If you had pets as a child, then you know how formative an experience raising a pet can be. As parents, we’re always looking for opportunities to guide our kids and to give them the tools they need to be successful in life. Raising pets has a lot to teach children about responsibility, compassion and even loss. In addition to those important lessons, raising pets can be a great way to teach your children about managing money by saving and having them budget pet costs.
How Raising Pets Can Teach Kids How to Take Ownership.
The first opportunity pets give us to teach our children about financial responsibility comes before we even take one home. When your child crashes into the room one day and begins to desperately plead for their first pet, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with excitement yourself. If you’re like many of us, your first reaction might be to rush out to adopt one immediately. Before you do, take a moment to consider it as an opportunity. If you explain to your child that if they want a pet, it will be their responsibility to train it, to take care of it and to give it love. This presents them with an exciting opportunity to research proper pet care and products. Make sure that your child understands the basics of owning a pet, such as hazards to avoid, what to feed them, the responsibility of training them, and so on. By letting them take ownership over the pet, you prepare your child to learn the other valuable lessons to come.
How Buying a Pet Can Teach Kids How to Save.
If you give your child an allowance, another great way to teach kids how to manage money, you can suggest that they can have a pet if they would like, but they’ll have to save their allowance up to buy one. If they don’t have an allowance, perhaps explain that they can earn money by doing chores around the house. Letting them hold on to the money until they have enough is a great way to teach them how to save for the things that are important to them. Be firm, fair and consistent. If adoption is expensive in your area, you could offer to help, but your kids will have to cover their end. If your kids spend their money along the way or are unable to save, they won’t be able to buy a pet. It may seem harsh, but it’s a lesson that is better learned when they are young: Everything has an opportunity cost, and sometimes, you have to give up something at the moment to get something more important down the road.
To Teach Your Kids Money Management, Have Them Budget Pet Costs.
Keeping track of our regular expenses and maintaining bills is a skill that many adults find challenging. If you struggle with this, you’re not alone! Taking care of pets can have many hidden expenses that require constant investment. Food and grooming costs can be significant alone. Since you already explained that taking care of your child’s pet will be their responsibility, an excellent way to teach your kids how to manage money is to have them budget pet costs. Depending on the age of your child, if they are old enough to work or if you prefer to just give them a certain amount of money to manage, your children can learn to budget by keeping track of that money and being accountable for their pet’s care.
Owning Pets Can Help Your Teenager to Learn Good Credit Habits.
It is far too common for young adults, who have gained access to credit for the first time, to end up overwhelmed. You have an opportunity as their parents to help your kids develop good credit habits while they are still in your home. Around the time they are old enough to drive, co-signing for a gas card can be an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the difference between a need an a want. Having a credit card that you can monitor can help your child manage pet-care expenses, including unexpected trips to the veterinarian. While being responsible for their pets, your kids can learn the importance of paying regular bills and building their credit while they still have someone looking out for their best interests.
As parents, we all want the best for our children. Nothing makes us happier than seeing the eyes of our children light up with excitement. Giving your child the opportunity to experience the joy of loving and caring for pets is rewarding on its own. Teaching your kids the importance of financial responsibility, on the other hand, is a gift that will last a lifetime.