Pets are an important part of the family, but sometimes they can be as expensive as a teenager. Today, I'm going to discuss with you how to budget for your pets!
It's not uncommon to believe we only have minimal expenses associated with our four-legged friends. But, the truth can be deceiving and costs may even surprise you! The following six items are things to think about and have in place in your budget if you already are or are thinking about becoming a pet owner.
Every furry friend has a different food need. Regardless of whether your pet consumes MeowMix or caviar, take stock of these expenses over time.
Puppy Chow costs $30 a bag and lasts approximately six weeks.
52 weeks per year / 6 = 8.67 purchases
$30 x 8.67 = $260.10 per year
$260.10 / 12 months = $21.68 per month
Doing math like this will help you have a long-term, sustainable budget and may even open your eyes to more inexpensive ways you can meet your pet's food needs. Try to buy food in bulk online or from a wholesale club. This can really help keep costs down when considering the dietary needs of your fur baby.
If you are a cat owner and have not figured out the art of teaching them to use the toilet than you'll need to buy litter. This can be a tremendous area for cost savings. The average, local grocery store charges anywhere from $9 to $15 for 15 to 19 lbs. of clumpable litter. Your wholesale club is approximately $10 for 40 lbs. of a similar product.
Your mileage may very, but it is worth trying a less expensive but similar alternative to save money. Either way, break it down and add it to your pet budget total!
If your furry friend has long hair, they'll most likely need grooming on a regular basis. As long as you are not taking your life into your own hands, you may be able to accomplish this at home. Some pets are not as friendly to this process. 😂 However, if you need to hire a professional, this is a decent cost that can add up quickly so make to think long term and break that down into your budget as well.
This especially applies to dog owners. When you go out of town and don't have the help of friends and family, one thing you can trust is the significant cost of boarding. Ranging from $25 to $45 per night, it is like putting your dog up in a mini hotel.
A dog sitter can be an alternative but it is often the same cost or more.
This covers anything from a sick pet who needs medication to tick prevention. These things can really add up so you need to make sure you keep the costs down. Again, shopping online can result in some decent savings.
Office visits, shots and more fall under this category. You want to keep your pet healthy but at what price? Make sure you check with your veterinarian about the necessary amount for care and associated costs. If you aren't proactive that's how you become sidelined with vet debt or stuck with a 26.99% CareCredit card. By being proactive and setting the budget aside, you may even be able to negotiate a cash discount because you were prepared. So, be prepared and think savvy.
So, there we have it folks. The major areas you need to be budgeting for your pet. In my experience, indoor cats and outdoor cats tend to cost between $20 and $40 a month. Dogs are a minimum of between $100 and $120 a month. Make sure the cost of upkeep isn't keeping you back from funding your dreams. I hope you found this information helpful. Also, feel free to join my FREE Facebook community, The “Strong Together Money Community.” post a picture of your pet there and glean from other's tips on how to save on your pet costs.
Question: Do you need to budget for your furry friend(s)? Do you want to make sure your four legged friends are well cared for but that you can still fund your dreams? All it takes is a little planning and thought. Share your unique insights in the comments below. Need help? Contact me today. Be sure to also check out my free e-book to help you on your journey to financial wellness.