How to Balance Your Pet and Budgeting Needs - The Trupanion Blog
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How to Balance Your Pet and Budgeting Needs

Learn some financial tips for your budget and your pets.

Having a pet is a fantastic way to improve your home life, especially in a time where more and more people are stuck at home. Pets not only give you unconditional love, but they also encourage you to stay active, spend more time outside, and can even lower your stress levels. While it’s nice to spoil your furry friend with comfortable beds, fun toys, and delicious treats, those splurges can add up quickly. With more time at home, you have more opportunities to shop online. To help you save while spending money on your pet, use these tips to stick to your budget.

Pet budget tips

Discover three essential tips when planning your pet budget if you're new to pet ownership.

Organize your finances 

Before you sit down to order your pet some new toys or treats, take time to look over your finances to get a feel for where you stand. Pet supplies are expensive, which can make it easy to overspend and purchase items that aren’t necessarily needed. Before buying anything, create a budget for your pet and yourself so you only add things to your cart that you know your pet will enjoy or use.

Start your budget by adding up all of your recurring costs month over month. This will include expenses like rent, utilities, food, or gas. Don’t forget to also add your pet’s food costs, insurance, and any veterinary appointment fees into the mix as well. Once you have added those totals to your budget, you can move on to your non-essential expenses.

This category includes anything that you want but don’t need. For your pet, items like toys, treats, or beds would qualify. If you aren’t sure how to start dividing up your remaining income, try using the 50/30/20 rule. This method focuses on spending 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants, and the remaining 20% going into your savings account. 

Once you have your budget, you can start to track your spending. After each transaction, you should enter the amount you spent into your budget. Then you can see what categories of your spending need to be reduced. Another way to track your shopping habits is through using an online banking service or budgeting platform to stay organized.

These allow you to set up real-time mobile alerts that will notify how much you have spent and can give you a view of the remaining balance in your bank account. Seeing these transactions on your phone may help you realize how much money you are spending on your pet at a given time and can encourage you to stick to your set budget.

Make your own toys

Just because you are trying to stick to your budget doesn’t mean your pet has to go without fantastic toys to play with. Instead of purchasing expensive toys online, try to create some homemade options that will entertain your cat or dog. An online platform like Pinterest is an excellent source for finding ideas for free DIY toys. Most versions are easy to craft and only require simple components you might already have!

With more time on your hands, you can get creative and come up with your own toy ideas too. Besides, your pet won’t mind if you made the toy at home. They will just be happy that you are spending time playing with them.

Take advantage of online sales 

With the recent boost in online shopping, retailers are relying on sales more than ever. If there is a toy or pet bed that you have been wanting to buy for a while, this could be the perfect chance to purchase it. However, you should take the time to double-check that the price is lower than usual.

For necessities like food or litter, buying in bulk can also get you additional discounts. Plus, bulk orders can save you from having to place the same order each month and spend more than you have to.

If you have a favorite retailer, you should consider signing up for their online newsletters. This not only alerts you to any upcoming promotions, but subscribers can sometimes get exclusive coupon codes. An extension like Honey can also help you save some additional money during checkout. While many stores offer their own coupons, it could be worth it to check if there are additional discounts available through other resources.

Read on to learn some financial tips for pet owners when your planning a budget for your pets.

Take your time to create a pet budget that works for you

Keeping your pet happy and healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. It might just require some extra effort when you spend money on their favorite treats or toys. At the end of the day, your furry friends don’t care how much you spend on them. Just take time to give them the love and attention they deserve for being your loyal companion.

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