If you are looking to get a new pet then it is likely that you will not think about the cost. Most people will just think about how lovely it will be to have an animal around the place and will not consider whether they will be able to afford it. It is wise to look into this though as you do not want to get a loan to pay for your pet.
Investigate general costs
To start with it is wise to have a look at the costs of keeping the pet that you are thinking of getting. The cost will vary massively depending on the type and size of animal that you are looking for. You will need to think about the cost of food, bedding, exercising, play and anything else that is relevant. A fish will just need food and a tank, but you will probably want to put some gravel and decorations in the tank to make it more fun and you may also want to have an oxygen filter in the water as well. If you have a dog then you will need to spend a lot more on food and bedding and then you will need a lead, you may want a cage or harness for the car to keep them safe and there will be toys and possibly a coat as well. You will also need to pay for it to be groomed as well, at least once a year when the weather is very warm and a thick coat will be too hot. If you go to a pet shop and talk to staff there, you will soon find out what you need to buy and you will be able to investigate how much it will cost. It is also worth thinking about whether you will need someone to care for the pet while you are on holiday or in the case of a dog whether you will need them to be walked while you are at work.
Consider vet bills and insurance
One other big expense to consider is the vet. If you have a larger animal, such as a dog or cat, you will need to give them vaccinations and treatment for fleas. Then if they are unwell you will need to have them treated as well. With smaller animals they will not need such regular treatments and may never need a vet anyway. It is wise to consider whether taking out insurance for the vet will be a good idea. This should make it much more affordable to pay your vet bills as you will spread the payments. However, the insurance may not cover all treatments or may not cover the full cost of treatment. This means that you will need to think about whether it will be enough. Consider both, whether you can afford the insurance and whether you can afford the treatment. You may decide that you will not bother with insurance and take the risk that you will be able to afford the treatment but this will very much depend on your financial situation and how you predict it will be in the future.
Look at your finances to see if you can afford it
Once you have done all of this research you will be in a position to be able to make a decision about whether you can afford a pet or perhaps what type of pet you can afford. You will need to be very aware of your own financial situation so that you know how much you will be able to afford. It is a good idea to think about a typical month and whether you normally have enough spare money to afford the pet. Then consider whether you had a particularly expensive month and the pet was unwell, whether you would be able to afford the vets bills. It might be that you are confident that you will have some savings to fall back on in this situation but it may be that you know you will struggle.
Consider whether you might need to make changes to afford it
It can be hard to admit to ourselves that we will not be able to afford what we want, especially if it is something that we really want. It may be that we will be able to make some changes to what we buy and how much we pay for things or how much we earn so that we can afford what we want. It is therefore wise to make sure that we decide if we are prepared to make changes to afford the pet that we want. It is important to realise as well, that we will need to make those changes for all of the time that we have the animal.
It can often feel like a real chore to save money. We might
just think that it is easier to get a loan and borrow the money that we need
rather than go through the hassle of saving up. However, there are things that
we can do which will make saving less laborious and therefore you might be more
prepared to do it.
Check interest rates
It can be fun to start by looking at what interest rate you will get on your savings. If you work out how much that will be over a year or perhaps even longer, you will be able to calculate the benefits of keeping your money in the savings account. Knowing that you will not have to do anything at all for that money to be coming can be satisfying. You do no work and still get paid! The more that you put in there the more you will get back and so this could encourage you to keep putting more in and then watching the amount you have grow. Some accounts will pay more interest than others though and it is wise to compare them and put your money in an account which will give the best return.
Concentrate on the end result
It is also really good to focus on what you are trying to achieve from your savings. It could be that you are saving up for something specific or that you just want a specific amount in the account in case you need it in the future. Whatever it is that you are saving up for you need to really look forward to it. Think about all of the advantages of having that money and what you will be using it for. Get excited about having it and then every time you are able to put some money towards it you will feel happy. It will make you more likely to want to put money towards it too as you will get pleasure every time that you do so.
Concentrate on the cash
There are different ways to save money and some people find that seeing the cash helps them. They have a glass jar and every time they save some money, perhaps by earning a bit extra or by spending less on something, they put that money in a jar. They watch the jar get fuller and fuller and then at the end of the month they will count it up and pay it into their savings account. Although you will make more money if you put it into the savings account as you make it, it can just be more motivating for some people to see it growing before their eyes. If you want to keep the money in the savings account but still see it growing then you could put a bead or marble in a jar every time you increase the savings by a certain amount and then you can still see how much it has grown without having the cash there.
Make spending less a competition
It can be fun to see how much you can reduce your spending so that you can save more. You could have a competition with your partner or with yourself and see how much less you can spend compared to the previous month. If there are two of you then take turns in doing the weekly shop and seeing who can spend the least when they do it. Or look form week to week or month to month and see whether you can keep reducing your spending by more and more each time. Some people get really motivated by competition and so by doing this you will be able to keep reducing what you are spending. You could so the same thing with earning as well. Perhaps see how much extra you can earn. Both ways you will be able to use the extra money that you have to put into the savings account.
So, you can see that you will not have to find savings to be
a boring and difficult thing if you adopt some methods to make it more fun.
These are just a few ideas and you may be able to think of things that will be
better suited to you and to the things that you enjoy doing. It is just a
matter of changing your attitude so that you focus on what you will achieve
rather than what you will miss out on. Think of the advantages of having less
money to spend, such as having less stuff to clean, tidy and dust or having
less food to tempt you to put on weight or things like this. It is possible to
think of a positive side to everything and this will help to make the whole
process a lot more fun.