How to save money by spending less on your pets

Fact Checked
Updated 22/12/2022
How to save money by spending less on your pets

Pretzel and Hugo adore one another.

Time to read : 3 Minutes

How To Save Money By Spending Less On Your Pets

I think the things that cost us the most are the things that we aren't paying enough attention to.

For me, that is my pet costs.

Now, to be fair, I do animal rescue which is essentially like pouring your money down a drain... but I think it's an expense that we could all be paying closer attention to.

Mission #10 – how to save money by spending less on pets

Aussies love their pets and 69% of our households have a least one.

🫰🏻On average Aussies are spending $3200 a year on their dog and $2100 on their cat each year.

💸 Pets get taken on average to the vet at least once a year, with each visit costing $50-$100 per consult (that doesn't include any required medications).

👀 As a nation we spend about $12.9bn each year looking after our furry pals.

It's a fair bit, yes.

SO, how much do I spend?

For simplicity sake, I am going to split this into how much I spend on my own fur babies and then how much I spend doing animal rescue.

1. 🐱 Okay, for my own three cats this year

$3000 on food

$800 on surgery (this year Hugo got pillow foot)

$750 on vet (and that's if nothing goes wrong)

$650 cat sitting

$600 on flea/worming treatments

$500 on treats

$150 collars/tags (they keep losing them!)

Total: $6450

2. 😺 Okay, for my animal rescue this year

$3000 on desexing, vaccinating and chipping kittens and cats (10 this year)

$2000 on food

$500 on flea/worming treatments

$250 advertising to adopt

$250 collars/tags

Total: $6000

So that's a huge $12450 but then I minus their rehoming fee or $250 x 10 = $2,500 – which means I spend $9050. Still a lot.

🥡 Here's my takeaways...

  1. I am lucky. I get discounted vet fees because I do rescue and Bondi Junction Vet do amazing work in this space. Special thanks to Ray, Neil and the team. Having said that, I need to cut how many animals I am rescuing with interest rates biting.

  2. Food waste. I spend $100 more a week on cat food than my own food... and worse they are fussy and I let them get away with it. But, I have also been overfeeding them... so I need to get them down to two wet meals a day. That will save a third in their food costs and I will also buy more canned Coles tuna which is much cheaper than their regular packets – and they love it too.

  3. Buy in bulk. This one is a money and time saver. If I buy three months worth of flea/worm top-on it is about half the price to what it would cost me off the shelf at a fancy store. If I make it a regular order it will save me another 10%.

  4. Vet check ups... it sounds counter intuitive but I need to make sure that my cats get a vet check up at least once a year. My boys are getting to that point that they need dental work. Bailey only has a couple teeth up top now, but if I get them checked before anything major is needed it is going to save me a packet.

  5. Neighbourhood cat sitter. When I go away I pay my cat sitter $50 a night to come and look after my babies, she gets time away from her busy home and it's a lot cheaper than boarding my cats at a vet... or $30 x three cats... $90 a night.

  6. Payment plans. I only found this out this year but a lot of vets allow you to pay big bills over time, this is super handy if you get hit with a huge emergency bill.

  7. Microchip and desex. If your pet goes missing it is essential that they are chipped (and ideally have a collar with their name and your phone number on it) and desexing your pets also saves from more unwanted pets and stops them wandering too.

  8. Pet insurance. Whilst it doesn't work in my case (having three cats) and doing rescue, it would work for most people to have a really good quality pet policy to help cover their major pet costs.

  9. No treats. I love my kitties but the truth is they play with the expensive toys a couple of times and then they just sit there. They are much happier when I repurpose a box and move it around the house for them – and, that's free.

  10. Is it worth it? YES. I love having my cats for company and though expensive, I find rescue rewarding and important work.

Drum roll... new budget 2023

So this is my plan for next year.

My kitties

$2000 on food

$750 on vet

$650 cat sitting

$600 on flea/worming treatments

$150 collars/tags (they keep losing them!)

Total: $4150 (saving $2130)

Rescue kitties

$1500 on desexing, vaccinating and chipping kittens and cats (five for 2023)

$1000 on food

$250 on flea/worming treatments

$125 advertising to adopt

$125 collars/tags

Total: $3000 (saving $3000 plus rehome fee – $250 x 5 = $1250)

= $1750

Total: $5900 (saving $3150)

🫶 That's MUCH better.

💰Week #10

Savings: $2300/$25K goal Travel savings: $1300/$3.5K goal

Next week... I tackle my financial resolutions

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The information contained on this web page is of general nature only and has been prepared without taking into consideration your objectives, needs and financial situation. You should check with a financial professional before making any decisions. Any opinions expressed within an article are those of the author and do not specifically reflect the views of Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd.