November Budget Report

Oh, MC puts me to shame.

Shame, shame, shame.

Before I post this month’s numbers, which look wild and scary, I’ll remind you of why I’m doing this. As I said last month, this is an idea I took from M.C. over at The House of Two Bows. What I liked about her plan for myself is something rather different than her original intentions. My two intentions are, first of all, to show the costs associated with owning a dog like Silas, with his food issues and his . . . quirks. (Now, keep in mind that these are far from a minimum amount. We do buy a lot of non-essential things.) Also, as I said last month, I think our inability as a society to talk about money helps to keep Americans in financial hot water. That is, ignoring fiscal reality pushes us to make stupid decisions. Another side of that “reality facing” is the incredible grossness I am feeling right now to put these numbers out there. Confession is good for you, right?

Now for the numbers, and then I’ll justify myself out of this hole:

Food: 174.93
Treats: 20
Grooming, etc: 56.18
Toys: 7.18
Training: 0
Vet: 0
Media (Books, DVDs): 21.06
Tripe bonanza: 164.36

Food costs are high because I bought food for both November and December when I did my turkey blitz. We should need very little this month. There were also some expensive things that he doesn’t usually get, namely canned food and a bag of that Stella and Chewy’s cat food. Treat costs have gone way down, thanks to my new dehydrator. I bought a few things before the dehydrator came in, and nothing since. To be really precise, a small portion of his food budget should technically be his treats budget. Grooming is usually a non-existent category for us, but this month we finally replaced our woefully inadequate nail clippers. I also bought Silas a Thundershirt, which I put here, thinking of it as clothes. Toys: I caved and bought him a squeaky rubber hedgehog, which has turned out to be a wonderful investment. It may merit its own post. And then there’s the real monster in the budget, the last of the venison tripe left in our metro area. We wound up with about a year’s supply, which makes me happy. Also happy that I will not have to pay for it again.

Grand total is: $443.71. I’m hoping that next month will even out the average of these last two a little. In October I bought a lot of random things, excited because Silas wasn’t having to go to the vet, then I put Silas back in obedience class and we needed emergency travel supplies right at the end of the month. November had a few extras, but should mostly be a good investment for December and beyond. I promise, I don’t customarily spend money like a drunken sailor.

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6 thoughts on “November Budget Report

  1. I really need to invest in a dehydrator, there are so many things I could be making on my own instead of spending the money. Do you have one just for his treats or do you use it for both your and his? Also, I’ve been buying my guys their food from the local manufacturer, do you think it’s more cost effective to get it somewhere else?

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    1. We haven’t used it a lot yet, but it seems to do fine to multitask. I dried liver (the stinkiest thing ever), then cleaned it out and dehydrated some apples and it was fine. I did let the fan run a little extra time between the batches to finish blowing out the livery smell. On ours the fan sits above all the food, so as long as you wash the trays well I don’t see much reason not to use it.

      Raw food costs vary *significantly* depending on what kind of grocery resources you have. I have friends in the midwest who get things for less than $1/lb. My average is a little more than double that, between higher cost of living and turkey being more expensive than chicken. I buy some things from a local raw food specialty shop and some things from Whole Foods while I’m buying our food. The regular grocery store gets their turkey parts from much larger turkeys, and they’re too big for Silas. Plus the free range stuff from Whole Foods is only about $0.50 more a pound, so it seems worth it. Around here the cheapest reasonably reputable meat prices are at the Asian grocery, but they don’t stock turkey. For fish and pork they’re fantastic.

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    1. True enough, especially since bad breeding is probably responsible for a lot of Silas’s problems. Not that he was a puppy mill dog, just a neglected country dog.

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  2. HOLY TRIPE BONANZA! Wow. I am impressed.

    Though I know shocking and awing your audience is not the point of these budget displays. 😉 It’s easier to feel embarrassment rather than pride at an expense figure like that. With a picky and food-sensitive dog like Silas, I suppose you really have to think about how to control your budget over years, not just month by month, since there is so much experimentation, trial and error involved.

    I still wonder what my budget would have looked like had I started doing this the year of Bowdu’s allergy mayhem. I really did drive myself nuts with all the desperate purchases and vet bills that summer.

    Hang in there!

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    1. Thanks–especially for the very true point about the “years, not months” approach. With something like the tripe, I really didn’t feel like I had much choice. The larger household budget would bear it, so why not? Ditto for buying two entire turkeys, plus various parts while the store had them. The holidays have been wreaking havoc on our food supply for the last few months. I needed to grab while the grabbing was good.

      I think it makes me feel so gross because it hasn’t been so long since this would have been something like a third of my income for the entire month. Talking about it here feels like a weird kind of conspicuous consumption.

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