I remember the sarcastic comments from coworkers when I mentioned that my dog had a checking account. “Does she have a social security number?” was the favorite. My dog’s name may not be on her account, but the money I save for her is her’s alone, and this is why:
My dog has a heart condition. She takes heart medicine every day, and although she acts normally, we were warned by vets in the beginning of her life that she could get sick.
Just like N and I have saved an emergency fund for ourselves in case the worst happens, Minnie has an emergency fund in case she needs a medical procedure. N and I do not want to have to choose between her and our mortgage, so we have tried to eliminate the need to make such a choice.
I recommend that all pet owners save a small amount per week for their pets. Doing so is easy.
1. Open a free bank account.
My bank still offers free checking, as do most credit unions. You may want to choose a type of account that can be accessed at a moment’s notice; it could be beneficial to open an account that collects interest, but read the fine print carefully if you lock your money into anything for the long-term. You will want to know whether or not dipping below a certain dollar amount or making an early withdrawal will cost you more than the possible interest is worth.
2. Choose an amount you are comfortable with.
Even $5 per paycheck can add up over a dog or cat’s life. Do not put a strain on your finances — even a small emergency fund will be more helpful than no emergency fund.
3. Make a commitment.
I set up a direct deposit into Minnie’s account each week so that I would not forget to make the deposit, and so that I could not create any excuses. I knew that saving for this emergency was important, so I forced myself to prioritize it.
If you are like N and I, our dogs are our babies. When we had a recent tumor scare with Minnie, it was a relief to know that we could concentrate on getting her the treatment she needed instead of worrying that we would need to put our bills over our furry child’s health.
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich*