens, in addition to the above, you could include:
  • Deadlines for chore completion
  • Weekly and monthly sections 
  • Fines for not completing chores 

When should you not pay your tweens and teens for chores?

Whether our kids should follow a chore chart for money or do chores simply because they need to chip in around the house can be a source of debate for parents. There are persuasive arguments on both sides of the fence. Those against paying kids for housework say household chores are the responsibility of the entire family and shouldn’t be seen as a means of earning an allowance. 

In contrast, some families believe doing a chore should be tied to an allowance because it can motivate tweens and teens to do the labour we might otherwise pay someone to do. 

One famous allowance study from the ’90s found children who got allowances were more sophisticated about money than kids who did not. Furthermore, kids in the study who did not get allowances actually spent more money.

Like so many aspects of parenting, paying kids to do chores has no right or wrong answer.  Our own cultural norms, upbringing, and belief systems are richly diverse, which helps inform our individual decisions about chores and allowance as we raise our kids.

Want to learn more about how to determine the right allowance? Read The Complete Guide to Giving an Allowance to Kids and Teens.

House rules vs. chores: What’s the difference?

Ultimately, the choice to tie chores to an allowance is highly personal. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing either—you can modify chores for allowance to suit your family’s values. 

For example, some parents separate duties into “house rules” versus “chores.” Only chores earn an allowance. In this scenario, house rules are the unchanging tasks kids have to do to keep up their own space, person and property. This could include keeping their bedroom tidy or feeding their pets. 

Chores, by contrast, are duties kids perform for the benefit of the whole family, like mopping the kitchen floor or vacuuming the living room. This difference between rules and chores is highly subjective and can look different in each household. 

Chores you don’t have to pay an allowance for

Some chores are really just tasks kids have to complete. They fall under the umbrella of self-care, being considerate to others, conserving energy, and safety. Kids shouldn’t expect to get paid for:

  • Self-care, like showering, bathing, combing hair, brushing and flossing teeth
  • Turning off things they turn on (lights, TV, video games)
  • Replacing things they use up (toilet paper roll, hand soap)
  • Closing and locking up doors and windows
  • Cleaning messes and spills they make
  • Emptying lunch containers and water bottles from bags and backpacks
  • Tidying up the bathroom after they use it (rinsing off globs of toothpaste in the sink)

The benefits of using an app to track chores 

Using an app to track chores is a convenient way to manage tasks, especially if your family spends lots of time on their phones and devices. The Mydoh app is handy and easy to use, and even encourages tweens and teens to keep track of their earning and spending habits.

The Mydoh app can also be used in tandem with a printed-out chore chart or agreement if that’s your preferred organization style. But if writing everything out is just more work for you—or perhaps you’re not at home when some of the chores need to be completed—the Mydoh app makes it simpler to track what’s going on at home by keeping everyone updated in real-time.

The app is also a useful tool for coaching financial literacy. In addition to chore assigning and tracking, Mydoh helps helps teach kids money basics through bite-sized lessons such as taxes, investments, understanding credit, and much more. 

With the Mydoh app, kids can:

  • Spend money with their Mydoh Smart Cash Card anywhere Visa is accepted (up to the allowable limits)
  • Manage their tasks, mark them as complete, and view upcoming tasks
  • Keep track of their earnings, spending, and savings
  • The Savings Goals feature helps kids put aside money for that big ticket item or for their future
  • The Mydoh app makes it easy to set up the tasks they’re ready to take on and pay them an allowance they definitely want. It’s a win for the whole family. 

Chores and allowance: The big picture

Introducing regular age-appropriate chores and tying them to an allowance is a big step in coaching kids toward independence. Chores teach kids about responsibilities, and while they might groan initially, it makes them feel good when they contribute and learn skills involved in managing a home. 

Likewise, parents get some help around the house. No more emptying the dishwasher and doing all the laundry alone—what’s not to love about that? 

