Budgeting is the key to keeping your finances on track and meeting your longterm goals. No matter what budgeting strategy you adopt, it won’t work very well if you forget to factor in a few things. For example, people often forget to factor in the cost of subscriptions or memberships, gifts and special occasions that come up only a few times a year, and surprisingly, the cost of pet care.

April is Pets Are Wonderful Month, a good time to think about how we can better manage money spent on our furry friends. As important as they are to us, we often don’t consider how much we spend on their care. When adding up how much you spend on your pet every month, be sure to include costs for these things:

  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Annual vet visits
  • Toys, treats, and other extras

On top of these costs, add an amount to put aside each month in preparation for emergency vet visits or other occasional pet-related expenses, such as boarding costs when you go on vacation.

It may sound like an extravagant thing to do, but allocating money for your pet’s care in the event of your passing is not just for the rich and eccentric. It’s a common sense financial arrangement that can give you peace of mind your pet will be provided for if something happens to you. Similar provisions can be put into place in the event you become incapacitated and unable to care for your animal companion.

By including your pet in your estate plan, you can:

  • Designate a trusted friend or relative, or even a charitable organization, to care for your pet after your death
  • Set aside a sum of money earmarked specifically for your pet’s expenses
  • Choose either a will to express your wishes, or set up a pet trust
    • A pet trust allows more specificity
    • You can name one person as your pet’s caretaker and another as trustee; the trustee will ensure the money is being properly used for your pet’s care and can find a replacement caretaker if necessary.

Remember: Pets are considered property under the law, just like a piece of art or jewelry, regardless of how we relate to them emotionally. If you see having a pet as a continuing part of your life, it’s a smart move to ensure they will be cared for even if they outlive you.

The information mentioned in this article is for informational purposes only, is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Each person’s situation is unique and may materially differ from the information provided herein. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant and/or legal counsel to address your specific needs before any financial or other commitments regarding the issues related to your situation are made. Banco Popular North America does not make any representations or warranties as to the content contained herein and disclaims any and all liability resulting from any use of or reliance on such content.