I double-dog dare you to DIY.

Reader Contribution by Troy Griepentrog

It’s almost 2008. If you’re making the same tired resolutions as the last few years, I have a challenge for you: Make 2008 the year you do more for yourself. I don’t mean, ‘Do something nice for yourself; you deserve it.’ I mean, ‘Take the bull by the horns and do some projects yourself instead of hiring someone to do it.’

Just last night, I changed a headlight on my old truck. Believe it or not, I had to remove 14 screws to do so — four screws hold the bulb in place, but 10 secure the grill; and I had to remove the grill to change the bulb. Actually, 12 screws are supposed to hold the grill in place, but I couldn’t quite see that last one, so I broke a small plastic bracket in the process. After I had removed the grill, I realized that I’d broken the other bracket (opposite side) last time I changed a bulb. Neither is clearly visible or critical.

The point is that I made the repair myself with an $8-dollar light bulb. My repair job wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t have to pay $20 in labor either. Sure, you’ll make some mistakes along the way, too (and hopefully learn from them). But try something new anyway. In addition to saving money and enjoying personal satisfaction, you might spend less time in front of the TV with a bag of chips. Maybe you’ll achieve another resolution in the process.