Will this $1,000 matter when I’m financially free?

I’ve saved this note in my emails for a couple years now, and re-stumbled across it again this morning when tidying up:

“Will this $1,000 matter when I’m financially free?”

I blurted it out in response to a reader getting hit with some unexpected pet bills hoping it would ease the sting a little, and while I’m not sure it did, interestingly it has helped *me* over the years better put things in perspective ;) It’s never fun to lose $1k or any number of dollars for that matter, but when you think longer term and what life will look like in retirement, it’s not gonna make too much of a dent in it.

Of course, that’s not to say you should just go spending willy nilly since retirement-version of you will likely be fine either way, but it’s a small condolence to remember any time life smacks you in the face.

“This will not derail my freedom! I will still be fine later!”

Something to think about anyways before we beat ourselves up too much :) Which I know many of us do no matter what our finances look like! (The other day I got pissed at myself for buying a CD that sucked, and it was only $10! Had to remind myself that that $10 will have absolutely no effect on my retirement later, haha… And at least I supported a local artist!)

Here’s the original note that got me to start thinking along these lines more… It was in response to a post I wrote about on how things like debt are just a phase if you let it be.

“Perfect timing for this email. I racked up $1,000 in debt since Thursday to take care of my cat who accidentally got the big dog’s tick medication (K9 Advantix) instead of his Advantage (identical tubes, with just a slight difference for the logo on it). He started out with muscle tremors on Thursday, then moved to seizures on Saturday.

  • Thursday: $126 for the regular vet (which basically accomplished nothing, but a bath – they just watched him for the day while I was at work)
  • Friday: $7.25 to the regular vet for muscle relaxers (2 pills!)
  • Saturday: $1,000 for estimated expenses at the emergency clinic (after the seizures began) for 24 hours of observation/treatment (down from the original $2,000 estimate they gave, which I told them I couldn’t do)
  • Saturday: $65 to pay the Animal Poison Control to tell the vet what needed to be done (standard procedure for poisoning)
  • Sunday: $206 refund from the estimated expenses for needing less than expected
  • Total: $992.25

But hey, he’s alive and doing much better. I’d rather have that than the cash. It hurts the wallet, but I’ll take it. And I have a year to pay it off since I applied for a Care Credit credit card with a 0% promotional interest rate through the vet’s office. Thank God for much improved credit!

Thanks for this reminder that cash isn’t everything and things happen!

How do you handle such things in your life?

Fun pic up top by _freakwave_

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  1. Nords @ The-Military-Guide December 17, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    That’s a great perspective question, J$!

    I looked up our old Quicken data from our journey to financial independence– we had at least one of those $1000 “surprises” every year, and sometimes two. It only amounted to less than 1% (two months) of our time to FI, which was only noticeable in the math and not in our in our feelings about needing a few more paychecks. 17 years after retirement, those expensive speed bumps are not even a blip on our radar.

    1. J. Money December 17, 2019 at 2:26 PM

      There we go!!! That’s what I’m talking about, brother…

      Big pain today, not even noticeable later :)

      How are those waves today, btw?

  2. Lisa O December 17, 2019 at 9:01 AM

    Absolutely a sting but the love of that animal is priceless.

    I have had a few office visits that were pricey but I always say my little corgi girl is just like one of my kids!

    1. J. Money December 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM

      As someone who is fostering a dog for the first time in their life, I can totally see that :) We’ve only had her for two days now and already feels like a part of the family! Which is good or bad depending on what happens at the end of the week foster period, haha…

  3. Cathy December 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM

    We had to spend over 1000$ last year trying to figure out why my dog was vomiting and diarrhea after Vaccines and Spay. She could not hold anything down and it was a month of visiting the Vet pretty regularly and having exploratory tests done out of pocket.

    We had the money to cover her bills and she eventually had to go through many allergy pet foods to be Ok, but this ordeal showed us the importance of having an emergency fund.

    In Your previous post you break down several bank accounts for different purposes. We also do this and have accounts for house maintenance, emergency, vacation and car.

    1. J. Money December 17, 2019 at 2:21 PM

      Oh cool!!

      My next post for tomorrow is all about Emergency Funds too – and more specifically *what* exactly they’re used for :) Some interesting convos are going around Twitter right now that’s making me think a bit differently about things…

      Though sorry to hear about your pup :( It’s still never fun whether you have the money or not!!

  4. Kat Joy December 17, 2019 at 2:09 PM

    I just got done selling some ETFs a financial planner had me buy about eight years ago… As soon as I bought them, they immediately lost over half their value, and then sat there for the next eight years of the same price. So I secured of a loss of about 10,000 in my IRA’s, but at least I’m not holding onto stinkers any longer. I should’ve done it long ago! But “locking in” a loss in stocks, even in a retirement account that has plenty, felt not great. So Thanks for this timely post!

    1. J. Money December 17, 2019 at 2:23 PM

      Future You will be just fine!!

      There will be plenty of bigger wins to come to help make up for it :)


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