Mydoh: raising the next generation of money-smart kids | RBC Ventures

Mydoh: raising the next generation of money-smart kids

A conversation with Mydoh's founders

One of our latest ventures to launch, Mydoh, is an easy to use, safe and secure money management app, and Smart Card that helps parents raise money-smart kids. Mydoh (available on iOS and Android) give parents everything they need to make raising money-smart kids easier.

We spent some time talking to Mydoh’s founders Gaurav Kapoor, Faria Rahman, and Megha Sharma about why they launched the product and how it will help parents empower their kids to learn about and manage their money.

Hear from the founders below, and find out more about Mydoh at www.mydoh.ca/.

Where did the idea for Mydoh come from?

Gaurav: I built my first products in personal money management back in 2016 and while we were focused on helping adults plan and save better, I learned that there was a foundational gap in financial literacy due to the lack of education and practice at a younger age. With an initial idea of a money app for kids, I spent next couple of years talking to parents and learning more about the problem of youth financial literacy.

I pitched the idea to Faria and she joined as my co-founder: we then brought Megha Sharma on as our technical co-founder.

Faria: As a kid, I received pocket money from my parents. My parents preferred to give me money to buy things rather than buy them for me. They’d give me a monthly allowance and it was up to me to figure out how I wanted to use that money. They were never preachy and wanted me to experience what money mistakes felt like, so I could learn from them early.

A lot of my friends didn’t have money discipline. Some friends carried credit card debt; others didn’t think about money decisions at all. Most didn’t feel comfortable talking about money matters. It’s tough to blame them - schools didn’t teach money basics and a lot of parents aren’t good with money either. So when Gaurav came to me with this idea to educate and empower youth I jumped at the opportunity.

Why do you think financial literacy is so important for kids?

Faria: Financial literacy is necessary to live a successful independent life. Children need to be empowered to make their own money decisions. Making decisions (and mistakes) on their own helps them learn about consequences and how to better manage their money. Practicing enough can eventually build their competence in money management, helping them grow up to be responsible adults.

Megha: It is important for kids as they grow up to be enabled to make informed decisions about their finances so that they can have financial freedom and independence. Young adults in their teens start thinking of big financial choices such as what career to pursue, whether they want to attend post-secondary school, what school they want to attend, and how they will pay for it. In the digital age, it is easier than ever to manage your finances with no foundational knowledge or guidance from a professional. Digital tools can provide you with freedom and flexibility when you know what you’re doing, but without fundamental financial literacy people can easily find themselves confused by all the options and make uninformed decisions.

Gaurav: I strongly believe that financial habits are formed at an early age. When taught early, kids are equipped to make better financial decisions, especially when they become independent. Without basic financial education, youth are faced with complex decisions on whether to spend, save, invest, or borrow money. A recent study found that 3 out of 4 teens don't feel confident or knowledgeable about personal finance and almost 73% of teens want more personal finance education.

What’s one money lesson you wished you learned at a young age?

Megha: Be thoughtful and intentional about your financial goals – I didn’t know what I was saving for at a young age, and therefore I didn’t save. The idea of saving for school, a house, a rainy day, or retirement felt so far away, but the future is closer than it seems! I graduated from university with student debt and no savings, even though I had consistently been working part-time and over summer months since I was 16. That is when I realized I had to be more deliberate about my financial goals and choices. I wished I learned that when I was much younger.

Gaurav: Invest your savings. The power of compound interest is such an important topic that helps builds wealth over time. Learn about it, understand it, and watch your savings grow!

Faria: Time is money – literally! I wish I knew to start saving and investing even earlier – starting at the age of 18 instead of 24. That’s an additional six years for your money to grow! Also, as a young person, I wish I had a crash course on the various government tax advantages and tools made available to us (RRSP, TFSA, First Time Home Buyer’s program and so on). Take advantage of these and start saving early!

How do you think Mydoh will help kids with money?

Faria: Mydoh will make it easy and provide a framework for parents to have money conversations that are traditionally absent from the majority of people’s childhoods. By handling and managing money early on, kids can learn the value of money through our in-app earn, spend, and play (learn) features. Kids get to learn by doing, while parents can oversee and guide them, if needed.

Gaurav: Mydoh is a fantastic learning platform with a ‘real cash card’ for kids. While the app helps kids earn money from parents by helping out around the house, it also gives parents the oversight and a platform to teach their kids the value of money. We want kids to have the opportunity to learn through real-life tangible experiences, it’s the best way to develop their understanding finances.

Megha: Mydoh empowers children to be more independent, intentional and informed about their financial choices. Through Mydoh, children can get to experience earning money and having a weekly “pay day” by completing tasks set by parents. Children get to choose when and where they spend their money, and as a family they can reflect on the purchase.

How do you use Mydoh?

Gaurav: My daughter is still young so I use Mydoh to transfer money to her Mydoh account whenever she helps out around the house and I show it to her on my phone – it really helps her understand the basics of financial literacy. Never too young to learn!

Megha: I have a younger sister who is 14 years old, or as I like to call it, “prime Mydoh age”. I helped her and my parents set up a Mydoh account so that they could better manage my sister’s chores and allowance, and so that they could enable her to be independent and safe when spending money. So far, I’ve heard great feedback from them, saying my sister now always does the tasks assigned to her and even negotiates her rates!

What advice do you have for parents?

Gaurav: Start small and make it tangible: Share with your kids how you make small financial decisions at home. Start with simple concepts like trade-off decisions, spending wisely, saving with goals, and how you learn to give back.

Faria: Parents are often hesitant to talk about money with their kids. However, they don’t have to be an expert – most parents already know enough to guide their kids through early money decisions!

Megha: For parents, the Mydoh “Play” feature puts it perfectly: bring the learning home. Where possible, let your children help you in some of the smaller financial decisions you make. With guidance, this will help make them more thoughtful decisions about their own spending and saving habits.

What’s the one thing you love about Mydoh?

Faria: In addition to our awesome team, one of my favourite things about the product is our Pay Day feature – kids can earn money by doing tasks; however, they have to wait a week to get paid. This means kids have to budget and manage their money for a week before getting their next pay cheque – just like in the real world!

Gaurav: This is a financial product for kids in Canada that is truly built for families that prioritizes youth financial learning. Mydoh is built keeping different parenting styles in mind and allows customization on how parents choose to manage money with their kids

Megha: I love our practical mission: helping kids learn by doing. Children are constantly learning so much as they grow up: whether it’s science, or history, or a long list of other things. During this time, teaching them yet another topic such as financial literacy can feel a bit like convincing them to eat their vegetables. This is why Mydoh offers real money experiences allowing children to learn financial literacy concepts through practice.

Find out more about the Mydoh money management app and Smart Card at www.mydoh.ca/ , and start helping your kids become financially literate and independent.

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Mike Dobbins