Spend-A-Little Sspend a littleave-A-Lot Home Improvements by Brad Staggs walks homeowners through a list of preventative and money-saving improvements that can be done for little amounts of money throughout the home. The tips and tricks he offers throughout the book range from fixing a sticky door to checking and replacing air filters to wrapping a water heater.

Staggs recognizes that being a homeowner can turn costly quickly especially when the cost of hiring a repairman or even the cost of buying the materials and doing the home repairs by yourself keeps rising. Doing the preventative maintenance that he outlines will help you in the long run and will make your home more energy efficient and sufficient. Staggs provides step-by-step instructions paired with pictures highlighting each to help you do the repair yourself.

Check out this book to learn many money-saving and energy-efficient ways to help you get the most of the home you already enjoy.

s1 It’s that time of year again! The end of the old — the start of a new one — with all of the guilt and good intentions that go into making us think about New Year’s resolutions. Notice I said “think about,” which is not necessarily the same thing as “make.” For those of us of a certain vintage — say past puberty — we may have long ago given up on New Year’s resolutions. We know, empirically at least, that we can make dramatic changes in our lives at any time of year — it doesn’t have to be the first of the year or the first of a week. We just have to decide and then DO! Still, I’m a sucker for any kind of “should” so I usually end up vowing to magically “be better” in the upcoming year. And typically, I always have the same three resolutions: Lose weight, get organized and save money. Hmmph, I don’t really like what that says about me, but when you think about it, those are probably the top three resolutions world-wide. So, assuming I’m not alone, here’s a few titles that can help out quite a few of us:

Resolution #1: Lose Weight!never-say-diet

Never Say Diet: Make Five Decisions and Break the Fat Habit for Good by Chantel Hobbs. This one sounds perfect for me. Somehow, it seems that whenever I say “I’m on a diet,” I automatically get hungry. And if this book isn’t up your alley, there’s a plethora of specific diet books on our shelves, including Bob Greene’s The Best Life Diet and WeightWatcher’s Start Living, Start Losing: Inspirational Stories That Will Motivate You Now.

Resolution #2: Get Organized!clutter

With all the Christmas packaging to dispose of and all the decorations to put away, this is a great time to really get your whole house in order. A saver by nature, sometimes it’s hard for me to let go of things. One great book I found is The Clutter Cure: Three Steps to Letting Go of Stuff, Organizing Your Space & Creating the Home of Your Dreams by Judi Culbertson. Her three easy steps (identify, assess and take action) are realistic and easy enough for most anyone to follow. Another title, Real Simple: the Organized Home by Ken Cronstrom, is just very refreshing. It’s filled with lots of colored photographs that make me wish my house looked that way!

Resolution # 3: Save Money!idiot

With the economy pretty shaky these days, saving money just makes sense. For a colorful take on a ticklish subject, try How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? by Robert Sherman. This book is organized by 8 simple secrets — sounds easy enough to actually try! Another approach, depending where you are on your financial path, there’s Seven Years to Seven Figures by Michael Masterson. It’s subtitle is The Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire, which is appealing to just about everybody.

Well, good luck to those of you who are actually making New Year’s Resolutions.  Check out our displays on all three of these resolutions for other reading suggestions.  As for me, next year at this time, I’m going to be thin, organized  and rich — just like I was going to be this year!