Having a dog DEFINITELY costs money. The initial Duke set-up--from adoption fee to first vet visits to purchasing all the requisite doggie accessories--ran just under $1,000. Yikes. Then there are the recurring expenses: food and treats, grooming, and regular vet check-ups. Also, irregular vet checkups, like when he randomly develops hives (Surprise!) or eats something suspicious (always ALWAYS at my mother's house. Sorry Mom, but you know it's true. DO NOT EVEN TRY TO DENY IT.). And don't forget the dog walker. While Duke would probably be totally fine to make it through the day when we're at work, I am waaaaay too neurotic and waaaaaay too guilt-riddled to go sans dog walker. Get out the check book. (Is it me, or does no one carry a check book any more? I don't know why not, because THEY ARE AWESOME.)
And having a dog DEFINITELY is huge time commitment. You're up early walking them, out late walking them, using your weekends to go to Petco or the vet with them, and always, always rushing home from wherever you are to make sure they're okay. And that's where the negation comes in. We sort of ended up saving money with Duke, because WE NEVER GO OUT ANYMORE. Haha! Weep.
Okay, it's not that dramatic. We DO go out, but we plan it very carefully, just like good little budgeters are supposed to be doing anyway. Duke just kinda forced our hand. Gone are the days of spontaneous post-work happy hours or dinners, the ones that were kinda nice, but quickly left you $40 bucks poorer and existed for no reason other than you had a crummy day at the office. Now after we make like Fred-Flintstone (Remember? When he clocked out using a dinosaur? And it was really cool? No? Fine.), we head straight home to make sure Duke isn't barking down the neighborhood, skipping the neighborhood pub (and Chipotle) along the way. Who needs a drink or a taco when you've got a furry little critter at home who makes you laugh? (Again, Duke, not George. But also George.) We also have friends over more often than we meet them out, which further cuts down on expenses. (Check out my post on saving with dinner parties!)
So, there you have it. Dogs are the best ever and will definitely cost you, but they'll also monopolize your schedule and thus, in a weird way, put money back into your wallet. Ironic, right? Kinda like rain on your wedding day.