It’s not a secret that I’m in debt. I’ve got just under $18,000 of consumer debt and student loans, plus a mortgage of about $117,000. In order to help me pay off my debts as quickly as possible, I’ve been cutting lots of unnecessary expenses like eating out, shopping, and the majority of my entertainment budget.
Despite all these cuts, one category that some see as “unnecessary” that I’ve decided to keep in my budget is pet expenses. Even though I’m keeping my pets, there are a few things I’m doing to help cut down on the financial cost of owning a pet.
Buying high quality food and paying a bit more for it is something I’m not willing to cut from my budget. The better quality the food, the longer and healthier your pets’ lives will be. But with that said, one way you can save on pet expenses is by making sure you are not over feeding them. You can follow the feeding guidelines on your pet food’s packaging, or ask your veterinarian for suggestions, to make sure you are feeding the proper amount.
Pets, especially dogs, can be beggars and will try everything they can to get you feed them more food and treats. But if you give in, you are costing yourself unnecessary money in both food costs today and future veterinary expenses when your pet becomes overweight.
Save on Pet Expenses By Buying in Bulk
Another way I save on pet expenses and supplies is by buying in bulk. I buy dry food for my dogs and cat in bulk with coupons and sales whenever they are available. By paying close attention to sale prices on the basic pet supplies I know I’ll eventually use, I can buy them at rock-bottom prices and store them until they’re needed. Just be careful not to build up too big of stockpile that you can’t use all the perishable goods before they expire, otherwise you’ll be wasting money instead of saving it.
Skip the Groomer
Another way I save money is by grooming my own pets. My dogs get regular baths and haircuts, and my cat allows me to brush out her fur to prevent shedding from time to time. The best thing about doing this grooming myself is that I get to save money and spending time bonding with my pets. Plus, by doing these things myself, I know how my pets are being treated, ensuring that they receive proper care and are not unnecessarily stressed out by the experience of being groomed.
Invest in Training
Spending money on obedience training books, supplies, or even classes for your pets may not seem like a money saving measure, but it can pay off in the long run. When my dogs were puppies, I spent a lot of time training them basic commands, skills, and lessons. They know how to behave in public and at home, and I never have to worry about them chewing anything they shouldn’t. By ensuring they have proper manners, I can rest assured I won’t have to replace any furniture or belongings because of pet damage. Replacing things that are chewed or otherwise destroyed can be very costly compared to the time and money investment needed for training most pets.
Though pets can be a major financial expense, especially if you’re trying to get out of debt or increase your savings, pets are worth their weight in how many benefits they can bring to your life. Plus, there are plenty of ways to make pet ownership more frugal than the typical pet owner might realize.
How to do you cut down on pet costs? What kind of pets do you have? What is one thing you’re not willing to skimp on with regards to your pets?
Photo courtesy of: Jerry