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  • I grew up in a penny-pinching household and kept it up when I moved out on my own.
  • Living frugally helped me save $5,000 in a year when I was earning just $30,000. As my income rose, I didn’t let my expenses rise with it.
  • That’s when I had a lightbulb moment: The key to building wealth and savings isn’t frugality or increasing your earning potential, it’s a smart balance of both.
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Growing up in a single-parent household, where the state of our finances waxed and waned, my mom was incredibly frugal. We’d go to Big Lots to buy sundry food items and school supplies, and I wore hand-me-downs from an older cousin. 

From an early age, I made the connection between frugality and abundance. I also made the connection of not having enough money to stress and anxiety. In turn, I turned out to be quite the penny-pincher. And being that way helped me save aggressively.

When I was in my early 20s, I lived well within my means and managed to save $5,000 within the first year of living on my own in Los Angeles. At the time, I was earning a salary of $30,000. For the first decade or so of being gainfully employed, I practiced an extreme form of frugality.

Because of my extremely frugal ways, I was able to keep around $10,000 in my emergency fund and set 12% of each paycheck toward retirement. But it wasn’t until

Ladbrokes owner GVC has forecasted higher annual profits following higher online gaming demand. Photo: Simon Dawson/Reuters
Ladbrokes owner GVC has forecasted higher annual profits following higher online gaming demand. Photo: Simon Dawson/Reuters

Ladbrokes and Bwin owner, GVC Holdings (GVC.L), has raised its outlook for annual core earnings after posting a 12% rise in third quarter revenue, helped by the dramatic growth in online gaming and the restarting of major sporting events such as the English Premier League.

The company, which owns brands such as Coral and Eurobet, said full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) is now expected between £770m ($917.91m) and £790m.

Previously, GVC had forecast annual earnings to be between £720m and £740m.

Online gaming volumes have resumed to pre-COVID-19 levels, the company said in a statement on Thursday, reflecting the “strength and diversity of our business model.”

GVC's sales were boosted by online gaming during COVID-19. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
GVC’s sales were boosted by online gaming during COVID-19. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

“Like the rest of the UK and Europe’s high streets, GVC’s retail stores were forced to close in lockdown,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, in a note.

She added that “customers that became accustomed to gaming and digital wagering during lockdown have stuck around, and that’s a welcome development. Online activity can be more easily leveraged, meaning it tends to be better news for margins — once a website already exists, a new customer doesn’t really cost anything to service.”

Online net gaming revenue for the three months to 30 September jumped 26% as COVID-19 rules led customers to play more to relieve the pressures of the pandemic.

The business is also in expansion mode, announcing that it is moving forward with the acquisition of Bet.pt, an online gambling operator in Portugal. Gambling companies have been focusing on markets outside the UK as they face tighter regulations in Britain.

READ MORE: EasyJet set for first loss in history

SINGAPORE – Oil prices rose about 2% on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday, just a few days after his positive test for COVID-19 sparked widespread alarm.

Trump’s health update eased political uncertainty in global markets, pushing Brent up to $39.96 a barrel by 0232 GMT, gaining 69 cents or 1.8%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $37.81 a barrel, up 76 cents, or 2.1%.

Prices had slumped more than 4% on Friday amid uncertainty surrounding Trump’s health, adding to concern that rising coronavirus case numbers that could dampen global economic recovery.

AMERICAN OIL REFINERIES RACE TO PRODUCE RENEWABLE DIESEL AHEAD OF CANADIAN COMPETITION: REPORT

But analysts said Monday’s rebound was driven by an easing of the worst fears about Trump’s health condition, albeit clouded by some mixed signals.

“I think it’s the improving health of the U.S. President … over the weekend there were a lot of conflicting reports on his health, but generally he’s improving,” said Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures.

Oil prices rose about 2% on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday. (iStock)

“He could be back to work soon,” Sandu said, adding that investors were worried about the stalled U.S. fiscal stimulus plan which could aid oil demand recovery.

Prices were also supported by an expanding workers’ strike in Norway on Monday that could reduce the country’s production capacity by as much as 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) or 8% of its total output, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

These

The UK economy continued its rapid rebound from the depths of the coronavirus lockdown in August, the latest official data on growth is expected to show on Friday, but many economists are braced for a grim winter as job losses mount.



a group of people standing in front of a building: Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, predicted last week that GDP would be “only around 3-4% below its pre-Covid level” by the end of the third quarter, covering July to September.

That would imply further significant increases in the UK’s economic output since July, when output remained 11.8% below the level hit in February, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The full picture for the third quarter will not be evident until November when the ONS publishes initial GDP figures for September.



Andy Haldane wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian


© Provided by The Guardian
Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

This week’s figures for August are likely to confirm that the UK enjoyed a historic bounceback in the summer, following the unprecedented 19.8% decline in output in the second quarter.

The recession across the first and second quarters was the deepest on record as the pandemic and lockdown froze much economic activity. The coming weeks will test conflicting interpretations of the pace of the recovery since then, and whether schemes such as the August “eat out to help out” subsidy for the stricken restaurant and hospitality sector are visible in broader economic figures.

Haldane is firmly in the optimists’ camp. He bemoaned recent media coverage, suggesting that a lack of “balance” in reporting may itself restrain the economy’s fightback.

“Now is not the time for the economics of Chicken Licken,” Haldane wrote, pointing to coverage of June growth figures that focused on the overall picture

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Starbucks boosted its dividend 10%, to 45 cents a share. Here, a Starbucks employee in Arlington, Va., earlier this year.


ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images


Starbucks

and

Conagra Brands

declared dividend increases this past week, adding a little sweetener to their stocks.

Starbucks (ticker: SBUX) declared a quarterly dividend of 45 cents a share, up nearly 10% from 41 cents.

The company’s CEO, Kevin Johnson, said in a statement that the increase reflects “confidence in the strength of our recovery and the robustness of our long-term growth model.”

The stock, which has a flattish return year to date, was recently yielding 1.9%. Its return trails the S&P 500’s result of about 5.6% year to date.

Conagra Brands (CAG), a consumer packaged food company, plans to boost its quarterly disbursement to 27.5 cents a share, or $1.10 on an annualized basis. That’s a 29% increase from 21.25 cents currently.

The company makes and sells a variety of products, including Hunt’s ketchup, Slim Jim snacks, and Reddi Wip toppings.

The stock, which yields 2.4%, has a year-to-date return of 6.2%, dividends included.

The week prior, aerospace and defense company

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) said it will raise its quarterly dividend to $2.60 a share from $2.40. That’s an 8% boost.

The stock, which is flat this year, including dividends, yields 2.7%.

Write to Lawrence C. Strauss at [email protected]

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