24 Nov Financial Planner Reveals 5 Ways to Save Money On Your Pet
Australians love pets. Except me. I’m the only one in my house (*or zoo) who doesn’t like pets so please don’t judge me.
It makes no financial sense to a financial nerd like me to have pets. If you ever take out your spreadsheet and crunch some numbers, tears will cascade down your cheeks like a running tap. So please don’t do that because pets bring you joy, companionship, happiness, and much more.
Why am I writing this article then? I am writing this article because thanks to my beloved husband, I have been promoted to the newly created role of Pets Manager in our zoo (used interchangeably with ‘house’ in this article).
Naturally, being a bargain hunter and an Asian, I’m always on the hunt for money-saving tips to shave our pet bills.
Here are my top five that I wish someone would give me:
1. Buy in bulk
Pets are like kids. They feed like there is no tomorrow. Pet food seems to disappear from its package at the speed of lightning and before the weekend, I find myself running around like a headless chicken buying more food. I am in love with buying enough for my groceries but it doesn’t really work with pets. But with pets, I find it is more cost-effective to buy in bulk on a monthly basis through an online store as it saves money. The good thing about ordering online is that you can utilise Cashback (click here to find out more about Cashback) to get some cash back for your purchases (double money wins here). At the moment, I am loving My Pet Warehouse which has 3.9% cashback. But highly recommend you do some research and find out where to source your pet foods and your wallet will forever thank you for it!
2. Buy everything secondhand
Buying secondhand items can help with saving money. When we started with our pet ownership journey, we (as in hubby) bought everything new, and obviously, we were slapped in the face with many expensive bills. In hindsight, the bird cages, aquariums, and rabbit hutches that we paid a premium price for could have been FREE! You heard me. It can be free. Do a search on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and keep an eye out for random hard rubbish collection first before you commit to buying something new. You will be amazed at what you could find.
3. Visits to the vet
Pets are like humans. They get sick too. They need a healthy and balanced diet, etc. Ensuring they are healthy will save you money in the long term because unfortunately and sadly, Medicare doesn’t cover emergency services for pets! It was about $200 an hour to have intensive care for our little conure who suffered a stroke at a pet emergency center… Long story short, don’t let them get sick because your wallet will be screaming at you down the track.
4. Adopt a pet
I wasn’t aware of this after we purchased our rabbits. Rabbits are the most abandoned pets. So, we could have rabbits for free by helping other people take away their problems! If you really want a pet, maybe consider looking at adoption instead of buying. There are so many pets out there for adoption because of various reasons. There are many ways to look for those opportunities and they can be via Facebook, pet shops, Pet Rescue, RSPCA, etc. So many options out there..
5. Save on sitting services
Going on holiday is fun. But the least fun part of holidaying is leaving your pets behind. It is a sticky point for me because pet sitting is really expensive (almost like childcare but you don’t get rebates for it!). There are so many options out there but I find that talking to the guys at your local pet shops can help you get a direct sitter who really cares about pets (and potentially can be cheaper). The trick here is to find a store assistant who would be willing to do that so ensure you put on your biggest friendly smile. Alternatively, you could ask around to see whether any friends, neighbours, and family that will be happy to have pets for a short period of time.
6. Saving bank account
Surprise! There are not five, but six tips for you!
I’m a big believer in budgeting for the unexpected. Pet expenses can go up the roof and when our little friend is sick, we can become emotional and irrational with our money. Work out how much expenses you need for your pets and gross that up by 20%-50% in a separate bank account for your pet. Different pets have different expenses so it is worthwhile doing your research to ensure you don’t have surprises.
Overall, the theme is always to be prepared. If we put more time into planning, we can certainly save a bit here and there. Remember from little things, big things grow.
Happy petting guys!
This information is general information only. You should consider the appropriateness of this information with regards to your objectives, financial situations, and needs.
SOK LAY (Financial Planner & Trainee Mortgage Broker)
She is a financial wiz (the technical term is a financial adviser) with Master Your Money Now. She lives in what she refers to as ‘a zoo’ more than a house with her husband and three mischievous kids. In her spare time, she chases her kids and argues with her Lorikeets. She is obsessed with the Korean 7-step skincare and has a strange hobby of collecting cute water flasks/bottles.
Sok and Master Your Money Now are authorised representatives with Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.