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Expensive couple of months

April 26th, 2007 at 04:30 pm

March and April have been unusually expensive.

First, we were within $200 of the laptop saving goal, so when DH mentioned he really wanted to go ahead and get it, I said ok -- figuring we'd just take the extra $200 out of our "free" allowances ($100 each). So we ordered it and I was very happy that we'd made a savings goal and reached it.

Then one of my cats was run over -- he had a habit of walking just in front of the tire as I was slowly pulling into the garage. Neither DH nor I saw him. Since it was a Sunday, our regular vet was closed and we had to take him to an emergency animal hospital. They required a $500 pre-authorization just to attempt to stabilize him and take x-rays. It turned out his injuries were too severe and we had to put him to sleep. (Although they did give us the option of several days and thousands of dollars of ICU for "a chance" at recovery.) Total bill: $667. I really believe our regular vet would've reached the same conclusion for much less. I asked what were the low-cost options for taking care of his body, and was told that the cheapest was $85 (and that county wouldn't be any cheaper.) I grew suspicious when I read the details and discovered that this included scattering his ashes at sea! At this point I was considering burying him in the back yard, though I'm not sure it's legal. They said they would keep him for a few days at no charge until we were ready to make arrangements. I called my vet and found out they charged $37, then called the county and found out it was only $10! What a way to make money out of grieving pet owners! I was able to pull money out of our "basic savings", "clothing", and "free $$" catagories to cover it and so did not have to touch any of our reserve or emergency funds.

Then in early April I had to visit the ER to rule out appendicitis -- still no bill yet so I don't know how much my copay will be. I think it's either 10% or 20% for the visit and the procedures, up to a max of $2,000. There's $250 in the "medical" catagory, another $250 in "dental", and of course the emergency fund if the bill is really big.

The next day I realized my other cat had stopped eating. I took him to our vet, who wanted about $500 to do x-ray, blood work, urine test, and give fluids and appetite stimulants. Knowing that we weren't going to pay for any extreme measures such as chemotherapy, I really pressed the vet to ask how likely it was that the tests would reveal a treatable condition, as opposed to just going straight to pallative care. The vet hemmed and hawed, and finally said the minimum we should do was give fluids and take an x-ray for $270, then decide whether to do more tests. The x-ray revealed a massive abdominal tumor, so we went straight to pallative care (fluids and special food). The cat didn't seem to be in any pain, I think he enjoyed a few extra days sitting in the sun, so I'm glad we didn't put him to sleep immediately. About 5 days later he seemed to be distressed, so I was going to take him in to be put to sleep, but he died just before the vet opened. I tapped the "repair home" catagory (where we keep $500) for this, and will build it back up over the next couple of months.

Then we purchased airline tickets and reserved a room at a B&B -- a trip to celebrate our anniversary. My mother is keeping DS, so it will be our first big weekend alone in along time. Luckily we had budgeted and saved for this trip and so are still able go go. We don't have as much as I'd like in the catagory to cover dining out and other purchase while we're there, so we'll need to watch our other discretionary spending in May to stay on track.

Earlier this week DS stumbled and got a cut above his eye that required 3 stitches. Our pediatrician sent us to the Children's Hospital ER (she doesn't do stitches on the face in the office), so that will be another largish medical co-pay.

All in all a very expensive couple of months. We will have to work hard at building our reserves back up.

3 Responses to “Expensive couple of months”

  1. HouseHopeful Says:

    Wow, it sounds like you've been through a lot lately. First of all I'm sorry for your losses. Its terrible that the emergency vet was trying to take advantage of an already sad situation. I'm glad you were able to handle everything without touching the savings! Sounds like you were prepared for the unexpected. Keep up the good work. And enjoy the B&B!

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Yeah, I'm really sorry to hear what happened to your "kittymeowmeow" as my daughter loves to call them.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm sorry for your losses. I think you are handling all the financial aspects beautifully! Take care.

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