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  1. #1

    Beefy emergency fund

    Yesterday we found out our Chihuahua likely has cancer and we don't know yet what the next course of action will be. I'm a big believer in Dave Ramsey's plan, we'd essentially be screwed as this will cost thousands and thousands for the likely surgery she'll need. I'm glad we've socked away plenty of extra money and we will not need to go into debt -unless the treatment cost far exceeds what we're predicting. This was the first time I've truly realized his approach works for a certain set of people but is not entirely applicable to everyone. Animals surely are expensive!

  2. #2
    Sorry to hear about your chihuahua's situation.

    Thanks to your advance preparations, you are blessed to be able to make decisions based on what you decide is best for your fur baby, not limited by financial constraints. You're a good pet parent.

  3. #3
    Thank you. It completely blindsided us, not us nor the vet expected some weird fluid build up she was having in her cheek would show the presence of cancer cells. We are still waiting for a specialist to confirm so we're trying to keep our fingers crossed.

    We're also thankful that besides our mortgage, we have very few responsibilities. Some debt, but low monthly payments and in fact, one of them we are "paid ahead" (I know interest would still incur) but we could take a break from paying that for a couple of months while we get ourselves more set financially.

  4. #4
    We went to the oncologist and have a confirmed diagnosis of mast cell cancer that is on her face. More testing confirmed that it has not metastasized. The likely course of treatment will be surgery on the 17th to remove the cancerous cells but we'll know more when we meet with the surgeon on the 14th.

    We received a vague estimate and they are guesstimating around $3k (plus the 700+ we have already spent) which is less than we anticipated but not too far off. I have a credit card that has 0% until March 2019. I'm debating just putting it on there and just paying monthly installments so it is completely paid off before then. The logic is that I would be able to continue to hammer at the debt and when we get near that last big hurdle I can use the available cash we have now and pay off the car. Thoughts?

  5. #5
    A couple thoughts:

    Extra Costs: Be prepared for additional costs beyond what you pay at the vet (for example: special food, first-aid type supplies for post-surgical care, equipment like a crate or baby gate if you need to limit your pup's physical activity).

    Cash Discount: After you get a firm estimate following the meeting with the surgeon, ask if they would offer a discount if you pay by cash/check instead of using a credit card. If they will give you a discount, you may want to pay cash.

    0% Credit Card: If you decide to use it, make sure you know the rules (fine print) and are confident you will be able to avoid any finance charges.

    Using the EF: In lieu of using the 0% cc, you could utilize your EF and focus on getting it replenished with the same aggressiveness that you would use to re-pay the 0% credit card.

    Hybrid approach: You could use a combination of using your EF and using the 0% CC. If you don't feel comfortable with an EF less than $4K, since it is currently around $6K, you could pay $2K in cash and put the rest on the 0% credit card (to be paid off aggressively).

    I hope all goes well for you and your pup!

  6. #6
    Thanks. That's a great suggestion about paying cash and asking for a discount. We will do that when we meet with the surgeon on Monday. It's probably a wash in the end anyway so I suppose either method will work with our finances. I do prefer keeping the cash on hand for those truly dire emergencies but I hate putting things on credit cards. We're disciplined enough and have no worry about paying the card back within the allotted timeframe.

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