By Melissa Tosetti
During a Bridging The Gap Coaching session I did last last week, my client was looking for ways to cut back on her expenses. One area she really felt the pain was in pet care. She owns a large dog and lives in an apartment. Five days a week her dog goes to “day care”. I give her credit for wanting a pet and taking such good care of him, but unfortunately, it is costing her over $700 per month.
After much discussion, we are looking into two options. The first is to move. Her lease is up in a few months so she is on the lookout for a small house with a backyard. Even if it increases her rent by a few hundred dollars, she could still save $500 on an expense that is important to her – her dog.
The second alternative we came up with is to get creative with day care. In the San Francisco Bay Area, having a dog walker or taking your dog to day care is common. Everyone is doing it. However, I remembered back when I first moved here with my dog Murphy. At the time, it didn’t even dawn on me to send her to a kennel when I travelled on the weekends. Instead, I would take her to a friend’s house while I was away. In exchange, I took care of my friend’s dog Munroe while she travelled. It was a perfect arrangement saving us both over a thousand dollars a year.
I mentioned my own experience to my client and suggested looking for an alternative day care situation. She has a few good friends with backyards that work at home. She is going to see if one of them would be willing to let her dog hang out with them while she is at work. In exchange, she will pick up after her pet and even offer to pay a few hundred dollars for the convenience - still saving her close to $500 per month.