I know that this virus has been tough on people financially in a variety of ways, so I wanted to share a handful of discounts that we’ve stumbled upon recently to help put a little cash back in our pockets…

Verizon – Monthly Discount for Nurses
Their verification app was a little clunky, but after looking up and providing Sara’s state license #, the next day Verizon confirmed we’d be getting $25/month off of our cell phone bill … plus next month it’ll be $50 because they didn’t have time to do it for this bill cycle!

Progressive Auto Insurance – Free Meal +20% Off
A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to find an email in my inbox with a $50 Uber Eats coupon, also because my wife is a nurse. This one was triggered automatically, I assume because I listed our professions when I signed us up. They’re also supposed to be giving everyone 20% off their auto premiums for April and May, though I haven’t seen anything on this one for April yet…

(I believe Geico and USAA and some others are offering premium discounts, too…)

Electric Co-Op – Capital Credit Refund
Now this one may be unique to us but because our electric company is a co-op, they issue a refund each year for the excess profits that they collected. This normally comes around Christmastime, however they decided to do it early this year due to COVID and as a result, our next bill has a $60 credit on it!

Student Loans – Refinancing for Deferred Payments & Interest
This last one is a doozy, and it’s still up in the air because I won’t fully believe it until I see it, but long story short – Sara’s student loans didn’t qualify for the interest and payment waivers from the CARES Act because apparently her loans aren’t technically owned by the US Department of Education.

…even though they started out that way…

Regardless, a few weeks ago we started the process of consolidating them, which in theory should move them back under the Dept. of Education and basically put everything on hold until Sept. 30, That’s five months of no student loan payments or interest, so if it works, that’s definitely the biggest savings opportunity currently on our plate!

TALK TO YOUR BANKS
One other thing I’ll note that isn’t really a discount, but if you’re really struggling because maybe you’re out of work or have reduced hours or additional expenses, I’d strongly recommend getting a hold of your bank(s) … mortgage, credit cards, car loan … anyone who loans you money, and ask what options they have for forbearance.

We did this during a hurricane where we evacuated a few years ago. I made a list of everyone we made payments to and many of them had info right on their websites about what to expect. Because most of our banking is with one bank, with one somewhat long phone call, I think I temporarily eliminated over a grand out of our monthly budget by getting credit card payments and other loan payments waived.

You definitely need to read all of the terms to understand whether you’ll owe a lump sum at the end or if payments are just tacked onto the end of your loans (I think this was more common), but most businesses are willing to work with you if they’re aware that you’re struggling and otherwise just might not pay them!

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