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Financial experts, deal-finders share tips for back-to-school savings as prices rise – CBC.ca

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The end of summer is a tricky time of year financially for Toronto parent Monica Belyea. That is when she faces the double whammy of back-to-school shopping for her kids coupled with imminent up front school-related costs — opting into the pizza lunch program her son enjoys, for instance. 

This year, things are harder than normal. She’s finding her weekly food budget “does not take me to the end of the week anymore,” and after months of paying higher prices for things like gas, “I just don’t have as much money to go around,” said the single mom of two.

  • What do you think about this story? Do you have a question, experience or story tip to share? Send an email to ask@cbc.ca. 

For Belyea, back-to-school shopping this time around means “just looking at what is feasible within this new world of things being more expensive.”

She’s not alone; many parents across Canada are concerned about how to navigate their kids’ back-to-school needs this time around. Though Statistics Canada reported the country’s inflation rate saw its first decrease in a year this week, many prices — including for groceries — are still rising. 

CBC News talked to personal finance specialists and a deal-finding expert for tips on cutting costs during back-to-school season.

Set budgets; shop your home

Toronto-based money expert Melissa Leong has heard from others about higher prices and “shrinkflation” — when companies reduce packaging or product sizes but keep the same price — and noticed it herself while shopping.

“There are fewer pencils in the box, but they cost the same amount of money as they usually did,” she said. 

The author of personal finance guide Happy Go Money: Spend Smart, Save Right and Enjoy Life, said families need to be “extra, extra organized” when back-to-school shopping this year, since multiple factors are “putting a strain on all Canadians’ wallets.”

“My friends have been talking a lot about being worried about lunches — and making proper, healthy lunches for their kids, since their grocery bills are ballooning.”

WATCH | Melissa Leong’s financial tips for saving on back-to-school shopping:

Tips for saving on back-to-school

13 hours ago

Duration 1:55

Money expert Melissa Leong shares a host of strategies and tips for cutting costs when back-to-school shopping.

Cost-cutting strategies that you can try, she said, include “shopping at home” to see what supplies you already have, carefully comparing prices between stores, waiting to buy certain items when deals are more abundant, and using coupon-code apps when online shopping.

If your family has an extremely strained budget, Leong noted that some community programs and agencies provide free backpacks and school supplies, so you could try reaching out to groups in your neighbourhood for more info. 

Combine sales, coupons, store offers

Pat Hollett is seeing lots of new names and faces in Canadian Savings Group, the volunteer-run website and social media initiative she founded, where she and fellow deal-seeking experts share grocery specials and coupons. About 6,000 people have joined in the past two months alone, pushing the group’s Facebook follower count past 100,000. 

“Everything has gone up in price and Canadians are struggling to make ends meet — that’s what I hear every day,” said Hollett, who is based in Barrie, Ont., and serves as the group’s CEO. 

“There are only so many things that you can control — you can’t control the gas prices, you can’t control the housing market — but you can control how much you pay for grocery bills. So our mission is to help Canadians save money on their grocery costs.” 

Like Leong, Hollett recommends starting simply. 

“Don’t don’t grab the first thing you see. Shop around and pay the lowest price you can for the same item,” she said. “Price match where you can … Try other brands, if they’re cheaper.”

Overhead signage noting school supplies is seen above boxes containing binders, duotangs and other items.
When shopping for back-to-school items, comparison shop and price match. Coupons, point cards, and sales can help reduce costs. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Her next-level strategy, however, is to employ multiple techniques at once: using coupons, cash-back offers and apps, and tapping points-card deals to reduce prices as much as possible.

Here’s how it could work: say a store has your child’s favourite cereal on sale for $4.77 this week. There might also be a manufacturer’s coupon (printable from a website or a hard copy found inside a physical store) that offers additional savings per box. 

On top of the sale and the coupon, a particular grocer might also have a deal for points cardholders who buy five boxes of cereal. Layering these three discount techniques could amount to, for instance, paying just 77 cents per box, explained Hollett.

She outlined how shopping this way can save families up to several hundred dollars a month and could be applied this very week, for instance, on items like kids’ lunch kits in Atlantic Canada, a popular brand of cheese crackers in Quebec and a six-pack of facial tissues boxes in Ontario.

It may require a shift in mentality and habit for some, as well as additional time commitments, but “it’s all about how much work you put in,” Hollett said. “Saving money for families is really difficult, so every dollar you save will help you buy other things.”

Seek deals. Teach kids to budget.

The questions Enoch Omololu has been receiving from readers of his personal finance website reflect the growing economic pressures Canadians are grappling with, whether it’s queries about halting auto-payments, to savings vehicles, to people asking about tapping into RESPs to cover their children’s expenses (the answer to that last question, he pointed out, is you cannot). 