Download the Mydoh app to help your tweens and teens earn an allowance through tasks. 

How To Set Up a Mydoh Account as a Non-RBC Client

Helping our kids learn to be smart with money is part of being a parent. When kids are young, that can be as simple as saving coins in a piggy bank. But as kids grow into tweens and teens, they’re going to want to make their own decisions about how they manage their money. That’s where the Mydoh Smart Cash Card comes in.

The Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card are available to parents and kids who bank with any other financial institution within Canada. You don’t need an RBC account to use Mydoh. Here’s how to sign up if you are not currently an RBC client.

What is Mydoh?

Mydoh is a money management app and Smart Cash Card for kids and parents. With Mydoh, kids can learn money skills safely in the real world. They’ll receive a reloadable Visa Prepaid Card, which can be used online, in-store, and anywhere Visa or Apple Pay is accepted. Mydoh also gives parents peace of mind; you’ll be able to oversee all your kids’ spending from your Mydoh parent account. You even can lock and unlock your kids’ Smart Cash Card right from the app. And for added security, Mydoh is powered by RBC.

As well as a Smart Cash Card, Mydoh Earn helps kids build and manage their own money. Mydoh Tasks and Allowance lets parents schedule weekly chores and add one-off tasks. No need to nag kids to empty the dishwasher, Mydoh does that for you. The app lets kids know if a task is overdue. And just like the real world, if you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid. Only once kids complete their tasks and mark them as done, do they get paid out on Pay Day, which is every Saturday.

If you’re already an RBC client, you can sign up for Mydoh directly with your RBC online banking information. For parents who bank with other financial institutions, you’ll need to go through one additional step of confirming your ID. Here’s how it works:

How to sign up for Mydoh as a non-RBC client

Not an RBC client? No problem! Mydoh makes it super simple for parents and kids to download the app, open your account, and get your kids spending better!

The steps are outlined below:

Step 1: Open a parent account

It takes just minutes to download and sign up directly from the Mydoh app.

a. Enter your first and last name

b. Create a password

c. Enter your email address

d. Confirm email address

Step 2: Verify your ID

Non-RBC clients can sign-up in real-time by taking a picture of their government-issued photo ID.

a. Click sign-up with Government ID

b. A “Next Step” page will pop up outlining three steps:

  • Scan your ID
  • Take a selfie
  • Tell us about yourself
  • Press continue

c. Select a Government-issued picture ID, such as driver’s licence or passport

d. Scan front of ID

e. Scan back of ID (if you’re using a driver’s license)

f. Take a selfie:

  • Align your face to the oval on the screen
  • Hold still and blink
  • Your selfie will be taken automatically

g. Once your ID has been verified, a confirmation page will pop up

Step 3: Confirm your personal information

After you confirm your ID, you will be asked to confirm a few remaining details to ensure accuracy.

a. Confirm your primary address

b. Confirm your employment information

c. Confirm your tax information

Step 4: Invite your kids

Invite your child via email or an invitation code. Your kids can use their invite code to create their account.

a. Enter your child’s information, including name, birthday and email

b. A screen confirming information was sent will pop up

c. From your child’s app, enter the invite code they received to their email

Step 5: Add funds

The final step is to send your kid some money to spend using their Mydoh Smart Cash Card!

a. Parents can add funds via the Interac e-Transfer Request feature on the Mydoh App

b. Select the amount of cash you’d like to add to your Wallet

c. Review payment details

d. “Accept Money” request from your email that will direct you to your other financial institutes app or website

e. Parents can then see their transactions history in their Wallet tab

Once they’ve signed up and added funds, your child can make online purchases right away.

For a step-by-step guide to launching the Mydoh app, check out this handy dandy video.

Download the Mydoh app today to discover how parents can use the Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card as a way to help their kids learn, earn, and save.

