Costly surgery for a cat: money tips.
Pay Dirt is Slate’s financial advice column. Have a question? Send it to Athena and Elizabeth here. (It’s anonymous!)
Dear Pay Dirt,
Our cat is only 3 years old and needs some, if not all, of his teeth extracted. The cost range for the surgery is $ 800 to $ 2,000, and we won’t know until the vet puts it under x-rays to see how infected things are. The vet said it would most likely be a higher tier, based on what she saw during the initial exam. The vet also said that if we do nothing he will not be able to eat, as the pain and infection will worsen over the next few months. (I trust what this vet says.)
We told our two kids that we would deal with this, but my husband and I are torn between spending that kind of money on a cat (it sounds insanely elitist) and keeping our boyfriend alive. It’s not going to break the bank, but it’s a lot of money. We adopted him after he was found on the streets as a kitten and have given him a very good life and a lot of love so far. Guess I didn’t think part of his support would require thousands of dollars to keep him alive at this point in the game. At what point do people pull a limit on what it costs to to save a cat’s life? Are we terrible people for considering not paying for it?
âNine lives are expensive
Dear nine lives are dear,
Let me tell you the story of a cat named Harrison George. He was found behind a grocery store and rescued because he had thumbs. Her owner had no idea that over the next six years, the cute cat she saved would cost her thousands of dollars on vet bills.
She’s also now on the hook for daily medications and prescription cat food. The owner is me.
When you adopt an animal, you accept financial responsibility. This includes their care – food, shelter and, yes, medical treatment. The fact that you are considering slaughtering a cat because of what could be a one-time expense that you can easily afford is alarming me. Your cat is only 3 years old and probably has at least a decade left, if you were to pay for tooth extraction. This is exactly what you take out when you pick up a pet.
If you do not wish to pay for your cat’s treatment, please hand it over to a rescue who will. The rescue will collect the funds you don’t want to part with to pay for his teeth and then adopt him to a new home that understands the responsibilities of pet ownership. I also advise you not to adopt any more animals until you are completely ready to accept the financial obligations that come with it.
Dear Pay Dirt,
I’m a female in my mid-twenties, recently graduated from college and looking for my first “real” job. I am terrible with money, to an embarrassing degree. Once in my account, I have to spend it. I tried to hide it, using apps to put it in different accounts, it doesn’t matter. I grew up very poor, and now that I finally have access to some money (I worked full time at university), I’ve become a bit of a bon vivant.
Recently, I received about $ 3,000, which I had planned to save so I could move out later this year. A month later, everything is gone. Some went to expenses, but most of it went to vacations, clothing and going out. I also have a lot of credit card debt for this reason (although I paid off about half of the original $ 8,000 total). I don’t know how to stop spending. There’s definitely a mental illness involved, which I’m working on (unfortunately it’s not as easy as âhere take that pillâ), but the general idea of ââbudgeting makes me unhappy. I get paid $ 1,400 on Friday and usually have $ 200 left on Monday. I thought running out of money and having to ask people to borrow money and defaulting on a bunch of bills would be my “absolute bottom” and encourage me to stop spending, but here I am, still shopping and dining in restaurant style. How can I stop spending money as soon as it arrives in my account?
âBroken in Boston
Dear broke in Boston,
A money script is an unconscious belief you have about your finances. It can be positive or negative, and it plays in your mind like the background noise of a TV. This is what influences you when it comes to how you perceive and act with your money. If you grew up poor, your mind may associate money with lack. When something is scarce you tend to either accumulate the item or use it as fast as you can because you never know if you will receive it again. So of course you make it rain with your paycheck. Your mind thinks that you will never have money again.
I want you to sign up for an app called Mint that will track your spending for you. This suggestion is not to feel bad about yourself, but rather to see where your money is going. When you can see exactly how you are spending your funds, then you can assess what to do about it. You can’t budget or try to cut down without knowing what to cut back on. I also want you to make small money goals. You’re not going to be financially healthy starting out big, so try next week to hit $ 300 on Monday instead of $ 200. Or try not to borrow money from anyone for a week. These small, concrete steps will get you where you want to be.
You also mentioned mental illness. You are absolutely right that it is not as easy as just taking a pill. I’m sure you know therapy, good nutrition, sleep, and exercise are all things that can help too, as well as taking time for yourself and having a strong support system. Therapy can be expensive, but now there are more affordable options, such as Talk Space. You are not alone on your journey, I encourage you.
Dear Pay Dirt,
My parents have purchased several whole life insurance policies on me since I was a baby. My dad paid them for the entire term, but recently said he wanted me to take over the payments, around $ 100 per month. While in the grand scheme it may not seem like much, it will affect my (a little tight) monthly budget. I told my dad that since he made the choice to buy the policies and he can easily pay for them, he should continue to pay them, as I did not apply for the policies or bear the financial burden. . Am I wrong here in wanting him to continue the payment?
âAssured but uncertain
Dear assured but uncertain,
Why do you need so many life insurance policies? Unless there is a murder mystery we need to solve, you need to drop these policies ASAP.
Sometimes our parents do random things for extra protection, and that seems to be one of them. Unless you have a rare condition or a history of illness that affects your ability to find coverage, you can find one quite easily as an adult. There are different life insurance policies and rates to suit your needs and budget. Your employer may offer one as well as part of your benefits package.
If you don’t have an illness that prevents coverage, tell your dad to drop the policies. This way, neither of you is forced to pay $ 100, and it will no longer be a source of contentment. If he insists you pay, hold on.
Dear Pay Dirt,
Thanks to a lot of hard work, my wife and I are in a very good financial position. We keep our finances mostly separate and analyze invoices as proportionately as possible, and we both have a lot of savings. We also have a family trust and went through the estate planning process before our children were born, but I feel like we might be missing out on financial opportunities that we may not be unaware of. My question is, if I wanted to find a trustworthy or honest financial advisor, what should I look for? My biggest fear is that we will put our trust and money in a consultant and lose our shirts in the process.
– Looking for expertise
Financial advisers get a bad rap because a lot of them make money from you in commissions. As a result, you might need to sign up for a service or product that you didn’t need in the first place! So I get bored.
When looking for a planner, you may wonder if he is based on fees only, if he works with companies or by himself, if he has a suitable license and can provide references. If I were you I would say “paid financial planners + [ZIP code, city, or nearby suburb]”and see what happens. I would pay attention to what accreditations they have (CFP, CFA and PFS are the ones to look for) and ask to set up a consultation. You don’t have to rush to use a financial planner Just like with dates, you can search until you find “the right one.”
You can also do some homework to feel empowered before you go. I love Building Bread for this, especially with the investment content for newbies. Kevin Matthews II has a background as a financial planner, which he shares for free to make sure you’ll be ready and prepared for your date.
More tips from Slate
When I was a kid in rural Ireland a fun day out for my family was taken to the local racetrack. My parents gave my sister and I tiny amounts of money to bet on, and we carefully studied the form of the race, selected our horses, screamed at them with all our hearts, ate curry crisps in the back of a van and drive home. I now have two children of my own, and I have also become much more aware that, for many people, play is the exact opposite of harmless childhood activity. My husband thinks presenting his children in this way is like buying a cute baby dragon and ignoring its latent potential to burn down the house. Is there a way to recreate this experience with my kids, or does it just have to be a fun story from the past for them like dial-up internet access?