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I’m breaking my spending ban…in an enormous way.  In June, the hubby and I are adopting an adorable pug puppy named Herbie!  This was one of the biggest decisions we’ve made together as a married couple, and you can learn more about why we’re adopting a puppy while we’re still in massive debt here.

Becoming pug parents is a longtime dream of ours, but unfortunately, this dream is an expensive one!  Being as frugal as I am, of course I’ve been spending quite a bit of time planning how we’re going to keep the costs reasonable.

Here are several ways we are preparing financially for Herbie.

Beefing up Our Emergency Fund

We currently have a small $1,000 emergency fund.  Our fund is this small for three reasons.  One, our main priority right now is paying off our student loans as quickly as possible.

Two, we are not homeowners, so we don’t have to worry about having to replace a broken washing machine, or oven, or garage door…or any of the multitude of other things that can break when you own a home.

Three, we live with my parents, so that frees up a lot of money every month.  That money typically goes toward extra payments on our student loans, but it could go toward emergencies if necessary.

Anyway, we decided $1,000 was too small of an emergency fund for future pug parents.  We’ll do our best to keep Herbie healthy, but just like humans, a dog can have unexpected health issues that arise.

Pugs in particular are prone to sinus issues and bacterial facial infections (bacteria can get trapped in those adorable wrinkles on their faces).  To prepare for Herbie, we are increasing our emergency fund to $1,500.

Freebies and Hand-Me-Downs

I don’t typically like getting free swag from events because it’s usually useless stuff (like a tote bag I never use) that will just collect dust in my closet for a few years before I finally throw it away.  However, recently at the Humane Society’s Walk For Animals, I got some free treats and toys for Herbie.

I also won a $50 gift card to a pet photographer!  My friend Heather, over at Simply Save, won a $175 gift card and generously traded gift cards with us.  This is the kind of free stuff that I like!

We’ll also be getting some free stuff from my parents’ chihuahua Buddy.  Bud is spoiled rotten and may have more toys than I had as a kid (okay, maybe not that many, but he still has a ridiculous number of toys).

He has a few favorites and he mostly ignores the other toys.  I’m sure he won’t mind if Herbie takes those.  He also has some outfits that he’s gotten too big for that Herbie can borrow.

Low-Cost Stores

We don’t need to buy all of Herbie’s toys and other needed items (kennel, leash, harness, etc.) at PetSmart – there are some other great alternatives that are less expensive.  Wal-Mart and Amazon have many basic items for dogs, and PetSolutions provides the lowest prices for online pet supplies.

My hubby is so excited about Herbie that he already bought him some shampoo, a dental cleaning kit, food, and toys – all for under $30 on the PetSolutions site.

Comparing Prices

My parents live in an overpriced neighborhood that is close to a very wealthy area.  It’s no surprise that the vets in our area charge a small fortune for their services.  We plan to shop around to find a less expensive vet.

If we can’t find a cheap enough one in the Twin Cities, we can always take a quick road trip to my husband’s hometown.

My hubby is from a small town in a rural area – prices there are considerably cheaper.  It doesn’t hurt that his parents personally know the local vet (who happens to be their next-door neighbor).

Even with the added cost of gas and travel time, it’ll still be worth it if the services are significantly cheaper.

A Final Note!

Adopting a new pet is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  The costs of everything – the adoption fee, food, toys, vet visits – can add up quickly.  Despite my extremely frugal nature, I believe pets are an expense that is absolutely worthwhile.

Owning a pet won’t be cheap, but it doesn’t have to be insanely expensive either!

If you’re considering becoming a pet parent in the near future, come up with a plan to prepare financially for your fur baby – that way, you won’t have to go into debt to take care of your newest family member.


Other stuff you might like:

How One Millennial Couple Saves $25,000 Per Year
Frugal Frustrations: When I Feel Like Giving Up
How to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse About Money
How One Millennial Owns a Home, is Set for Retirement, and Lives Debt-Free
3 Bizarre Ways to Save Over $2,000 Per Year