So your summer has been extra…expensive. But there’s no need to face fall with a hollowed-out bank account and a pile of debt.
Nor do you need to spend these last few glorious-but-fleeting weeks of summer locked in your house eating ramen noodles. Just follow these thrifty tips for spending next to nothing all August long—without missing a thing.
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DIY Happy Hour
Outdoor after-work hangs are the best way to stay super social without racking up big bills, says Stefanie O’Connell, author of The Broke and Beautiful Life. Instead of hitting a trendy alfresco bar, grab some rosé with your pals, and plop down somewhere free, like your backyard, rooftop, or a park.
Blow Off Your Blowout
When it’s hot and humid, don’t shell out for a pricey pro dry. Try au naturel styling: “Post-beach dip, harness the saltwater in your hair by forming a loose bun,” says Cosmo associate beauty editor Kate Foster.“Thirty minutes later, undo it for effortless waves.”
Train in Nature
If you can, freeze your gym membership and take your workouts outside, says financial expert Priya Malani of StashWealth. Try free fitness apps, such as the cardio-intense Zombies, Run! or the PilatesYouTube channel Blogilates.
Find Free Events
Skip that music fest where you’ll pay hundreds to pee in a port-o-potty. “Many cities put on free entertainment in the summer,” says Kristin Wong, author of Get Money. Follow local Facebook accounts to scout vino tasting sand acoustic sets.
Slash Your A/C Bill
On days that aren’t sweltering, use a ceiling fan instead. The trick is to get one that can run counterclockwise, says Wong. “This pushes cold air downward, creating a wind-chill effect and making you feel cooler.” And richer: You could save more than $100 on your electric bill this month.
Avoid End-of-Season Sales
Why buy clothes you’ll only wear for another few weeks? Unsubscribe from sale e-mails, says O’Connell. Seeing one can trigger your brain’s reward center, tempting you to spend.
For more saving tips, pick up the new issue of Cosmopolitan magazine on stands now, or click here to subscribe to the digital edition!