How to Celebrate Lunar New Year with Red Envelopes

As we start off 2024, there’s excitement leading up to Lunar New Year. What began as an annual observance in China, has now become a globally recognized celebration. But just because it’s not typically a public holiday in your school, it won’t stop your classmates or friends from taking the time off to celebrate during this time of year. 

One of the fun traditions that’s been passed down many generations is the giving of red envelopes that contain lucky money. If you’re not familiar with how it works, we’ll give you the scoop on everything you need to know about the tradition of giving and receiving red envelopes during the Lunar New Year. 

What is Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year or Vietnamese New Year) marks the beginning of the annual holiday that lasts up to 16 days. It’s filled with loads of tasty food and cultural festivities with family and friends. You’ll find that South/East Asian countries celebrate Lunar New Year including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mongolia, Tibet and the Philippines. However, in recent years, it has become more popular in Western countries or regions that have an Asian population.

When is the Lunar New Year?

For 2024, the start of the Lunar New Year will take place on February 10. You may have noticed that the date changes every year and tends to fall between January 21 to February 20. That’s because the date of the Lunar New Year coincides with the lunar calendar which follows the phases of the moon. This year will be the year of the dragon, (based on the Chinese zodiac which represents 12 animals) which will bring about power, strength, and success. 

Chinese Dragon puppet

What is a lucky red envelope? 

The Chinese red envelope (called “lai see” in Cantonese and “hong bao” in Mandarin) is a monetary gift. It’s a cultural tradition where it’s believed that giving these lucky red envelopes will bring good fortune to those who receive them. Typically, they are given during special occasions such as holidays, weddings, graduations, and birthdays. With the tradition being passed down through generations, it’s now expanded to include festive social gatherings. 

You may be wondering, where to get red Chinese envelopes. Well, you can find them at Asian shops or at your local Chinatown, and most banks tend to offer them. You can even send digital red pockets through the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat. 

Why do you give red envelopes for Lunar New Year

On the surface, it may appear that it’s about the money. In reality, it’s about the red envelope that wraps the money. That’s because red is an auspicious colour in Asian culture as it symbolizes energy, prosperity and celebration. 

Chinese New Year is one of the special occasions where people will give red envelopes. So, if you’re lucky enough to receive a red envelope from your family or friends, it means that they wish you good luck for the year ahead.

Who do you give red envelopes to?  

The tradition started in China when older individuals would give red envelopes to young children. So, if your family celebrates Lunar New Year, you may have received a few red envelopes yourself. 

Nowadays, the rules aren’t as strict. If your parents celebrate Lunar New Year, it’s a good idea to ask them how closely they follow these rules. If they’re more relaxed about it, you may decide to hand them out to your friends, relatives, classmates, and teachers. 

How much money do you give? 

There’s no hard and fast rule about this. The general guideline is that the closer relationship you have with that person, the more money you can give to them. It can include physical coins or bills. It’s also customary to have crisp and clean bills. So you may want to pay a visit to your local bank to ask for new bills. 

An important tip to keep in mind is that the number 4 is viewed as bad luck. This is because the pronunciation of the number 4 sounds like death in Chinese. On the other hand, 8 is considered the luckiest number as it brings prosperity to people. So, whether it’s $8, $18 or even $28, it is viewed favourably. 

As a teenager, my parents would gift me red envelopes each year. I’d stash the money away to save up to buy a new pair of jeans at the shopping mall.

How to give and receive a lucky red envelope during Chinese New Year 

There is some etiquette to follow when giving and receiving a lucky red envelope. Traditionally, children would kneel to accept their red envelope from their older family members as a sign of respect and is still practiced throughout parts of China today. One rule that’s easy to remember is to give and receive a red envelope with both hands and say “Thank You” or “Happy New Year”.

As much as we’re used to watching our friends open gifts during their birthdays, it’s actually frowned upon to open your red envelope in front of the gift-giver.  But don’t worry if you mess up. In today’s society, the rules aren’t as closely followed.

Lucky red envelopes and bowl of mandarines celebrating Lunar New Year

Other gifts you can give instead of red envelopes 

Besides handing out red envelopes, there are other items you can choose to give to someone. For example, if you go to an Asian grocery store, the few weeks leading up to Lunar New Year, you’ll often find snack trays that contain sweetened dried fruits, gift boxes filled with sweet treats, rice cakes, candies and fortune cookies. Plus, there’s seasonal fruits like clementines, oranges, and pomelo which are delicious. 

More ways to celebrate Lunar New Year 

There are other ways you can celebrate the Lunar New Year with your family and friends. You can make fresh homemade dumplings which can be a fun activity for all ages. If you’re feeling festive, you wear a red outfit. Another fun family activity is to attend local Lunar New Year festivities in your city which may include a lion dance performance, arts and crafts and food vendors. 

Some people who follow superstitions are known to avoid washing their hair as it will wash away the good luck. Even sweeping the floors is considered taboo because it can sweep away their wealth. 

Growing up, our family enjoyed eating hot pot where you have a portable stove top that contains a savoury broth that’s placed in the centre of the dining table. A variety of vegetables, noodles, meat and seafood are prepared and cooked in this broth. It’s a fun way to gather around and have a communal meal with your family and loved ones. 

As we celebrate the year of the dragon, if you receive a lucky red envelope this year, think about what you’d like to do with your money. It may be putting it towards a savings goal, or splurging on buying a new outfit. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas and inspiration on some traditions you can start at school or even with your friends who look forward to this annual celebration. 

Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for your kids and teenagers.

How to Become an Influencer as a Teen

If you’re on any social media platform at all, from TikTok to YouTube to Discord, you’ve probably run into an influencer or two (or 76). Influencers can be found on every social channel out there and they come from every demographic—from fashion “grandfluencers” like 95-year-old Helen Van Winkle (aka @baddiewinkle) to young beauty influencers like Avani Gregg who began posting on social media when she was 11 and now has brand partnerships (and was even invited to last year’s Met Gala).

