How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Spending Habits?

(Bloomberg Opinion) — One of the few bright spots in a very challenging year has been the monthly emails from my budgeting app showing huge declines in my spending. I can’t take much credit for the drops, given all the Covid-19 restrictions and risks that have prevented my family from spending at usual capacity. But still, it’s nice to see something moving in the right direction.

The app says we’ve been saving between $2,000 to $3,500 each month since March. And compared to the same period in 2019, our credit-card balances are down 25% to 30%, led by a complete halt in travel, dining out and my thrice-annual hair-color appointments. 

This echoes some of the broader spending trends in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, categories like clothing, recreation and food services experienced rapid declines in the second quarter of 2020, compared with previous quarters. 

Some of

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What will going to university be like during a pandemic?


With results for A-level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland published today, thousands of teenagers will find out if they’ve received a spot at a university.

But with the continuing coronavirus pandemic, university is likely to be a bit different this year.

There are many challenges facing UK universities – student and staff health and welfare, living arrangements, and how to do a socially distanced Freshers week.

Here are just some of the ways university might change:

‘Blended’ learning

Most universities will take a “blended approach” to teaching and learning, with many universities announcing that lectures involving whole year groups will be given online.

In addition, some in-person teaching will be provided, such as tutorials, but they will take place in bigger rooms in a socially distanced way.

Doug Clow, an online learning consultant who has spent 20 years at the Open University and is now advising universities

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Is It Safe To Go Boating During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Recreational boating has become a popular activity amid the pandemic. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)
Recreational boating has become a popular activity amid the pandemic. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)

With traditional summer activities and travel plans largely on hold, people are seeking safe ways to enjoy the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One popular approach is recreational boating. 

It’s not just your Instagram feed suggesting that boat trips are all the rage this summer. The data backs it up.

“We’ve seen a huge surge in boat rentals,” Jackie Baumgarten, founder and CEO of peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace Boatsetter, told HuffPost. “Without increasing our marketing, Boatsetter recorded our highest ever booking numbers for the month of June. Peer-to-peer rentals were up 74% compared to the same time last year.”

She also noted that Boatsetter listings have increased 40% as people seek to offset the coast of boat ownership during the recession. Meanwhile, demand has spread beyond traditional boating markets like Florida and Southern California

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A Canadian man set out on a solo sail around the world in October. He returned 9 months later in the middle of a pandemic.

a man in a boat on a body of water: Sailing ships sit at anchor as dawn breaks outside the harbor in Victoria, British Columbia, on June 23, 2005. REUTERS/Andy Clark AC/CN

© REUTERS/Andy Clark AC/CN
Sailing ships sit at anchor as dawn breaks outside the harbor in Victoria, British Columbia, on June 23, 2005. REUTERS/Andy Clark AC/CN

A Canadian man who set out on a solo sail 267 days ago returned to land earlier this month to a much different world than he left.

Bert terHart, a public speaker and IT entrepreneur, set sail from Victoria, British Columbia, in October, making a months-long trip around the world via the five Capes —  South Cape in New Zealand, South East and Cape Leeuwin in Australia, Cape Agulhas in South Africa, and Cape Horn in Chile — with no aid from electronic navigational devices.

He arrived home on July 18, in a world hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic. He had seen COVID-19 restrictions first-hand during a stop in Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, in May, but didn’t fully know what

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Travel bucket lists are changing during the covid-19 pandemic

We didn’t get a heads-up that the coronavirus would shut the world down. There was no opportunity to steal away one last time before locking down indefinitely. We had to be grateful for the travel we already had enjoyed, and maybe start planning escapes for the distant future.

“The appetite for travel has not gone down; it’s in our DNA to travel,” said Stephen McGillivray, chief marketing officer for Travel Leaders Group, one of the largest networks of travel agents. “The interest is just as robust … but it’s for ’21 and beyond.”

What will those trips in the beyond look like?

The pandemic, and the contemplation that’s followed, has led me to retool my travel bucket list. I’ve spent some downtime looking at old travel photos, reliving the memories and reflecting on the experiences worth repeating — and the new experiences worth trying. And it seems I’m not alone.

