So yes, horse are expensive, especially when you keep buying stuff!
While it doesn't yet show up on my expenses for November, trading in Blue Truck and Juke in exchange for Newt is going to alter my spending in not-so-fun ways. Trucks big enough to haul three horses are a lot more expensive than cute little cars made for zipping around town.
I spent most of November adjusting my budget to account for the bigger truck payment and added fuel costs that I'll incur from here on out. Juke got around 30 miles per gallon while Newt seems to get about 15. Newt's monthly payment is nearly twice as much as Juke's so that means both my monthly payments and fuel costs will double.
When I look back over the month, I am actually surprised that my overall spending looks so low, although not going to a show "saves" a lot of money. So does not taking regular lessons. The truth is, I spent a lot on "stuff." I bought new girths, muck boots, and the double bridle. Selling some old stuff helped even things out though. And when I look at those costs, I got super great bargains on all of them.
In late November I went on another round of spending while I was in the midst of trying to cut spending. How I rationalized all of that, I simply don't know.
I bought Newt's floor liners (which I'll pay for with my school detention check. Oh, how I loathe running the detention program, but I love getting that check.). I also bought new tall boots, the browbands from the Dressage Pony Store - more on those in another post, and a new blanket for Speedy. I'll pay for all of that in December.
So yes, horse are expensive, especially when you keep buying stuff!
Confession time - I hate writing these posts. At first, they were really interesting. I loved monitoring how much I was spending. Way back in the beginning, publishing my monthly expenses helped me curb my impulse buys. Today, I just feel frustrated by how much I "have" to spend to keep my horses healthy. Of course, I also spend a lot to enjoy them.
I think it would help if I could just let go of the idea that maybe next month will be cheaper. It won't be. This is how I choose to spend my money. When I have more money, I just spend more. And you know what? Right this very minute I am contemplating spending $50,000 on a new truck. Talk about an expensive hobby.
So yeah. Horses are expensive. Version 4.0 won't be any better.
They're even more expensive if you do all the things: shows, lessons, vet, farrier ... Somehow, I managed to squeeze in an awful lot considering September only has 30 days, and I went back to work.
My biggies for the month were the same as any month: board, farrier, lessons, gas, and that whopper of a vet bill. When looked at individually, none of the charges are all that exorbitant. It's when I put them all together in one month that they make me cringe. Especially that vet bill. I have been paying that sucker down bit by bit all year only to watch it creep back up even as I made another payment. I am so glad that thing is paid off.
Out of curiosity, I changed the parameters of the monthly report to show how much I've spent thus far in 2019. My September bill looks pretty hefty when viewed as a percentage of $16,338, my year-to-date expenses.
Then I started digging though my report customizer and found a report that I've never used before - a two year, side-by-side comparison.
It is interesting to note that some years, I spend quite a bit more in some areas than others. Veterinary Costs, I am looking at you. In 2019, I definitely spent more on my truck and the farrier, but a lot less on supplements. Bye, bye, Platinum Performance ...
On my report, I can click each dollar amount and a detailed list pops up. Here's what it looks like when I click 2019's Veterinary Costs.
I like reports. It's interesting to see where my money goes. What we spend our money on is truly a reflection of our priorities and values. Some might even say our spending is a barometer of our core life values. I recently saw this interesting statement about core values.
While some people ... might expressly share their core values, often the best way to identify these values is to watch how they behave.
It makes me wonder what my spending says about my own values. I think self-reflection is what is called for here.
August felt far more expensive than the numbers would suggest. Getting a full refund from my RAAC entry helped. (If you'll remember, Speedy developed an abscess days before the show, and we didn't get to go.) Plus, I saved a ton of money by not going to RAAC at all. No gas, no groceries, no incidentals. It's funny how not showing is such a great way to save money.
I also missed out on some lessons. With Speedy's abscess and school starting, I just couldn't seem to get my schedule to match up with my trainer's. We only managed one lesson for the entire month.
