- Plant a garden. Earth Day, April 22, 2020, is the perfect time to plant that garden you’ve always wanted. Garden centers and home improvement stores are still open around the country, with many offering curbside pickup. Add a burst of color to your property with a row of flowers, try your hand at planting a vegetable garden, or plant a tree!
- Learn about recycling. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by learning about local recycling rules and refreshing your knowledge about what happens to the things we recycle. Share this information with your children as they are learning from home.
- Use the My Disney Experience app to explore the world of nature from home. Check out the “Wilderness Explorers at Home” feature on the app for a virtual tour of nature’s wonders.
- Learn about the plants in your neighborhood. Bring your daily walk around the neighborhood up a notch on Earth Day by looking out for plants in your area. You can use the Native Plant Finder website to find out which plants are native to your zip code. See how many of these plants you can find on your walk!
- Watch a documentary about our planet. Celebrate Earth Day by watching a fascinating documentary about the Earth. Netflix is now running “Our Planet,” an incredible docuseries hosted by David Attenborough that features beautiful footage from around the world. You can also check out Disney+ for Disneynature’s “Elephant” and “Dolphin Reef,” which conveniently offer downloadable activity packets for kids.
- Watch the NASA Science Live webcast. The space agency website will host a special edition of the webcast on Earth Day, April 22, at 3 p.m. EDT, featuring agency chief Jim Bridenstine.
- Join the Earthfest. The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City is airing an all-day “Earthfest” on Wednesday. The live-streamed event will feature a full day of activities and education, including a “watch party” at 6 p.m. EDT, where participants can “hop aboard” a live flight to explore our neighboring planets.
Your Turn: Tell us how you’re celebrating Earth Day on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! @FreedomFedCU
1. Memberships you can’t use now.
Life has changed for the foreseeable future. Year-long memberships or season passes you might have thought you’d regularly use are pretty much worthless now. Cancel or pause your monthly membership at the gym and ask for a refund on season passes you may have purchased for a sports team or an amusement park.
2. Credit card payments
Most credit card companies are making allowances for borrowers who have been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Reach out to yours and ask if you can skip this month’s payment without penalty or if you can pay a little less than usual to avoid a fee.
3. Auto insurance premiums
Contact your insurance provider to find out what kind of relief they’re offering consumers at this time. Allstate is allowing their subscribers to request to skip up to two consecutive payments without paying late fees. GEICO has announced they will not cancel coverage for consumers who miss payments or allow their policies to expire through April 30 and Liberty will be extending due dates without penalty until further notice.
If you aren’t locked into an internet plan and you have kids or a college student now at home, consider switching to a free plan. Providers, like Arvig and Spectrum, are currently offering free internet and Wi-Fi to new customers with K-12 or college students at home. Qualifying customers will not have to pay for their service until school reopens.
5. Student loan payments
On March 20, President Donald Trump announced that all federal student loan borrowers can pause their payments for up to 60 days. Interest will not accrue on these missed payments. Many private student loan companies are making similar allowances for borrowers, so call your lender to discuss your options.
Celebrate the significant other in your life without breaking the budget…by using these hacks!
Restaurants sometimes up their prices when the whole world is going out to eat, so you’ll likely be paying extra just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Instead of shelling out big bucks, cook up a gourmet meal at home. Don’t forget to set the ambiance with scented candles and soft music!
Explore the great outdoors
It may be cold out, but you can still spend some shared time together outdoors. Bundle up and take a refreshing walk under the stars. Watch the waves crash onto the shore at a beach. If it’s snowy out, let your inner child free and build a snowman together.
Laugh it out
Check out the local comedy club together for a rollicking good time that can cost as little as $5 each.
Hit the gym
Gym memberships and day passes usually decline in February when many people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions to get fit. A shared workout can be a great bonding experience that’s good for your health and your wallet, too.
Make a memory box
Instead of expensive gifts, take a walk down memory lane together by making a memory box. Cover a small container in decorative material, or spray-paint it in your chosen color. Then throw in mementos you have saved up from your months or years of dating.
Grab a tub of ice cream and enjoy a wonderful evening reliving some of your best shared moments.
Give your date a refreshing twist by visiting a local museum! Choose a place with displays that appeal to each of your interests. Studying works of art or historical artifacts makes for fabulous conversation.
Gift them with a gesture
Everyone has a guilty pleasure they can’t get enough of. Give your partner an all-out indulgence fest this Valentine’s Day for a truly thoughtful gift. If your significant other loves waking up to a huge stack of pancakes, surprise them with their dream breakfast-in-bed. If they have a thing for Snicker bars, fill a huge, funky container with their favorite chocolates.
You can also offer to do a household chore you know your partner loathes, like doing laundry. Decorate a small piece of cardstock and write up a “certificate” that gifts the recipient with four loads of laundry, washed, dried and put away. It won’t cost you anything, and it’s sure to put a smile on your partner’s face!
Instead of paying full price for movie tickets, see your favorite picture at a daytime matinee. You’ll save a bundle on tickets just by going a bit earlier in the day. Theaters are also less crowded during the afternoon, making for a more enjoyable experience all around.
On behalf of everyone at Freedom, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!
About Freedom Federal Credit Union
Freedom serves and is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, volunteers, or has family in Harford County, MD. As a credit union, we are committed to putting you first, not shareholders, and helping you achieve your financial goals. Learn more at freedomfcu.org or call us 800-440-4120 to see how we can help.