Sometimes, You Just Gotta Spend - Budgeting with Your Heart

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by Robin

Sometimes, you just gotta to spend.  It's not a matter of "needs" or "wants", but what your heart needs.   Even when there is a compelling aim driving you towards you financial goal, veering off a bit can be important.  Welcoming our newest family member is a great example.

We've got a puppy!  And he is a healing balm for my heart.

Last November we said goodbye to our family dog.  He was 14 years old.  Walter was a big faithful pooch with a tender heart and a gentle nature.

Walter, ever watchful and ready to care for his family.

With his death a lightness left my heart.  I missed him day and night.  When his time came, we did an amazing job helping the kids through their grief.  They felt their pain and moved past it.  And like most of our storms, Ed weathered it infinitely better than I.

Long after their hearts had healed, I was still grieving for the dog we had named for my beloved grandfather.  I couldn't spend much time in the backyard without crying, I felt his absence most there.  I couldn't pull myself up out of my sadness.

Finally, I decided to NOT make the most financially responsible choice.  It was clear to me that I needed to move on to heal.  I stopped chiding myself for not "just getting over it".  I stopped asking myself "why a grown woman is still crying over her dog."

I made a plan to move forward by filling the dog shaped hole in my heart.

Step one: we made our longest summer visiting trip - a nine hour drive would be too much for a new dog.

Step two: Ed sunk the posts and built the section of fence we had torn open.

Step three: Thursday, we were ready, and determined to find our new canine companion.

It is important to us to get our pets from the Humane Society.  When there are pets there waiting for homes, we can't choose to go to a pet shop or breeder.  I've felt this way since volunteering at the Humane Society in high school.

So we went to the shelter in our city.  There were many dogs there, but none that fit our needs.  At the Humane Society they test the dogs to determine what homes would be best suited: Can it live with a cat?  Can it behave well with children?  Unfortunately, none of the dogs there could fit our cat and kid home.

We were not to be deterred.  A quick net check told us there were dogs in another Humane Society 1/2 hour away.  We were off!  Only to be disappointed again.  Kids and cats are a tough combination.

Another quick check told us there was a litter of puppies at another community shelter 1/2 hour away.  We had an hour before it closed!  Ed sped as we were certain every car ahead of us had the same mission.

It was there we met our puppy we named Indiana.    He was there with his 8 siblings.  A kind foster parent had cared for the mom and puppies from birth.  I admire her heart and dedication.  One puppy is an energy challenge - but 9!

Indiana hanging with his girl and meeting Grandma.

He was the quietest in his kennel.  He wasn't afraid, he was just quietly taking us in.

It reminded me of when we found Wally at the SPCA in Sherbrooke, Quebec on that cold winter day.  He had that same quiet interest.  Walking Indiana in the long grass was like that first walk with Wally through the snow.

We fell in love again.

It has been healing for me already to spend these last 2 days with our new puppy.  Memories of those happy early days with Wally are coming to me often, but without the tightness in my heart or the tears in my eyes.  It is a happy feeling again to remember.

First bath.

So we've, once again, added a lot more money to the "Pets" line in our Spending Plan.  (We've pulled the new budget from "Vacation".  We couldn't possibly go on a vacation that would fill our hearts with so much joy.)

Sometimes, you just gotta spend.

Do you have a budget line dedicated to something that isn't totally practical, but is important to your heart?


  1. How lovely he is! I hope he brings you all a lot of happiness!

    My heart-spend is flights. My boyfriend lives in California, and I live in England, so we both budget towards visits (until we can live together - then it will go towards visiting family at home!).

    1. Wow, Charlie - that IS a long distance relationship! When Ed and I were apart it was about 6 hours drive - you've got like triple that travel time! What a great reason to live frugally. :) Thanks for your comment!

  2. What a handsome fur friend! Money extremely well spent! :-)

  3. I can relate completely albeit for different reasons. While I can't dismiss the cost of a dog altogether, the reason we are holding out is our current location. We live on a very busy road and our 1/2 acre is not a enough for the active dog we have in mind.
    We are in the process of relocating and finding more land/homestead and waiting to get our pets until then. BUT the sweetest pup that needs a new home came up on Kijiji- same breed as my old dog that we lost 8yrs ago. I would love to adopt this dog even though the timing isn't right : (

    Your new pup is very cute! Sometimes following your heart is the right choice.

    1. Timing is a stinker sometimes, ain't it? Finding a homestead sounds exciting though. Are you getting close?


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