Thursday, June 30, 2011

new feature: budgeting

We talk about how we save money through deal sites, credit cards, and rewards cards.  So we thought it would be a good idea to do a monthly feature on the last day of each month with a total of how much we spent on Havi.  We would love ideas on how to save more or save better!  We have had Havi for officially 6 months.  We definitely believe that we spent a lot more money than usual on Havi.  Besides her adoption fee, when she came to us she had a huge stomach and digestion issue that took four months to solve, there was no record of her having any vaccinations or a check up (this was the fault of the rescue) so we had to take care of that, and then in her first two month with us she was attacked by another pup at a dog park (we will talk about dog parks another day).  All together, the accumulation of pup materials (dog mats, bowls, food, toys) and these problems we spent a lot on Havi.  Many people told us it was because we adopted a shelter pup.  However, around the same time Law Student's mom got Mushey from a breeder and he had cystic giardia which cost a pretty penny as well to diagnose and cure.  

Around 6 months, where we are now, we believe we have stabilized our accounting with Havi and would like to share how to save money with a pup.  We got the idea from Dogtipper.com who compared costs of a small to large pup.  

Month of June
Missing Link ProBiotic - PetsTruly.com - $22.64
Evo Red Meat Dry Dog Formula 28.6lb - ProperPet.com - $59.99
Evo Red Meat Dry Dog Formula 6.6lb - Boutique Petstore -  - $20.68
Running to the Vet to find out she had puppy warts - $45.00
Dollar Store Toy - Jack's 99Cent World - $1.00
Total - $149.31

Yearly costs:
We had paid for a 12 month supply of FrontLine and HeartGuard as well as shampoo.

Deer Antler from Maisie and Me
Painting from Art By Elizabeth
Tennis balls from Dental Students parents

We usually don't have to buy two bags of food and have vet scares, so that upped the price this month.  The yearly costs we will factor in in January when we pay for them!


  1. I would be horrified and embarrassed to tell you how much I spend monthly on Maisie. between raw food and daycare and the dog walker, it's a LOT. the costs should be going down somewhat once I start working from home in a couple weeks, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll have a job so I definitely need to start thinking about where I can cut even more of my Maisie spend. great post!


  2. Like kids it isn't always easy to cut corners when you are meeting basic food, medical, and housing needs. You can debate what extras to include and those budgets can get out of hand, but food and vet care don't come without expense.

    I am hoping that our blog will eventually generate offers to try toys, etc. and that may offset some of the "extra costs."

    When we adopted Bailey through the rescue the process was fairly intimidating the first time. They wanted us to be fully aware of the income costs associated and they were not out of line with what they told us to be prepared to expect. They were more laid back when we got Katy through them, I believe because afer having Bailey for almost seven years they figured we understood the financial realities.

    Truthfully we save in other areas to afford the cost of two. If things get tight we could cut back on the extras, but that isn't where the real costs come. To save money it would need to come from other household expenses. We shop around, use coupons when we can, but I am not willing to skip on our vet care.

  3. Great idea! I admit that we actively don't look at how much we spend on the dogs, but that 'head in the sand' mentality probably isn't a good thing, haha. Looks like Havi's been a pretty good deal this month!

  4. Hate to tell you how much Thunder's surgery for bloat/GDV cost. Blew the budget for this year, next year and maybe the year after. :) But the alternative was no more Thunder so I guess it was a bargain.

    I have heard that giardia and certain other parasites are difficult and expensive to diagnose. Pets are only slightly cheaper than kids.

  5. What a great idea! I just started keeping a spending record on my dogs and a separate record for training related expenses for work. I'll be interested to see how it compares to your spending on Havi.

    Having two pups definitely changes things, but I've already noticed that buying treats or long lasting chews in bulk will save me money in the long run. Mostly, I just need to reign in my need for adorable collars and toys!

  6. I'm too scared to keep a proper tally... Bilbo is why I have a second job.


  7. I just did a post about this too, inspired by you! Its a little scary to look at it and see how much I spent- not on the needed things like food and meds, but on the "extras" like flyball and toys. I certainly don't spend that much in "extras" for myself in a month!

  8. People don't realize just how much dogs cost. I guess sometimes it is our fault, but there are always extra things that come up. And speaking of insurance...I feel it my obligation to tell all pet owners about pet insurance. Ours has helped us out so much. Let us know if you need more info on it.

  9. No way am I going to tally up how much we spend on the animals per month :)

  10. My cat Fry was the most expensive free cat ever. I should have known something was up when the guy who found him drove to our house that very night.. from another state just to deliver the cat plus a free carrier!

    Ten months and over $5,000 later we lost Fry to illness and had no idea how we'd manage as newlywed first time home owners. It was rough, but the money we spent to help him was entirely worth it, even if we only got to spend 10 months with him.

    But yeah, that's the last free cat I get. The rescue I got my two boys from said I could have them for free just as long as they stayed together, but I insisted they take some money, lol.

  11. Hey Havi's Peeps!
    Wow, Mom & Dad frequently mention that I cost them a lot. I usually just ignore this. I know I give them more entertainment than they could ever buy! BOL I do know that Mom makes me homemade dog food and that saves her some cash and she knows it's healthy for me. Also saves some effort at the store. She also says I don't need fancy, expensive dog shampoo...she uses Suave on me and it works just fine. Let me know if you want the food recipes that Frankie and I get...we'll share! BTW: Have a great holiday. Will I see you at the Luau hosted by Fiesty Three??
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  12. I think it's a good idea to keep track of your expenses. Many people adopt a dog and have no clue that there are going to be expenses associated with it. I don't keep track of how much we spend on the dogs a year, and I'm a little afraid to know, but I also do know that it's just reality that you're going to have to spend some along the way. Here's to hoping this month is cheaper for you! :)

  13. The rescue group charged an adoption fee and did not even give shot records? That is SHAMEFUL! Grrrrr. (And I can say that because we ran a rescue group for 10 years.) The rescue should have taken care of existing illness, too - we ALWAYS did and sometimes it cost the rescue group thousands of dollars but that is what donations are for.

  14. Our two card on average cost $80 a month for regular food, that's not including check UPS and get emergencies. I'm a stuffed bunny and my costs are way higher with traveling, airfare, art events, and all the other stuff I do. I could just be a pillow ornament and that wouldn't cost a dime, but that's so boring!

  15. I spent at least $3K last year on Michael's vet bills alone to treat his skin allergies (this occurs more frequently than you think in pit bulls). I have reduced the costs significantly by using the same approach I take with my own health care, ie, more preventative maintenance (eg, switching to Stella & Chewy's and other raw diets, paying for a comprehensive ear cleaning under anesthesia and using boric acid to maintain, etc). I knew he had a puppy wart (I am not a vet but diagnosed it using the Merck Manual and figured it was probably exacerbated by the steroids he was being given to treat his allergies, ugh. So I tacked on the question to another vet visit and she confirmed--she said as long as it wasn't interfering with his eating, it would fall off naturally. And it did! BTW, we go to Animal General on Columbus and 89th. We like all of the vets there and vaccinations are free with any annual wellness exam. Nail clipping and anal gland expression is also free on Thursdays so the vet techs get practice. The vet who owns the practice noticed people were skimping on vaccines when the economy tanked, so it was a conscious decision on his part to encourage people not to forgo important vaccinations like rabies.