It Turns Out Money Can Buy You Happiness

So, the big news in the Beach Life house has been these two little guys:



It’s hard to believe how quickly we became dog people. These guys have really added so much joy to life. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows-I didn’t expect my life to revolve around poop so much. Even so, we’re so, so happy to have added these guys to our family.

My bank account, however, has been a little depressed about it. Since bring the dogs home on July 5th, I have spent a whopping $6,173.22 on the dogs. With $3,000 (or more!) coming in the next couple weeks. (We REALLY love these guys.)


The Break Down

Food: $96.53

I bought a gift card to Petco through and then ordered online for cash back through TopCashBack. Petco had the cheapest dog food that Little Bit eats, and I used the $10 in reward money I already had for Sonny’s food. I still have a lot left on that gift card and can also use it on the cat’s food, too!


Vet: $917.98


Little Bit is 13 and Sonny is 10, so we knew there were going to be larger vet expenses. We didn’t think they would be immediate.

Little Bit did not poop for 5 days. I took him to the vet who said he must be pooping because there was no poop in him (uh, sweet, guess I’ve got a ninja pooper dog?) The vet was very concerned about LB’s teeth, and scheduled a dental cleaning. The dental cleaning revealed that LBs teeth were “just flapping in the wind” and 30 of them had to be extracted.

Knowing that Sonny probably also didn’t get the dental care he needed all his life, I took him to the vet for an initial exam so that we could schedule a dental exam. At the initial exam they tested him for heartworms (negative!) and confirmed his teeth needed to be looked at.

However, when I took him in on Monday, it was after a few days of sneezing and coughing. Our poor little guy has a respiratory infection! They couldn’t do the cleaning yet, but prescribed him a course of antibiotics. He will get his teeth cleaned in two weeks.

LBs gums are doing okay, but there are some holes they want to stitch up. They say it will be about $350. And then it’s probably going to be another $300 for Sonny’s exam and extractions.  THEN once they’re both healthy and feeling good, they need to be groomed!


Fencing in the Yard: $5,158

We love taking the dogs on a walk, but they also need a safe space to do their business. Little Bit is blind in at least one eye and is deaf and gets really scared on walks because he can’t see or hear. We want him to be able to get used to our yard and feel comfortable about going to the bathroom. Also, we want to be able to put them out sometimes. A fence is something that Mr. BL and I have talked about putting in for a while, but have put it off because of the expense. Now we have an excuse!

It’s going to be more expensive than this, though, because we need to have several bushes removed before the fence is installed. Our first quote was $900 from a guy that used a messaging service and google calendar invites and then didn’t show up for when HE SCHEDULED the removal. The guy we’re leaning towards is double the price, but he runs an actual business and actually talks to his potential customers. He gave us an itemized list of what each removal will cost, so we’re discussing which bushes can wait until later.

We’ve also decided that since we’re spending a ton of money we don’t have, we should just keep going. We have a big concrete slab at the front and side of our house. It is cracked and lets water and moisture in which is causing some structural damage to the house. We knew about this when we bought the house, so it’s not a surprise. And it’s slow damage-the walls are bowing ever so slightly. We think the concrete looks ugly and are going to pay the bush guy to take it out. It will be easier before the fence is put in, and it will stop (for the most part) what is causing the walls to shift. That will be about $1,800.


How Are We Paying For It?


Your guess is as good as mine.


I’m kidding. (kind of.)


Right now it’s all going to go on a 0% interest credit card. I have offers on current cards for 18 months. I have picked up as many mystery shop jobs as I can handle in an effort to earn more to pay these guys off ASAP. Good news is that the fence may translate into a modest increase in our home value (nowhere near what we’ve spent on it though, I’m sure) and that will help when we finally get the HELOC to pay off the renovation. Once we get the HELOC we also have the option of transferring the fence costs to it. I don’t think I want to do that, but it is an option.


Weekly Spending


In the meantime, I am trying to keep my spending to the bare minimum. Here’s how I did this week.


June 21:

$16.53- Gas utility bill


June 22:

$16.56- Laundry detergent from Sam’s Club

$2.14- Bleach from Dollar Tree

$17.39- Dinner mystery shop-fully reimbursed.


June 23:

$19.44- Grocery mystery shop-fully reimbursed.

$16.39-Grocery mystery shop-fully reimbursed.

$14.93-Grocery mystery shop-fully reimbursed.


June 24:

No Spend Day!


June 25:

No Spend Day!


June 26:

$1.10- Emergency peanuts


June 27:

$34.09- Groceries (I made the mistake of going with Mr. BL and Kid)


Total: $138.57 with $68.15 coming back to me!


I am happy that I can buckle down when it’s critical! I hope I can keep this up for the next, oh, 12-18 months I am paying off these large expenses.


This weekend you will find me hanging out with the puppers, cooking to keep us from eating out, mystery shopping my butt off and writing some more posts. What’re your plans this weekend?

7 Responses

  1. mrspickypincher

    Oh my … oh my god. Those are the cutest little dogs I’ve ever seen. Sorry about those upfront costs. We adopted Zap last November and it set us back about $400 after vet bills (he had a digestive problem). I’m so happy to see you adopted senior dogs, too! This makes my heart so happy! What a wonderful thing to do. 🙂

    This weekend we’re actually celebrating Zap’s first birthday (he’s so big!), cooking, and doing general frugal merriment, I’m sure.

  2. Jing

    Wow! Congrats on your new doggies! They are absolutely adorable! I feel terrible for Little Bit…30 teeth?! My god. Thanks for the breakdown! My boyfriend and I would love to get a dog, thankfully we can put off the decision for a while since our current apartment doesn’t allow pets. I’ll definitely be keeping these costs in mind when I get a dog 🙂

  3. Piggy

    And props to you for being honest about all the real costs (including the fence!) of pet ownership. We paid for training too and it was worth every penny.

  4. eemusings

    What cutie pies!!!! <3<3<3

    We want to replace the fence on one side of our property (about 40 m) to match the other sides, which are tall solid timber (this one is ramshackle, posts + wire mesh). Have been saving to do that. Now the neighbours on that side (or technically the govt, as it's a state house/public housing) want to replace it … quote $6k to do it professionally! Even half of that amount is more than we were planning for our DIY version.

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