How to Set Up a Pet Fund

If you’ve got companion animals, then you know that taking them to the vet can cost a pretty penny. Why not set up a pet fund to defray the cost?

If you have pets (and most Americans do), then setting up a household pet fund makes a lot of sense. This little contingency fund doesn’t have to be fancy, and it doesn’t need to cost you much, either… except maybe a little change, and possibly a bit of exercise.

Admittedly, such a fund is unlikely to pay for everything your pets need, but it will help defray the costs, so you don’t end up with quite as big a hole in your budget the next time the dog comes down with distemper.

Quick and Easy

All you really need to create a special fund for your pets is a piggy bank, a big jug, a big plastic jar, or even an unused bowl — any container you can drop dribs and drabs of cash into when you have some to drop. This is a great place to put your change… and most of us do something like this anyway.

In this case, all you have to do is earmark the money for chew toys or the odd veterinarian visit, whichever you want to spend it on. Me, I’m saving up right now to have my Labrador’s nails professionally trimmed. She wriggles around too much for me to do it.

Funding the Fund

Dumping change into a jar is just a start: in order to accumulate a decent fund, one that can truly help cut your pet costs, you’ll need to find another way to add cash. At the very least, it’s a good idea to chuck a dollar or two in there occasionally. This is pretty much painless, and can really make a difference.

One thing a friend of mind does to fatten her pet expense fund is collect aluminum cans, most of which she and her family generate themselves (they’re addicted to sodas). However, she also walks quite a bit, and makes sure she picks up discarded cans when she sees them.

Her kids tease her about this, but think about it: a soda can is worth over a penny for the aluminum alone. Plus, some states offer bounties of a nickel or more per can, so picking them up is worth the effort. Either way, when you cash in, you can just dump the money in your fund.

The Final Analysis

However you choose to finance your pet expenses fund, you’ll feel like a savvy consumer indeed when you apply that cash toward your vet bills. Generally, the fund will take care of at least the basics, and can help with the emergencies.

But beware: don’t be tempted to spend your pet fund on other expenses, just because it’s a ready source of cash — or you’ll be sorry later!