Newsroom > Young money: four-in-five Canadian teens are highly motivated to become financially independent
Young money: four-in-five Canadian teens are highly motivated to become financially independent
Despite rising costs and an unpredictable economy, Mydoh’s annual financial survey finds that the majority of Gen Z teens are confident in their understanding of money and plan to invest in their future
TORONTO, November 7, 2023 — In the midst of challenging economic conditions, Canadian parents may understandably be worried about their kids’ financial future. That is why Mydoh, a money management app for kids and teens powered by RBC, collaborated with Leger to understand how Gen Z teens aged 13-18 felt about money.
Eight-in-ten Canadian teens report they are confident in their understanding of money. The majority of teens (86%) are also reluctant to go into debt to pay for things, and 64% are already saving for their future.
“Teens have seen the effect that rising housing costs, interest rates and inflation have had on their parents and the subsequent day-to-day decisions they may have to make to adapt,” says Angelique de Montbrun, Chief Operating Officer at Mydoh, and parent to two teens. “But with Gen Z’s fast-growing economic power, it is promising to see this generation take ownership of their financial future at a young age.”
Gen Z teens do share similar financial concerns as previous generations, including being able to afford to buy a home (79%) and paying for large purchases like a car or wedding (69%). The pressure to achieve financial goals by a certain age is also a concern for more than half of young Canadians (56%).
The report suggests there are still some financial gaps for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) teens and women. Young people of colour report feeling less confident in their understanding of money compared to Caucasian males (76% versus 83%). The results also show that male teens are half as concerned about the gender wage gap compared to females (30% versus 58%).
On a positive note, Gen Z are keen to learn about and manage their money. Ninety per cent of teens say they are proactively learning about financial management, and most teens (84%) are open to discussing money with friends or family.
“Money may feel like a taboo subject for some Canadians, but this generation wants to learn from their parents’ experiences and to take charge of their financial future,” added de Montbrun. “Parents: your kids are listening and willing to learn. Mydoh wants to make those important money conversations even easier.”
• 80% of Canadian teens feel confident in their understanding of money
• 86% feel it’s important to avoid going into debt
• 64% are already saving money for their future
• 63% plan to invest
• 85% are open to discussing money with family or friends to learn from their experience
• 75% say work-life balance will be more important than how much they earn
• 69% agree that side hustles can offer financial security in unpredictable times
• 51% actively look for opportunities to turn hobbies into side hustles
• 63% use technology and apps to manage their money
Spending and saving money, smarter
While Gen Z are growing up in a world where products go viral on TikTok, today’s youth are surprisingly savvy consumers. Almost half (48%) report that they are less likely to buy based on social media recommendations, and eight-in-ten find it hard to trust products or services that seem to be too good to be true. This generation reports being cautious about spending their money (76%) and likes sticking to a budget (71%).
More than half (55%) of Gen Z say they have already set financial goals for their future. Older teens, aged 16-17, are even more likely to be saving for things like university, a car or travel (72%). One-in-four teens are already using a money management app like Mydoh to help them improve their finances.
“Gen Z are already thinking about building wealth and are investing at a younger age than previous generations,” says de Montbrun. “Younger investors are also disproving the belief that they are hooked on volatile investments such as NFTs and in favour of saving for retirement.”
The three top forms of investments for teens are a TFSA (39%), RRSP (31%) and real estate (29%). Only 10% of teens plan to invest in cryptocurrency or NTFs.
When it comes to their career, three-quarters of teens feel they need work experience or an internship before graduating high school or university. The vast majority of young Canadians report seeing their job as a means to an end. Instead, Gen Z places greater importance on a job that aligns with their values (85%), is fairly paid (84%) and offers flexibility in the workplace (72%). Eight-in-ten teens also say they’ll put their mental health first when choosing a career.
“Career success is as important to teens as previous generations; however, Gen Z appears to be pushing back against ‘hustle culture’ and prioritizing a better work-life balance,” explains de Montbrun. “While half the teens surveyed say earning a lot of money is important, it is clear that climbing the corporate ladder will not be at the sacrifice of their wellbeing.”
Mydoh survey data finds that teens are more likely to turn to parents and other family members for financial advice (61%), followed by teachers/school (35%) and friends (29%). Forty percent also report learning about money from at least one social media platform, with YouTube the most popular (27%) followed by TikTok (18%).
“It is not surprising that teens are turning to social media platforms to learn about money,” says de Montbrun. “While it can be a good resource, it is encouraging to see that teens are turning to family and school to learn about money.”
Mydoh makes it easy to help kids and teens develop smart money habits. They can earn, save and spend with the Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card, all while giving parents oversight. Since 2021, Mydoh has helped more than 140,000 Canadians become more financially literate.
Check out the Mydoh 2023 Young Money Teen Survey report and learn more about how Mydoh is helping the next generation of Canadians gain real money skills at mydoh.ca.
About the Survey & Methodology
Mydoh commissioned Leger to conduct an online survey of 1,010 Canadian youth aged 13-17 across all provinces. It was completed between September 18 and October 2, 2023, using Leger’s online panel. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e. a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, though, a probability sample of 1,010 respondents would have a margin of error of ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.
Since 2021, Mydoh, powered by RBC, has been committed to helping parents raise money-smart kids and teens. Mydoh began with the shared belief that money management isn’t something you are taught, as much as something you learn through experience – and that experience should start early. Kids and teens earn their own money through tasks, spend it wisely using their Mydoh Smart Cash Card, and can build their savings with Savings Goals. Parents can see their kids’ spending activity and control how involved they want to be. Mydoh has championed these beliefs since its inception and with it, has been able to help more than 140,000 Canadians build a more solid financial foundation for the next generation.
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Leger is the largest Canadian-owned full-service market research firm. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90%. Stringent quality assurance measures allow Leger to achieve the high-quality standards set by the company. As a result, its methods of data collection and storage outperform the norms set by WAPOR (The World Association for Public Opinion Research). These measures are applied at every stage of the project: from data collection to processing, through to analysis. Leger aims to answer their clients’ needs with honesty, total confidentiality, and integrity.
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