Financial Priorities

A family budget can help you control your expenses, but many people are uncomfortable with the concept or worried that they won’t stick to a budget long enough for it to become a habit. It takes some planning, but the U.S. News & World Report website has some advice:

• Bring everyone together. You should all be on the same page. If not, have an honest discussion about your individual and joint goals. Do so regularly.

• Establish a consistent way to track income and expenses. This is a crucial first step. Figure out how much money you bring in every month and what bills you have to pay. This helps you set priorities.

Evaluate your spending. Look at everything you all spend your money on— bills, food, entertainment and everything else. Look for areas where you can keep expenses down.

• Build your savings. Set aside a certain amount of money every month to put into savings. It doesn’t have to be a lot. In time, even a modest monthly sum can grow into something substantial, so look at the long term.

• Reduce debt. Don’t carry a balance on your credit cards. Pay down any other loans as fast as you reasonably can. The less debt you have, the more breathing room you have for the future.

Provide the Best

When asked what’s “extremely important” for a father to provide, a recent telephone survey of 1,004 American adults resulted in far more than financial support.

According to a Pew Research Center report:
• 58% mentioned values and morals.
• 52% said emotional support.
• 47% included discipline.
• 41% mentioned income.

The results follow a similar trend for mothers, with “values and morals” at the top and “income” coming in last.

Canadian Employment (Sept) – October, 2019

Canadian employment increased in September by 54,000 jobs, driven by Ontario (41,000). This brought the unemployment rate down from 5.7% in the previous month to 5.5% in September. Leading the increase in September was full-time employment, while part-time fell. Most of the increase was reported in healthcare, and accommodation and food services.

Employment in BC fell by 8,400 jobs in September. This marks the fourth consecutive monthly decline, driven by a decline in part-time employment (-17,200), while full-time employment rose (+8,800). By Industry, the most significant employment losses were in information/culture/recreation. The provincial unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.8%. Compared to one year ago, employment in BC is up by 1% (33,400 jobs).

Stats Centre September 2019 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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Canadian Housing Starts (Sept) – October, 2019

Canadian housing starts decreased by 2.5% in September to 221,202 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) due to a pullback in singles. The trend in Canadian housing starts was up, averaging 223,507 units SAAR over the past six months, continuing a healthy trend.

In BC, housing starts rebounded partially, increasing by 13% on a monthly basis to 39,553 units SAAR after falling by 29% in the previous month. This largely reflected developers pushing forward activity in the previous months to get ahead of a new development charge in Vancouver. Compared to the same time last year, provincial starts were up by 54%. On a monthly basis, starts of multi-units were up by 19%, while singles were down by 7%.

Looking at census metropolitan areas in BC:

Housing starts in Vancouver were up by 26% in September at 25,020 units SAAR, following a 38% decrease in the previous month. The increase was entirely in the multi-unit segment. Compared to last year in September, housing starts in Vancouver were up by 74%.

In Victoria, housing starts were up by 263% on a monthly basis to 6,010 units SAAR. This is the highest level reported since December 2018. Compared to a year ago, housing starts were up by 95%.

In Kelowna, housing starts decreased by 74% in September to 1,527 units SAAR, following very high levels reported in the previous month. Year-over-year starts were up by 100% in the region.

Monthly housing starts in Abbotsford-Mission were up by 84% at 2,070 units SAAR. Compared to this time last year, new home construction was up by 405% due to strong multi-unit starts.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.