Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

When doing our budget for January, I was stoked.  Hubs had received a bonus in December, I had received retro pay, and we had both received raises for the upcoming year.  I figured we were set!  We would easily be able to reach some savings goals, and possibly even expand our budget and get a few things that we had been wanting.  I still think it is possible, but for some reason things seem to always happen.

ImageEnter Bandit.  This little guy is one expensive dog.  He was a rescue and is a mutt, but we love him dearly.  We have paid so much to the vet because of this guy.  He seems to have chronic ear infections which leave him super itchy and inevitably bloody.  This time, though, it’s not an ear infection we are facing.  

See the little red area on his snout?  That is a tumor, apparently.  It has been growing the past week and a half or so, and it was finally big enough that we figured we needed to get him to the vet.  I took him in today, and the vet said it was a tumor.  He wasn’t able to tell what kind or if it is cancerous or not, but it needs to be removed.  They wrote an estimate of what it would cost to have it removed (and also recommended him have his teeth cleaned).  Their estimate was around $500.  This included about $200 for his teeth to be cleaned.  After discussing it with Hubs, we have decided to move forward with having the growth removed and sent to pathology to find out what it is.  We are not going to get his teeth cleaned though… he is a dog.  We have the option of not having it sent to pathology for testing, but we want to either have peace of mind that it is nothing or have a time line of how things will progress if it is something more.  

We are lucky enough to have the money ready to pay for this, even though our vet does offer payment plans.  It’s a hit to the savings, which is something I would like to not occur again.  I feel as though we get things squared around, and then we are always hit with something that drains our savings.  It is getting really old.  I just want a few months of boring nothing happening.  

Here are some expenses I foresee in 2014 that we need to make sure to think about when we spend and save:

New car for me (Mine is 11, almost 12 years old and is very small)
New computer for me (Mine is about 10 years old and hanging on by a thread.  I need it for my photography business.)
Christmas (We learned this year how expensive it is with a child)
Travelling for Christmas (This includes a hotel room for multiple days)
Birthday party for Miss C
Emergency Fund (We need to get this built up in case something happens to something in the house)
Treadmill (This isn’t a need, but it is something Hubs and I would like to invest in)

I am sure I am forgetting something or there will be things that I don’t foresee (like more vet bills), but this is an expensive list.  Maybe I need to put this list in my wallet, so I can see it each time I try to buy something that is not a need.  At this point we will just continue to live on the same budget even though we both got raises.  The extra money will go into our savings account.  Maybe half way through the year we can reevaluate where that money is put, but for now it needs to be in savings.  Any unexpected money or our tax refund will also be going straight into savings.  I have a feeling 2014 will be a tight year for us.

I guess we will continue to plug along and get used to not being rich. 

Do you have any big expenses coming up in 2014?  What are you doing to make sure you are ready for them?

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