April 15 is here and as people all across the country wait in line at their local post office (or frantically press the submit button on TurboTax), many of us are left wondering how we will fill the stress vacuum that will inevitably appear when the sun sets on Tax Day.
We here at The Fiscal Times are happy to offer a helpful list of suggestions to make sure that your life is constantly lived under a dark cloud. It’s not that we’re anxious, gloomy people. It’s just that we feel strangely empty when there isn’t something gnawing away at the back of our brains.
1. Summer Vacations: We’re halfway through April and have at last emerged from a long, cold winter. Surely, it’s time to take a break, get some sun and see the sites. Well, have you booked your flight yet? Airline prices haven’t quite come down with gas prices have they? Should you do Airbnb? Or maybe you just need a break from the kids…have you registered them for summer camp yet? Well, have you?
2. College Decisions: Speaking of important decisions for your children, has your high-school senior decided where they’ll be going next year? National Decision Day is May 1. Tick, tick, tick. Will it be the big state school with the reputation for partying? The small private school in the middle of nowhere? The study abroad program with the huge long distance bills? So many ways for you to ruin your child’s life….
3. Will You Ever Retire? Whether you are a boomer staring down the reality of your impending retirement, an X-er coming to grips with the harsh truths of middle age, or a millennial still wrapped in your own immortality, at the end of the day only one question remains: Will I ever get to get off the treadmill? As we all know, it may be spring…but winter is coming.
4. Skin Cancer: One of the great pleasures of summer is the chance to shed all of that bulky winter clothing. After months of walking around looking like the Michelin Man, we can finally go outside in shirt sleeves and open-toed shoes. Rejoice! But Mother Nature has a way to ruin that, too, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen, kids.
5. The Upcoming Onslaught of Campaign Commercials: It may only be spring of 2015, so if you are already sick of the 2016 presidential race, you’re pretty much out of luck. Now that Hillary, Rand, Marco and Ted have all thrown their hats in the ring, it’s game on. Just get prepared now for every commercial break to be a nonstop stream of negative attack ads. Thank God for Netflix.
6. The Growing Sense That We Live in a Dystopian Future: Government hacking scandals? Drone assassinations? A total surveillance state? No, we’re not talking about Orwell or Gibson here, that’s our daily news. And we don’t even get the cool flying cars.
7. Fitness: You know what was a lot of fun this past winter? Sitting in sweatpants, binge-watching House of Cards while shoveling Cheetos in your mouth. You know what’s less fun? Realizing you can’t spend the summer wearing a bulky coat. Time to hit the gym, visit the doctor, cut down on the carbs…whatever your health care regimen is, it’s now or never.
8. The Youths: I don’t know what they’re doing on their phones all the time, but I’m relatively certain they are mocking you.
9. Your Sports Team (Real or Fantasy): You’re already too late to get in on the action for the full season, but there are plenty of other ways to obsess over whether Mookie Betts does or doesn’t get a hit. With MLB’s Beat the Streak game, if you successfully choose a player getting a hit for 57 straight days, you win $5.6 million. If, like most Americans, you’re more of a football fan, you can spend the summer trying to figure out which future NFL star will be suspended for off-field turmoil, and make sure not to draft them this month.
10. Your Existential Crisis: It’s only 365 days until Tax Day 2016, as each day crawls into the next, and we all slowly and inexorably creep toward the grave. And really, what’s the point anyway…
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