Shifting priorities - kitchen or puppy

I've been plugging away to save up for a new kitchen.  It's original 1973 complete with the harvest gold countertops and plastic mouldings.  My husband grew up in this house and he doesn't quite see the need, but I do.  He agreed to match whatever I can save up.

 My 3 teenagers (and myself!) want a new puppy.  Our much-loved dog died of cancer last December at only age 5 and we were heartbroken.  Not sure what my husband will chip in.  He is in agreement with the puppy, but doesn't always chip in.

Before YNAB, puppy and puppy expenses would go on LOC and I would worry about them later.  Now our LOC is at zero and there is no way I'm touching it for this.  So, the money needs to come from somewhere and it looks like the kitchen reno account is the one available.  I guess this is where spending priorities get tough.

Probably my rhetorical questions is:  in 5 years, will the kids fondly remember a new kitchen renovation or a puppy.  I want both!  (stomp foot here)

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  • I'm confused by this maybe because I don't understand the numbers here. I have 3 dogs, they typically cost about $50 to adopt from the humane society, maybe a Vet visit or two, food is a few bucks on each grocery trip (I budget it as groceries because it's an every-trip-to-the-store expense).

    But a new kitchen is a couple thousand probably? 

    Steal from the kitchen budget and pay it back, just delay the reno for a bit. If I'm missing something and this is truly an either/or then I'd go with the kitchen, but that's just me.

    If you're going to do both, get the dog first, because if he chews through one of your brand new cabinets you'll have to tap into Things I Forgot To Budget For to cover the repairs AND a dog funeral

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    • FreshStart We are going a more expensive route due a kid's allergies and I budgeted about $150/month for my last dog.  Yes, we'll eventually get the reno done.  I was just having a little fit.  All about choices.  As my Dad always said, "you can't spend the same dollar twice."

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      • FreshStart
      • Sky_Blue_Inspector
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Frugalflamesfan Oh no, see I knew I must be missing something. Wow, $150 a month is a lot. For the record, goldfish are also fun

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    • FreshStart Big dog, big food, big fun.

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  • I agree that dogs don't have to be expensive, though they can be depending on what kind of dog you'd like. If your three teenagers have disposable income or jobs, perhaps the entire family can chip in equally?

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    • Dazed
    • and a little less confused
    • dazed
    • 2 yrs ago
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    I was surprised at how much the running costs are for having a dog.  (I never really tracked it all before.) I'm budgeting about $200/mo for pet related costs.  Includes food, monthly preventative meds, occasional doggy daycare when spouse is working away from home (2-3x/mo), summer family vacation boarding and future vet bills.  That said, I'd raid the new kitchen fund and then build it back up as you can.

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  • Kitchens aren't cheap.

    But the thing that caught me in the OP was the talk of spouse matching whatever you save up and/or potentially chipping in. Is there a reason why you are not budgeting for the household together? These are family decisions about what to do with family money. These are not "mine and yours"-type decisions.

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    • nolesrule Marriages can be very complicated.  I have the desire to live in an updated home. He could live in a shoe.  He has a need to take risks with investments.  I play it safe.  

      25 years in and we have no debt except the mortgage. Networth is over 2M. We've shared the cost on some pretty cool renovations. He has his own account that he invests as he wishes.  I spend the money I earn on what I wish, mostly renovations or kid stuff.  

      I YNAB my account and our joint household expenses account.  He meets with me monthly to enter our investments into YNAB and then I show him the Net Worth number and that's all he wants to see.  

      Stories of budgeting together are wonderful but not the reality for us. The end result is that we both usually get what we need and we've survived the journey.

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