ValueYourMoney.org
How Much is That Doggie in the Window?
 
It’s not just the purchase price of a pet that costs money; it’s the feeding, grooming, vet bills, and boarding that can really add up to a lot.

In an effort to teach children about managing money, Texas CPAs provide parents with a pet ownership worksheet to help your family budget the expenses associated with getting and keeping man’s best friend (or a furry feline).

Texas CPAs suggest incorporating the following money lessons in the purchase and care of a family pet:

Allowance
Do you give your children an allowance for performing chores? If so, add feeding and watering the pet to the task list.

Budgeting
Show your children how to budget expenses by using the pet ownership worksheet. The various expense categories can help children learn where the money goes.

Needs Versus Wants
Sure a gemstone-encrusted collar is nice, but a canvas one does the job just fine too. Making financial decisions about pet toys and accessories can illustrate the difference between true needs (food) and wants (a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee).

Emergency Savings
It’s important to have money set aside to pay for unexpected veterinary expenses like X-rays for the dog who swallowed large staples (true story) or the cat who got in a scuffle with a porcupine (could be a true story).

No matter how much pets cost, their place in the family can be priceless. Pets can teach children to be responsible caregivers and serve as confidants, protectors and pals.

For more information on teaching your children about money, visit the Childhood section of ValueYourMoney.org.