3 women hanging out at beach

@criene/Twenty20

Whenever summer comes to an end (and I have the tan lines to prove it), no amount of SPF can protect your finances from going up in flames.  The sunniest season of the year can take a toll on your wallet, but there is always time to cool down those sizzling spending habits.

By the time fall hits, you’ll be swapping that rosé for a pumpkin spice latte. And when that time of year comes, there are three major reasons you’ll wish you had saved more and spent less over the summer.

So, I’m officially challenging you to a summer spending detox on an annual basis. I encourage you to spend money on only the things you need. Here’s a sneak peek on what’s actually worth spending your money on in the fall when summer is officially over.

1. Back-to-School Shopping

I know, I know. It’s basically a crime to talk about school during the summer. Not to be a buzzkill, but chances are you’re either heading back to class with a fresh set of supplies or stocking up on a new fall wardrobe for the office.

The best time for back-to-school shopping is during tax-free weekends. Lots of states across the U.S. offer tax-free weekends in an effort to boost the economy. These tax holidays give shoppers an easy way to skip paying sales tax. Only certain items are given a free pass on sales tax during these weekends, but generally those items include clothing and school supplies.

Note: This is an exception to your summer spending detox! Spend on school supplies that you actually need during these days. Here’s when and where those weekends are happening in 21017, according to FreeTaxWeekend.com:

  • Alabama: July 21-23.
  • Mississippi: July 28-29.
  • Tennessee: July 28-30.
  • Florida: Aug. 4-6.
  • Ohio: Aug. 4-6.
  • Virginia: Aug. 4-6.
  • South Carolina: Aug. 4-6.
  • Oklahoma: Aug. 4-6.
  • New Mexico: Aug. 4-6.
  • Missouri: Aug. 4-6.
  • Iowa: Aug. 4-5.
  • Louisiana: Aug. 4-5.
  • Arkansas: Aug. 5-6.
  • Texas: Aug. 11-13.
  • Maryland: Aug. 13-19.
  • Connecticut: Aug. 20-26.

Start saving your money now, so you’ll have more to spend on back-to-school shopping! Honestly, I don’t care that I already graduated. I’m still buying gel pens. #Priorities

2. Shoulder Travel Season

In the travel world, the early fall months are often considered shoulder season, meaning that in many regions, there’s still long daylight hours and good weather… and also cheap flights and deep hotel deals.

I did a quick search on Hopper, an app that uses historical price data to predict when flights will be cheapest, to see how much I could save by holding off on a trip to San Diego. At the end of August, a trip from New York City to San Diego would cost me around $325 on most dates, Hopper predicts. However, if I wait until September or October, Hopper predicts that, on most dates, I’ll score a flight around $275.

Resist the urge to take one last summer getaway and instead save that cash for a discounted trip to your dream destination this fall. Good things come to those who wait, ya know?

3. Best Time to Buy a Car

If you’re saving for a fresh set of wheels, you have another reason to pump the brakes on your summer spending come mid-season.

Typically, car dealers try to get rid of cars when new models begin arriving in the fall. What does that mean for you? Deep discounts, since the current model-year cars will likely be offered at lower rates when they’re on closeout. To really maximize your money, do your car shopping during the weekday, at the end of the day or at the end of the month. And if you’re taking out an auto loan, make sure to compare offers first.

Start your summer spending detox mid-season every year! If you need encouragement in order to stay on track, be sure to follow me on Facebook. I’ll give you the lowdown on daily deals and easy ways you can save even more.