I am a numbers person, and I love crunching other peoples numbers. Yesterday my trainer was bemoaning people leaving the horse’s fans running when the horses were out of the stalls being groomed and ridden. At our local electric rates, it turned out that an hour of a stall fan running during peak daytime hours costs 2 cents.
Anyway, your imaginary numbers. Based on my location in SC, a $125,000 annual salary after taxes (federal, state, average property) results in a net monthly pay of $7,205 per month. Daughter’s leased horse and lessons and my best guess at boarding your own horse totals $850. Your horse board and lesson costs are so low people here in Aiken would think you were mistaken. But that leaves $6,355 . Say you bite the bullet for prescription diet dog food at $100 and also put your horse on daily Equioxx for $50, Now spendable income is $6,205. And your daughter’s mental well-being would improved if she got braces along with her peers, so you decide to go with the orthodontist at $100 per month. Now $6,105 to spend. So none of these examples are really big-ticket items when compared to your income.
The big stuff like home mortgage, car loans, auto insurance premiums, ad valorem taxes if your state has them on cars, only you know. Do those really eat up all the remaining $6,000 every month?
My point is that dog food, braces, and Equioxx, like the 2 cent fan cost I mentioned above, are drops in the bucket. Sure, 2 cents here and $100 there adds up every month, but look at the big expenses first.