The Money Talk

Everyone says that if you want to keep the peace, avoid talking about politics or money.

You’re in luck for the first- I don’t plan to ever talk about politics on this blog beyond urging y’all to get involved in your state and local governments.

But screw it. I’m gonna talk about money.


Frankie gets top notch care and we compete at some bigger shows, all of which comes with a price tag. One that I’ve always been willing to pay because I’m an idiot who can’t stay away from the barn, but one that I could only kinda afford to pay.

I don’t know how it comes across in this blog, but I was making a lot of sacrifices to make it work. A LOT. And it was only kiiiiinda working thanks entirely to the flexibility and understanding of my support network. The bills got paid every month. By a hair.

Every month after bills

I started making a list of all the luxury items I would get down the road once I was able: underwear without holes in it. Makeup that isn’t just a sample I got from Birchbox in 2014. Windshield wipers for my car that actually, ya know, wipe the windshield. A damn haircut. The cheese I keep seeing at the grocery store that I’ve never actually tried but looks amazing.

How I feel about the cheese aisle at Wegman’s

I’ll be honest: if I could go back and do things differently, I wouldn’t. Budgeting down to the nickel, being super disciplined with my spending, and maintaining that level of awareness of my finances were all skills that I needed to learn and carry forward. The opportunities I got to pursue were worth every moment of stress about how to pay for it, and there is a definite sense of pride that at the age of 25, I’m able to do what I love every day because I’ve worked hard for it.  

I don’t regret any of it- given the choice between anything else and doing another class at a show, I’d pick competing more every single time. As long as Frankie was getting what he needed to be solidly ready for his job, I was fine ignoring everything else.

Right? RIGHT?!

But I did make a few big shifts lately- changed my budget, adjusted some spending, made some huge life changes (new job, new apartment), and took some steps to get into a healthier place financially.

I didn’t realize what a constant source of near-panic my finances were for me until they weren’t anymore. There was such a physical sense of relief from making these changes that I literally giggled out loud to myself.


After a year-ish of stress (definitely a coincidence that I bought a horse a year-ish ago) I’m finally at a point where I’m able to do both- take care of Frankie AND myself. Nothing crazy, but I can now say yes to the occasional happy hour and have non-holey underwear and get the damn haircut. My life balance is shifting a little.

For my barn life, this will hopefully mean more horse shows next season (including a solid 2 weeks in the winter at Ocala or WEC), more frequent preventative vet visits for Frankie as I ask for harder work, more professional training rides for him, and more non-traditional care- I’m excited to see how he likes chiro/acupuncture/massage. He’s a sturdy dude and isn’t showing any signs of discomfort, but I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to get some extra pampering.


I think the conventional takeaway from the past year would be “learn from your mistakes, don’t overextend!” But like I said, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Only other horse people can understand the near-compulsion to keep coming back to the barn and trying again no matter the cost.

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, but holy crap am I glad to have a break. Frankie’s earned a massage (and so have I).

9 thoughts on “The Money Talk

  1. Jenn 07/20/2017 / 8:25 am

    Being an adult ammy is absolutely about sacrifice and prioritizing. Because none of us ride horses full-time and none of us are millionaires, we usually have to live in a constant state of being ‘horse-poor’ (or, actually poor, depending on your perspective). As you mentioned, the financial stress is always worth the reward though, turning down that happy hour or that weekend trip in exchange for going to shows and keeping our horses happy and healthy. Being financially savvy is a life skill that we all need, and will hopefully gain at some point because #adulting. But, I do think that “being poor”–relative term that varies from person to person–for a while will point out what’s really important to you individually, and whether you really need that 1/2 pound of cheese at Wegmans (<3 Wegmans omg) or a haircut, or would rather do another class at a show. Those choices are different for everyone, and I don't think there are 100% clear right and wrong choices when it comes to how to spend money. While I don't recommend living in poverty for the rest of your life, I think learning to prioritize your expenses and really pinch pennies for a while will only benefit you in the long run.

    So, that's my roundabout way of saying that I'm glad you have a little more of a monetary cushion now, with the new job and new digs, and I'm sure Frankie is happy as well. Sorry for the novel 🙂


  2. Stacie Seidman 07/20/2017 / 11:35 am

    Ponies > than new underwear. Every time.
    But congrats on being a little more settled financially. It’s a huge weight off the shoulders when you’re not worried you won’t make the rent. Believe me, I’ve been there!


    • hellomylivia 07/21/2017 / 2:47 pm

      Huge weight!! And so definitely ponies over everything 😀


  3. CallyJumps 07/20/2017 / 12:44 pm

    Your situation is very similar to mine, ten years ago! Financially, I probably should not have bought my horse when I did, and it was a big financial sacrifice. And I don’t think I took a vacation from the time I bought her to the time I started seeing WBBF, because I straight up couldn’t afford it. (I”m also crazy and bought a condo at 28 too.) Having a bit of a financial cushion makes life so much easier, and makes the horse thing so much more fun. You’re actually able to be choosier about your showing, your lessoning, your tack and gear…and your life outside of horses. But it’s a tradoff that I never regretted for a second.


    • hellomylivia 07/21/2017 / 2:48 pm

      All of this. There’s no regret at all, but that “choosiness” for lack of a better word is something I’m excited to have

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Karley 08/07/2017 / 4:10 pm

    I feel ya!! While friends are traveling, buying nice clothes and shoes, weekend vacations, nice cars, fancy home decorating etc to have my horse 😊😂😜


    • hellomylivia 08/08/2017 / 7:21 am

      All the pretty shoes I could have if it wasn’t for the pony…. 😉


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