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dogIf your kid wants a dog this summer or for Christmas, their birthday, President’s Day or just about any other day of the year, think twice.

Along with the responsibilities of raising a pet that the child should help with — walking, feeding, grooming and cleaning up after — there are bigger responsibilities that you’ll have to face as a parent. Financial ones. Ones where you have to pull money out of your pocket to pay for whatever the dog needs.

These probably aren’t at the front of your mind when you’re looking at cute dogs at your local animal shelter, but they will be soon after you leave with a new pet in your hands. The costs of pet ownership are high for any type of pet, including cats. But as someone who has only owned dogs, I’m going with my experience with dogs.

Here are five of the biggest costs you’ll have as a new pet owner. Some are optional, but the consequences of not having some of them could be more expensive down the road. If that’s a risk you’re willing to take to save money, then go for it.

Out-the-door costs

Adoption fees can be staggering enough to get you to reconsider getting a dog. The costs I’m detailing are from my local animal shelter, which is where you should be adopting a dog if you really want to save a life. Go to a pet store or private breeder, and you’ll likely pay a lot more.

Many animal shelters will require that your pet be spayed or neutered, a cost they usually discount, before you can take it home. For a male dog, the neuter deposit or surgery fee ranges from $60 to $135, and that goes up to $75 to $195 to spay a female dog. ...continue reading

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drunk shoppingSt. Patrick's Day is coming up soon, giving Americans a chance to go drunk shopping on one of the most popular U.S. holidays for drinking.

Drunk shopping is exactly what it sounds like — buying something when you're drunk. Pull out your cellphone when you're drunk and you can buy something in a few seconds. Will it be a purchase you regret? Probably.

What are the most popular things bought during drunk shopping? Finder.com surveyed 3,123 people and found these to be the top online purchases when drunk:

  • Shoes and clothes: 7.1%
  • Gambling: 6.2%
  • Cigarettes: 6.2%
  • Movies/DVDs: 4%
  • Technology: 3.3%

Of those inclined to drunken impulse buys, Millennials spend the most, the survey found. They spend 75 percent more than Gen Xers and 40 percent more than Baby Boomers.

Men spend more than four times as much as women ($233 vs. $54) on a drunken shopping session, with gambling the top splurge by intoxicated men. The average spent while drunk was $139. ...continue reading

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cookie doughIt's a simple sales formula that would make any door-to-door salesman proud: Play on a customer's emotions and you'll likely get a sale. It works with magazine subscriptions, Girl Scout cookies and even cookie dough.

Cute + cookie dough = sale. It's automatic.

If cookie dough, cheap jewelry, Oreo churros and expensive candles, among other junk from Believe Kids, are making the rounds in your neighborhood, you know that summer is over and kids are back in school. Forget falling leaves and cool winds when looking for the start of the fall season. Cookie dough for $17 is for sale, marking the start of fall.

My daughter's school started its fall fundraiser recently, and while she and her classmates are told not to sell items door-to-door, they are expected to push their cuteness and fundraising goals upon their families. If you can't sell a $16 pumpkin roll to Grandma, then you aren't cut out to be in sales. ...continue reading