It’s not just the purchase price of a pet that costs money; it’s the feeding, grooming, vet bills, and boarding that can really add up to a lot.
In an effort to teach you about managing money, the VSCPA provides children and parents with a pet ownership worksheet (PDF) to help your family budget the expenses associated with getting and keeping man’s best friend (or a furry feline).
The VSCPA suggests incorporating the following money lessons into the purchase and care of a family pet:
Do you get an allowance for performing chores? If so, ask your parents to add feeding and watering the pet to the task list.
Learn how to budget expenses by using the pet ownership worksheet. The various expense categories can help you learn where the money goes.
Needs Versus Wants
Sure a gemstone-encrusted collar is nice, but a canvas one does the job just fine too. Making financial decisions about pet toys and accessories can help you understand the difference between true needs (food) and wants (a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee).
It’s important to have money set aside to pay for unexpected veterinary expenses like X-rays for the dog who swallowed large staples (true story) or the cat who got in a scuffle with a porcupine (could be a true story).
No matter how much pets cost, their place in the family can be priceless. Pets can teach you to be responsible caregivers and serve as confidants, protectors and pals.