Pets and Finances

It’s estimated that 57% of Americans have at least one pet in their home. While pets can bring such joy to our lives, they can also bring added expenses. We always want to make sure our pets are well cared for, so if you’re considering adding a new pet to your home soon, here are a few important things to consider.

Before you add a new pet to your home:

  • Estimate the cost for food, medical care and insurance for the animal and pay that amount into a savings account for 3 months BEFORE committing to the animal.
  • Don’t forget to consider the type of pet. These factors will all have an impact on your finances.
    • Are there species, weight, or breed restrictions where you live?
    • Will certain animals increase your insurance?
    • Will the animal need regular grooming?
  • Don’t make an emotional decision based on cuteness. It will be much more emotional and difficult to have to give up the animal if the expenses are overwhelming or the animal’s needs were not considered beforehand.

Buy pet insurance right from the start.

  • Pets are just like us – sometimes they hurt themselves or become ill. Having a safety net to cover these inevitable events will help keep both your pet and your budget healthy.
  • The best time to buy pet insurance is right when you get your pet, but if you already own a pet, the second best time is now.
  • Coverage can be as low as $15 a month, depending on the type of pet.
  • Talk to a veterinarian for insurance recommendations. Or your home insurance company may offer pet insurance to bundle into your policy.

Establish a separate savings account for your pet’s care.

  • Try to have this account at a different credit union or bank from your primary accounts to make it more difficult for you to access for non-pet related spending, but close enough to access in an emergency. CCF's rainy day savings account is a great choice.
  • If you don’t want to take money out of your monthly budget, take a set amount from this year’s tax return funds and deposit it into your pet account as a cushion to get started.