I’m not a big New Year’s resolution person. I’m not sure if pledging to change your life completely always works. And why January 1? If I make any self-pledges, they tend to be in the fall. Everyone’s back from vacation, and life goes back to normal, hence goals.

Then there’s the whole my gym is going to be so crowded I want to scream. But that’ll go away by February 1…which is when the dating books hit hard (though I’m already sick of the eHarmony commercials flooding my TV).

Anyway — January 1 is still a biggie in the resolution business, so what I call “resolution” books have been rolling in. They’re usually in the self help and diet category, though I’ve seen a lot more financial books since the recession kicked in.

I generally don’t pay attention to the diet ones (like Fat Flush for Life: The Year-Round Super Detox Plan to Boost Your Metabolism and Keep the Weight Off Permanently– are you kidding me?) but two financial have been spared the donation pile.

First, Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Lessby Leah Ingram. I’ve known Leah for years and started reading her blog when she first started typing away. I’ll give this one a full review when I finish reading it.

Second, One Year to an Organized Financial Life: From Your Bills to Your Bank Account, Your Home to Your Retirement, the Week-by-Week Guide to Achieving Financial Peace of Mindby Regina Leeds with Russell Wild. Leeds wrote One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good, which was enormously successful. I haven’t read it, though. The only “organizing” book I listen to is A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder – How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and on-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Placebecause it supports the idea that a bit of messiness makes life better.

This book looks like it could be a helpful, though, especially since it’s organized per week per month for a year. It’s not necessarily written for someone like me (I write about personal finance, so I’m past the basics), but as an experiment I’ll be reading along per week per year. It’s got a heavy dose of organizing mumbo jumbo and some odd advice (my first step toward financial health is supposed to be drinking more water?), but Leeds co-wrote the book with Wild, an MBA and certified financial planner, and some of the advice I’ve read already is sound. Stay tuned.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. xxxx on January 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I hate those gym-resolution-makers too. At least they're gone by March (sometimes February!) 🙂 Happy New Year!

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