When looking at spending categories within your budget, it can often be quite easy to over look things, especially if the costs are relatively small. Categories such as your mortgage payment of rent, council tax and electric are bigger, important payments that happen every month and so are easy to remember. But what about the smaller ones?
Specifically, those all-important furry creatures that share our home.
I’ve talked before about our Frugal Cats and they’ve been interviewed by Frugal Hound over at Frugal Woods and how to reduce overall pet costs. I cannot imagine our home without them, with their funny, mischievous ways, their daft chasing games and their cuddles. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work to an animal who is happy to see you and can listen to you moan (I like to pretend that I’m having a conversation with Frugal Cat 1 as he often meows back if you talk to him – mad cat lady, me..?! 😉 ).
But, obviously, with whatever pet(s) you own come the related costs and ongoing expense. The initial cost of buying your pet, plus somewhere for them to sleep, things for them to play with (if you want), food, feeding bowls, leads (if applicable) and everything else. These things can really add up! Add in annual injections/vaccinations and any other treatment they might need and all of a sudden, our furry friends can become quite expensive.
I have read some heartbreaking posts on a money forum I’m part of about families having to give up their pets because they’re in debt/have lost their jobs and there isn’t room in the budget for their pets any longer. That must be one of the hardest decisions to make and one of the most difficult tasks to implement. Pets are a financial commitment and before you get a new pet, please take into account all expenses that might crop up over their lifetime. After all, we are totally responsible for them, even though Frugal Cats might disagree with me on that!
We got the Frugal Cats in January 2013 from the Cats Protection. The first cost we encountered was the adoption fee, which was £50 per cat. We then bought things like a cat basket, water and food bowls, wet and dried food, a couple of toys, some treats and a scratching post. We also bought a cat litter tray and cat litter, as they were not to be allowed outside to begin with whilst they got used to us and their new surroundings. So, all a sudden it wasn’t £50 per cat, but quite a bit more than that.
We then looked into getting pet insurance for them, just in case something happened. Mr Frugal Cottage researched on the Internet for the best deal, but that was another expense. The cats also needed an annual booster injection each year (July) plus flea treatment every month. Another cost which I hadnt even thought of when we got them was the fact that we would need a cat flap fitting at some point so that they could get out during the day. That cost us £75 plus modifying a door in our house; something else to factor in.
Suddenly, not so cheap!
But, would we have it any other way? Absolutely not!
For our two Frugal Cats, they cost approximately £20 a month for everything. This includes food each week and averaged out expenses such as flea treatment and the occasional vet bill. Their expenses will change as they get older and their health changes, just like ours will as we age. This is already budgeted for in our overall budget and even if our circumstances change, I’d like to think (hope) that we’d do everything in our power to keep our furry friends at our home.
The tag line for The Frugal Cottage is to live the good life on a budget. It doesn’t specify what budget, though I have talked about ours in a couple of lists, because every single home and family have different circumstances. I have also talked about savouring and creating memories over material possessions and living a more simple life. The amount of added value our cats give us far outweighs any monetary tag you can put on them: they are more than worth it, in our eyes.
What furry creatures share your home?