I'm back! The test is behind me, I've passed (unless there is some major flub) and am considered certified and fulfilled my job requirements and now have a little bit of life back. Sadly (or perhaps to my benefit) this was a reminder of how important it will be to budget my wisely when do decide return to school in the future. Though the best thing that came out of it was the knowledge that I know, officially, have a "skill" in the eyes of the job market. I developed a lot of skills in my form career-life, but I now feel like I have a safety net. I can go back to school, and job search in that field (eventually), but if the job market ever takes a nose dive again I have a qualification in skilled work that would hopefully keep me above minimum wage! It might not sound like much, but to me it's the world.
But enough about that, I'll save my "everyone should have a clearly marketable skill" rant for another day.
In lieu of a big post on a particular subject I'd give you a peak into the real world of our attempts to be frugal - it's ups and downs.
- Up - Still Meal Planning, and successfully avoiding the call to go pick up some pizzas as we had leftovers and quick (homemade) meals available last night.
- Down - We're still wasting too much fresh produce for my liking. I think a change in strategy is at hand - perhaps having the hubs stop for fresh lettuce, etc. on his way home on nights when I know we're absolutely going to eat them.
- Up - With our final tally on our mortgage payment and our first utility bills having arrived we've got our preliminary budget set up.
- Up & Up - The budget, currently looks better than I had thought.
- Up & Down - We need to budget in a programmable thermostat into the household repairs before next winter and sign up for our utility companies "budget bill" systems as soon as we qualify (for those who don't have this option it's when the company charges you a flat fee based on your average usage to keep bills consistent during the year and the are refunded or charged the difference at the end of the year)
- Down - Had to restock up on socks for the little guy, who at 11 months old has been wearing size 5 shoes for months and desperately need warm, fitting socks.
- Down & down - These socks came from the dreaded W*mart - I'm still working on relearning to live without this store and it's proving to be a longer process than last time.
- Up - Sorted thru the box of "too big for now" clothes I have on hand and have a good idea of what we still need for the summer and next fall. Will probably do a little consignment shopping this weekend at the 50% off winter sale to stock up for next year.
- Up - Officially finished decorating and arranging my living room and kitchen with the help of my fabulous decorator of a mother (I'm rather decorating impaired). With the help of some great sales and free consignment credit we added some pictures, decor items, small rugs and a little baby safety all for under $100. I feel like I have a real, grown up start to my house and often find myself standing in my living room just enjoying its prettiness.