I had to spend the money somewhere though, so I bought two pairs of Thinline reins and a few other things. An old endurance friend has generously been selling off some of my endurance tack which I have turned around and "reinvested." I was able to (mostly) pay for the hoof testers and knife as well as a new tub of Numotizine, all of which I hope I never need to use.
Blue Truck put a dent in my budget as well. I had a ton of work done last December which I paid for when I received the bill. At the time, it seemed as though the bill was a bit light, so for several months I messaged the owner asking for the rest of the bill. When I got no response, I assumed I was wrong in how much I owed. Turns out I wasn't. I finally got the bill in August. Womp, womp.
Between the entry fee and a tank of gas, it cost me $158 to show Izzy. Of all of my expenses for the month, that was one one which I was most happy to spend. In fact, I am disappointed that we're on the back side of the show season. I think it would be great to get him to another show as soon as possible. There are a few things coming up this fall, but there are also a lot of conflicts. Of course, the perfect show weekend for Izzy falls on the same weekend as a different show that Speedy and I had already planned on doing.
First world problems. In this case, they're problems I am glad to have.
I am a little late on this post. I am probably trying to avoid seeing numbers that are depressing. This is the third year I've tracked my equine spending, and I've come to the realization that it's not horses in particular that are expensive; it's LIFE that costs so much.
This has been an expensive year. Every time I turn around, I have some new bill to take care of. While many of them are connected to my horses, just as many aren't. Car trouble, truck trouble, dog trouble. It's just never ending.
I unhooked my truck on Sunday to go fill it up and run it through the car wash. It's not a task I enjoy, so as I drove out of my way just for a fill up, I started whining a bit. I was thinking about the thousands of dollars I spend each month on this crazy horse life and began to wish that I was one of those people whose fingernails are always clean. Who doesn't stink every single day on the drive home. Who doesn't have hay in all of her pockets and usually her hair.
And just as suddenly, I realized that there there must be thousands of women who wished they were just like me. Someone with a truck and trailer. Someone who can ride horses any day of the week. Someone who has hay in her pockets and in her hair.
Yes, life is expensive, but I think I've got a good one.
Summer, or show season as it should really be called, is usually the most expensive season for me as a horse owner. Speedy's recent "winter of woe" however, wherein he managed to rack up thousands of dollars in vet bills, really challenged my bank account. I just can't get those bills paid off. I say that, but the reality is that I could pay them off if I would make other (better?) choices.
My husband has been pretty supportive of the "pay it later" plan, especially given that I spent $681 on shows and another $230 on lessons last month. Not doing those two things would have enabled me to take care of my outstanding vet bill. I would have been miserable though. Whoever says money can't buy happiness is either wrong or just stupid.
At the end of June, I had to order a new box of Prascend at $277.00. The box will last 160 days, so at least I won't have to reorder until the fall. The Prascend is to treat Speedy's Cushing's Disease. That charge is getting added in with the other pay it later bills.
As I was planning the rest of my summer budget, I decided that it would be okay to do two shows each month in July and August. That will end our show season though which means I can then get my vet bills and the Prascend paid for in September. That will be a relief.
If we don't get our two bronze medal scores, there isn't another show until October, so I am hopeful that I can still pay those other bills in September, or at least one of them. Once those are paid, I can once again start saving for next year's show season or another winter of woe, whichever comes first.
Horses. They're expensive, you know?
This weekend's show recap is coming. I need a few minutes to write it up. In the meantime ...
In the rush to close out the school year, I completely forgot to share my expenses for the month of May. Winter is normally when I do most of my saving for vacations and showing, but Speedy's "winter of woe" used up all of my summer play money. Things are going to be tight this summer.
Every time I start to feel that I might have a month free of unexpected "adult" bills, something else crops up. In May, my car had yet another run in with an object that meant a $500 bill. That money was supposed to cover half of what I still owe on Speedy's winter vet bills.
I was discussing my financial woes with my husband. I told him the easiest and quickest way I could get caught up would be to give up lessons and showing for a few months. Even he wrinkled up his nose at that. Sure, it would save me money, but the main reason I work is to be able to have horses. He suggested I just chip away at the bill slowly.