What Parents Need to Know About WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular instant messenger app that also allows voice calls. It counts over 2.5 billion users in 100 different countries, in large part because it works on a variety of operating systems. While WhatsApp technically has a minimum age of 16-years-old, there’s no age-verification process, and it’s not uncommon for younger teens, tweens, and even kids to gain access to the app. If that happens, here’s what you need to know about WhatsApp, how it works, and potential safety risks.

A teen holding an iphone with the WhatsApp messenger open

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is an instant messenger app that allows users to send text messages, videos, images, and voice notes in one-on-one and group chats. It also allows voice calls, similar to regular phone calls and video calls. WhatsApp works on a variety of operating systems and can use wifi instead of data (great for keeping those pesky data charges down!). It’s an ideal option for chats between friends and family around the world because, when used on Wi-Fi, international calls are completely free. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

How old do you have to be to use WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a popular communication tool for teens—even those younger than the app’s stated age rating of 16+. When someone signs up for WhatsApp, they only have to provide their phone number. There is no age verification process.

Teens like to use WhatsApp because they can chat with friends around the world for free and use the app on wifi without raising the ire of mom and dad about data overage charges. They also love that WhatsApp allows for large group chats and video calls with up to eight people. Unlike some messenger and video call services, users don’t need to have the same brand of phone.

In some cases, teens and tweens like to use WhatsApp because parents may be less familiar with it, which makes it harder to monitor. There’s also a “disappearing messages” feature, which, if enabled, deletes messages sent in on-one-on or group chats after seven days.

Is WhatsApp safe for teens and kids?

WhatsApp is only meant to be used by teens and adults over the age of 16. While WhatsApp is generally considered a safe and secure service, it still carries some risks.

WhatsApp doesn’t store users’ personal information and people can only message or call your teen if they’ve been approved as contacts. However, if your teen has blocked someone, they may still be visible in a group message.

While WhatsApp’s disappearing messages feature provides some sense of security, this can be a false one. While messages will be deleted from chats after seven days, there’s no way to know if someone has screenshotted them, taken a photo of them, or forwarded them to a third party. As a safety measure, teens should assume that any message, photo, or video they send will continue to “live” online, even if it was disappeared by the app.

With the pros and cons of social media for children in mind, WhatsApp can be a potential venue for sending and receiving inappropriate images or videos, just like any other messaging or texting service. Because of its group chat functions and ability to easily forward messages to many contacts, it can also be a source of cyberbullying or spreading rumours online.

Should parents be concerned about WhatsApp’s security?

WhatsApp does have end-to-end encryption, which gives it the same level of security as Apple’s iMessage. This means that the sender and recipient can only view any messages sent through the service. Users don’t have to worry about their messages or calls being intercepted, heard, or viewed by an unintended third party.

It’s important for parents to know teens can enable or disable location sharing in the app’s permissions. This means they can share their live location with individual contacts or larger groups of friends. Parents should discuss safe practices around location sharing, either asking kids to avoid it entirely or only share their location with trusted friends and family.

Girl wearing red stripped top holding smartphone and smiling stands against red background

WhatsApp for kids: Child safety tips

If your teen, tween, or kid wants to use WhatsApp, there are some things you should discuss first. It’s advisable to set expectations around who your child accepts as contacts. For younger kids, this may be just family members. For tweens or teens, perhaps you feel comfortable with them approving close friends or schoolmates. If a user they don’t know requests them as a contact, they should decline.

You should also discuss what types of messages, photos, and videos are appropriate to share online and make sure your teen or tween understands that “disappearing” doesn’t necessarily mean disappeared forever. You should encourage them to alert you if they receive any content they find disturbing or frightening, making sure they know they won’t get in trouble.

Can WhatsApp be monitored by parents?

Yes, parents can monitor their child‘s WhatsApp activity. There are several parental control apps available for both Android and iOS devices that allow parents to set up restrictions, view activity logs, and even monitor messages.

Should parents check their child’s chats?

