Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Some Things Are Worth It At Any Price

Tip #133 - Some Things Are Worth It At Any Price. When trying to save money, many people, myself included, are guilty of holding back on purchases that are not necessities or do not benefit us monetarily. I hear people say that children are too expensive so they aren’t going to have any, and I know people who never take a vacation because it’s not worth spending the money on something that is short-lived. And while I am not suggesting that someone who is thousands of dollars in debt go on a Caribbean vacation, a small getaway even to a friend’s house or at a local state park is good for the soul. You may come back well-rested, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle problems that seemed to heavy to bear before you took a break. If you want kids, then you will figure out a way to raise them inexpensively. Yes, there will be costs and sacrifices on your part to have them, but as most people who have children will tell you, it’s the best decision they made. (I’m not saying people who do not want kids should have them; that’s a whole other can of worms.)

My point is, some things are worth it at any price. Living close to family may cost more than living somewhere else but the benefits you and your family receive cannot be replicated. So when you are evaluating your budgets, don’t just look at the bottom line, think about what will make you happiest overall, and even if it is not the most cost-efficient move, it will benefit you in ways greater than monetarily.

In Real Life (IRL) - In my financial wrap-up this week, I mentioned a $95 pet bill that we had. It will be the last pet bill we pay for awhile. You see that $95 bill was to euthanize our family dog, Bonnie and to cremate her. Bonnie was 16 ½ years old and for a large dog, had lived a full life. But for her last few days on earth, she wasn’t eating and was pretty much sleeping all day. I won’t lie and say this pet meant more to me than anything. She didn’t. She was actually a package deal who came with my husband when I met him. Some days I liked her very much and other days I merely tolerated her.

Bonnie was a collie/golden mix who looked primarily like a collie. So she had very long dog hair that shed everywhere, and I am not a big fan of shedding dog hair. And while she had a gentle disposition with people, she hated (with a capital “H”) other animals. In fact, she attacked a dog once who came over to say hi to her. My husband got her at the pound and they believed she may have been abused as a puppy, so we had to be extra careful not to have her around other animals. Since my husband is at work all day, some of her care fell on me. I added water to her bowl, cleaned up her dog poop in the yard, and checked on her every now and then. When we went on vacation, we paid hundreds of dollars to have someone watch her for us. And when she had teeth problems, incontinence problems, and arthritis problems, we paid for her vet bills and medications. Week after week we paid money to keep her fed. In fact, we have a line item in our budget just for dog.

Dogs are expensive, no doubt about it. And if our lives were just about money and how much we can accumulate, there is no denying that having a dog would not be worth it. But some things are worth it at any price. Who can put a price on the responsibility a child learns from having a dog or the unconditional love a dog gives his owner? Or the companionship a dog brings to a person living alone? You can't. Having that kind of companion is priceless. We will miss our dog greatly in our lives. But she lived a good full life and I hope that we brought as much happiness to her as she brought to our family. Rest in Peace, Bonnie.

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