I've been a student again for the past year. It has been a net positive, much as I miss my kids and my sense of being useful to someone. Financially, however, it has been something of a negative, with scholarships covering tuition and part of living expenses, but with savings covering the difference. You'd think that spending more than I bring in would help me refocus on frugality, but instead the inevitability of dipping into savings proved sufficiently dispiriting that it had the opposite effect. It still hasn't been a disaster by any means, but I could have done better.
I'm looking forward to having a real income again when I start a ph.d program in the fall. At this point, I think my list of schools is narrowed down to two*, one a physics program, one biophysics. Both are in Midwestern college towns where a graduate stipend would go pretty far, which is good since I must balance the need to once again begin setting money aside for long term savings after the year's hiatus; gas money and/or plane tickets to see the Boy, who is pretty adamant about seeing each other at least once a month during the three years before he'll be ready to move up with me; and saving for a wedding, unless I somehow convince said Boy to elope. (He remains convinced that you aren't actually married unless all of your friends have been drunk on cheap champagne.)
*Actually, as I started to write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two options, I think I just came to a decision, but I'll save that for a future post.