Generally, you should monitor WhatsApp the same way you would text messages or DMs (direct messages) on any other social platform. As a parent, it is important to be aware of social media parenting tips and also familiarize yourself with other popular social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube.

General tips for staying safe online

As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure our kids stay safe online. That means having open conversations about digital privacy, monitoring their activity, and teaching them how to identify potential risks. To help parents keep their kids safe online, here are some general tips for staying safe on apps like WhatsApp and protecting your kids digital privacy.

  • Define specific social media boundaries with your teenagers, such as screen time, using privacy settings and getting access to their accounts.
  • Discuss the importance of age restrictions and why they’re put in place.
  • Suggest more kid-friendly alternatives to WhatsApp, such as Messenger Kids, JusTalk Kids, and Google Hangouts.
  • Set clear expectations about how your teen, tween, or child should interact with others online.
  • Don’t engage with strangers or unknown links.
  • Let your kid know they should come to you if they encounter anything online that makes them feel bad or frightened. Stress that they won’t get in trouble.
  • Use social media and messenger apps with your children, either through family accounts or by interacting with them frequently through your own account.
  • Review settings together to maximize privacy and ensure intrusive data isn’t collected by apps.

Final notes on our WhatsApp review for parents

The WhatsApp messaging app can be a great communication tool, especially for friends and families located in different locations around the world. While it’s generally a safe messenger service, it’s important to discuss expectations and reinforce safe online habits before your kid hops online—particularly if they’re under WhatsApp’s recommended 16 years of age.

Ultimately, it’s important for parents to understand and stay up to date on the popular apps their children are using. But there are other tools that can help parents keep a closer eye on their teens.

Introducing Mydoh, the money management app designed to give parents control and oversight of their teen’s spending. Teens can use the Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card to shop and pay bills securely, all while giving parents peace of mind that their kids are responsibly managing their finances.

Download Mydoh now for a worry-free way to make sure your teen is spending smart!

Social Media for Kids & Teens: Pros and Cons

Social media has transformed the way we communicate, created entirely new economic industries, and has impacted everything from politics to social movements. And most of this transformation has taken place over the last ten years. Even though social media can do a lot of good globally, it’s not without its downsides. Here’s what parents need to know about the pros and cons of social media and how to help kids navigate social media apps safely.

How kids use social media

It’s safe to assume that social media is not going away anytime soon. That means parents need to find ways to manage their child’s engagement and understand its impact on them.

A recent study by Nature Canada showed that students from grades 7-12 were spending up to seven hours per day on their screens. When you compare that to the recommended screen time of two hours, you can see why some experts might see cause for concern.

Not only are kids spending a lot of time on their screens, but they’re spending that time engaging in social media. Another study out of the U.S. on teen social media use shows that YouTube and Instagram are the top two social media apps teens use. But, with TikTok being the fastest growing app among teens, those figures might change soon.

To sum it up: kids are spending a lot of time on social media. We’re far past the point of assuming that social media is some benign influence in your kid’s life. As a parent, it’s important you understand what popular social media apps are and how they work. That way, you can be attentive to what they’re consuming and have an open conversation about using social media effectively.

A young teen vlogging for his YouTube channel

To better understand social media platforms, we’re breaking down the five most popular social media apps that kids and teens are currently engaged in, along with some alternatives that you might not have heard about.

1. YouTube

While you grew up watching cable television, chances are your kids are going up watching YouTube. A 2018 study out of the U.S. found that 81 per cent of parents with kids age 11 or younger let their kids watch YouTube videos, while 34 per cent say their child watches YouTube content regularly. Typically, kids enjoy watching content created by vloggers, as it’s a source of creativity, inspiration and shared passions—such as crafts, make-up, or gaming. The site also provides an option for younger kids called YouTube Kids, with family-friendly content and enhanced parental controls.