“Disposable income has been stretched to the limits, physically, and people are finding it difficult to pay for things that they would normally just brush off and pay for without thinking about,” said the Winnipeg-based founder of SavvyNewCanadians.com. 

Shoppers strolling in a mall turn to look into a shoe store displaying red sale signs.
It’s not uncommon for kids to need multiple pairs of shoes. Talking to his children about budgeting, saving money, and choice is one of money expert Enoch Omololu’s tactics. ‘It’s getting them involved in the process and making them realize that funds are not — money is not — an unlimited resource.’ (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Among the cost-cutting tips he’s using with his own family this season: 

  • Comparison shopping for major purchases, such as electronics, coupled with finding manufacturer’s discounts.

  • Shopping major sales (kids’ retailers have up to 75 per cent off on summer clothes, he says, which could be layered for fall or purchased for next year). 

  • Seeking gently used items from thrift stores. 

  • Weighing which items to spend more on, and opting for generic or discount versions for others.

Omololu also advises involving kids in some financial conversations and decision-making. 

WATCH | How Enoch Omololu turns back-to-school shopping into a lesson on budgets:

Teaching kids to budget for back-to-school

13 hours ago

Duration 1:21

Enoch Omololu, founder of personal finance website Savvy New Canadians, shares a back-to-school shopping strategy he’s using this year: teaching his eight-year-old about choice and budgets.

His eight-year-old, for instance, needs three pairs of shoes this fall: an indoor pair for school, another for after-school care and a third for wearing outside generally. 

As a lesson, Omololu made a deal with his son: the youngster can choose a new, name-brand pair (for which Omololu will find the lowest price possible). The remaining two pairs will be ones his mom and dad choose — perhaps new, perhaps from a thrift store. If he destroys the fancy sneakers kicking rocks, the replacements will also be an affordable pair of his parents’ choosing.

“It’s getting them involved in the process and making them realize that funds are not — money is not — an unlimited resource for [their] parents,” Omololu said.

A pre-school aged boy in a colourful shirt holds up pencil crayons he's using on a Spider-Man colouring page.
Lots of items are be perfectly fine for another school year, noted Winnipeg dad Bamidele Sanusi, like reusable water bottles, lunch bags, backpacks and the pencil crayons his pre-schooler Elliott enjoys colouring with. (Travis Goldby/CBC)

For some parents, how to afford back-to-school items was a concern even before school ended. Reusing pencil crayons, water bottles, lunch bags and other supplies for another school term, carefully weighing new versus thrift store purchases, and talking to his kids about cutting costs are the tactics Winnipeg parent Bamidele Sanusi is employing this year.

With his wife currently on maternity leave with their youngest, the father of three says saving for back-to-school and trimming down discretionary spending is important “to be able to manage the recurring costs, which is rent, for gas, for phone bills and the rest. It’s a time to be judicious in spending.”

WATCH | Rising prices have made back-to-school shopping challenging for many:

Back-to-school costs concern parents amid inflation

19 hours ago

Duration 2:08

The rising cost of living is leading some parents to change their spending habits around back-to-school shopping ahead of the upcoming school year.

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More price pressure on gold, silver as USDX, bond yields spike up – Kitco NEWS

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Editor’s Note: With so much market volatility, stay on top of daily news! Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today’s must-read news and expert opinions. Sign up here!

(Kitco News) – Gold and silver prices are lower in midday U.S. trading Monday. Gold prices hit a nearly 2.5-year low and silver a more-than-two-week low today. Rising government bond yields and a very strong U.S. dollar index are the main bearish factors pushing the precious metals markets down. October gold was last down $12.70 at $1,632.80 and December silver was down $0.17 at $18.73.

The global marketplace experienced rough waters Monday, in a continuation of keener risk-off trading attitudes seen late last week. U.S. and/or global economic recession worries are rising rapidly. Global stock markets were mostly lower overnight. U.S. stock indexes are mixed at midday but not far above last week’s three-month lows. The Wall Street Journal today reported this year has been the worst year since 1930 for a “buy-the-dips” strategy in U.S. stock trading and investing. FOREX volatility and rising government bond yields are in the spotlight Monday.

The U.K.’s big plan to sell more government bonds in an effort to finance better economic growth has helped to prompt a rout in global government bond markets. “The bond vigilantes are back and the British pound is the target,” read a Barron’s headline today.

Broker SP Angel in an email dispatch this morning said gold saw a “minor flash crash” overnight. “The metal continues to get hammered” by the U.S. dollar. Foreign exchange volatility is rising, with the British pound passing its record low in 1984 and presently trading around $1.04 to the dollar. The Chinese yuan is nearing 2008 lows. “Traders are ramping up short positions on gold, with fund managers more bearish on the metal than any other time over the past four years, according to a Bloomberg report. Rising U.S. Treasury yields have been a major headwind to the gold and silver markets. “Gold ETF outflows continue, with holdings near their 2-year lows,” said the broker.



