This is why you're broke 
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Can you own a pet in a big city without going broke?

Think long and hard before getting a pet in a big cityWhen I first adopted my cat one year ago from the rescue group with which I was volunteering in Manhattan, I naively believed, beyond basic necessities, she’d be relatively low-cost. It turns out the “basic necessities” of pet ownership equate to approximately those of raising an actual human child. Much like raising a human child, these costs rise exponentially when you live in a major metropolitan area.

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 Personal Finance 
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Four Dog Expenses to Consider Before Adopting Fido

Cute BeagleWhen my husband and I got married, the first big decision we made together was to adopt our first dog, Miss Doxie.  A few years later, we adopted another dog, Mr. Pug.  We knew these were big decisions because dogs, and pets in general, can be expensive.  They cost money from the day you get them to the day they go to doggy heaven.  I personally think that each dog I ever have in my life is more than worth it, but here are the costs to consider before getting a dog.

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 Frugal Living 
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Seven Tips for Saving Money on Pet Costs

Cute Dogs!Americans spend more than $41 billion each year on pets. From routine care to pet spa appointments, the pets industry is big business. Increasingly, people consider their pets to be part of the family, and spend accordingly. This can include everything from specially made pet clothes to expensive medical procedures.

Even those most in love with their pets, though, occasionally wonder how they can reduce the costs associated with pet ownership. The economy may be showing signs of recovery, but, for many, the recession is still a reality. And that means that costs need to be cut somewhere. If you are looking for ways to cut back on pet expenses, here are seven ideas:

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 Frugal Living 
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Pet Insurance Buys Peace of Mind

Tobey after Paw SurgeryI’ve always said that I view insurance as protection against the catastrophic, not against the routine. It’s why I don’t have collision and comprehensive insurance on my car. So how does this change with pet insurance? Why do we have pet insurance on the little guy instead of self-insuring his health?

I do this because I view Tobey as priceless. By priceless I don’t mean he’s worth a bazillion dollars, I mean I have no way to determine how much I’m willing to spend for his care. I recognize that it’s my responsibility to take care of him as long as he can live comfortably (otherwise we shouldn’t have adopted him), but without insurance I have to be the arbiter of his fate if he comes down with something. (it’s really my lovely wife and me deciding, but you get the idea) How much should I spend on his care? $500? $1,000? $5,000? $10,000?

I have no idea. In fact, I don’t even want to think about it.
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 Government 
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HAPPY Act: $3,500 Pet Care Expenses Deduction (Proposed)

Jim & TobeyWouldn’t you throw your support behind something called the HAPPY Act? I know I would, it sounds so… cheery!

It exists and it’s a bill that has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI). The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act, H.R. 3501, would offer a $3,500 tax deduction for qualified pet care expenses. A qualified pet is a “legally owned, domesticated, live animal” that isn’t used for research or business. Expenses cover pet products, service, veterinary visits, and basically anything that is related to the care of a pet.

It seems like a difficult time to be introducing this bill when we have so many other economic issues to deal with but it sure is sweet. :)

First reaction: Frivolous deficit spending? Or legitimate deduction we should entertain?


 Frugal Living 
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Make Your Own Dog Food

Spilled Dog FoodSimplyForties made a comment in the forums about how she made her own dog food, an idea I had never considered. Naturally, I turned to the power of Google to help enlighten me how whether making our own dog food made sense. I know a lot of people that feed their dogs human food but we wanted to avoid that because it’s difficult to regulate nutrition through human food. With dog food, it’s a lot easier because you know almost exactly how much nutrition is in each serving.

Always consult your veterinarian before making your own dog food. You’ll want to be absolutely certain what you should and shouldn’t put into your food. Never put in onions, chocolate or grapes as each contain things that are dangerous for your dog. You might also want to talk to them to get a better sense of which supplements and vitamins you might want to include in your dog’s food.


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 Personal Finance 
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Five Life Lessons My Dog Has Taught Me

Tobey and JimMy wife and I rescued a wonderful seven and a half year old beagle named Tobey a few months ago. In that time, this little guy has really grown on me. He sleeps while I work, he follows me on walks, and has a pretty cushy life that I’m greatly envious of. However, he’s taught me a lot about life in general.

People have often asked us, why did we rescue an older dog? That’s a lesson in and of itself and one that I won’t even count as the five I’ll share! We didn’t intend to rescue a seven year old dog, we simply sought out a dog we could love and lead and found it in Tobey. He just happened to be seven. We know we could’ve rescued a younger dog but we met the little Tobester, we got along with him, and he joined our family. Every dog, like every person, needs love and we don’t discriminate based on age. :)

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 Personal Finance 
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Buying Frontline Online

Frontline Plus Blue for DogsA few days ago I wrote about how we got a new dog and all the new dog expenses. One of the more regular expenses will be Frontline and I couldn’t resist a little bit of rhyming. :) Frontline is a product we’ll need to buy regularly for Toby and so the best option typically will be to buy it online.

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