Money Lessons for New Pet Owners: Welcoming a new four-legged friend into your household fills the air with a special kind of excitement. Just thinking about the endless hours of snuggles and playtime to come is enough to turn anyone’s frown upside down.
That said, caring for a pet is also a serious responsibility that requires proper planning so it goes off without a hitch. Your little furball is a whole other mouth to feed, after all, so you should take the time to consider their impact on your financial life. With that in mind, here are three tips to work your pet into your budget well before you bring them home:
Consider Pet Insurance
Pet insurance, like any other kind of insurance, is designed to protect you in case of a large and unexpected expense. You pay a monthly premium for this protection based on your pet’s age and overall health. The healthier they are, the lower it will be.
Suppose that, after two years with your furry friend, they require surgery to fix a life-threatening condition. The out-of-pocket cost for such a procedure could easily reach a few thousand dollars, which is more than most working families can afford. But the right insurance plan will cover most if not the entire cost, so long as you’re diligent about paying your monthly premium.
If you do find yourself in a jam, you can stop worrying by securing a payday loan tailored to your little furball’s needs; just tread with caution in terms of who you do business with. While payday lenders abound, the most reputable among them won’t lend to you unless they’re sure you can pay them back and get back on your feet.
Plan Ahead and Crunch the Numbers
It’s essential to make a checklist to account for every expense your new pet will add to your monthly budget. That way, you’ll have a chance to increase your savings if need be. It’s also a good idea to consult with friends who’ve owned pets for many years, because they have the experience you need to make your list as thorough as possible. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Durable toys
- High-protein food
- Treats for training
- A bed that is easy to clean
- Indoor/outdoor safety fences
Spoil Them Responsibly
If you’re family is the type to drive a car, wear clothes, or use appliances until they’re on their last legs before purchasing new ones, you should feel free to hold your pets to the same standard. Let them enjoy their toys until they’re falling apart; only then should you make a trip to the pet store to pick up a few more.
On the flip side, if you have the means to indulge your pet on a more frequent basis, there’s no reason to forgo the value this will bring to both of your lives. The important thing is to assess your financial limits first so you can stay within them, rather than making purchases you’ll regret later on.
The best part about having a pet is the relationship you can build and the love you can share, which will only gain in strength over time. So why not clear the way for a long-lasting bond by making sure your financial affairs are in order? Rework your budget, consider insurance, and spend within your means, and you’ll be guaranteeing your pet the highest quality of life.