By: Revanche

Buying stuff, spending philosophies and a Doggle spending prediction

September 28, 2012

This started as a post about some of the shopping I’d been doing and the expensive things I/we want but couldn’t pull the trigger on.  And it sort of still is.

But it’s also about how I’m glad that my habits and instincts are still in the same gears so that this on-and-off heartburn will fade so I can work, plan and worry over the pup in peace.


I’ve been buying a few things these past few months. And there are a few more things we’d like but I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to them since, for some reason, Big Change triggers the Poor Lady Syndrome in my head and I instinctively pull back on spending.


The purse – May

It tickled my funny/irony bone that I was so reluctant to share evidence of my handbag purchase, despite knowing that I wouldn’t buy another one for years, despite knowing that it’s been years since my last purchase, etc., because after I admitted to it, WellHeeled and Stacking Pennies shared similar purchases.

Oh, they didn’t spend over-the-top as much as I did. My needs were more restrictive (very lightweight, crossbody as well as handbag, black for professional use, durable for travel) and more time sensitive so I couldn’t shop sales but it’s also possible I started this chain reaction since WH was the first person I showed the bag to. 😉

Since you asked to see it:

The only thing I didn’t like was the logo on top. But it’s lightweight enough and the right size that I can carry it for lots of things, not just professional events, so it’s getting used pretty frequently. I do get the “take better care of your things!” noogies though, which makes me a bit grumpy and want to go back to using a cheap $10 canvas tote. That’s why I used cheap totes so much, so I don’t have to care. If a leather bag can’t take a little use, then why’d I pay so much for it?

The Avengers DVDs ($30) and The West Wing Complete Series ($90) – September

I have never bought DVDs for myself – as much as I enjoy consuming certain kinds of media, it’s rare for me to want to buy and own it. I’ve got to seriously love it to want to have to store it. And I have a decade long love for The West Wing that hasn’t diminished. I’m so happy to have gotten another WW watcher in Katie of Girl with Red Balloon!  When it went on super sale on Amazon, despite not being Blu-Ray (we have a regular player and a Blu-Ray player), I got itchy fingers. I could pre-order Avengers and buy West Wing outright. Even if the last season has always been nearly impossible for me to watch.

UPDATE:  Got a refund from Amazon last night. The price dropped since I ordered the DVDs so I have received $10.79 back.

After the slightly traumatic medicating last night, and Doggle finally dozed off, we snuggled in front of the Blu-ray player that PiC fixed and enjoyed a few short scenes. Who said you couldn’t buy a bit of bliss?


The Roasting Pan

Our $30 roasting pan has served its duty, through dozens of roast chickens, and even our first married roast turkey, but PiC has finally had it up to HERE with cleaning a slowly rusting out rack and pan.

I finally gave him the nod to get rid of the old pan which means I won’t be  able to roast anything for a bit, which gives me the shivers in general as that’s about half my cooking! It was fine going on cleaning boycott but his ogling pans at price points $250, $300 and $400 was a whole other story. Out of Sur la Table with you, sir!  We were only in there because of clearance sales anyway.

Unless we have grandchildren who will inherit that $300 pan, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good roasting pan to be had for less. (Though I suppose it might be argued that a roasting pan is worth more than a purse. In fact, I would be willing to make that argument now… drat.)


I hate shopping for clothes, and women’s undergarments both annoy and aggravate me. I know that sounds like the same thing but they cause distinctly different feelings of distaste. Nevertheless, I still find myself in need of well constructed undergarments once in a while and the time is coming.  The problem with that is they cost a fair bit of money. Even with discounts, the ones that fit aren’t discounted much, there are very limited brands that make good fit and last a while so I can expect it’ll be about $60 per.  Never mind, it’ll have to wait.


I knew it was specifically the job change that had me shying away from spending – just like when you’re grieving, my gut says not to make major decisions. My instincts say that during any transition that feeling to spend is just a trigger, not a real need and so firmly sit on that until the dust settles because I probably didn’t really need that stuff anyway.  (It helps that I can envision being surrounded by clutter.)

With the exception of my birthday, an unfortunate bit of timing with that, I stuck to that pretty well and I’m awfully glad of it now.

