Sep 3, 2021
Home Economics: Global food prices at risk; Setting a back-to-school budget
Setting a back-to-school budget
As kids head back to the classroom this fall, household budgets will be tested. Financial experts are advising that families establish a budget before heading out to buy new supplies and clothes. One of those experts, Director of Client Financial Wellness at Bromwich + Smith Laurie Campbell, says involving your children in the process can help teach them important lessons and learn the value of money.
How to pay for that massive tuition bill
A survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute on behalf of Credit Counselling Canada found that 46 per cent of parents said their child is feeling additional financial pressure due to the lack of job opportunities coming into the 2021 fall semester. On top of that, around one-in-four parents said their child has taken on more debt to pay for the upcoming school year. To help pay that off, some personal finance experts say it’s all about looking for every opportunity.
Increased use of HELOCs
Record low interest rates are not only driving a big increase in mortgage loans, they are also fueling a resurgence in Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC). Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax Canada, is calling this a “worrisome trend.” She is concerned that if interest rates rise sooner than expected, many homeowners could find themselves in financial trouble.
Global food prices at risk
Across the world, a dearth of workers is shaking up food supply chains. Whether it’s fruit pickers, slaughterhouse workers, truckers, warehouse operators, chefs, or waiters, the global food ecosystem is buckling due to a shortage of staff. This trend is threatening to push food prices – already heated by soaring commodities and freight costs – even higher. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, prices in July were up 31 per cent from the same month last year.
Housing market updates
Housing supply is dwindling in three major Canadian cities. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says the city’s home sales have slowed from a frenzied pace earlier this year, but supply has dwindled all summer and prices continue to rise. It’s the same story over in Calgary where the Calgary Real Estate Board says home sales have slowed from the record-setting pace seen earlier this year, but still rose on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile in Toronto, the affordability crisis continued to worsen in August as supply fell further.
Canadian investment portfolios take flight
Canadians haven’t been travelling abroad during the pandemic but their money sure has, Personal Finance Columnist Dale Jackson writes. According to data released by Statistics Canada, Canadian investors acquired a record $57.2 billion in foreign securities during the second quarter of 2021. Jackson says this is a “sharp increase” from the $40 billion invested by Canadians in the first quarter of the year as investors plowed their cash into equities and debt securities like bonds.
“I recommend the 50/30/20 split when it comes to allocating money for your budget. Spend 50 per cent of your budget for essentials like housing, groceries and food, 30 per cent for non-essential or discretionary spending and at a minimum 20 per cent for savings. If you are carrying debt you should look to allocate more from the discretionary side and pay down that debt.” – Robyn K. Thompson, president of Castlemark Wealth Management Inc.