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Summertime often brings soaring temperatures and sweltering days, and for those without air conditioning navigating the heat can be a real challenge.
But don’t worry, you can still enjoy summer to the fullest without breaking the bank.
Here are 10 frugal ways you can survive through summer days (and nights!) that will help keep you cool while staying on budget.
From clever cooling hacks to thrifty temporary solutions, these tips will make it easier than ever to beat the heat without sacrificing your wallet!
1. Make It a Game
If you’re competitive, the best way to stay cool is to force yourself to become distracted from the heat as long as possible, and make a game out of it.
While it’s not the most practical option, playing the “Who will sweat the quickest?” game is an excellent way to sharpen your determination — and kill some time.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is an underrated way to stay cool without using an air conditioner and a no-brainer way to stay hydrated.
It’s simply science: The more water you’ve put into your body, the less you’ll feel the devastating effects of a sweltering summer day.
3. Hang Wet Towels
It may be time we turned to the greatest generation for advice, after all, they lived before air conditioning was even invented!
“Was told by an old timer years ago that before they had air conditioning, they would hang wet towels in the windows,” recalls one man.
“Windows open, but screens in place. The wet towel would cool the air coming in through the window. I never tried it, but they said it helped and even sounded like it used to be standard practice in days gone by. Might be worth a try!”
4. Use Fans – Lots of Them
While they only serve to blow around the air, regardless of whether it’s cold or hot, using a lot of fans to help dissipate heat is a timeless tradition in households that aren’t lucky enough to have air conditioning.
I can distinctly remember many hot summer nights sleeping next to a fan no more than ten inches from my face on my nightstand.
Then I combined this idea with the cold wash cloth on me and it was a game changer.
5. Place a Towel On Your Chest
“The poor man’s air conditioning is a wet (but not sopping wet) cloth on your chest,” admits one man.
He’s not wrong: There’s a thin line between a comfortable, napping man with a comfortable body temperature and a drenched, confused man ready to take out a second mortgage just for a few air conditioning units.
6. Keep Light Out
In many people’s eyes, an abundance of light is a factor that keeps your home’s interior temperature slowly inching skyward.
Keeping the house dark when the sun is up — including keeping as many lights off as possible — will go a long way in keeping you cool.
7. Homemade Ice Packs
Nothing will cool you down faster than some good, old-fashioned homemade ice packs!
One woman even reveals a little trick to make them out of rice and socks. “Ice packs between your thighs and under your arms!” exclaims one woman.
“It’s a first aid trick to cool the body quickly because those are locations for two major blood vessels. It’s like cooling your blood directly. Tie 2-3 cups of rice in a sock and freeze it for reusable ice packs.”
8. Invest in Proper Insulation
Home insulation has evolved over the past few decades, and properly insulating your home is one of the most significant ways to keep cooling costs down in lieu of an air conditioning unit.
While it’s a fairly expensive upfront cost, your wallet — and family — will thank you later!
9. Sleep With a Cold Cloth
Sometimes, the most logical solution to a problem is the best one!
For example, countless people confess to wearing wet, cool clothes during hot months, placing them on their heads or necks as they sleep to keep their body temperature down.
So while this method will get you wet, you can’t argue with the results.
10. Understand the Airflow
For many, living without an air conditioner is immensely doable — as long as you know how to take advantage of airflow.
“As soon as it gets cooler outside than inside the house (late evening), we open the windows on both sides and keep room doors open to allow for airflow,” explains one homeowner.
“In the morning, we close windows and curtains when it gets warmer outside than inside.” This is an excellent hack for keeping cooling costs down!
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I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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