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Win, Lose, and Draw: Fiscal Fitness
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Win, Lose, and Draw

December 31st, 2019 at 01:52 am

Wins
-Kitties are both still here and happy, if not healthy.
-Completed 1.5+ CFP courses—and 1.5 to go.
-Was somewhat more active in 2019 than in 2018—about 10% more steps.
-Increased savings to more than 20% of income between 401k, HSA, and emergency fund.
-Did not increase debt despite unexpected ~10k in veterinary medical expenses and accelerating a 5k roofing project into 2019 rather than 2020.
-Work has generally gone well.
-Managed to tackle some deferred home maintenance projects.
-I managed to maintain a sufficient social life despite working long hours.

(Upcoming) Losses
Kitties now both have been diagnosed with what the vet terms their “life-limiting conditions.”

My vet appointment with Buffy last week was distressing. Whatever it is that blocked her biliary tract back in June is growing again. Without opening her up we don’t know if it is cancer or merely an “inflammatory process.” Surgery would cost 6-7k and Buffy turns 15 in March, which is the average lifespan for an indoor cat. If she were 5 years younger, I would go for the surgery, but I had a hard talk with myself and decided that it isn’t worth spending that much money on a cat whose likelihood of living more than another year is not high in any case. What I *am* doing now is that we added a third medication, one to keep her blood sugar in control, and I am treating her as if she is actively diabetic. She has been a diabetic-in-remission for four years. The prednisolone that helps her biliary tract/inflammation issues causes her diabetes to become active again, so we added a medication (not insulin but glipizide) that helps bring her blood sugar under control, but this means that I have to measure her blood glucose to make sure that I’m also not causing her to become hypoglycemic. We are both getting used to this new routine. My goal is to keep her going as long as possible without the trauma and expense of surgery. At some point, inevitably, though, the “thing” will block her biliary tract again and I will have to have her put down, and it could happen quite suddenly. So I am cherishing every moment with her.

Bridget, my other kitty, was diagnosed in the early stages of kidney failure. It’s early stages yet, so I’m not as worried. I’ve changed her diet and am looking into supplements, and will have her monitored more frequently. The last cat I had with kidney failure I kept going for 2.5 years after diagnosis. Unfortunately, Bridget doesn’t have the mellow temperament that that cat or Buffy have, and I fear that the stress of daily subcutaneous fluids would be more than she could tolerate and put me at risk of getting bitten. So I’m just praying that I don’t lose them both this coming year.

Draws
Thyroid issue holding stable, knock on wood—next ultrasound January 24.

Goals for 2020
1. Finish CFP coursework.
2. Regular exercise routine.
3. Do as much as I can realistically do for the kitties.
4. Continue to save 20% of earnings while reducing debt. Note that my company changed the timing of our annual bonus from 12/31 to 2/28 starting this year. If I were getting a bonus tomorrow, then the debt would be down to what I was hoping for, but that will be delayed. I am still feeling pretty confident that I will be able to meet my goal of being debt-free by at least a couple of years before retirement (which will give me a chance to spend a couple of years building up a bigger cash reserve).

5 Responses to “Win, Lose, and Draw”

  1. Sue Says:

    Sorry to hear about your kitties health issues Dido. It sounds like you're doing the right things for them. Good going on your "2019 Wins".

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    It's hard to make those decisions for our pets. I hope you get more time with them then you are expecting. We have a 15 year old cat that seems to be doing really well so far...she does have cataracts and probably some arthritis as she doesn't jump up on furniture anymore. Best wishes in 2020!

  3. Wink Says:

    Wishing you and your kitties a happy New Year! Those decisions are always so hard to make and it sounds like you have figured out the best path possible going forward.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm sorry about your kitties health issues. It's hard when those who aren't able to communicate with us are ill or in pain.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    I'm sad about your kitties' issues. They are fortunate to have such loving folks.

    Hopefully your health issues continue to be stable.

    You have good goals.Is the bonus time change going to effect your taxes?

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