Influencers have communities of followers who number from the tens of thousands all the way up into the many, many millions (see: 19-year-old Charli D’Amelio who has 151 million followers). Influencers might be into makeup, travel, gaming, or even gardening. But what they all have in common is a unique, personal viewpoint that helps them stand out as entertaining experts in their chosen field.

Want to follow in the footsteps of these successful social media stars? It doesn’t take a famous parent, an expensive tech setup, or a million online friends to get started. Here’s your step-by-step guide to becoming an influencer.

Smiling male travel influencer wearing yellow coat stands on top of mountain

What is an influencer, anyway?

A professional social media influencer is someone who has a presence on a particular channel (often several) and uses their platform to share their interests or expertise. Their specialty, or niche, is directly or indirectly related to a category of products (think: video games, skincare, collectable toys, or sneakers).

Successful influencers are usually informative and entertaining at the same time, sharing images or videos that inspire their follower community to go out and buy the products or services they’re recommending.

Read more: How to become a professional gamer

Influencers vs. content creators

There’s a difference between influencers and content creators, though sometimes the roles can blur and overlap. For content creators, most of their earnings come directly from the platform they post on. The TikTok Creators Fund, for example, is paying content creators for the number of views or likes they receive from followers. They’ll sometimes branch out, selling ads or their own branded products via their social media accounts. 

Read more: How kids and teens can make money on TikTok

Influencing works a little bit differently. Instead of trying to promote yourself as, for example, a makeup artist with your own makeup line, you’re promoting a brand’s makeup and skincare products (with the goal of getting the attention of brands who might want to send you free products or even pay you to showcase their makeup in your next tutorial or GRWM video).

What are the different types of influencers?

Starting out as a wannabe influencer might seem intimidating at first. How do you get Mr. Beast’s 48.6 million Instagram followers and a Samsung partnership by the time you turn 24?! First, take a deep breath. Even influencers with millions of followers and billions of likes all started at zero.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to hit seven or eight digits in followers to have a successful influencer account. There are different categories of influencers and some brands will care less about the number of followers you have and more about how engaged your community is and how many members make a purchase after finding out about a brand or product through your social media post.

Here’s a general breakdown of the types of influencers and their following on social platforms:

Nano influencers

Nano influencers have around one to ten thousand followers and are usually really involved with their communities. Their audience is small enough that they can directly answer questions or respond to comments. While their follower numbers may be smaller, they have an outsized connection with their community which can sometimes translate into a large influence over follower’s buying habits and choices.

Micro influencers

Micro influencers are similar to nano influencers in that they, too, have smaller audiences but a greater connection with their followers. Influencers in the micro category have between ten and 50 thousand followers.

Macro influencers

Here’s where we start to get serious about numbers. Macro influencers have a big following—up to a million followers—and it’s those numbers that attract potential brand sponsors who want a lot of eyes on the product they’re trying to sell. Being a macro influencer is a fulltime job and can involve a lot of pressure to create high-quality, carefully crafted posts.

Mega influencers

Now we’re in celeb territory. Mega influencers (those with one million or more followers) are sometimes people who were already famous before launching a social account or they’re influencing geniuses who have expertly leveraged social media to attract massive followings. Think: Bella Poarch or Domelipa… or any of the other influencers we’ve name-dropped already.

Smiling Black woman demonstrates how to put on makeup in front of ring light

7 steps to becoming an influencer

Okay, now for the info you’ve been waiting for. How to pull off this whole influencer thing for real, step by step:

1. Identify your speciality

The best thing about being an influencer is that you get to do a deep dive into a thing you already love. Ask yourself what you feel passionate about, what you think you might have a unique perspective on, and what topic you’re an expert in. Choose something that you feel like you could talk about every day to whoever will listen—whether that’s eco-conscious travel, playing and recording your own music, or special effects makeup.

It helps if you can also picture your audience. Who’s watching your videos? Who is clicking like on your posts? They’re probably people with the same interests as you, so you want to create content for them, while being sure to highlight your own unique perspective, experience, and ideas. Tell your story!

Check out the content that other young influencers are posting to get some inspiration for aesthetics, editing, and style. Aspiring fashion and/or dance influencers should check out Elliana Walmsley’s TikTok account where she posts try-on videos from shopping hauls, GRWM routines, and her interpretation of whatever dance routine is trending. Mari Copeny (aka Little Miss Flint) is a teen influencer and activist who creates content about water pollution and conservation. Evan Moana is a YouTuber known for his hilarious toy reviews and LEGO builds. And Lorenzo Greer is a 12-year-old British soccer player who already has an endorsement deal with Nike.

Remember: your channel will be unique because of your own creativity, so bring your own personality to the videos and photos you post. How? By using what’s special about you, while borrowing a little bit of inspiration from the pros.

2. Set up your social media profile

Time to pick your platform! Or platforms. Decide what kind of influencer content you want to make (videos or photos? reviews or how-tos?) and choose the social media channel that you think is the best fit. Most platforms have the same requirements. You’ll need a profile picture, a catchy username, and a short bio that tells your followers a little about you and the kinds of content you’ll be sharing. 

3. Create relevant content

Relevant content is content that’s current and meaningful to you and to your audience. To help keep you on track and make sure that your content is something your followers look forward to, it’s a smart idea to create a content strategy.

Here’s what a content strategy might look like for a food influencer who’s decided to post four times a week (every week) under four different but repeating themes that all centre around food. It’s like a class schedule, but for social media:

Woman stands in front of smartphone camera showcasing desserts.
  • Monday post: Cook with Me (this could be a recipe video sharing your favourite quick and easy meal to start off the week)
  • Wednesday post: Fridge Check (show followers the inside of your refrigerator highlighting one ingredient each week that you can’t do without)
  • Friday post: Dinner with the Fam (here you’d post another cooking video sharing a more complex dish you like to eat with your family to kick off the weekend)
  • Saturday post: My Favourite Spot (this could be a video featuring your ultimate dining out options, from take-out gems to special occasion sit down meals)

Successful social media influencers are consistent in what they post, knowing that their followers will come back to their content because they know what to expect and they look forward to more. 

