After having a baby almost a year ago, I soon discovered just how much that little bundle of joy can cost financially. Medical bills, formula, diapers, clothing - it all adds up real quick. Then my maternity leave was over and I went back to work. That should help, right? Wrong. Don't forget how ridiculous daycare costs are. Luckily, a few months later, my husband got a new job with a higher rate of pay. We did the figures and decided we would go ahead and start looking for a new house. We had some safety issues with our old neighborhood including being right beside a busy highway and, once the baby came, we wanted to try to move somewhere more suitable to raise a child. If we budgeted just right, things would be tight, but we could make it work. But we didn't plan on several things. First, tuition rates at my son's daycare went up. Second, I was informed that my job would not be giving out any raises this year. Great. Now we aren't just living paycheck to paycheck, we're going into debt little by little each month. We needed to cut costs somewhere, even if it was a small cut, to get things evened out. Well, the decision was hard, but it became obvious. When we moved to the new house, we didn't have a fence for our two basset hounds. We just couldn't afford to put in a fence and it wasn't safe for the dogs if we didn't. Plus, I was already buying formula and diapers each week and adding in that bag of dog food and dog treats always put me that little bit over. So, we decided to let our old neighbor adopt our dogs. He had always loved them and would give them treats when he got home from work. He had also moved because of the same issues with the neighborhood. He moved to the country and had a few acres of land. I tracked down him down and he was thrilled to adopt the dogs. Now they have more room to run and also, someone who can spend more time with them, which was also becoming an issue with a new baby in the house. I think the decision was a good one for everyone involved, but it didn't make it any easier. I have already noticed a difference in my grocery budget. That bag of dog food really does make a difference - the little things add up. No more worrying about those unexpected vet bills. Doctor bills for my son are bad enough. The good news is, I just heard from my neighbor and my dogs are having a great time in their new wide-open home in the country with plenty of treats and love. Tough decision, but a good one for all.