According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent and estimated $55.53 billion on their pets in 2012. That number includes everything from buying a pet to caring for a pet's medical needs, and everything in between.
As a pet owner, I know all to well how expensive they can be. My husband and I adopted our 6-year-old beagle in 2006 when she was just 8-weeks-old, and since then we have spent more than $4,000 on vet bills alone. Surprisingly, that figure doesn't include the money we've spent on food, toys, and other accessories she needs.
Looking at the numbers, I'm concerned what the future has in store for us financially. As she gets older I know her veterinarian costs will only continue to rise, so I've already started looking for ways to save money to cover the coming expenses. One way I'm doing that is by making my own crocheted collar and leash sets.
This is how crocheting will save us money, and what I plan to do with the money we save.
How crocheting will save us money
After I learned how to crochet in December 2012, I quickly went from simply recreating other people's designs to making my own. One of the first patterns I completed was a dog leash and collar set. The materials I used to make both pieces cost me around $6, and the result was a custom leash and collar set that has received rave reviews. If I were to buy a new set from a pet store it would cost me $20 or more, so making them myself saves me around $14. If I make her 10 sets a year (which is close to the number I normally buy) I will save a total of $140.
In addition to making collars and leashes, I can also make things like dog bowl mats, dog beds, sweaters, and more for less than it they would cost at a store.
What I plan to do with the savings
Normally, when I save money on a purchase I put 50% of the savings into our savings account; however, I have different plans for this money. The money I save by making these dog products will be split between replacing any craft supplies I use making them, and saving for future pet expenses.
The reality is, I know that $140 is just a tiny portion of what we will need, but I know that having something is better than nothing.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: First Person: Paying for Costly Pet SurgeryFirst Person: We're Saving for Veterinary Expenses
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