People enjoy the company of pets. Whether you prefer dogs, cats, birds, or any other animal companion, it is important to make sure you have their needs met. While most people are prepared to handle daily needs, a surprise emergency care bill can leave you in a bind. To lower the risk of a pet-related expense causing your significant financial distress, you need to have an emergency fund just for this purpose.
What is an Emergency Fund?
An emergency fund is money that you set aside for emergencies. For example, many people have emergency funds in case of unexpected events, like a car of household appliance breaking down. However, it is easy to forget that pet care can also result in high costs without much warning.
If you have a pet, it is important to set aside money to provide emergency care should it be required. Often, a few hundred pounds is enough to provide a buffer, but it never hurts to have more available.
How an Emergency Fund Should be Set Up
For an emergency fund to do its job, the money needs to be accessible during an emergency. The easiest way to guarantee accessibility is to keep the money in a traditional savings account. That way, you can access it at the bank whenever you need it, or you can pull money with a connected ATM card. In some cases, you can also tie the account to a checking account, allowing you to use a debit card for emergency transactions.
While you might not get the best interest rate with a traditional savings account, an emergency fund isn’t there to earn interest; it is there to provide financial support during an emergency. That means being able to pull the funds when you need them must take precedence over earning interest.
Starting an Emergency Fund for Your Pet
Saving money isn’t always easy. If you don’t have an emergency fund for pet care expenses, then begin by saving a small amount of money immediately. Even if you can only save £5 a week that will eventually add up to some significant savings.
Once the money is placed in the account, don’t use it for any other purpose. Let it sit until an actual pet emergency happens. Then you know you have it when your pet needs you. If you do have to use the money, work to replenish your savings as quickly as possible once the situation is resolved.
Emergencies without an Emergency Fund
Sometimes, an emergency happens before you are prepared. In that case, you may have other options to bridge the gap. Consider the available room on your credit cards, or check into a bank loan. You may be able to sell some personal belongings for quick cash or can ask friends and family for help.
If you are really in a bind, you might want to look into short-term lending options including payday loans. However, if this is the road you must travel down, make sure you are prepared to pay the money back once it comes due. Otherwise, the associated fees can be difficult to manage.