These consumer guides, gathered in an index by subject on the USA.gov website, are focused mostly on consumer safety for a wide range of topics.
This site links to online consumer resources for a wide range of products (e.g. electronics, health and safety, car, home, and travel buying guides). The site also offers a coupon database, links to retailers’ sales flyers, and money matters such as scam alerts, investment and credit information, and insurance guides.
Energy.gov is an educational website produced by the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Saver is a section of the website dedicated to educating consumers about new products and innovations to reduce your bill and your environmental impact.
The Auto Repair Reference Center (ARRC) provides JCPL patrons with access to repair and maintenance information on a comprehensive collection of vehicle makes and models including domestic, imported, and vintage cars. To access the ARRC, you will need a JCPL library card.
“CarCareKiosk is a startup focused on providing how-to videos for your car that are high-quality, concise and free. We believe that many people would take better care of their cars if only they knew how, so we combined incredible footage from our contributors with a simple and sleek interface to empower users to maintain their cars in ways they never thought possible.” (From the About Us page, 12/11/2014)
Research car values, both new and used, as well as detailed reviews.
Research how much your car, or the car you have your eye on, is worth.
“Because our vehicle pricing and information is unbiased, everyone from consumers to credit unions and banks, governments to insurance companies, lawyers to manufacturers and rental agencies, looks to NADAguides as the authority in vehicle pricing and information” (from the site’s About Us page, 12/11/2014).
The NHTSA provides information about driver and vehicle safety, including consumer information about recalls. On their site Safercar.gov, consumers can file a complaint, search for recalls, and learn about safety for young passengers such as how to choose the right car seat for your child.
Read in-depth reviews of the latest electronics products, watch video demonstrations and reviews, and read buying guides to help you find the best product for you. The household appliances section is very helpful for researching products for your home and includes a range of items from dishwashers to light bulbs.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) provides guides to a range of consumer electronics. Under each topic, find definitions of key features, and, without recommending specific brands or items, learn how to identify what products are right for you.
Investing and Stock Market Data
Find up to the minute financial reporting from CNN.
The online edition of the popular business magazine has in-depth articles on finance, divided into subjects by type of industry.
The Investor Guide provides a wealth of market research data, and it provides market commentary and other articles to help you make sound investment decisions.
MarketWatch brings you financial news focusing on the Stock Market from the Wall Street Journal.
This is the true free credit report website (be wary of other credit report sites that claim to be free). Get your credit report from all of the major reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) for free once every 12 months.
If you are thinking about buying a home, or refinancing, and want to see what your monthly payment might be this calculator can give you a rough idea.
Find important information provided by the Federal Trade Commission about managing your money; credit, loans and debt; and scams and identity theft. Each section provides easy-to-understand and interactive information through text, audio, video, and quizzes. Many topics also offer templates to help you manage your money. The site is also accessible en Español.
The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics produces monthly data of the price of a representative basket of consumer goods and services. You can also find historic and geographically-linked data on this site.
In addition to the basic money management skills guidance at consumer.gov, the Federal Trade Commission provides a wealth of additional resources for businesses and consumers at their main page. Learn how to get a free credit report from a reliable credit report website, submit a consumer complaint to illegal or unfair business practices, and find tips and advice aimed at both consumers and businesses.
Find easy to understand financial advice and guidelines from the American Institute of CPAs. Get help managing your money, mastering your credit and debit accounts, and find out how you can plan ahead for the future.
Produced by the The American Moving and Storage Association, HomeFair offers a wealth of resources for anyone who is planning a major move. Use the salary calculator to see how your salary compares, read the city and school reports for anywhere in the United States, and find useful packing tips and tips for moving with pets.
Developed by the Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, MyMoney.gov outlines five areas of financial health: earn, save, protect, borrow, and spend. Learn more about these five areas, read about important life events and how they affect your finances, find useful tools like budgeting worksheets and calculators, and take a quiz to test your financial literacy.
Small Businesses and Grants
The Business Journal is a Tri-Cities TN/VA publication that provides information on local businesses and helpful advice for local business owners. The JCPL has a subscription available for the public, but the Business Journal’s website and blog offer additional articles.
The Johnson City Public Library is a Foundation Center Funding Information Network Partner. In additional to our collection of grant-seeking reference sources, find vital information about available grants through the Foundation Directory Online, accessible on-site at JCPL.
The Government Grants site has a number of tools to help you apply for grants and keep up to date with the latest programs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides tools for small businesses. Find help creating business plans, get information about grants and loans, and learn where training and assistance is available in your area.
On the official website of the IRS you can file your taxes for free online, find information about your tax refund, learn about tax credits and deductions, and download and print pdfs of forms and publications from the current year or from previous years. Resources including forms and tax help are also available en Español.
This Bureau of Labor Statistics website gives you an overview of the economic health of the country. It provides you with the latest vital economic statistics like the unemployment rate and the consumer price index.
The Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book provides anecdotal information gathered by each Federal Reserve district to gauge the health of the US economy.
Find not only up to the minute currency conversion but also a historical tracker and live email updates.