Should You Own Pets If You’re Trying To Build Wealth?
As a pet owner, I want to write this article today because I do believe it matters and I do believe it is not talked about enough. Is it a good idea for you to own pets if you’re trying to build wealth? I’d also ask, is it a good idea to own pets if you aren’t financially solvent? Solvent meaning you are saving 40% of your income and you have at least $50,000 saved.
I own 2 dogs and 1 cat. Samson is my personal dog and he is a 90 pound Karelian Bear Dog/Black Lab mix. Rascal is my wife’s little dog and he is a 25 pound Dachshund/Beagle mix. We have a cat named Mickey who was raised with the dogs and also acts like a dog. We love our pets to death but I have asked my wife the question of whether or not we should own pets.
I’m going to state my personal opinion on this matter right off the bat and then explain why. I would say for 80% of people, they should NOT own pets. For 20%, I believe it’s okay under certain conditions. Let me explain why.
When we got our first dog, Rascal, I was just starting my business. We were classic middle class Americans. $6,000/mo in income with a few thousand bucks in savings. I love dogs and so we went out and rescued Rascal from the pound. We were so excited, but I quickly realized how much work it was. He was 2 when we got him and was fairly well mannered, but we did not predict how busy we would be, nor how much work it would really be to own a dog. I would wake up early in the morning to workout, get ready for work, and head to the office. But in that routine I now had to take Rascal outside to go to the bathroom. This was a variable time commitment because there was no way to predict how long he would need. Additionally, we needed to start buying pet food. Not a big deal right? But the fact is, we were not saving 40% of our income, yet we were committed to buying pet food. This showed an issue with priorities. We would also need to come home in the middle of the day to let Rascal outside so he wouldn’t go to the bathroom on our carpets (which he did do several times). This errand took 10–15 minutes to get home, 10–15 minutes to take him out, and another 10–15 minutes to get back to work. This was 45 minutes and sometimes up to an hour in the middle of the day to take the dog out.
A few months later we added Samson. We got Samson at 5 weeks old. He was a nightmare. He would go to the bathroom all over the house. He would not sleep during the night and instead try to play with Lexy and I, making it difficult to sleep. He would cry all night if we put him in a kennel. And this was only the first week. When he grew, he would eat literally everything. He ate a Bible, he ate a couch, he ate several book, he ate a fitbit, he ate a Bluetooth speaker, and more. Not only was there the cost of replacing these items, but we also had to spend on more dog food, while still not saving 40% of our income. On top of that, when he would eat things, I would come home to take him out and have to spend another 20–30 minutes cleaning up everything he got into while I was gone. I would sometimes take up to 2 hours to get back to work after taking him out on his daily break because of the mess he made. We would even lock him in his kennel only to find he ate the plastic in the bottom of the kennel, or ate a hole into the drywall on the wall next to the kennel, or somehow pulled a gym bag through the kennel bars and ate that too.
At this point in time, we were in the 80% of people who should not own pets. Why? Because we were not in a good enough financial condition to justify it. I’m sure I sound insensitive and like I only care about money, but here is the reality: 60% of America has NO money in the bank. Almost 80% of America lives paycheck to paycheck. 25% of retirees will postpone retirement the year they get there. The other 75% will run out of money in the first 10–15 years. If you’re not saving 40%, if you don’t have $50,000 saved, and if you aren’t investing for passive income you should not own a pet. The time and money you put into an animal could be going towards your financial future. In fact, I would say it isn’t even ethical of you to house an animal if you can’t afford to meet its needs.
Now, I do still own pets. Let me tell you why. I pay for help. I don’t walk my dog. I pay someone to do that. I don’t take my dog to the bathroom. I pay someone to do that. I don’t feed my dog food that is cancerous and bad for him. I pay for organic food. I don’t clean my dog. I pay someone to do that. The catch? I pay. It costs me about $500/mo to own my pets. I am saving 40% of my income. I do have over $50,000 saved. I am investing. I can make an extra $500 and waste it on animals. Why? Because I take responsibility for my own financial condition and make that the priority.
If your money is not right, you should not own pets.
If your money is right, you can own pets, but be ready to pay money.
Your time, talent, creativity, and money are more valuable than pets. And if you are broke, it is not responsible for you to own a pet.
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Own Your Potential,
Grant Cardone Certified Coach
Jerry Fetta helps his clients build wealth so that they can eradicate poverty in their own lives and own their potential.
He believes scarcity and abundance cannot co-exist and that the way to end poverty is to help you build wealth.
You were not created to spend 40+ hours per week serving the 40-year-to-life sentence trading your precious time for money just to live in mediocrity.
However, the truth is that time and money must be exchanged. It just doesn’t need to be you making the exchange.
Jerry helps his clients create wealth that exchanges time and money on their behalf. The only way to do this is to make more money, keep it, and then multiply it.
He has helped clients double their income, save $100,000 tax-free, and secure 8–12% fixed annual returns on their assets.
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