some things I’m saving for

Some clever bloggers are smart enough to keep track of their horsey expenditures in some kind of organized fashion.  Some people who shall remain nameless were not clever enough to do that.


I’ve been sitting down and doing some real #adulting lately, and decided that it would be a good idea to sit down and look at my equine expenditures and see how much I’m likely to spend on horsey stuff this year.  It’ll be interesting to see if reality matches up with expectations at the end of the year.  I ultimately decided not to share this information on the blog because I’m not really comfortable just… letting the entire world know exactly how much money I waste super-value-ably spend on my horse.  But there are some equine expenditures that I’m saving for that I don’t mind sharing.

gotta keep this little prince in the manner to which he has become accustomed

I’d like to bring bodywork into Murray’s life. He’s gotten a few massages over the years, but he doesn’t really like them. Our super wonderful massage therapist (A) has seen him a bunch as she’s at our barn all the time, but never laid hands on him. A and I discussed what to do with a horse like Murray who would benefit from the work, but inherently doesn’t trust humans, doesn’t really like being touched, and likes being touched and made to hurt (which massages sometimes do!) even less.  A actually had a whole program she’d work through with him. And, as I said above, Murray would really benefit from it, I think.  I hope he won’t need monthly appointments, but I’m budgeting for appointments every other month at around $70 each. (~$420)

I never got around to putting Murray on this last year, even though I intended to. He had his hocks done, then shortly after got stalled for the year.  It’s a monthly thing with a loading dose, and costs about $20 per dose. (~$200)

REALLY hoping I don’t have to, but many horses need these done annually. But saving for them regardless. If we don’t need them done, that’s money I get to keep! (~$400 without rads)

lets revisit the reason I spend all this money!

Rated events!
I’d like to go to some shows this year. They are fun! Right? I’d really like to not get eliminated at them also. Stretch goal: not have my horse try to dig his way out of his stall overnight.  The costs in this post are still pretty accurate. So if I aim to go to Fresno (~$800), Camelot (~$800), and Shepherd (not on the list because I used old data, but I suspect about $1100), plus memberships, I’m going to need to save close to $3000 to do that. Gulp.

Other shows?
Other shows maybe on the docket include some schooling dressage shows, maybe a couple of local fundraisers, oh, and clinics!  These are significantly less expensive, more like $200 for the whole weekend. I’d like the opportunity to spend $800 or so on those.

This is the first time I’ve really sat down and thought out my non-necessity spending in advance. Usually I’m just like “Oh, Twin sounds fun! I’ll find money!” and then I find money (or put it on a credit card and find the money later). But I’m turning thirty this year, and am trying to be a little more responsible with this whole thing.  And to make it translate to my hamster brain, this means I’ll need to put around $400/month aside just for these purposes, whether or not I use it that month.

So tell me: how do you do this? What am I missing here? Is there a clever-er way to plan and track this?  If I were really clever, I guess I could have saved last year for this year… or I could start saving this year for next year…. but that seems like a problem for Future Nicole.


17 thoughts on “some things I’m saving for”

  1. I’m super bad at this and I am *attempting* to track my equine expenses in 2018 so I can have a better idea of what I spend, what things cost, and how I can budget better in the future. I’m not in the realm of rated shows yet, so at least I don’t have that expense, whew!


    1. To be fair it includes a lot of additional costs — hotel, schooling the facility in advance, eating and drinking my guts out while there. I just roll it all into one so I can plan appropriately.

      It also doesn’t help that the literal cheapest show in California is the one I work and am not allowed to show at (not by USEA rules but because my fellow organizers told me no fucking way when I asked if I could ride in the show).


  2. Oh my goodness, we’re on the same wavelength. I wrote a post yesterday about budgeting and finances that will go up early next week! It’s not quite the same as it’s more general budgeting thoughts but definitely one thing that’s on my mind is saving up for competitions this summer.


  3. That’s how we usually do it–set aside a pre-planned bulk amount each month and it either gets spent as needed or it rolls over to the next month. Also holy shit your shows are expensive!


  4. I put all of my horse expenditures into a spreadsheet, tallied it up, then promptly put it in the recycle bin and burned the computer to ashes. Ignorance was bliss.
    I very carefully budget in advance and set savings aside for all things Francis, but I did NOT want to see that cumulative annual number, nosirree.


  5. I use mint to track all my expenses (and also tabulate general things in my daily planner margins). I used to set aside very specific money in my accounts for shows and horse expenses. Now what I do is I have certain goals for my accounts and if I continue to work towards them in a timely fashion I don’t worry so much about what I’m spending on the horses (except I do worry and then start picking up paid gigs left and right to make sure that the applecart isn’t upset)


  6. I very specifically DO NOT ever add this shit together, because I would legit die if I saw what it came to per year as a lump sum. I have a pretty rough idea, but I don’t need confirmation of that. If that’s adulting, I’m not interested! Ok to be fair, I’m not interested in most things adulting-related. I “budget” for shows, but that’s about it.


  7. I don’t try to add it all together. I recently did a rough estimate and it was insane. Like terrifyingly insane. So I’m not doing that again. I stay within my means and try to cut corners where possible (sleep in the truck if it’s not too hot, hand make supplement cups instead of buying smartpaks, clean stalls to save on paying for it, etc). I’m curious though why rated events are so expensive for you. I think even if I factored in mileage they wouldn’t cost that much. Are you including hotels costs in that?


    1. I include hotel, food, training, and schooling costs. So it’s inflated for sure, but I’m typically not showing without those things. So it’s good for my purposes, but not necessarily reflective of everyone’s costs.


  8. I budget the hell out of my life or I would be in incredible debt. I have a pretty extensive spreadsheet that closely resembles (and usually exceeds) any online budget service. I pad this budget to allow for some extra spending throughout the year that is a conservative ballpark figure I know I’ll stay within (this padding saves from extra expenditures in any area of my budget, but it’s usually spent on the horses lol). I don’t need competitions to feel fulfilled with my horses which helps a lot though, so this means that I’m quite happy riding in schooling shows which are much more affordable. What you spend on one show (omg!) is closer to what I spend on one horse’s (I’ve got two I keep in shape to compete) competitive year. I think if I lived in a different area, or had more desire to compete, I’d be forced to only show one horse and probably give up a lot of other things to do that! I’m stupid fortunate to live in an area that is so cheap to keep horses, but I do pay for it by not being able to get lessons regularly!


  9. Im in a unique situation this year bc I won’t have much going on horse related, so I’m hoping to squirrel away money for next year when I hopefully have horse to do something with. Hence, the first real budget I’m making myself stick to. In the past I did keep a tally of all expenses as they came – it’s not pretty but it would let me know when I needed to back off.


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