4. Build an online community

Consistency is also key when it comes to building your follower numbers. There is a LOT of content out there, and to keep your audience interested and engaged, you need to post regularly and on a predictable schedule.

Engagement is also important, especially when you’re just starting out. Go ahead and ignore any bots or trolls but try to interact with your genuine followers by answering questions about your content (not personal questions), and asking them questions in return. You can even ask questions in your original post. A beauty influencer may write, “This face mask really helped to clear up my skin, has anyone else tried it?” Talk to your audience. Tell them your story and give them the opportunity to share their own. Don’t be afraid to share what you really think, as long as your criticism is constructive. Your audience should stick with you for your authenticity and honesty.

Teaming up with other influencers can also help you grow your audience. Be sure to choose partners that make sense in terms of your brand and specialty. There are lots of ways to do this across different platforms, from shooting a YouTube video together to creating a collaborator post on Instagram to stitching a video on TikTok.

5. Create a media kit

Having a media kit ready and available to send to brands for partnership opportunities will make you look like a total pro and impress your potential clients. Your media kit should have:

  • Your contact information including your name, your social media handle, your email address, and (if you have one) a link to your website
  • A bio that lets brands know who you are, who your audience is, what kind of influencer content you make, and why you’re the right person to represent the brand on social media
  • Your social stats—this can include the number of followers you have on different platforms and their engagement rate (to calculate this, divide the number of people who viewed a particular post by the number of engagements you got on that post, meaning likes, shares, and comments)
  • Images or video stills taken from your account that best represent the kind of content you make and share
  • If you’ve worked with brands in the past, you can include this information in your media kit, too

Be sure to make your kit visually appealing and representative of your brand (psst! you can find templates online). For inspiration, check out some examples of influencer media kits can be found here.

6. Collaborate with brands

Connecting with brands is probably the trickiest part of becoming a social media influencer. Sometimes it happens organically. A social media manager at a brand might notice that your content is getting a lot of likes or shares because you’ve featured and tagged that brand in your post. Some brands also use tracking software to monitor the reach of influencers. There are also tools like Tribe that you can use to get noticed by brands.

7. Keep learning!

Social media trends move quickly so in order to keep current and relevant, you need to keep learning. Did your social media platform just launch a new feature? Read up on how to use it and start to experiment. Have you earned enough money to invest back into your influencer career? Do some research on the latest lights, cameras, and editing software that other influencers are using to create their content.

Above all, spend time on the platform you use most. Know your TikTok memes and keep on top of the catchiest viral tracks that other influencers are using as background music.

Asian man sitting on chair with white screen behind him showing sneakers to camera.

How much can influencers make?

The amount of money an influencer can make falls within a pretty large range. Average influencer earnings range from $195 USD for one Instagram post by a nano influencer to $1,804 USD per Instagram post for a macro influencer. Your earnings will depend on a few factors, like:

  • Which platform you post on
  • How many followers you have
  • Your engagement rate
  • Your specialty or niche
  • What kind of content you sharing on behalf of a brand (eg. a post versus a story)

If you want to become a social media influencer, the good news is that the key tool is probably already in your hands (literally—it’s that smartphone you’re holding). Add your creativity, passion, and personality, and you’ve got all the ingredients for success (and some extra cash). 

Download Mydoh and help build the foundation of financial literacy for your kids and teenagers.

Guide to 2024 Tax Deductions for Families

Every year, we’re faced with filing out our taxes. For some parents it could be daunting to figure out how to optimize your tax returns. Fortunately, the Canadian government offers a variety of tax credits that can help families reduce their overall tax burden. 

With the cost of living on the rise, understanding tax definitions and any benefits you can claim could help you with your living expenses. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of what tax deductions are available to Canadian families and highlight which ones you may be eligible to claim.

What are tax deductions?

Tax deductions are amounts that you can subtract from your taxable income which reduces the amount of tax you owe to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In Canada, there are federal and provincial/territorial tax deductions.  

Why do tax deductions matter for families?

Tax deductions can play a significant role in helping families reduce their overall tax burden. They may lower your taxable income, resulting in a lower tax bill. Additionally, tax deductions could help you maximize your tax refund and receive more money back from the government. For families, tax deductions may be particularly useful in offsetting costs associated with raising children, such as childcare, education and medical expenses.

9 family tax deductions you could claim

Here’s an overview of each deduction, the criteria for eligibility, and the maximum amounts for 2023. 

1. Canada child benefit (CCB)

The Canada child benefit (CCB) is meant to help families who take care of children under the age of 18. You can apply through birth registration, online through the CRA website, or by mail. 

If you have shared custody of children, then each parent will receive 50 per cent of the payment. However, if the child lives with the parent part-time, then you’ll have to determine whether you have shared custody based on your living arrangements. Understanding these details can help improve your co-parenting finances.

To calculate what your CCB payments could be, you can use the child and family benefits calculator. Payments typically occur during the third week of every month. Be sure that you and your partner file your taxes each year to continue receiving any CCB you are eligible for. 

2. Child care expenses

Parents who pay for child care expenses in order to work, carry on a business, attend a school or conduct research, may be eligible to claim these expenses on their tax return. The child must be under the age of 16 and dependent on you or your partner for support. Eligible expenses may include caregiver payments, daycares, day camps, and boarding schools. 

Here are the amounts you can claim

  • $8,000 for children under the age of seven at the end of the year
  • $5,000 for children over the age of six at the end of the year and under 16 anytime during the year
  • $5,000 for children over the age of 15 with a physical or mental impairment. 
Book with stick figures of a family and title that reads Child Tax Benefit with stationery in the background

3. Eligible dependent amount

If you were single, separated, divorced, or widowed and supported a dependent who lived with you at home during any time of the year, then you may be eligible for this tax credit. 

An eligible dependent is considered to be either:

  • your parent, grandparent 
  • your child, grandchild, or sibling and was under the age of 18 or has a physical or mental impairment.  