I don’t mean that I regret my birthday, it was a perfectly lovely time and probably the best birthday I have ever had. Just that I never spend money for my birthday and we had to go and spend it up this year, didn’t we?  What’s so special about 30 anyway? 🙂  Ah well. It was a good time.

All of which is to say … I’ve made the first calls for quotes and scheduling. Doggle’s exam and diagnostics alone put us in the first quarter of the [brace yourself] ten thousand dollars I am estimating this could possibly cost. Forget heartburn. I may well have a minor ulcer.

Except you know what?  This is why I don’t spend on other things we don’t really need. This is why I save on the big stuff, small stuff, and what people would call “nickel and dime”, and the pennies too. Every bit adds up. So while I’m not wealthy, my cushions are there.

So I challenge myself to cash flow this. Because that’s what this PF-blogger dog mama does. Any and every frustrating thing is a challenge to beat.

He’s had a few rounds of meds and those went really well. I’ve got that mojo back. And we’ll see how it goes from here.

26 Responses to “Buying stuff, spending philosophies and a Doggle spending prediction”

  1. “This is why I don’t spend on other things we don’t really need. ”


  2. It’s obvious that you’ve given a lot of thought to your willingness to spend to keep Doggle comfortable. Just be sure, after all the diagnostics and such are done and you are considering treatment, to pin the vet down as to what kind of quality of life you’ll be buying for Doggle. That’s quite a chunk of change and you want to be sure that you’re prolonging his quality of life with it, not just delaying the inevitable and stretching out his suffering.

    • Revanche says:

      Yes, the reason we’d do it is because he’s so incredibly healthy and happy the rest of the time. And because we’re dealing with it early enough that he still should have a good enough chance of full recovery. He’s had absolutely no other problems which is pretty amazing.

  3. *scratches head* I know visits can cost a lot… although I can’t imagine why it’d be $10K. Even with x-rays. I do hope Doggle is okay though… Keep us up-to-date mkay!

    On a side note, I’ve long ago realized that owners and their dogs share similar personalities and characteristics. You and Doggle are kinda similar with in personalities and medical issues it seems. o_O;

    • Revanche says:

      Hey, I’m not neurotic! Or super mellow the rest of the time. (Thinks about it… yeah I’m unconvinced about the personality thing. But I have been wondering if my medical crap has slowly been rubbing off on him. He’s been fine for a year and recovered just fine from the last time.)

      So the reason I am guesstimating that we’d be all in for $10K is because I know how these things add up. A quick breakdown looks like this:
      1. Our last visit this week: $150 for an exam, a pain injection, some bloodwork, 1 of 3 meds to go home.
      2. X-rays run about $300-500 but we won’t need any this round because they’re not great for diagnosing this problem. Requires anesthesia, not included.
      3. Better diagnostic tools are CT/MRI which run either ~ $1500 or ~$2200.
      That also requires anesthesia (included this time.
      4. Exam with the specialist: $200
      5. A back surgery for a large dog could easily run about $3500-5000. Don’t know what the recommended procedure will be but if it’s actual surgery, that’s the ballpark.

      Then you factor in follow-up visits, possible follow-up diagnostics, and more meds. Hundreds or thousands. Adds up pret-ty quick.

  4. Katie C. says:

    Point well made on why you save on big and small items. Doggle is much more important than a $400 roasting pan, after all!

    Thank you for the shout out. I just hope by “nearly impossible for me to watch” you mean that it was emotional because it was the final season and not because it sucked. :-/

    • Revanche says:

      Yes, mainly because it was emotional for many reasons. I can’t say specifically why it was emotional though, cause spoilers for you!

  5. Janelle says:

    “that feeling to spend is just a trigger, not a real need and so firmly sit on that until the dust settles because I probably didn’t really need that stuff anyway. (It helps that I can envision being surrounded by clutter.”

    Remind me to tell this to myself every day… I loved this post! 😀

  6. “This is why I don’t spend on other things we don’t really need.”

    YES, once again. Doggle is more important than so many other things that you could spend money on. I feel the same way about my pets.

    And I love your bag!

    • Revanche says:

      So glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I know it’s a lot of money, I’m not insane not to recognize that. But he’s so important and he’s my responsibility.

      And thanks 🙂

  7. Miss JJ says:

    I wanted to shout “Me too!”

