Hidden Pet Costs: Is This The Right Time for You to Have a Pet?
Many people want to have their own pets and jump in with both feet without considering short or long term cost to your budget and whether you are financially ready for a pet. Having a pet is like adding a new member to your family and it is often a big decision to make. Whether you adopt a pet from a shelter or buy one from your local pet store you are also committing to provide the necessary care and needs during the entire lifetime of your pet. Taking a step BEFORE buying your pet and understanding what your pet spending is likely to be is the financially smart step and prepares you for this responsibility and the long term pet costs you need to prepare for.
As a side note it might also help with picking your pet out based on size/type/maintenance needed once you work out the relative costs In Advance. See here…in advance not AFTER you bring your new pet home.
Fees for Adoption or Cost to buy
I highly recommend ALL PEOPLE consider heading to an animal shelter to adopt a Pet. When you do this in the US you are saving a life but keep in mind according to state rules there is a specific fee to be paid before one can adopt an animal. Adoption fees vary depending on the kind of animal you have in mind and where you are located. In addition any medical services provided for the pet and care and feeding may also play a factor. Adoption fees may vary between twenty five dollars to four hundred dollars, so make sure you set a limit. I have said it before and will say it again. Make a budget or limit, create a plan be disciplined and focused and stay within your limits.
Don’t forget Pet costs for Registration
Most communities require pet owners to register their pets. This is another of the many pet costs that can sneak up on you over the year. Depending on the state you are in, pet registration can be an annual fee or a one- time payment fee which is usually not more than twenty dollars. To make sure you are sticking within your planned pet spending you can discuss this additional expense with the adoption facility or you can contact the department in your city or county to get more information regarding pet registration.
Pet Sitters and Appropriate Kennels
Boarding at a pet kennel and pet sitting services is another one of the many pet costs you may encounter when you have a pet at home. Remember your committing to this animals health, well being and upkeep and giving them care when you are away on holidays is one of your responsibilities. So whether it is planned or an emergency, having an idea of the costs and selecting a method of looking after your pet (kennel or even pet sitter) in advance means you can allow for some funds should the need arrive rather than find yourself short.
Food and Pet Supplies
Obviously this is the most essential pet costs and one of the largest. Buying pet food and supplies is like buying groceries for your family and its probably a good idea to treat it exactly like that. Allow for your grocery budget to increase based on an amount you have planned you will need for your new pet. Aside from that you must also have the financial capability to pay for various types of vaccinations (usually required yearly) especially if you are planning for your pet to meet other animals or go into a kennel during a planned vacation out of the country. And a yearly or six monthly check up is usually recommended by your vets too!
Other pet accessories like collars, leashes, shampoos and treats certainly cost money. Especially if these are unplanned impulse buys! Pay attention next time your shopping to how big the pet treat section is in your local grocery / shopping centre.
Insure away some of the financial pain
Last but not least is insuring your pet! Yes many owners take advantage of insurance to reduce the ongoing vet and medical costs and to take care of some of the bill in an emergency. Not only is this wise financial planning but it can also have a side affect of having less injured pets surrendered to the shelters when they are injured and beyond the financial means of owners to care for.
If you would like an idea on costs for Pet Insurance UK try the team out at Pet Insurance Co.
For the Pet insurance US try the Petplan guys
Plan your Pet Spending
Like any financial decision planning is the key to keeping your pet spending under control. Sure you may want to spoil your new family member or best mate but making sure it doesn’t affect the rest of your financial journey is my point with today’s writing. I like anyone am guilty of spoiling my furry child with treats and toys but at least with keeping the theme of today’s writing in mind I can plan or allow for the changes my pet made to my finances.
I am hoping like all my readers you have a long term strategic spending plan or budget where you plan out and forecast your spending for the next twelve months. Setting your goals at the start of the year (as I have mentioned before) is another part of your long term planning and financial growth and journey.
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***Photos thanks to Fan of Retail, Ross.Wade & Kenteegardin***