“I spend over £5,200 a year on my elderly pets”

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The joys of pet ownership are plentiful – funny moments, affection (if you’re lucky) and something to talk to about your day. While caring for animals and giving them a happy life isn’t cheap, it’s a price many of us are willing to pay.

To coincide with National Pet Month, we’ve released data showing Monzo customers are so obsessed with their pets, they deposited £8.9m into savings Pots in February to treat their furry friends. That’s an average of £113 per Pot.

Customers are saving twice as much in their Pet Pots than in personal treat funds for health and beauty (for which they save £68 a month on average). The average customer deposits £151 into Pots for their cats, which is £50 more than they do for dogs.

But the rising cost of living is affecting pet owners. Pet charity PDSA found that almost a fifth of pet owners are cutting back on essentials for themselves to afford their pet’s care.

One animal lover who uses Monzo to budget for her dog and cat is Sarah Leach, 35, a user experience designer who lives in Berkshire with her partner and pets, a working cocker spaniel named Ludo and a cat called Guinness. The entertaining and mischievous pair are often in competition for the best spot on the sofa – Sarah’s lap.

Sarah Leach

“It’s a good thing they’re so adorable because they make the eye-watering expense of owning a pet totally worth it.”

Sarah spends around £5,280 a year on food, treats and other necessary expenses for Ludo and Guinness – a sum that’s risen considerably in recent years due to their age. Being over nine years old, they’re both now classed as geriatric pets.

“This year, my insurance bill for them absolutely sky-rocketed because of their age”

Sarah’s pet insurance bill recently increased from £60 to well over £100. She says the accident-prone duo also often injure themselves, which comes with a cost. Guinness recently jumped off a wall and broke a tooth, and is also on an expensive thyroid medication, costing £200 every three months.

Sarah Leach

Sarah makes sure she has enough savings to cover unexpected vet bills by putting money away into Pots each month. “I find the Pots really help my mental model, as I struggle with looking at a big figure on my balance and working out how much of that is committed to bills and other necessities,” she says. 

Each month, Sarah separates her money into Pots as soon as she gets paid. “It’s by far my most-used feature on the app. If there are any recurring direct debits, I make sure it’s in a certain Pot.”

Sarah makes sure she keeps any spending money for herself separate from her budgets for Ludo and Guinness. She spends £440 a month on the duo, including a dog-walker twice a week for Ludo, medical and insurance necessities, cat litter, food and treats.

When it comes to treats, Sarah can’t help but give Ludo and Guinness new toys and delicious goodies.

Sarah Leach

“I can’t go to the pet shop to buy cat litter and not come away with treats. Given their age, I’m happy to treat them to lots of nice little presents.” 

Ludo had an intense round of medical treatment for an overactive thyroid, which saw her admitted to a vet hospital for five days on a bland diet. Since then, Sarah splashes out to buy her the best cat food available. “I always make sure to buy it for her so she actually enjoys her meals,” Sarah adds.