I quickly agreed and then sent in yet another show entry. It's only money, right?
Not only are horses expensive, but so is everything else. For such a short month, this one nearly broke the bank. For the past year, I have incurred the most bizarre and unexpected bills. Need an example? My car, for which I have now made 37 payments, just went back to the body shop for its FOURTH repair/repaint. And every instance has been unrelated.
First, I got hit in the rear quarter panel which bent the axel and did all sorts of body damage. Fortunately, the other driver was 100% at fault so their insurance company paid for all the repairs.
Then something splashed all-over my hood, eating through the paint. To repaint my hood was just slightly more than my deductible ($500), so I just paid for it without filing a claim.
Last fall, I was hit in the front quarter panel, and the other driver fled the scene. While I was declared not at fault, I still had to pay the $500 deductible.
And finally, last week, my garage door malfunctioned as I backed out, scraping the roof of my car and ripping off my antenna. As it was clearly my fault, I had to pay the $500 deductible again. The Juke is in the shop as we speak.
Even though we pay extra all year long AND claim zero exemptions, we still have a tax bill every year. April was tax month. The bill was paid, but we didn't like it. There have been more bills, of course, but what can I say? It's just life. The big bummer is that I haven't been able to pay nearly as much on Speedy's vet bill(s) as I would have liked.
With show season now staring me in the face, I'm pretty glad that I only have one goal for the year. Knowing that my show budget is getting smaller and smaller, I've been busting both Speedy's butt as well as my own to get as good as we can so that we earn the scores we need without needing to do a bunch of shows to get them.
I can't guarantee that we'll get the scores in just two shows (I need two scores from two different judges), but being "poor" is a huge motivator!
I am glad today is payday.
Boy are they ever. Especially the gray ones; they're really pricey. Speedy's vet bills have really started to pile up, but I've been able to pay each one - until now. In March, we had a bill that ran $1059.40. There was also one for $367.00 as well as one for $458.33. And those weren't the only vet-related expenses that we incurred.
While it kills me to do it, I've had to break up that one big bill into several chunks. I've paid a little on it already, but I'll pay for the rest over the next two months. If we don't rack up too many additional bills that is. I know I'll have at least one more vet bill when Speedy goes back in to have the wires cut out.
Other than vet bills, I paid board, bought feed, and had three lessons. That was it. Once again, no tack, no breeches, and certainly no shows or clinics. One thing my expense report doesn't show is all of the random household bills that have also attacked my checking account: new tires, a fender bender (not my fault but the other driver fled the scene so I still had to pay my deductible), DMV fees, and a slew of other bills.
Out of curiosity, I ran a report showing all of the vet expenses (including supplements) incurred since this fall. So far, I've paid just over $2,750 with almost a thousand still left to pay (pus anything new). I suppose that isn't too bad. I would rather be spending it on lessons, clinics, or shows though. I think I need another job.
It's a good thing this horse likes me. It's probably even better that I like him! As always, Go, Team Speedy!
Thank goodness February was a short month. I wouldn't have been able to afford three more days. February was less expensive than January, but I am not sure how. I took Speedy to the vet at least five times. Granted, the bill from two weeks ago will be paid in March, but it still felt like an un-necessarily expensive month.
When I look back over what I spent, I do notice a few things that are missing. I didn't buy any new riding clothes, tack, or barn supplies. That kind of stuff really adds up over the course of a month. Knowing I have a whopper of a vert bill still left to pay, I've put the kibosh on any discretionary spending. Breeches and Mane and Tail are not necessary for survival.
The weather also helped me spend less. You'll notice I was only able to manage two lessons. It's so disappointing to have to cancel our weekend lessons, but at the same time, it's a bit of a relief because that money immediately gets shifted into my Veterinary Costs budget.
The thing with money is that it finds a way to get spent. If I didn't give it to the vet, I'd be giving it to my trainer or a show manager. April starts my show season in earnest. We have that great clinic with Lilo Fore coming up in April, and then it's on to which ever show comes first.