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Some outdoor events in Howard County make it, while others don’t during coronavirus pandemic

Despite pouring rain at 8 p.m. Friday, a steady line of cars entered the Howard County Fairgrounds for a showing of the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” on the big screen. Sponsored by the Ellicott City Rotary Club, the movie was the last in a short, improvised series featuring a movie every Friday night in July and once in June.

“We wanted to do something to give back to the community,” said Carey Kyler, a Rotary member. “People needed to get out.”

In six weeks, members put together a plan to offer movies at a “drive-in” by renting an inflatable screen, securing use of the fairgrounds, obtaining film rights and rounding up volunteers. Rules were created, including: no lawn chairs or sitting outside of vehicles, though sitting inside truck beds was OK; masks were to be worn when walking outside of vehicles; and a limited number of 300 cars would

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Pandemic turns Europe’s retail sector on its head as shoppers stay close to home

By Victoria Waldersee

LISBON (Reuters) – City centre shops and malls may have lost their lustre during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as lockdowns ease across Europe many stores in and around residential areas stand to benefit as consumers remain reluctant to venture far from home.

While retail sales appear to be rebounding – surging 17.8% in the euro zone in May and approaching pre-lockdown levels in Britain in June – shoppers are increasingly staying local, leaving Europe’s most renowned shopping districts from London’s West End to Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm struggling in the absence of office workers and tourists.

On Germany’s main shopping streets in Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin, footfall in June was as much as 50% lower than a year earlier, according to the German Retail Federation, while in London’s West End it was down 75%, according to the New West End Company, an association of retailers and landlords in the

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‘This pandemic has completely stripped away my freedom as a deaf person’

This feature is part of the ADA 30th Anniversary series, which marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, civil rights legislation which prohibits discrimination based on disability, provides accommodations for employees with disabilities, and requires public spaces to be accessible.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted lives around the globe. But for people with disabilities, making adjustments like wearing a face mask, avoiding public transportation or ride-sharing apps, pivoting to teleconferencing and isolating at home aren’t mere inconveniences; they’re huge obstacles.

Stacey Valle, a deaf social education coordinator and Deafinitely Wanderlust travel writer based in Los Angeles, tells Yahoo Life that she struggles to communicate with people wearing masks.

“And of course, I want them to and they have to,” the 30-year-old clarifies — but adds that, unless a mask is clear, it makes lip-reading impossible and obscures many of the facial expressions she relies on during

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Miranda Lambert Calls ‘Surviving a Pandemic’ with Brendan McLoughlin a ‘Good Test’ of Marriage

Miranda Lambert is relishing her quality time with husband Brendan McLoughlin.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the country star, 36, has been self-quarantining with McLoughlin, whom she wed in secret in January 2019.

Speaking with New York’s Country 94.7, Lambert said, “If newlyweds can survive a pandemic then I think we’re good, you know? It’s a good test.”

Before the lockdown, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

“The first month I had a lot of fun. Well, not fun but I was like, ‘Okay, we’re off. We’ll probably be back on the road in a couple of months,’ ” the “Bluebird” singer recalled.

“I cooked too much and ate way too much, and then I had to roll that back a little bit. There’s stuff to do, it’s just the adjusting of not knowing when I’m going to work again… it’s uneasy,” she added.

Lambert rescheduled the remaining dates

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Is it safe to stay in a hotel amid the coronavirus pandemic?

As travelers slowly begin to get back on the road and in the air amid the coronavirus pandemic, they may be wondering if it’s safe to stay in a hotel. 

Hotels have rolled out a slew of cleaning and safety programs, and last week the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the hotel industry’s major trade group, released a checklist for guests who plan to stay in hotels.

“Utilizing these best practices, including requiring face coverings and practicing social distancing in public spaces, will create an even safer environment for all our guests and employees,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a statement. “We applaud governors who have standardized the use of face coverings in all indoor public spaces and we urge all lawmakers to help make this a national standard by implementing this requirement in their states.” 

3 nights, 3 hotels: What it’s really like to

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