You can claim between $2,350 to $7,525 depending on the age and whether they have any physical or mental impairments. Only one person can claim this amount when they file their tax return. So, be sure to have a conversation with your partner to agree on who will be responsible for filing this claim. In the event that the CRA asks for supporting documents, it may be helpful to have a signed statement from a medical practitioner describing when the impairment started and how long it may last.  

4. Canada caregiver credit

For individuals who support a family member who has a physical or mental infirmity, the Canada caregiver credit (CCC) is a tax credit that may be offered to you. To be eligible to make a claim, the person who is dependent on you must be living with you and depend on you for support. This means they rely on you to provide them with basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. 

You may be able to claim the Canada caregiver credit for: 

  • your (or your partner’s) child or grandchild
  • your (or your partner’s) parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew 

The amount you can claim will depend on your relationship with that individual, their net income, if any additional credits have been claimed and your overall circumstance. This could range from $2,350 to $7,525. 

While you do not have to provide any documents when you submit the claim, the CRA may ask for a medical note from a practitioner indicating when the impairment started and how long it may last. 

5. Medical expenses

Another common deduction is medical costs, which you can claim for yourself, your spouse, and dependent children under 18. Some of the eligible expenses include prescription drugs, dental services, fertility treatment, vision devices, and medical equipment. 

You can claim only the portion of your medical expenses that are not covered by a health insurance plan. You’ll need to enter the lesser of the following amounts: 3 per cent of your net income or $2,759. It may be beneficial for the partner with the lower net income to file this claim. It’s good practice to keep a good record of all your medical receipts and prescriptions in case you are audited. 

Girl sitting in a dental chair showing her teeth to a dentist

6. Canada Dental Benefit

The Canada Dental Benefit is a new interim tax credit available to help reduce dental costs for families earning less than $90,000 annually. Parents can apply if their child is under the age of 12 and does not have dental insurance. 

Applications are open until June 30, 2024 for:

  • Dental care received between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024
  • One additional payment if you meet the criteria.

You can apply online through the CRA using My Account or by phone. You’ll need to have your child’s dental care provider, the date of the appointment, along with your and your partner’s employment information. Make sure to keep a copy of the dental care receipts. 

Based on your family’s net income, the payment you may receive could be $260, $390 or $650 per child. If parents have shared custody, each parent will receive half of the total amount. 

7. Children’s Fitness Tax Credit

The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit is a tax credit designed to encourage families to get their children involved in physical activities. 

The credit is only available in:

  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Quebec
  • Yukon. 

To be eligible, you must have incurred expenses for a physical activity program for a child at the beginning of the year for which you are claiming the credit. The amount of the credit is based on the number of eligible expenses incurred and varies depending on the province. 

Here’s a breakdown: 

Manitoba fitness tax credit

Families who live in Manitoba can claim for a fitness tax credit of up to $500 per child. Young adults from ages 16 to 24 are also eligible to claim this tax credit. If approved, an annual non-refundable tax credit of $54 per child/young adult is given. This amount can be doubled if the child or young adult has a disability. To qualify, the fitness program must be a supervised weekly program that lasts eight weeks or five consecutive days.

Boy wearing white t-shirt smiling with his hands in the air at a dance class with kids in the background

Newfoundland and Labrador physical activity tax credit

Families in Newfoundland and Labrador can receive a refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 per family for enrolling in an eligible program of physical activity. You can submit a claim for yourself, a spouse or common-law partner, or a child under the age of 18. One parent can claim the entire amount themselves or split the amount between you and your partner. 

Quebec tax credit for children’s activities

Residents of Quebec who have registered their children in a program that focuses on either physical, recreational, artistic, or cultural activities, and have a family income that does not exceed $155,880 can apply for this tax deduction. Parents can claim up to $500 and they’ll receive a 20 per cent tax credit (total of $100 per child). For children who have a physical or mental impairment, parents can claim up to $1,000 per child and receive up to $200 per child. 

Yukon children’s fitness tax credit

For parents in Yukon who have signed up their child under the age of 16 for a physical activity program or membership, you can claim up to $1,000 per child. The refund you’ll receive is 6.4 per cent of your eligible fees, which equals $64. If you have a child with a disability (under the age of 18), you can claim an additional $500 when you file your tax return.

8. Home office expenses

Many Canadians continue to work from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The home office tax credit helps employees who work from home cover some related expenses such as utilities (heat, water, and electricity), minor repairs, internet usage, and rent. Employees whose incomes are commission-based may also be eligible to claim home insurance, property taxes, and the lease of electronics (e.g. a cell phone, laptop, tablet, and fax machine). 

The temporary flat rate method does not apply to the 2023 tax year. Instead, you’ll need to calculate your expenses using the work from home detailed method which is based on the actual amounts you paid and will require supporting documentation. 

9. GST/HST tax credit

The GST/HST tax credit helps families with modest incomes to make up for the amount of GST and HST they pay. These tax-free payments are given out on a quarterly basis. When you file your taxes, you’ll automatically be assessed for this tax credit. The amount you receive may depend on your family’s net income and the number of children in your household. If you are eligible to receive this credit, depending on your relationship status and the number of children you have, the amount can range from $103.30 to $1,247.30 per year. 

Woman sitting at her home office desk reading papers.

5 steps to claim tax deductions for your family

Here are the steps families can take to apply for any tax deductions that they might be eligible for. 

1. Search for tax deductions

You can check which benefits you qualify for by using the Government of Canada Benefits Finder tool. It will ask you a series of questions and provide you with customized results.

2. Understand eligibility criteria

Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria and the specific conditions you must meet before you submit your claim.

3. Gather necessary documentation

Take care to have the necessary documentation to support your claims, such as receipts, medical notes, and any other proof of payment that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may require. 

4. Submit your filing with the CRA

When you have all your supporting documents ready, the final step is to submit your tax return with the CRA. For the majority of Canadians, the deadline to submit your tax return is April 30, 2024. If you are self-employed, you have until June 17, 2024 (as June 15 falls on a weekend) to submit your tax return.

