Are you looking to turn over a new financial leaf in 2020? Then don’t forget to consider the planned and unplanned expenses that go along with the wonderful world of pet parenthood as you create your budget.
In 2019 alone, an estimated $75.4 billion was spent on pet care, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) – and that doesn’t account for unexpected expenses like emergency vet bills.
In fact, according to the ASPCA, every six seconds a pet parent gets a vet bill of more than $1,000.
With costs continuing to increase, it’s easy to see why a recent survey found that approximately 42 percent of millennials have been in pet-related debt and nearly one in 10 are still paying it off.
While a good budget doesn’t come with the promise of a debt-free existence, it can help. Here are a few tips to get you started.
3 Tips for Turning Over a Financial Leaf in 2020
1. Plan for recurring expenses.
Pets are beloved family members, but that love doesn’t always come cheap. Start with the easy stuff – the things that you know will come around weekly, monthly, and yearly.
In 2018, Americans spent over $72 billion on their pets according to research from the APPA. Broken down, the top three costs were:
- $30.32 billion spent on food
- $18 billion spent on veterinary costs
- $16 billion spent on supplies and over-the-counter medicines
Factor annual medical exams, food, daycare and dog walking services, licensing, toys, and medications into your weekly, monthly and yearly budgets to assure you have the funds to keep your pet fed, healthy and happy.
2. Offset health care costs with pet insurance.
Veterinary care, just like human health care, can be expensive – and emergency veterinary care tends to be the most expensive of all.
Pet insurance is used to help pay for veterinary treatment when your pet gets sick or injured. It can save you from financial stress or having to make a tough call, and it helps ensure that your pets get the care they need.
By paying a monthly premium, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can be there for your dog or cat when they’re depending on you, with money being the last thing on your mind.
3. Estate planning for pets.
Though no one wants to think about what would happen in the case of their own death, plans must be made in advance to ensure all loose ends are tied up.
Just as any parent would for their human child, arranging for care and funding before their deaths can ensure their pets will receive quality care for life.
These options can range from including a pet’s future caregiver as a life insurance policy beneficiary to creating a pet will or pet trust.
The good news is that estate plans that include pets are legally binding and aren’t difficult to arrange – and they allow pet parents to guarantee a desired lifestyle for the remainder of the pet’s years.
What tips can you share for turning over a financial leaf when it comes to your pets? Please share them in a comment below! Also, be sure to have a pet first-aid kit on hand for emergencies!
About the Author:
Rob Jackson is the CEO and co-founder of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. He adopted his dogs from the shelter and keeps coming back to foster more.