    And it is a darn slippery slope because suddenly everything I even glance at looks like such a bargain in comparison with what I spent. And I afraid I will totally throw away good sense and come back with a matching $600 pocketbook and call it a good buy.

    • Revanche says:

      Haha, that’s the anchoring problem, where your brain says: But *this price* is now considered ok. So therefore, everything else less than that is ok.

  8. I really, really, really like the KS bag.

    I am of the same mentality — if a leather bag can’t take a beating, it shouldn’t cost so much. 🙂

    That said, my vegan leather bag from Samsara (Mat & Nat) has worn down quite well. It’s beautiful, even though it isn’t leather.

    • Revanche says:

      Yay! As much as I keep thinking “if only it would hold juust a little more” I have to remember: That was the point! For it not to!

      It’s neat that a vegan leather bag is good enough quality to wear the same way.

  9. Ah, yes…the zillion-dollar piece of prestige cooking gear you’ll use once, put up on the top shelf of the back cupboard, and then forget about until you move to a new house!

    Check Target for a roasting pan, especially as it gets closer to Thanksgiving. That place has surprisingly good pots and pans. And really, you don’t need anything fancy…just something big enough to hold the birds or cuts of meat you favor, & that can go in the oven and also go over a burner for deglazing and making gravies.

    Be careful about doing surgery on a dog’s back. In the first place, back surgery isn’t very successful for humans; why would it be any more so for dogs? In the second place, when Walt the Greyhound hurt his back and was terribly crippled, I thought I was going to have to put him down. But at the last minute — literally, I’d taken him in to be euthanized — the vet suggested a round of prednisone. And guess what? It worked! The problem never recurred.

    Get several opinions, and try to find a vet who has a reputation for caring more about the animal than about the bottom line. You might want to ask about steroid treatment.

    And in the third place, an old friend of mine had a beloved cockapoo that developed cervical disk problems. The dog was in a lot of pain. She resisted surgery, as she had learned that it might do nothing for him and indeed could make matters worse. Eventually the vet fessed up that the problem would pass — over time the part of the eroded disk that was causing pain would erode completely away, and the dog’s pain would disappear with it. And that was exactly what happened. Distressing while the dog was suffering, and it took a long time…but the dog did finally get over it.

    In the underpinning dept., can you wear Wacoal? After Christmas and in midsummer, Saks puts Wacoal bras and panties on sale. They’re still pricey, but you can get them for under sixty bucks.

    • Revanche says:

      Roasting pan: I typically roast weekly or at least 2 times a month. Our Target pan is now wrecked. It’s cheaper and healthier than the Costco chickens and other pre-roasteds, and dare I say, tastier, so I don’t really see any reason I’d stop roasting anytime soon. Still, middle ground between $30 and $300, pretty sure there is one!

      Back surgery: There’s a big difference between human back surgery and dog back surgery and whether it’s worthwhile all depends on why you’re doing it. Erosion, inflammation and infections are treatable with conservative methods, even herniated discs are, but not if they continue to lose function. And this time he has been – significantly. I hated the idea of surgery as well but because this time it’s playing out very differently (badly) than last time, I consulted with a trusted friend-veterinarian with no skin in the game but my friendship and her strong recommendation given his deterioration was surgery.
      Going to be an intense several weeks/months for recovery.

      Undergarments: Wacoal doesn’t make my size. Most regular brands don’t, unfortunately. But I don’t *need* new yet. I can wait a while longer. As I add up these costs, I can wait until 2014 😀

  10. […] At a Gai Shan Life, Revanche contemplates spending, nonspending, and a large looming vet bill. […]

  11. SewPetiteGal says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that your pup is in need of extensive medical care! Best of luck with everything! We had a cat years back that was in and out of the vet’s office quite a bit before we figured out she was diabetic. I think her bill was around $5k and we had just graduated college. Thankfully, we had enough saved up from our first job to foot the bill.

  12. […] Then the specialist exam and diagnostics (bloodwork, MRI): $2540 […]

  13. […] and boy have I, but given the choice, and I’m giving myself the choice, I choose to spend mindfully and selectively so we can spend on good quality or pay for expensive stuff when we have to. Besides, while I know […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This website and its content are copyright of A Gai Shan Life  | © A Gai Shan Life 2018. All rights reserved.

Site design by 801red