5. Check for uncashed cheques

Did you know that $1.4 billion worth of Canadian tax refunds remained uncashed as of August 2022? You can verify through My Account on the CRA website to see if you have any uncashed cheques dating back to 1998. 

High five for filing your tax return!

Once you’ve filed your taxes, you can take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back! As parents, you’ve done a great job in optimizing your tax return to reap all the (financial) benefits available to you and your family. 

Showing your kids how you file your taxes each year can also help them better understand how some of your ongoing expenses can be reimbursed with the help of tax deductions. The earlier they learn, the more practice they can get. Sharing this experience with them could give them a boost of confidence when they start earning income and need to file taxes for the first time.

A smart way to teach your kids about tax deductions and finances

In addition to taking advantage of available tax deductions, teaching your kids about responsible money management and financial literacy is key to building a bright financial future for your family. Mydoh is a great tool to help you get started. With the Mydoh app and Smart Card for teens, you can guide your kids on their financial journey, teaching them valuable skills that will serve them for a lifetime. 

Download Mydoh today and give your family the gift of financial literacy.

What Teens Need to Know About Filing a Tax Return in 2024

If you’re a teen with a part-time job, there are benefits to them filing a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). After all, learning how to prepare your first tax return is an important skill when it comes to learning about financial literacy. While it might feel like a daunting prospect, you don’t need to know your capital gains from your depreciable property in order to file a tax return. 

We spoke with Judith Bailey, a Team Lead and CPA with TurboTax, who shared some tips and tricks to help teens prepare their first tax return.  

Do under 18 need to file taxes in Canada?

Regardless of age, Canadians are generally required to file a tax return if they earn an amount of money that exceeds the basic personal amount. For the 2023 tax year, the basic personal amount is $15,000. “Usually a teenager has a summer job or casual work; if they earn less than that they aren’t going to be required to file,” says Bailey. 

Bottom line: If you’re a teen who earns less than the basic personal amount, you’re not required to file a tax return.

Black teen boy sitting at desk with laptop holding smartphone and smiling.

What are the advantages of filing a tax return as a teen?

Maybe you don’t need to prepare a tax return, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. “There are huge advantages to filing a return as a teen,” explains Bailey. Here are some reasons why it may be worth it for you:

You may get a tax refund 

“One of the biggest reasons to file a return is you may be entitled to a refund,” Bailey says. Anyone earning under the $15,000 threshold won’t have any tax payable, but you may have had EI (Employment Insurance) and CPP (Canada Pension Plan) contributions automatically deducted by an employer. The reason for this is an employer doesn’t know how much you’ll earn as a teen in a year. At the end of the year, take a look at your total earnings and any common tax deductions. “If you’ve had deductions made and file a return, you could be entitled to a refund,” explains Bailey. 

You can build up your RRSP contribution

Bailey says the second biggest reason why you should file a tax return as a teen is to build up your RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) room. While you’re likely not saving for retirement, you can still start planning for it. “Whenever you file your income tax return, you’ll be able to allocate 18 per cent of that year’s income towards next year’s RRSP contribution room,” explains Bailey. That means if you make $1,000 one year, you’ve built up room for a $180 RRSP contribution. “So if you file taxes when you’re 16, by the time you’re 30, you’re going to have built up 14 years worth of room,” says Bailey. But if you wait until your mid-20s when you land their first real job to file a tax return, you’ll have missed out on all that RRSP contribution room.

You can practice filing a tax return

Preparing a tax return is a life skill just about everyone has to learn at some point. “The earlier you file your return, the simpler it’s going to be,” says Bailey. Which is why learning to file a return where, say, you’ve made $500 over the summer is probably going to be the simplest return you’ll ever do. “Then, each year you do one, it might be a little more complicated, but you’re learning a little bit more as you go,” explains Bailey. She says it’s better to learn now, rather than waiting until you’re are in your twenties and might also have additional considerations, such as deducting donations or moving expenses. “It’s like learning to ride a bike, the earlier you can do it, the better,” she says.

You’re registered with the CRA

Another reason why you should file your taxes as a teen is you’ll be registered on the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) system. “That way, when you turn 19, you’re automatically eligible for any HST/GST credit,” says Bailey. “As long as you file your return as well.”

It could help boost your family’s tax return 

Filing your taxes could also help lower your family’s tax return. For example, if you have medical expenses, you can pool those expenses and have one person (usually a parent) claim them all together. This may help lower their taxes. 

If you’re already attending post-secondary school and receive a tuition slip, you may not want to claim the credit, unless you’ve made enough income that year. Instead, you can transfer that amount over to a parent or guardian to use as a tax credit. 

Read more: Guide to 2024 Tax Deductions for Families

Brown letter board with white letters spelling out do your taxes by April 30

What do teens need to file their taxes in Canada?

Now you know why there are perks to filing a tax return, here’s a checklist of things youcould need to file a tax return as a teen. Depending on your circumstances, you may need all or some of the following: 

  • Personal information—including your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • T4 income slips—you should receive a T4 from each employer.
  • A total amount from any cash tips or casual cash–in-hand work—teens should keep track of these amounts throughout the year.
  • T2202 Tuition and Enrollment Certificate, if you’re enrolled in post-secondary education. You may also be able to claim moving expenses for school, such as flights.
  • T5 slip, if you are old enough to invest and only if have earned an income over $50 on any investments in 2023.

How to file your taxes in Canada as a teen

You don’t need to hire an accountant to file a return. Here’s how you can file your taxes in Canada:


NETFILE is an electronic tax-filing service available through the CRA. It will let you do your personal taxes online free of charge. 

Benefits of filing your taxes online include:

  • An immediate confirmation from the CRA that their tax return has been received.
  • No need to send in receipts, unless requested at a later date.
  • A refund as quickly as two weeks, deposited directly into your bank account – if you are eligible.

TurboTax Free

TurboTax Free is a zero cost software that’s ideal for simple tax returns. The software is free to use and comes with features such as an auto-fill feature to import tax slips and software that will take care of the math for you.

