These days, our pets are such a huge comfort to us. They’re huge stress relievers and help keep us sane in these crazy times. Study after study shows pets help stave off loneliness and depression.
Anyone who has a dog or cat knows the value of taking a quick mental health break to pet your animal. They’re little four-legged antidepressants.
They do get a little expensive, though. Between pet food and vet bills, the cost of owning a cat or dog can quickly run into thousands of dollars. And these are tough economic times.
We’ve got six suggestions for simple financial moves you can make that’ll help you them like they deserve.
Save Money on Pet Food
Pet owners spend hundreds of dollars a year on pet food. (How much exactly? It really depends on the pet.) You may as well be getting some money back.
Do you buy your pet food at the grocery store? A free app called Fetch Rewards rewards you with gift cards to places like Amazon or Walmart just for buying pet food and more than 250 other items at the supermarket. Just take a picture of your receipt showing you purchased an item from one of the brands listed in Fetch.
Or, do you buy your pet food online? This free service will send you an alert if you’re about to overpay. Just add it to your browser and before you check out, it’ll check other websites to see if your item is available for cheaper. It’ll also automatically check for coupon codes you can use online.
Here’s How to Pay for Pet Insurance
We recommend looking for plans with comprehensive coverage, so read the fine print and make sure the policy will cover what you might need. The best plans will cover everything from accidents to hereditary conditions to lab tests to emergency visits.
Some of the most popular pet insurance companies include Figo. HealthyPaws and Trupanion, if you want to start your research there.
How can you afford it? By lowering your bill for a different kind of insurance. For example, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance.
A free website called Savvy helps you find the best car insurance rates in just 30 seconds. It’ll even help you cancel your old policy and get you a refund from your current insurer. It saves people an average of $826/year.
Have an Emergency Fund for You and Your Pet
Owning a pet means you’re responsible for it. So it’s on you to act responsibly.
These days, part of the responsibility is having an emergency fund. This past year has taught us the hard way that everyone should have one.
You need a place to stash your savings away safely — but still earn money on it. A typical savings account won’t pay you any interest these days. But a debit card called Aspiration lets you earn up to 5% cashback and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account.
Enter your email address here to get a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After you confirm your email, securely link your bank account so they can start helping you earn extra cash.
Take Care of Your Pet Forever
Have you thought about how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone? That includes your cats and dogs. Chances are, your checking account balance won’t last forever.
If you want to leave your family up to $1 million to care of things like funeral expenses and college tuition (and pet food), use something called term life insurance.
We suggest a company like Bestow. Maybe you’ve considered this before but thought it was only for rich or older people. But we’re hearing that people are getting it for as little as $16 a month.
You can take advantage of Bestow until you’re 54 years old but the sooner you take care of this, the cheaper it could be.
Let us know in the comments how you make better financial decisions as a pet owner.