2. Instagram

Instagram is all about images and video sharing. For example, if your kids are home all day with their cat, they’ll post it, along with the relevant hashtags (their cat may even have its own Insta account!). If they’re into fashion and just bought a new outfit, you’ll see photos from them at the store trying on the outfit and then at home styling it. The photos are usually filtered. Instagram is about sharing something at the moment.

Two teen girls performing TikTok dance and filming themselves with smartphone

3. TikTok

TikTok has been like a lightning bolt to social media. About one-third of the users are between the ages of 10-19. Another 30 per cent are aged 29 and under. What are kids doing on TikTok? Dancing and participating in TikTok Challenges. So many of the viral dances that have become mainstream have started on TikTok, and teens are usually the ones leading the way. TikTok has also become a hot spot for music discovery. There are a lot of musicians posting music and kids either reposting or dancing to those tunes.

4. Snapchat

Snapchat is really is about being in the moment. All “snaps,” as they’re called, disappear within 24 hours or once all followers have viewed it. What kids are mostly doing, however, is creating Snapstreaks. Snapstreaks are when two friends snap at each other for consecutive days. These are all video messages, and friends try to keep the streak going for as long as possible, sometimes months. Kids and teens love it because it encourages interaction and communication between friends.

5. Twitch

Twitch is a trending platform that’s designed mostly for online gamers. It allows users to watch live stream feeds of other gamers while they’re playing. With over 9 million active streamers, it’s one of the most popular streaming platforms around. Brands like United Masters, a platform for indie musicians, have partnered with Twitch to hold their conferences or other events. Esports are also incredibly popular with teens and are now broadcasting over Twitch.

Pros and cons of social media for kids and teens

Popular or not, there are good and not so good aspects of social media. Let’s walk through the pros and cons that parents should be aware of.

Pros of social media for youth

  • Connecting with friends – This is probably the best part about social media. No matter where your kids’ friends are, they can still connect with them and interact, especially in scenarios where they can’t connect in-person. 
  • Learn new things – Believe it or not, social media has become a beacon of education, especially on platforms like YouTube. Even TikTok is being praised for its educational value as an alternative to teaching kids.
  • Create a business –  Kid and teen influencers on social media are earning some serious dollars through sponsorship deals. Even if your child isn’t an influencer, social media has become integral in helping kids launch and build their own online businesses. 
  • Entertainment and self-expression – Regardless of the platform, social media is an avenue for your kids to express themselves and have fun doing it. Whether that’s through dance, song, or comedy. 

Cons of social media for youth

  • Cyberbullying – For whatever reason, people can get really mean on social media. And kids are no different. They post hateful comments and can “gang up” on someone and say the most inappropriate and hideous things. Just because this doesn’t happen in real life doesn’t mean cyberbullying doesn’t have a real impact on your kids. It does.  
  • Could form bad habits – Excessive amounts of screen time could lead to some bad outcomes. Social anxiety, self-image issues, and even FOMO (fear of missing out) are potential repercussions of too much screen time. Kids need to separate what happens on social media from real life, and if they’re in front of a screen for half the time they’re awake, those lines might get blurred.
  • Could negatively impact mental health – It’s easy for kids to look at the highlight reel of someone else’s life and feel bad about their own. The pressure to live up to some curated standard of living can prove too much for kids (or anyone, for that matter), which can negatively impact their mental well-being. Social media depression and addiction are common among young people, so it’s essential parents begin conversations at home to help set boundaries and limit scenarios where this concerns could present themselves.

Help kids use social media responsibly

If they’re not already, your kids are going to be on social media, and if you paid attention to the stats, they’re going to be on there a lot. As a parent, you should play a role in making sure what your kids see is fun, entertaining, and at least somewhat educational.

Mydoh is all about education. We want your kids to understand their finances and what it means to manage their money. The Mydoh Smart Cash Card and app help your kids learn, earn, save, and be responsible with where and how they spend their money.

Download Mydoh today to start shaping your kid’s financial future.