The Personal Finance Show

The Personal Finance Show is a place for people to tell their personal finance stories. Everyone has a personal finance story.

11 - Chad Sichello

December 14th, 2017


"I'm thinking about building Lego right now Dad. Talk to me about compound interest later, ok?" - Chad Sichello

Who will teach our kids about personal finance?

In Canada, parents can open a bank account for their kids when they are really young. But at what point do you give them access to that money? At what point do they get a debit card?

These are decisions every parent has to make eventually. But it’s not enough to give them access to the $1,000 that’s in their account one day and say: “Remember to spend responsibly.” Or “Did you know that if you save just $1 a day, you could have $100,000 by the time you are 65?”

Do you know how far away 65 is for a 12 year old?

The point is that you may not be the best person to teach your kids about money.

With kids, it’s not always about how much you know about money, it’s about how you communicate with them. And it’s about how they learn and how they engage.

That’s where Dojo comes in.

Dojo is an interactive tool to teach your kids about money. It’s a smartphone app and debit card that are connected to your kid’s bank account.

Parents get a version of the app that has all the spending controls and monitoring abilities. The kid gets the version that tracks their spending, and let’s them work towards savings goals of their own.

You can add money to the kid’s account easily by using the app and even set up things like a scheduled allowance. As a parent you get to see where your kid spends their money and help them make better decisions, in real time.

I originally met Chad Sichello, CEO & Co-Founder of Dojo, at the Payments Canada Summit in May of 2017.

I really liked the idea and I started telling people about it, but I would say “It’s credit cards for kids!” and everyone thought I was crazy.

Well, of course, it’s not credit cards, it’s debit cards, which I suppose makes more sense since you can’t get a credit card in Canada until you are 18.

But no matter the product or the interface, what I liked the most was the idea of raising money-smart kids and that Chad and his team took the time to figure out how kids are learning today, and they created a product that met them, as Chad says in the interview, “where they are”.

I was happy to see that Dojo had a booth at the SIBOS 2017 conference in Toronto and I really enjoyed chatting with Chad about how he’s working to make sure the next generation is even better at managing money than we are.

As Chad mentions in the interview, Dojo is currently only available through ATB Financial in Alberta, so if you’re an ATB customer and have kids, please try it out and let me know what you think.


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