Paycheck Chronicles

Advance Planning Applies To Pets, Too

Yesterday, I talked about being future-oriented in your financial planning. Today, I’m going to tell you about my failure to be future-oriented, and my cat.

My cat’s name is Apollo, though he is called Boy Cat, and he’s 21 years old. There was a Girl Cat, his sister Diana, but she died several years ago.

Now, we all know that pets cost money. Food, immunizations, shipping them to Australia and having to quarantine them for a month, medications, shipping them to Italy and having to board them for 60 days, illnesses, moving them to England and having to board them...as you can see, some pets are more expensive than others.

Once upon a time, I had a pet savings account. I dutifully put money into it each month, prepared for whatever might come up. Then, I started simplifying our banking, and I stopped using a bunch of different accounts. And when I discovered that wasn’t efficient for me, I went back to multiple bank accounts, but I never re-started that pet account. We’ve just paid pet expenses out of our regular monthly budget.

Honestly, that’s not working so great. We went to the vet on Wednesday and spent $368 on relatively regular stuff: some blood work, a thorough exam, nail trim, some glucosamine supplements, and bag of his special food. Plus two prescriptions for things I have to go to a special compounding pharmacy to get. (My brain kept making the sound of a cash register as the vet was writing out the scripts.) Plus, a discussion of bringing him in once a week for subcutaneous fluids to keep him from being dehydrated.

Obviously, we’ll spent the money to keep this cat in good health. It’s our responsibility to him. But I’m sure wishing I’d kept putting that money into a pet account every month, instead of letting that good practice fall by the wayside.

It’s not uncommon for pets to become more expensive as they age, and I know that. But I got caught in the trap of looking at today, and the fact that we hadn’t had any serious emergencies, and failed to keep my eye on the future. Today Me would like to go back and have a serious talk with Past Me, about keeping my eyes on the future, and then we’d have this money set aside for these later-in-life cat expenses.

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