Pay-what-you-want tax software

There is other tax software available in Canada that offers a pay-what-you-want model. Visit the CRA for a list of providers. Be sure to check that the tax service provider is certified for the tax year you’re filing for.

The biggest takeaway when it comes to taxes for teens? There isn’t much of a downside to filing a tax return. So, why not? Not only are you learning about important tax terms and an essential money skill, but you might just have money coming back to them in the form of a tax refund.  

Taxes and financial literacy don’t need to be complicated for teens

Mydoh is a great way to learn about important financial literacy topics like taxes, the basics of budgeting, saving and more. It’s an interactive mobile app and Smart Cash card designed to help kids learn real-life money skills.

Download Mydoh and Smart Cash Card for teens to get started on the path to financial responsibility.

Most Interesting Teen Influencers

The word influencer gets tossed around more than an NBA basketball, but sometimes it’s actually meaningful. Chances are you’re already following at least one social media influencer. It could be a singer, actor, athletic, comedian or activists who continue to push the envelope of what you can accomplish at a young age. Here’s 15 teen influencers who are making a name for themselves on social media.

What is an influencer?

Whether they’re a teen or not, an influencer is someone who’s able to impact how their audience makes decisions. And that influence is usually what brands pay for. Because of that, one of the ways kids could make money online is by becoming influencers on social media platforms and earning money from TikTok and monetizing their YouTube channels. They can receive financial compensation for advertisements, sponsored posts, and more. The best teen Influencers have a relationship with their audience that’s built on trust and admiration.

Influencers only share a portion of their lives with an audience

Even though influencers generally have the same definition, they aren’t all created equally. There are Instagram influencers, YouTube influencers, TikTokers, and other social media influencers that have larger followings than the population of some countries.

Whatever category or topic you can think of, there’s probably an influencer for that. Gaming? Yes. Makeup? For sure. Financial influencers? You bet. Sports, art, even unboxing products is a thing influencers are famous for. So whatever you’re interested in, you can usually find an influencer who feels just as passionately about that topic as they do.

But remember, an influencer is only sharing a small portion of their life. It’s easy to look at the people you follow and wonder why their own lives aren’t as exciting. What you see online is essentially the highlight reel—not always reality.

A teenage influencer creating an Instagram Reels video for her followers

15 young influencers to follow

Here are 15 young influencers you should know about (in no particular order!):

Charlie D'Amelio posing at an awards show behind a  colourful screen

1. Charli D’Amelio

151.6M followers on TikTok

Charli got popular on TikTok with her dancing, personality, and cute family. The 19-year-old now has millions of followers on every platform she’s on, with her largest following on TikTok. She still posts lots of dancing content, along with Get-Ready-With-Me posts and super fun vlogs with friends.

She’s gotten the chance to perform on Dancing with the Stars twice now and posts clips to her socials. Her dancing skills are no joke. Charli is a role model for anyone with a passion for dance or for people just looking for inspiration for their next outing with friends.

2. Lorenzo Greer

1.7M subscribers on YouTube

Lorenzo Greer, also known as Tekkerz Kid, has been honing his soccer skills since he was two-years-old. He became a child prodigy soccer player after years of practice and plays for the Brimingham City U7 academy. The 14-year-old got popular on YouTube sharing videos showing off his soccer skills and often shares pictures with soccer celebrities on his Instagram.

On Lorenzo’s YouTube you can find all things soccer. He posts soccer tutorials, reviews, skill compilations and so much more. If you’re into soccer or want to know more about how big soccer is in the UK, Lorenzo is your one-stop-shop.

3. Ryan’s World

36M subscribers on YouTube

Ryan’s World is one of the most fun channels on YouTube. Twelve-year-old Ryan and his mom, dad and twin younger sisters are always coming together to make the craziest videos, go on adventures and try out new things. With over 2000 videos uploaded, you are sure to not run out of Ryan’s World content any time soon. Ryan even has his own superhero movie coming out next year!

Checking out this channel is sure to leave you feeling like you can accomplish anything. Learn how to live life to the fullest with Ryan, he’s been doing it for over eight years!

Mari Copeney posing at the Billboard Music Awards

4. Mari Copeny

199K followers on Instagram

Mari Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, is a 16-year-old activist in America. She lives in Flint, Michigan where there has been a water crisis for years. The city struggled to get clean water. Mari herself wrote a letter to former U.S. President Barack Obama asking him to do something about the city’s lack of clean water. President Obama read her letter and ended up visiting Flint to investigate the situation himself. He ended up giving the city $100 million dollars to help. This couldn’t have been possible without Mari Copeny’s letter.

Mari’s activism did not stop there. She continues to stand up for what’s right like raising money for less fortunate kids to have school supplies each year, marching for women’s rights, preventing bullying with help from the anti-bullying group Trendsetters Productions, and fighting to move away from single use plastic. Mari Copeny is an inspiration to all.

5. Jules LeBlanc

4M on YouTube

Jules LeBlanc is your online older sister and best friend. Her biggest following is on TikTok, but YouTube is where you can see her change throughout the years. She has been on YouTube for over 14 years, with one of her first videos showing off her gymnast tricks at only four. Jules gained the title Annie the Gymnast and posted multiple videos showing off her skills. As a teenager, Jules started focusing on music. She has multiple original songs, and her music videos have millions of views.

While Jules may not have put out a music video in a few years, she continues to share vlogs regularly—including her birthday, teaching her sister to drive and decorating for Christmas. She is so much fun to watch and anyone with an interest in social media could learn a lot from her YouTube channel.

6. Kyle Thomas

35.3M followers on TikTok

Kyle is one of the biggest British content creators on TikTok at only 19-years-old. He’s been posting since 2019 with his biggest hits being of animals he’s rescued. He now has his own animal sanctuary that he’s been posting about on his YouTube channel. Kyle shows us it’s always cool to show kindness to any animal no matter their size or species. He’s even released his own book titled Guardian of the Realm which is about him and his pet meerkat Mylo.

