As the waves of new variants of Covid-19 have fluctuated, social scientists at UC Davis and several other universities have been studying our behavior and mobility.
Pandemic models show consumers rushing out after each coronavirus wave, eager to splash out on travel. They even have a name for it: “Vengeance Journey.”
If you’ve recently tried to coordinate an in-person event, get an actual person on the phone, or make a medical appointment, it can seem like half the country is on vacation and the other half wants to be.
But if canceled flights, waiting in airports for hours or days, lost luggage and spending a fortune on gas doesn’t sound appealing, there might be a better way to spend August. Just as farmers spend the month preparing and resting for fall crops, you can spend August close to your home and office, organizing (and relaxing) for a busy fall while saving your hard-earned cash. to start.
Whether you’re an employee or self-employed, once your colleagues return from vacation, they’ll be ready to get back to business. For many companies, the fourth quarter is the busiest quarter of the year.
You can prepare with new marketing for the fall while staying in the comfort of your office. Update your website, contact lists and social media to stay ahead of the competition. Your planning will translate into action and sales in the fall. Even if you’re not in charge of sales, August is a great time to update your resume, catch up on reading, and organize your workspace.
Financial professionals are always busy in the fall. Their schedules are generally packed by the end of the year and continue to be busy into the new year. August is a great time to visit or call them, as many have also wisely decided not to travel this month. Instead of waiting to ask your questions during their busy seasons, make a list and ask for help now. (They might even have time to go to lunch.)
Most schools start earlier than before, so children often return to school in mid-August. Start thinking about how you will use the extra time when they go back to school and how you can make lunch preparation, transportation and after school activities easier on yourself.
I use downtime inside (since it’s hot anyway) and make August time to improve things around the house. To start, ask yourself how you can make life easier, more efficient and more fun. Make a list. Start by spending a short time, like 20 minutes a day, doing one thing to make life easier. Earn extra credit for using something you already have at home to get the job done instead of buying something new.
Since this is still a financial column, examples of small personal finance jobs might include installing a mail holder and a scrap basket by the front door, closing unnecessary bank or online “monthly” accounts, cleaning up paperwork from horizontal surfaces (especially the dining room table), or setting up a folder for all your tax information. Maybe try some new financial apps that simplify your finances. Some apps can consolidate all your accounts on one screen. Others can manage and automatically cancel subscriptions you’re not using.
Some small non-financial jobs I’ve completed included cleaning out a drawer that barely closed, planting a windowsill herb garden, and installing dry cleaning and scarf hooks. It only took 20 minutes for my husband to hang a hummingbird feeder in my study window, which brings joy every day. (Bonus points if you can encourage your spouse to join in on those August plans.) I recommend mixing the “simplification” with the “fun” or creative chores so they don’t become too tedious. Be sure to pick the easiest jobs first and check tasks off your list to build confidence and make it a habit.
Just because you’ve decided to prepare for fall instead of flying or driving long distances doesn’t mean August has to be just another busy month. Find free activities close to home. For example, swimming at the local pool is not just for children. Our park has free times available for adults only and a water fitness program for seniors. There are also websites that list day passes for use of pools at local hotels (starting at $25 per person) and sites that list private pools for rent (starting at $15 per hour).
Your local parks and centers should have an online listing of recreational activities, day trips, and classes. Our city also has popular weekly free concerts in the park during Labor Day, and you can have a drink or dinner al fresco at a monthly art walk.
Metrolink lists the 27-day trips you can take in Southern California by train. Fares are just $10 on weekends, and kids ride free.
If you think about it, there are no holidays in August and, unlike other months, there are few social obligations. Whether you spend the month preparing for a busy fall or catching up on reading while lounging by the pool, you can make August your month. Plan a fantastic trip for next year.
Michelle C. Herting, CPA, ABV, AEP, specializes in tax planning, trust administration and business valuations. It has three offices in Southern California.