Jack and sue new year resolution

Anyone who's every really scraped hard putting a budget together while unemployed would appreciate Jack and Sue's painstaking efforts over the holiday period. They just decided to stay solvent, and even with the bit of extra cash they were making, stuck firmly to their No Frills Bottom Of The Barrel Budget.

They weren't doing too badly, really, just being cautious with their hard earned money. Their CVs were bulging with the recent work, and they were using those jobs as DIY resume builders to get more work.

As it turned out, the New Year period was a good time to look people up, when they had a little time to talk. Their kind of job searching was seven days a week, 365 days a year, and even during the holiday break, they kept it up.

The money situation was sort of bearable, no longer grim. It still wasn't easy, even for people who didn't mind plain food, and not going out. Both Jack and Sue became expert menders. The joke between them was that she was the electrical Mrs. Fixit, and he was the one who seemed to have the ideas about making their clothing survive for an extra month or six.

They just didn't shop, if they could help it. The only thing they were prepared to spend money on was their daughter, who, in turn, just didn't ask for anything. They were very suspicious of this lack of desire for toys and things until they found her sighing looking at an online toy site. Sue distracted her while Jack book marked the page.

She'd been looking at a very inexpensive doll's house. That set off a train of thought. It took a while for them to realize that how they'd been living previously had created a mindset about how they were now living.

It was still a major surprise to them how much stuff they'd accumulated in their Solid Job days, none of which they used, and some of which they'd never used, nor were they ever likely to use. This was forcibly driven into their thinking by one of their family walks around the area, when they walked past a big garage sale. Just about anything anyone could want, except perhaps a yacht, was available.

The people running the sale were making money, too. It wasn't exactly a leap of great logic to realize they could sell all their unwanted, unused, things, too. They asked about how they could do their own sale.

They had enough questions to ask, too. Some people don't know that when you sell anything to anyone, there are laws, even at garage sales. What about refunds? What about people haggling? What about people tripping over the goods and breaking something, like their necks?

The answers were quite informative. Refunds are cheaper than court cases. Haggling only happens when you're prepared to haggle. Public liability insurance does have its uses. Eventually, Jack and Sue convinced themselves they knew enough about garage sales to hold one.

They started their sale well organized. They'd made a point of dragging out all the big space hogging things they intended to sell first. That had given them some space to sort out all the smaller things. Their daughter, apparently, also had some old toys and clothes to sell. She said she wanted the money for something. A bit dazed as well as touched by this six year old entrepreneurial streak, they were pretty sure they knew what it was, too.

Their garage sale was timely. It was just after Christmas, and there were a lot of people around on the Saturday before the New Year. The entire neighborhood descended on them, in the course of the morning.

Their daughter, apparently, knew everybody, and all her stuff was sold out by 11AM, at her prices. Nobody, they noticed, wanted to haggle with an intelligent kid, although there were one or two arrangements about their own things. They were sold out by noon.

They hadn't said a word about the doll's house. They were climbing the walls wanting to say something, but their daughter just asked when they were going to do the Saturday shopping, because she had something she wanted to buy.

That threw them, because the doll's house was only available online. So they'd got it wrong, obviously. They were duly herded to a local El Cheapo shop by their six year old enigma, and parked in the dolls section, while she fossicked.

An eternity slowly passed until she emerged with another doll's house. It was a sort of farm, and had horses… Much nicer than the others she'd been looking at, she explained, which didn't have horses and had all those frilly fashion things.

OK, so they weren't connoisseurs of dolls houses.

It was also, she added, much cheaper, as well as better, and she wanted to save money, too. She'd learned to shop around from their various impecunious online epics of trying to find better prices.

New Year's Eve was fun. A dolls house, complete with some of the most overdressed toy horses on Earth, added a lot of very welcome color to the end of a very tough year. Their daughter had two more surprises. She'd bought her mother some flowers for the garden, and her father a pair of slippers which were so comfortable they later found they had to remind him to take them off. She also still had a lot of her money left.

Their first New Years Resolution was to bring their daughter with them at all times when shopping.

The second was to make sure they won their personal war against unemployment, for her sake, and to build their careers together.