Moka (Mylo) Review

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In the market for a budgeting app that will help you save money? Moka (formerly known as Mylo) may be just what you’re looking for. This app helps you save money on a regular basis without having to change your spending habits.

Here’s the thing, Moka is actually an investing app that’s disguised as a budgeting or savings app. The idea here is to get you investing without you even realizing it. Read my Moka review for all the details.

How does Moka work?

As mentioned above, Moka is an app that will help you save and invest your money. What sets it apart from many other budgeting apps on the market is that it helps you save based on your regular spending habits.

How does that work?

It’s simple. Moka rounds up the price of your purchase to the nearest dollar and then the leftover change is deposited into an investment account. So, say you buy a coffee for $3.50. With Moka, you’ll pay $4, but that extra $0.50 will be automatically invested for you. It’s simple, mindless, and easy to integrate into your day-to-day life. You can turn off roundups as needed, and it would not operate if your account has less than $25, meaning you don’t need to worry about going into overdraft.

If you want, you can also accelerate your savings with Moka. There are three different ways to do this:

  • Set up recurring investments: On top of the roundups, you can choose to invest a fixed amount every week
  • One Time Investments: You can make a lump-sum deposit into your investment account whenever you wish. The minimum amount is $5.00
  • Roundup Multiplier: You can set your account to increase the amount invested on roundups. So, say you want to double your investment. You’d increase the roundup to 2x so, in our coffee example, you’d then end up paying $4.50 and saving $1 ($0.50×2).

It’s important to note that this investment will take 2-3 days to register and deposits only land in your account once a week. It’s not real-time.

How much does Moka cost?

While there are several free budgeting apps on the market, Moka is sadly not one of them. Moka charges $15 per month to use its services. If you use it frequently, and manage to roundup or save quite a bit each month, then it’s worth it. However, the real value comes from the investing services. There’s no limit to how much you can invest, you just pay $15 a month (plus the management expense ratio of the ETFs).

Note that your monthly fee also gives you access to the following:

  • Being able to invest in TSFAs and/or RRSPs
  • Socially responsible investing
  • More options for cash back earnings
  • Withdraw funds within 1 business day using Interac e-transfer
  • Round Up to Give (Give back to registered charities)

This premium service isn’t bad if you want to start investing, but if you’re only investing small amounts, that $3 monthly fee can be a lot. You might be better off using something like Tangerine Investment funds or a robo-advisor.

How Moka compares to KOHO

Moka and KOHO are both similar apps in that they both offer roundup features to help you save. Often, these two apps are pitted against each other, but to be honest, they’re two completely different products

KOHO is a prepaid credit card that allows you to earn cash back on all your purchases. KOHO does have roundups like Moka, but there is no investment option with KOHO. If you want automated saving goals, then KOHO is great.

On the other hand, Moka is noted for being much more streamlined and easy to use. Plus, Moka allows you to actually invest your savings so you can make your money work for you. This is the key difference. People who want their spare change invested should go with Moka. This is an easy way to start investing and requires next to no work from you.

One final difference between the two: KOHO is free while, as discussed above, Moka has a monthly fee.

At the end of the day, both are good round-up apps. The best option depends on your goals.

Final thoughts

My Moka review is positive. It has some noteworthy and standout features including:

  • Roundup method for saving
  • Additional saving options
  • Savings are actually invested to make your money work for you
  • 3 types of accounts for your investing: Basic non-registered, TFSA, RRSP
  • Easy to use app
  • Moka Perks cashback offers available with new partners each month

Its simplicity in how it can help you save makes it ideal for young adults starting to invest, or those who struggle to save.

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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