Paws for thought. Money lessons from our four-legged friends

Money lessons from our four legged friends

For a lot of Australians our pets are members of our family. We’re more than happy to keep them happy, even if it can get a bit costly sometimes.

We know that pets can teach us responsibility, but have you ever thought about how your pet could teach you other things? Belinda Williamson from CANSTAR believes that they can “help teach us some valuable money lessons”1.

Lesson 1: Cats don’t fear failure

Cats are not the highest link in the food chain, even though they usually act like they are. We’ve also seen a lot of videos of cats falling off things. Our feline companions are real risk takers. They navigate obstacles without thinking about what might happen. They don’t look before they leap, and if they miss, they simply get up and try again.

We can take away from this aspect the idea of trying to become a little more resilient when it comes to financial troubles. Learn to get up, dust ourselves off and try again. Investments are a good example of this. Choosing high risk investments will generally depend on whether you have an appetite for risk, and can afford the time to ride out the falls.

Lesson 2: Dogs like to keep their things safe and to themselves

It’s no secret that dogs like to bury things. If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably found all sorts of things hiding in your backyard. This is an instinct, as it’s a way of protecting their things, so they can go back later to enjoy it. This habit of squirrelling things away to enjoy later, can parallel our approach to superannuation.

Interestingly, dogs also don’t understand sharing, according to Pet Behaviour Vet owner Dr Joanna McLachlan, and “the more highly they value an item, the harder they will fight for it.” This behaviour could serve as a lesson on who we share our money with.

It’s a good idea to consider the choices we make surrounding sharing our money with others and whether these choices will yield good outcomes. Typically, joining or sharing finances will involve a large chunk of money. Types of choices to really think about beforehand, for example, could include things like opening a joint bank account with your spouse, lending money to a friend or even buying a house with a close friend or relative. These decisions, whilst they may come from a good-hearted place, need to be looked at logically and rationally. (And a little legal advice wouldn’t go astray!)

Lesson 3: Cats don’t need much to have fun

Cats are clean creatures and can spend good chunks of the day grooming themselves. Overall, you may find you spend less on food and grooming services for your cat than you would for a dog. Cats don’t need a range of toys or clothing either and will find their own ways of entertaining themselves.

If we took this idea and applied it to our own lives, cutting back on clothing and eating out, we may just find ourselves reaching our financial goals sooner.

And that leaves us with happier lives and more time to spend with our furry friends.

Animal lovers are welcome in all our Heritage Bank branches! We’d love to talk to you about how we can help with your finances, and if you’ve got a pic of Fido we’d love to see it. 

Money lessons from our four legged friends

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