UNITED STATES—I cannot believe this, we’re already in the second week of the month of August, and it seems like summer is literally over. As soon as it came, it feels like the days are dwindling down and it is sad to see and reflect on people. I do feel like summer is one of the fastest seasons of the four and for those who actually get to experience all four seasons, it’s a bummer.

It has been quite steamy and hot for most parts of the country in summer 2023 that has been brutal for many Americans. With that said, as summer winds down, we start to reflect on what is to come and what has already been. For starters, kids get out of school in June, but guess what; many retailers already had the school supplies out at the end of June. I mean give the kids the opportunity to breathe before reminding them school is fast approaching.

Whether we like it or not, school supplies can be quite costly and for some parents they just don’t have the disposal income to afford some of those items. So those backpack giveaways that take place across the country are important. Here is the biggest piece of advice for back-to-school shopping, for school supplies in particular. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. If you do, you will find yourself in a situation where you will not be able to find and get the items you need. Notebooks, pens, pencils, glue, folders, and the list goes on and on.

If you haven’t started, now is the time. With that said, you have back to school shopping for clothing. Get a head start by visiting the mall where many retailers are having end of summer clothing sales to move merchandise. It is better to get items at a discounted rate, then being forced to pay full price for them. Do you want to take the kiddies to the store? Not really, but sometimes that is something you have to do because they grow.

For parents, the thought of kids going back to school has them counting the days down on a calendar, but guess what, it’s time to get that last vacation or two in. In August you tend to see families taking those vacations to a hot spot in Florida or some other region in the U.S. Travel is at a feverish pitch right now, which means catching a great deal is not likely, but if you happen to stumble upon one, take advantage of it while you can. Once class is in session, parents will be in full throttle dropping off, picking up and running to and from plenty of extracurricular activities for the kids, tweens and teens.

The good thing about summer ending is guess what, that yard work is about to dwindle down. The grass cutting might have 3 to 4 more cuts at best, you won’t have to worry about the extreme heat, which means your AC unit or central air will get a break. You get a short one before your furnace turns up the heat to keep the home toasty as winter slowly, but surely arrives. It is also time to start to switch out the closets and take the summer clothing and start to put it away and start pulling out the fall clothing options (my personal favorite to be honest).

In addition, the cost of food is likely to go up. Why? You’re going to have to start packing those school lunches five days a week, which means more snacks in the home to keep the kiddies fueled throughout the day. The more I am writing this column it is making me realize, damn, perhaps summer could be a bit longer because it might save Americans a bit more money. Enjoy the final two weeks of summer because fall and winter are literally knocking on our door, and the mayhem that comes with those seasons can be a struggle for many Americans.

Written By Zoe Mitchell