Purchasing and caring for a horse is an expensive proposition. If you've dreamed of owning a horse since you were a child, your desire can get you in over your head if you're not financially ready to make this sort of commitment. Creating a budget is the best way to see if the money you make from working will allow you to own a horse. The following tips will help you create your budget and allow you to own a horse responsibly.
The first thing you need to do is gather up all of your receipts for the last few months. If your banking records are all digital, so much the better. Now you need to sit down and figure out how you're currently spending your money. How much goes toward paying off your mortgage loan? How much goes toward gas and car maintenance? How much do you spend on food? How much do you put away in savings for your planned basement renovation in Toronto or your current city for example? Organize your expenses into categories and then add them up by month.
If there's no income left over at the end of each month, you cannot consider buying a horse unless you can cut something out of your existing budget. Perhaps you would be willing to sell your large home and buy a smaller home so you can save on mortgage payments. Maybe you don't need to buy so much take-out food or go to so many concerts. Perhaps you can do without so many new clothes. Experiment by seeing how much you can cut away, but don't touch the essentials like food, utilities, and loan payments.
If your income exceeds your spending, then you have room left in your budget to consider a horse. Now it's time to figure out how much horse you can afford. Purebred racing horses can cost as much to buy as some condos, but ordinary stock horses and ponies are much cheaper. Check around with local breeders, auction houses, and horse markets to see how much the purchase price might be. Then call up horse boarding services and vets to get an estimate on care. If your budget can accommodate it, you're all set.
The one thing you do not want to do when buying a horse is to go into debt over it. Unlike buying real estate, buying a horse isn't really an investment. Horses depreciate over time and unless you have the expertise to start a riding business or stud, you can only expect to spend money, not make money, on your horse. You can find more on how to create a budget here.