Beyond his kindness to animals, Kyle is also a funny guy, often sharing comedy sketches alongside his other content. He has also been known to post food reviews and dancing videos.

7. Autumn Peltier

126K Followers on Instagram

Canadian influencer, Autumn is an Indigenous rights activist, water-rights advocate, Chief Water Commissioner of the Anishinabek Nation, and runner-up finalist for the 2022 International Children’s Peace prize. At 12 years old, she got the chance to sit down one-on-one with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to criticize the country’s clean-water policy. Now 19, she’s spoken at multiple conferences across the globe including one with the United Nations about the issue of contaminated water on Indigenous reserves.

Autumn was included in Elle Magazine’s 100 Women Change Makers and has partnered with brands like Hershey Chocolate to raise money for her community. When she was 15 she starred in the documentary The Water Walker, which followed her to the United Nations where she advocated for clean drinking water.

8. Gamer Girl

6M subscribers on YouTube

Karina, aka GamerGirl, is a 16-year-old Canadian content creator with a focus on video games. She’s been posting since 2016 and has millions of views. GamerGirl first got popular posting Roblox and Minecraft gameplay and tips videos. Karina continues to post gaming content and is a role model for many kids who enjoy gaming. On top of posting videos, she also streams live on YouTube. Her content leaves you laughing and makes you feel like you’re playing along with her.

While Karina stills post a lot of Minecraft videos, she has recently posted videos like playing Overwatch 2 for the first time, hilarious outtakes from Lethal Company, one of the most popular indie developer games currently, and Detroit: Become Human. Whether you’re interested in what these games have to offer or just looking for a fellow player, GamerGirl likely has the video for you.

9. Genesis Butler

67.2K followers on Instagram

Genesis Butler is a 17-year-old Afro Indigenous teen fighting for animals, humans and the planet. At six-years-old, Genesis made the decision to become vegan. She was one of the youngest people to ever give a TED talk. Her talk was called “A 10 Year Old’s Vision for Healing the Planet” and focused on how animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment.

Now 17, Genesis founded Genesis for Animals, an organization that raises funds for farm sanctuaries. She has worked with lots of organizations to promote a vegan diet and positive global change. Named one of BBC’s top 8 activists changing the world, Genesis continues to speak for those without a voice.

Marley Dias posing at an award show

10. Marley Dias

99.6K followers on Instagram

Marley Dias is another one of America’s youngest activists and a current student at Harvard University. In the sixth grade, Marley started a campaign called “#1000BlackGirlBooks” to collect 1,000 books with a Black girl as the protagonist. The goal was to then donate these books to other Black kids in different schools across the country. Her campaign showed the world that there was not a lot of books written with a Black female lead, and fought for representation of her fellow Black girls. Her campaign went viral and she has now collected over 13,000 books.

Marley’s activism didn’t stop in the sixth grade. She’s continued to fight for representation and women’s rights. She’s written her own book titled “Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can you”, is an Ambassador of the National Educational Association’s Read Across America and has hosted and helped produce Netflix’s Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. Marley has appeared on multiple television programs like Ellen, The Today Show and CBS This Morning. She is the youngest member of Forbes 30 under 30 list. Marley is a huge inspiration to us all, and proves to us that we are capable of anything, no matter how young or underrepresented we may be.

11. Niana Guerrero

41.6M followers on TikTok

Seventeen-year-old Niana Guerrero is a dancer and lifestyle creator. She has been dancing most of her life and took to YouTube in 2017. Niana got popular uploading dance covers with her older brother. While her YouTube channel has a whopping 15.5 million subscribers, her biggest platform is TikTok with nearly 42 million followers. Niana is the most followed TikToker in the Philippines.

Niana has won multiple awards such as TikTok Superstar, Entertainment Champion and Dance Creator of the Year in the Philippines. She’s done several dance collabs with celebrities like Sabrina Carpenter and Tate McRae. Her dance videos have also been liked by members of popular Korean boy band BTS. Whether you’re looking to get inspiration to start dancing or just looking for the next TikTok trend, Niana’s page is the one to follow.

12. EvanTube

7M Subscribers on YouTube

Evan has been making YouTube videos since he was six-years-old and has gained over 4 billion views on his channel. Evan became popular making toy review videos. As he got older, Evan started doing popular challenges alongside his sister, making react videos, sharing gameplay, and vlogging with his family. His content has always been fun for people of all ages.

Evan has recently been applying to colleges to become a film director, so he may not be posting as frequently, but the quality of his videos is only going up.  One of his most recent uploads was his very own short film so look forward to more Evan original short films to come.

Gavin Magnus posing at a teen award event.

13. Gavin Magnus

6.5M on YouTube

Gavin Magnus is a singer, rapper, and actor with a massive social media presence. He hosted on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network before blowing up on YouTube and TikTok. Gavin started making content at the age of 11 and has grown up with his audience. He shares vlogs, pranks, dances, music videos and challenge content on his channel.

Now 16, Gavin is on our list of influencers to follow because of his fresh, young music that other teens can relate to. He’s got nowhere but up to go as an artist, so tag along for the ride.

14. Coco Pink Princess

549K followers on Instagram

Coco, aka Coco Pink Princess, has been a fashion icon much of her life. At six-years-old she already had over 58 thousand followers on Instagram and was featured in a VICE Life video. Coco gained her love of fashion from her parents who run a vintage clothing store in Japan’s most fashionable district, Harajuku. Now at 13, Coco has gone on to become a big name in Tokyo fashion.

Coco has modeled for lots of big brands like Gap, Adidas and Gentle Monster. She’s created multiple clothing pieces in collabs with local brands and has even worked as a stylist. Coco is a massive inspiration for anyone interested in fashion.

15. Desmond Napoles

146K followers on Instagram

Desmond, also known as Desmond is Amazing, is an 2SLGBTQ+ icon, advocate, model, author, host, performer and designer. This 16-year-old manages to do it all while still attending high school. Beyond raising awareness about the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, they also promote sustainability in fashion.