The key outside markets today see Nymex crude oil prices weaker, hitting a seven-month low and trading around $78.00 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is higher and pushed to another 20-year high today. Meantime, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note is rising and presently fetching 3.771%. The 2-year Treasury note yield is 4.74%.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, October gold futures prices hit a nearly 2.5-year low today. The gold futures bears have the solid overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a six-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close above solid resistance at $1,700.00. Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,600.00. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $1,646.40 and then at $1,652.00. First support is seen at today’s low of $1,624.40 and then at $1,615.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 1.0

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

December silver futures prices hit a two-week low today. The silver bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls’ next upside price objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $20.00. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $18.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $19.045 and then at $19.40. Next support is seen at today’s low of $18.435 and then at $18.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 2.0.

December N.Y. copper closed down 375 points at 330.50 cents today. Prices closed near mid-range today and hit a nine-week low. The copper bears have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a four-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls’ next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the September high of 369.25 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the July low of 315.55 cents. First resistance is seen at 340.00 cents and then at 347.25 cents. First support is seen at 325.00 cents and then at 315.55 cents. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 2.0.

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Scotia CEO appointment 'surprising' but no major strategy shift expected: Analysts – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Bank of Nova Scotia announced Finning International CEO Scott Thomson will succeed Brian Porter as president and chief executive officer as of February 1, 2023. (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

Bank of Nova Scotia announced Finning International CEO Scott Thomson will succeed Brian Porter as president and chief executive officer as of February 1, 2023. (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

Bank of Nova Scotia’s decision to name a new chief executive officer from outside its senior ranks is unusual, according to analysts, but many do not expect that to lead to a major shift in the Canadian bank’s business strategy.

On Monday, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) (BNS.TO) announced Brian Porter will retire as president and chief executive as of January 31, 2023 after nearly ten years at the helm. He will be succeeded by Finning International’s Scott Thomson, who already sits on the lender’s board of directors.

“The appointment of a Canadian bank CEO from outside of the organization/industry is surprising,” said John Aiken, head of research in Canada and senior analyst at Barclays, in a note to clients Monday. Aiken has an equal weight rating on the company and a 12-month price target of $86.00 per share.

“That said, with Mr. Thomson’s involvement in the board (and several committees), we do not expect the transition to be jarring and the move leads us to believe that there should not be an immediate shift in Scotia’s strategy as Mr. Thomson has been involved in developing it at the board level.”

Thomson has held a board seat at the bank since 2016 and will leave his role at Finning, which is the world’s largest dealer in Caterpillar equipment, in mid-November.

“I am confident that Scott Thomson will guide the bank through the next phase of its growth and development. He is a results-driven and proven leader who executes with purpose and shares values that are aligned with those of the bank,” Brian Porter said in a release Monday.

The timing of the transition is less than ideal, according to Nigel D’Souza, a financial services analyst at Veritas Investment Research.

“The timing of the announcement seems sub-optimal given current macroeconomic uncertainty and market volatility,” D’Souza said in an email to Yahoo Finance Canada. He also called the decision to promote an external candidate “atypical.”

The CEO transition comes amid a downturn in financial markets and during a time of heightened concerns about a looming recession brought on by high inflation and soaring interest rates.

Bank of Nova Scotia shares traded at a 52-week low on Monday. The stock price has also significantly underperformed its big bank peers over five years. As of early Monday, Bank of Nova Scotia shares were down about 15 per cent over that time span, while its four rivals were up by an average of 22 per cent.

Part of the issue has been concerns over the company’s relatively large international banking exposure. In recent years, Bank of Nova Scotia has sold assets to narrow its focus on specific Latin American regions.

However, Thomson’s expertise in Latin America could stand to benefit the bank.

“During his tenure as CEO of Finning, Mr. Thomson has led the company through challenging market conditions, and managed to significantly improve the company’s earnings capacity, driving increased return on invested capital, particularly in Latin America,” Aiken said.

Despite the issues in Latin America, the bank is likely to largely stay the course on its strategy, analysts said.

“Based on our initial discussion with management, investors should not expect any material changes to BNS current strategy, with the LatAm region remaining a heavy focus for future growth,” said Mike Rizvanovic, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, in a client note on Monday.

“While the broad strategy is likely to stay intact, we believe the new CEO will look to improve the bank’s execution, particularly with BNS’ share price having materially underperformed its Big Six peer group over the past five-year period.”

Rizvanovic has a market perform rating on the stock and a 12-month price target of $86.00 per share.

Michelle Zadikian is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @m_zadikian.

