Pets for Every Lifestyle

Financial IQ

Are you an animal person? Statistics say that, more than likely, you are. In fact, 63% of American households have a pet.

Pets can be a great addition to your family, but not every animal fits into every lifestyle.

Before you commit to buying a new pet, it’s important to consider how much money, attention and time you’ll need to put towards taking care of it.



Cats are one of the few kinds of pets that you can either get for free or pay a shockingly high amount of money for.

Millions of cats enter animal shelters every year and are available for free (or extremely inexpensive) adoption.

Despite that, many people pay hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for a new furry friend.

Cats are considerably less expensive than other animals once you take them home.

Besides the initial costs of food dishes and a litter box, it’s calculated that cat owners only shell out $51 a month, including average yearly vet costs.


Compared to most other pets on this list, cats don’t need a lot of attention.

Once a kitten is housetrained, they’ll become accustomed to your home and spend most of their time lounging and sleeping.

They’re likely to spend time with you when you’re home, but will certainly not demand constant attention.


An animal’s lifespan almost always varies with breed, but the average lifespan of a feline ranges from 10-15 years.

Before impulsively taking home a new kitty, be sure it’s a responsibility you want to have for the next decade of your life.



Before deciphering how much a pet bird will cost, you have to decide what you’re looking for.

Do you want your bird to sing? Do you plan to train it to talk or do tricks? Do you want a large tropical bird?

Pet birds start out around $30, but can quickly increase in price and cost you several thousands of dollars.

Once you have a bird, you’ll need an appropriately sized cage, ranging from $30-$300 in price.

After your bird settles into their new cage, your only regular expense will be bird food and that’ll cost you $20-30 a month.


Pet birds have a wide range of temperaments that varies with each individual bird. Whether or not your bird will like to be petted, held or touched is impossible to say until you have it.

However, they don’t need a certain amount of daily attention either way.

It’s important to know that birds can be messy and noisy and might cause some disturbance in your household.

Like most pets, your bird will need water and food each day as well as a routine cage cleaning.


Smaller birds like doves and canaries live to be about 20 years old when healthy.

Bigger exotic birds like cockatoos and macaws live much longer, and sometime reach 60 or 65.

It’s important to research your bird and consider its’ lifespan in relation to how long you and your family can care for it.



Similar to cats, the cost of buying a canine ranges from free/inexpensive adoption to very expensive pure-bred puppies.

Adoption is encouraged because of the abundance of abandoned animals, but in the end you should choose the dog that fits your household and lifestyle the most.

Once you become the owner of your new dog, you may have to pay for vaccines.

Although some people opt to spend big bucks on fancy beds, collars and treats for their pups, your main monthly expense after purchase is food.

Dog food is very accessible and generally affordable, but your exact cost will depend on the size of your dog.


Of all the pets discussed in this post, dogs enjoy human interaction the most. They like frequent attention and are notoriously friendly, making them ideal for big families with kids.

If you’re busy or not home often, a dog might not be the best choice for you.

As far as cleaning is concerned, how much you’ll have to do depends on your dog. Some dogs are more prone to shedding or having accidents based on their age and breed.

Every dog will need an occasional bath or teeth brushing, but they’re generally low maintenance.


Dogs live to be anywhere between 10 and 15 years old. Smaller dogs generally live longer than larger dogs.

Research your potential dog’s lifespan before deciding if he’s the pet for you!



A regular goldfish will cost you less than a dollar, but the necessary equipment that goes along with purchasing a goldfish quickly adds up.

Between a tank, a filter, rocks, food and decorations, expect to spend around $100.

Some people spend thousands of dollars on big extravagant salt water tanks with expensive salt water fish, and that’s another story.

If you’re looking to house a variety of sea fish, expect to spend a lot.


Fish don’t interact with their owners. You can’t touch them and they don’t want your attention. They’ll acknowledge your presence because you regularly feed them, but that’s about it.

Fish can be a fun pet for young children to look at and take care of, but fish tanks are commonly used as a sort of decoration.


Although some fish can live to be quite old, it’s extremely common for a pet fish to die within a couple months of purchase.

A lot of that can be credited to the fact that the pet owner doesn’t know how to properly take care of it.

Regardless, don’t expect your pet fish to be a lifelong friend.



Small rodents like hamsters and mice won’t empty your bank account, but bigger ones like rabbits and guinea pigs run a bit more expensive.

Upon purchase, you’ll have to buy a proper cage with beddings, toys and food.

Compared to other pets, rodents aren’t too expensive, but you’ll have to regularly buy food and bedding.


Hamsters and gerbils tend to be a lot less social than rodents like rabbits or ferrets, who are considered more cuddly and friendly in general.

Not having a lot of time to spend with them won’t negatively affect their health as long as they have fresh food and water consistently.

On the flip side, spending a lot of time with them isn’t an issue either.


Smaller rodents live anywhere from 1 to 3 years on average, which is considerably less than most other animals on this list and is ideal for someone who isn’t looking for long-term pet commitment.

Bigger rodents typically live 5-7 years.

To sum things up, once you decide you want a pet there are a series of questions to ask yourself:

How big is your budget? How much time do you have to spend with them? How long of a commitment are you looking for?

No matter what your schedule or financial situation is, there’s a pet out there waiting for you.

Do you ever had a pet that didn’t fit into your lifestyle? What kind of pets do you have now? Tell us about them by leaving a comment below!

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