Seemingly out of the blue, millions of lives were disrupted when the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the nation. Businesses closed and citizens in many states were directed to stay at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. This is causing extreme financial hardship for many. We’ve updated our popular “Tools for Tough Times” feature normally only available to our members and making it available publicly as a service to all who may be suffering financial stress. We offer resources specific to this crisis, as well as some general tools designed to help you  cope with tough financial pressures – whether it be learning how to avoid eviction or foreclosure on your home, finding local assistance for utilities, or tapping into ideas for saving money at the grocery store and cooking meals for less.

Table of Contents


Coronavirus related resources

Mortgages, Rents and Home Ownership Resources


  • Home Buying: 9 Buyer Traps and How to Avoid Them (PDF) – Learn about the common and costly mistakes that trap people into paying too much, losing their dream home to another buyer, or buying the wrong home for their needs.
  • Avoid Foreclosure – Learn some of the basics about avoiding and handling foreclosures from
  • Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payment Plans – discusses how bi-weekly payment plans work and how you might be able to save a hefty amount in interest over the life of your mortgage.
  • How to Avoid Mortgage Fraud – an article from regarding what constitutes mortgage fraud and how to avoid it.

Debt and Money Problems


Financial Tools

  • – a resource brought to you by 20 agencies and bureaus of the U.S. Federal government that work on improving financial literacy and education. The Tools section offers budgeting worksheets, calculators and checklists. See Life Events for advice at various junctions in your life.
  • NerdWallet – advice, content and tools ensure you’re getting more from your money.
  • CNN Money – In addition to finance and business news, the site provides an array of articles, tools, and tips.
  • Kiplinger Personal Finance – news, tools, and articles.
  • Practical Money Skills – educator-developed and educator-approved site designed to help educators, parents, and students practice better money management for life.
  • Smart About Money – sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education, the only private, non-profit, national foundation wholly dedicated to improving the financial well-being of all Americans. For over 30 years, NEFE has provided information and tools on financial planning, getting out of debt, managing money wisely, and saving for the future.
  • 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy – an excellent resource from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for managing personal finances.
  • Wirecutter: The Best Budgeting Apps and Tools

Heating and Home Energy

Gas and Driving

  • Fuelly – a free site to record and analyze your mileage and see how much money you could save with small driving changes. See how your mileage compares with EPA estimates and the mileage of other drivers. The free site also offers tips and a discussion forum.
  • Fuel Economy – helps consumers make informed fuel economy choices when purchasing a vehicle and helps them to achieve the best fuel economy possible from the cars they own. Maintained jointly by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Find your car’s energy score, compare with other cars; research alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles; learn to drive efficiently.
  • Gas Buddy – award-winning travel and navigation app that gives you 27 ways to save money on gas at 150,000 gas stations throughout North America.
  • Green Vehicle Guide – EPA guide to choosing the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs.
  • U.S. Transit System Links – links to regional bus, rail, ferry, trolley, and other public transportation systems.

Frugal Living


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