How we’re saving precious pennies wherever we can

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Getty/Anton Petrus

Times are tough for many due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Here, we rounded up ways we can all save, from working with your lenders and banks to figure out payment plans to free entertainment and workouts.

As always, we’ll continue to update this list as we come across new ways to save money.

Defer Your Car Payment

Many major car manufacturers are offering loan and lease payment deferment programs for customers who’ve been impacted by COVID-19, as long as they’ve financed their cars through the automakers’ preferred lenders. The policies vary widely: Hyundai and Genesis are both offering up to six months of deferment for people who’ve lost their jobs, Honda/Acura is offering two month extensions and is waving late fees, Mitsubishi is offering up to three months, GM and Ford have opened dedicated COVID-19 crisis hotlines, and even luxury manufacturers Porsche and Maserati are providing payment due-date extensions. If you’ve independently financed a new or used car and can’t make a payment, be sure to talk to your lender as many of them have established dedicated hotlines in response to the crisis and are making accommodations on a case by case basis.

Mortgage Payment Forbearance   

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Homeowners are seeing some relief. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will provide payment forbearance to borrowers impacted by COVID-19.  The standard forbearance period varies from 90 days to 12 months. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that four of the nation’s largest banks––JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Citibank, and Wells Fargo––will allow homeowners with private loans to defer payments for at least 90 days, and late payments will not be reported to credit agencies. As always, we recommend contacting your lender to help you navigate the best support options.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have their own dedicated pages and help lines for homeowners, in the event you need to contact them directly:

Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help or call 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643)

Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 or call 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343)   

Free Entertainment

You’re probably already a pro at scoring free library rentals, and chances are you’re already using your parents’ or friends’ Netflix password. But during quarantine, there are dozens of free to download or stream options that would have cost you tens, even hundreds of dollars just a week ago. While the stalwart of the cinematic universe, the Criterion Channel, remains stubbornly behind a paywall, the kind souls at Hallmark Now are offering a 30-day free trial—and a renewed focus on their heartwarming holiday films. Each night the Metropolitan Opera streams an encore from a signature performance. And CultureNet offers free streaming performances and readings through April ranging from NY Times bestselling authors to Grammy award winners and classical masters. For the theater of the mind, here’s a list of free Audible streams for kids—including the first book featuring a certain precocious wizard. For sports fans, Sirius XM recently announced it would stream for free—including premium channels—until mid-May. And the NFL turned its premium subscription service, NFL Game Pass, free until May 31st early in the quarantine. MLB TV also threw open the doors to the entirety of the 2018 and ’19 seasons, placing classic games from earlier seasons free on YouTube.

Workout, Without Gym Fees

First things first, call your gym or studio to see if your membership fees have been paused, and/or if the gym is offering any online services as part of your membership.

If you’re looking for more ways to be active from the comfort of your home, Peloton is offering a free 90-day trial of the Peloton app which you can stream to your tv, phone, etc. It gives you access to on-demand classes ranging from treadmill workouts to HIIT classes to yoga and meditation.

In need of some stress-relief? There are plenty of free or deeply discounted streaming yoga classes online for beginners and more experienced yogis.

Yoga With Adriene features hundreds of easy videos for all skill levels. She even offers under-10 minutes wake up and bedtime stretch routines. CorePower OnDemand is currently offering free access to a new collection of online classes every week so you can keep your practice moving. For the full collection of over 250 classes, you can subscribe for $19.99/month. Alo Yoga has also been updating their YouTube channel with free classes for adults and kids.