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U.S. stocks, commodities drop; U.S. Treasury yields surge – BNN Bloomberg

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US stocks fell in a volatile session exacerbated by sharp moves in the UK currency and bond markets, as hawkish central banks across the globe continued to subdue sentiment. 

The S&P 500 ended Monday’s session at its lowest level since December 2020. The Cboe Volatility Index spiked past 30, a level it hasn’t closed above since June. US Treasury yields rose, with the 10-year rate climbing as much as 21 basis points to 3.898 per cent, its highest level since April 2010. 

The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index, a key gauge for raw materials prices, tumbled to the lowest in eight months as fears of a global recession intensified. The pound dropped after the Bank of England said it may not act before November to stem a rout that took the sterling to a record low. The dollar soared to yet another record high.

Markets were on the edge after a selloff of risk assets deepened last week as the UK’s plan to lift its economy fueled fears that heightened inflation would push rates higher and ignite a global recession. UK markets were in focus on Monday as the pound remained volatile after crashing to an all-time low, with the Bank of England’s comments doing little to reassure traders that were waiting for a broader policy response to the fallout from the goverment’s massive tax cuts.

Federal Reserve officials added to the hawkish rhetoric. On Monday, Boston Fed President Susan Collins said additional tightening is needed to rein in stubbornly high inflation and cautioned the process will require some job losses. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic also said the central bank still has a ways to go to control inflation. 

“On the macro front, it feels like a remake of West Side Story, with a gang of central bankers going after the job market, which refuses to let go,” said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners. “Powell and now Andrew Bailey at the BOE are trying to slow the economy down, but my sense is employers are keeping as many workers as they can to avoid being left out in the cold when we recover from the next recession. So we almost have an arms race with central bankers raising rates and employers holding on to workers.”

US markets will continue to remain challenged by uncertainty until companies start to report their third-quarter earnings next month, which will provide greater detail on the health of corporate revenues and profit, wrote John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer. Any company or industry that needs lower rates could be in trouble, FBB’s Bailey says. 

Investors will also be keeping an eye on the economic data stream for hints of prices cooling, Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley, wrote in a note. 

“What the market will need to see now to get out of the current conundrum is for inflation inputs to start coming down noticeably,” said Hogan. “We will get a read on the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator this Thursday when the second quarter core PCE is reported. Along with that investors will keep a close eye on the economic data stream for hints of prices paid coming down.”

Trading this week will be punctuated by a number of economic reports including US initial jobless claims and gross-domestic-product data, along with PMI figures from China. Choppiness in price moves is likely with a steady stream of Federal Reserve officials speaking through the week.

U.K. GILTS

The plunge in UK gilts sent 10-year yields above 4 per cent for the first time since 2010. Traders ramped up wagers on the scale of interest-rate hikes in the short term, with money markets pricing in more than 200 basis points of increases by the central bank’s next meeting in November. 

Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde said the European Central Bank will consider shrinking its balance sheet only once it has completed the “normalization” of interest rates. Raising borrowing costs is the most appropriate and effective tool for now to combat record-high euro-area inflation, the ECB President said on Monday. 

Geopolitical risks from the war in Ukraine to escalating tensions over Taiwan and unrest in Iran also continue to weigh on market sentiment. The OECD cut almost all growth forecasts for the Group of 20 next year while anticipating further interest-rate hikes. And a gauge of German business confidence deteriorated. 

Key events this week:

  • Fed official Loretta Mester speak at events, Monday
  • China industrial profits, Tuesday
  • US new home sales, Conference Board consumer confidence, durable goods, Tuesday
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Charles Evans speak at events, Tuesday
  • Fed’s Mary Daly, Rafael Bostic, Charles Evans and ECB President Christine Lagarde speak at events, Wednesday
  • Euro zone economic confidence, consumer confidence, Germany CPI, Thursday
  • US initial jobless claims, GDP, Thursday
  • Fed’s Loretta Mester, Mary Daly speak at events, Thursday
  • China PMI, Friday
  • Euro zone CPI, unemployment, Friday
  • US consumer income , University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Friday
  • Fed’s Lael Brainard and John Williams speak, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 fell 1 per cent as of 4:03 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.5 per cent
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1 per cent
  • The MSCI World index fell 2 per cent

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 1 per cent
  • The euro fell 0.7 per cent to US$0.9617
  • The British pound fell 1.5 per cent to US$1.0697
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.9 per cent to 144.56 per dollar

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin rose 1.4 per cent to US$19,173.2
  • Ether rose 2.9 per cent to US$1,329.58

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced 21 basis points to 3.89 per cent
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced nine basis points to 2.11 per cent
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced 42 basis points to 4.24 per cent

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.3 per cent to US$76.92 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 1.3 per cent to US$1,633.60 an ounce

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