Desmond has walked the runway multiple times at New York Fashion Week, has been a part of several high profile collaborations and has published their own book “Be Amazing: A History of Pride”. Their motto is, “Be yourself, always,” which is very fitting for their goal of wanting everyone to express themselves freely and without fear.

The Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card for teens provides families with the tools they need to teach their children about budgeting, saving, and spending money wisely.

Download the Mydoh app today.

New Year’s Money Resolutions for Families and Kids in 2024

Come January, many of us replace our holiday decorations with New Year’s resolutions. Often, these goals are centred around becoming healthier, learning a new skill or hobby, spending time with family, or improving finances. Whether your family wants to pay down debt or save for a dream vacation, here are seven money New Year’s resolutions you can make in 2024. 

Why make New Year’s resolutions?

New Year’s resolutions aren’t new. Humans have been making them for a long time! Over 4,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians made promises to pay off debts or return things they had borrowed. The start of a new year is a great time to pause and take stock of what we achieved over the last year, and the ways we’d like to improve our lives going forward. Given rising inflation, those goals might only be modest ones. But even small steps forward can help you reach your goals.  

What are financial goals?

Simply put, financial goals are short- and long-term measurable milestones that align with your money values and future. Financial goals can mean  the difference between a wish and a plan. It’s not only adults who can benefit from setting financial goals. Kids and teens can also set a financial goal. Help your kids achieve success by encouraging them to make SMART goals. 

That’s a goal that is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

For your teen, a SMART goal is the difference between simply saying they’ll save for a new computer and deciding to save $600 to buy a laptop in July by getting a part-time job

7 financial resolutions for families in 2024

Here are seven financial resolutions that will help families make 2024 a prosperous one. 

1. Create a budget

If you don’t have a family budget, or you think it’s time for your kid or teen to create a budget for themselves, then start your new year financial goal here. A balanced budget helps you plan where your money goes and if there’s enough to cover the essentials. It’s a skill that will serve your kids as they move into adulthood. To simplify the process, have your kids calculate their income (whether that’s an allowance or through a part-time job), allocate money for spending categories, such as lunch money or phone bill, and savings (ideally 20 per cent), and track their spending habits. 

Learn more: How to create a budget for kids and teens

man and woman sitting on couch creating family budget

2. Pay down debt  

If you’re carrying a balance on a credit card (or multiple credit cards), then paying down debt is a rewarding financial New Year’s resolution in more ways than one. Reducing debt can help reduce stress, improve your credit score, and save money on interest charges. If you’re not sure how much to put towards debt, use the 50/30/20 rule and put aside 20 per cent of your income towards debt repayment. For families with multiple debts or debts with high interest rates, you may wish to consider talking to a financial advisor about debt consolidation

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

3. Set a savings goal 

Adults and kids alike can benefit from setting a savings goal. Is there a big purchase your kid wants to make this year? It could be a VR set or a new pair of sneakers. Help them create a savings plan, including a way to earn money (paying for chores around the house is one way that’s a win-win for everyone!), finding a place to put their savings, and a way to track their progress along the way. A good rule of thumb when it comes to savings is to put aside 15 per cent. Or perhaps there’s a family savings goal you’d like to commit to this year? It could be saving for a winter getaway next holiday season or upgrading your home entertainment system. Bonus: Mydoh makes saving easier for teens with our Savings Goal feature.

Tips: Kids and teens can use our free savings goal calculator to create a savings plan for the items on their wish list.

4. Check your financial health

The new year is a great time to review your financial health. Check your credit score and order a free credit report through Equifax or TransUnion to make sure there are no discrepancies. This can also be a teachable moment to explain to your kids what a healthy credit score looks like and why it’s important down the road—they’ll need a good credit score for everything from finding an apartment to even landing a job. And speaking of financial health, trim down unnecessary expenses by unsubscribing to those subscriptions you really don’t need or have completely forgotten about. Get your kids to calculate how a $6.99 subscription here and a $15.99 subscription there can add up over the year. What else could you do with that money as a family? 

Learn more: What is financial health and why is it important?

woman making packed lunch for son and daughter to save money

5. Introduce no spend days 

Help make your family’s financial goals easier to stick to by introducing (and practicing) good financial habits like “no spend” days. Exactly like it sounds, agree on a day once a week, or even a couple of times a month, where no one taps their debit card. For greater success, pick a day where it’ll be easier for everyone to keep their cash in their pocket. That means no stopping for coffee on the way to work or home from school, take a packed lunch, and no shopping online. No spend days is one way to help kids and teens learn the difference between wants vs needs.

Learn more: How kids and teens can gamify their savings

6. Give to others

Why not resolve to give back to others in 2024? One way to help raise your kids to appreciate all they have is to have them give to others. Giving back could mean donating money or your time. Involve your kids and teens by asking them to research a cause dear to their hearts. If they’re not sure where to start, encourage them to research charities and organizations that help others in their community. As a family, you may decide to prepare home cooked food for people experiencing food insecurity, foster a future guide dog, or become involved in a social movement. Check out Charity Intelligence Canada or Canada Helps for more information on how you can give back. 

Learn more: The best ways to teach kids about giving

Group of teens and young adults volunteering by sorting out food donations

7. Learn about financial literacy

Brushing up on financial literacy may sound like a pretty daunting resolution. But at its core, it’s teaching your kids and teens how to earn, save, and invest money. If you don’t know your Bitcoin an EFT, the difference between a TFSA and an RRSP, or if your teen has expressed an interest in playing the stock market, 2024 is your year to learn. And it doesn’t have to be boring. Financial influencers make learning about money more interesting, or pick up a book that breaks down money basics

Learn more: 8 reasons to teach financial literacy to kids and teens

How Mydoh can make sticking to your financial resolutions easier for your kids

Making a resolution is one thing, but meeting those goals means putting in the work. The Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card help kids and teens practice earning and spending their money securely. Mydoh also gives parents oversight, so you can watch their progress and encourage your kids to grow their savings—and their financial literacy—in 2024. 

Download Mydoh and get started today.