According to a new Harris poll conducted by the American Institute of CPAs, pet owners spend an average of $1,560 a year on routine care (food, grooming, boarding) not including any emergencies. But when it’s also reported that more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 saved in the bank, we have to wonder where is that money coming from … and what is getting sacrificed in an emergency situation?
As it turns out, four-out-of-five people surveyed shared that they would stop eating at restaurants, two-thirds would give up their vacation and three-in-five said they’d sacrifice their cable and TV streaming services, all for their furry friends. We all know we should be saving money (thanks, Dad!), but it’s also hard to save for retirement when there's so much cute pet stuff out there!
Since it’s a new year with new goals, let’s just recap some of the reasons why pets are more tempting recipients of our dollars than a 401(k). We're not saying we are not saving for retirement, we're just saying that there are plenty of things that are slowing our Scrooge McDuck status.
1. The warm places will be too hot in a few decades anyway.
Yeah, Florida is nice now, but thanks to global warming, who knows how hot that place is going to be by the time we’re ready to retire? We’d rather stay wherever we live now, and just wait until it warms up naturally. Hey, by 2100, winter might be a thing of the past everywhere! And if you live in Florida already — that’s ok, pets like air conditioning.
2. Who needs to worry about flooding when you live in a five-story walk up?
Yeah, spending money on that groomer who gives your pet a monthly blowout and trim might seem like a huge waste of money when you’re 35, and living in a studio on the fifth floor of a former tenement building. But hey, if the sea levels rise, and the streets of major cities flood, at least none of your things will be water damaged.
3. Investing in pets could lead to future returns.
Ok, so maybe Zoe isn’t an Instagram star yet. But who knows what adorable thing your furry friend could do in the future that might make her viral? Like maybe your pet will bark in a way that sounds like, “I Love You,” or, “The World Is Ending,” or develop an adorable quirk like sleeping in sinks. And then all you have to do is post it on Instagram, and sit back while the paid endorsements pile up like that money you should have been saving!
4. Who knows whom our President will be in the future.
I think we can all admit that at least part of the reason why Donald Trump got elected was because he was recognizable from his time on The Apprentice. Now that pets can become famous too, maybe one of them can become president. Tuna Melts My Heart 2020, anyone? And hey, once a dog is President … I think we can all agree that the first thing they’ll do is financially reward those who so selflessly took care of them.
5. A pet gives kisses … an accountant does not.
And if your accountant does — dude, definitely report him. In any case, yeah we should be saving for the future, and thinking about what will happen to us if we don’t have any savings, and are forced to live in some nasty abandoned hospital with cockroaches. But aren’t we supposed to be living in the “now” if we want to find happiness? And in the now, our dog is giving us kisses, and our cat is purring in our lap, and our bunnies are chomping carrots, and yeah, they make us happy. So we’ll keep them. We can fully figure out the finance thing later.
Unleashed is Bravo's celebration of pamper-worthy pets and how to spoil them. Want more? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.