Puppy Puppy Puppy = $$$

We got a corgi last memorial day weekend. Mr. MJ wants a puppy since he turned 30 and that was 3 years ago. We waited until we got a house with a yard to get a puppy. For some reason he was able to convince me to get one. Growing up, I’m scared of dogs. I still get startled when they start barking, so it’s really surprising even for myself to get a dog.

It all started on a long weekend after doing a lot of house work. I’ve been surfing the internet and found a puppy just south of Seattle. We didn’t have any plans so we decided to drove an hour and a half to “shop” for a puppy. Let me tell you, you don’t just “look” at a puppy, chances are you get one. Some of our friends told me that it took them a while to find one, so I’m not expecting to get it at first look. But then we saw her. She’s calm, a bit shy and very sweet. We can’t leave without her. I knew right away that we’re going to get her, it’s just that we didn’t even carry enough cash with us, knowing that we’re really not going get a puppy! Well, we found a convenient store with an ATM and after 4 withdrawals, we went back and got her.

There are certain things that I wish I knew before getting a puppy. I want to share this so readers can prepare and learn from my mistakes.

1) Consider a breed that will complement your lifestyle. We both work and know that we want a puppy that doesn’t need a lot of grooming, calm and a bit active. Well, mistake #1 happened. Corgis are soooo cute but they are also very active. I didn’t know that they are herding dogs. Our puppy needs to run a lot. She gets to this “crazy mode” where she will run around our backyard and weave through my planters. Well, that’s about twice a day. We were surprised in the beginning, but watching her on her “crazy mode” is pretty hilarious. We’re also walking a lot more now with her and seeing our neighborhood.

2) Breeder vs rescue. We knew that we want to go to a breeder right away. I have nothing against rescue, but it’s really hard to get a puppy through there. We don’t want to miss puppyhood, so we got a breeder. Look for a breeder that socialize their animals. Our puppy loves people, but scared of barking dogs. She also has worms when we got her. It’s normal for a puppy, even with deworming, but maybe a better breeder would give you a better one.

3) If you go to a breeder, go to a vet right away. We waited for 4 days before going to the vet and find out she has worms.

4) Get the right vet! This is a very costly mistake for us. I chose the vet really close to our neighborhood despite the reviews. I mean there’s so much dogs on our neighborhood that I thought everyone goes there. WRONG! Our puppy got so sick after going there and we have to go to an emergency visit which caused almost half as her. I then went to a vet recommend by a good friend after confirming all the positive reviews. Our puppy and our wallet liked her.

5) Get insurance. I’ll let you know after a year if it is cost effective. Given that she’s a puppy, I want to be prepare for medical cost. If you do get an insurance, get it right away as most of them will not cover any pre-existing condition.

6) Research a good puppy training class. It cost us more but is definitely worth it. She loves it and we learned a lot training her. In less than week after her class she knows how to seat, stay, down and her bed. She’s learning how to high five now 🙂

7) Don’t go overboard at Petco! This is my mistake! I basically spent a LOT in Petco which I end up returning after researching more for DIY. I visited goodwill to get her “bed” which is really just a baby comforter, her blanket, a bucket, food storage and some towels, all for $10. I also frequented Amazon. for supplies such as pee pads, doggy bell, doggy bag and some kong toys. There’s a lot that is one time expense, but is a lot cheaper at Amazon.  It still cost some, but not as much as Petco!

Our running total for her is just a bit more than $2000. A lot of it is for the purchase of her and medical expenses. Writing about the details of this 2K will warrant another post after about a year.

Do you have a pet? What will you recommend to a new pet owners?

Road less travel

We hit the mid year of 2015. This year had been promising so far. Milestones are attained and I could have never asked for anything more. I’m very grateful and feels very privilege to be where I am right now. This year, we managed to buy a house. I don’t consider this a starter home, but our home, where I can see myself building a family. You can say that this is a lifestyle inflation and I will not disagree. This is something that I thought about for a while and decided that I want to spend on this. This purchase makes me happy.

At the same time, I sold my condo. Selling my first property is very personal, but I did it for peace of mind. I’m lucky that I purchased the condo when the market was down and was able to sell it when everyone else seems to want to buy a place. I also got lucky that my former neighborhood changed so much in the last five years. Overall, I have enough to cover for down payment for the new house with a lot more left. I’m really just moving my investment from one real estate to another without touching any of my other investment.

The move made me very conscious of the stuff I own. We more than double the size of our house but I can’t seem to get myself to buy anything. In contrast, I actually start selling my stuff and my goal is to get rid of more. So why did I buy a new place? First, I actually want a house, a yard, a kitchen that can fit more than one person and a place that I can grow into, while staying in the city that I love. This house is perfect, in a great neighborhood and is just about 5 miles from work. I can honestly say that we got a bargain on this house.

When I first started blogging, I wrote about paying off my mortgage within 5 years. Life changed this past year. I got into an accident and all of a sudden, my focus is on getting better.  Health will always be my number 1 priority. I’ve always been financially conscious. I got my own CD when I was 17 and learned more about savings and investment. I have to do this on my own. I grew up in a very loving family but unfortunately, my parents aren’t financially savvy. For some reason, I always have this fear of being poor. Lack of money has always been an issue with my parents and most of their fights are about that. I told myself that I will always have enough. Not a lot but enough.

And so this blog started. I’ve always been different from my peers financially or just my generation in general. I never carried a credit card debt and mortgage is the only outstanding debt I have. I need to get a student loan but it was paid within 5 years. I used to buy stuff, not a lot but enough for me to go to the mall and found all these trinkets and stuff that I’ve used once or maybe twice but will honestly never use again. To that point, I asked myself, what exactly do I need to survive? How can I purposely live my life that I will never worry about lack of money and actually use my precious time for things that makes me happy?

Cute, but I never used it and is a bit small for me. Sold on ebay

I have everything that I want and more. I don’t mind my job but at some point I want to take some time to travel, write, dance and experience life outside of the 9-5 routine. It might not be popular, but I know that this will make me happy.