Author Topic: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care  (Read 6018 times)

Offline Stacy M

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How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« on: September 17, 2014, 11:44:48 PM »
I Need to See a Vet!
So, ideally you should have a vet fund for your veterinary expenses.  As we know, rats are incredibly expensive pets to own, as they are very prone to illness!  You should be aware of and expect this when you choose to get or add rats to your family, because once you do you are responsible for meeting their needs.

This topic comes up frequently, with posters asking what to do for their rat because they can't afford to take it to the vet.  In nearly every situation, there is nothing you should do but take your rat to the vet.

The Vet Fund:
What's a vet fund?  It is money (real or theoretical, in the case of credit) that is set aside for the express purpose of covering veterinary expenses.  It is a fund that you keep separate from other money in order to prevent dipping into it. It can be tempting if it is combined with your checking account to use it for other expenses, especially when you have an emergency.  It should also be separate from other pets, as, for example, a dog surgery could completely wipe it out.  It is very easy at most banks to create an extra savings account--just make sure to find out what you need to do to avoid fees (for example, some banks require a set amount directly deposited from a paycheck, a minimum balance, to be linked to other bank accounts, etc).  My bank even allows me to nickname my accounts for online banking, so I could label an account "vet fund."  This is not necessary, however, the most important thing is to have money separate and available for emergencies!

How Much?:
Now that you have decided to make a vet fund, you are probably wondering how much should be in it.  I would say as much as possible, but if you had that much money you probably wouldn't need to bother with a separate account for a vet fund!  The amount each person feels comfortable having varies, but in my opinion, you should have enough to cover an individual appointment for each rat you have, plus medications, plus enough for major surgery.  It may not happen often (thank god) but it is absolutely possible for all of your rats to become ill at once and then around the same time/immediately after, require a surgery.  The circumstances could be worse requiring more money/vet care, but I would personally suggest this as the minimum amount to keep in the vet fund.  How much this is varies according to what your vet charges.  If you do not know, ask your vet for ballpark estimates for common procedures, such as: neuters, spays, x-rays, baytril, office visits, tumor removals, oxygen, overnight hospitalizations, etc.

Ideally, the vet fund should also include a credit card for circumstances where your vet fund does not cut it.  If you haven't noticed, the theme is, be prepared!  It is okay if you have not done all of this yet, but the sooner you start, the better!

One popular veterinary care credit card is care credit.  http://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/  It is popular due to interest free financing for a set period of time (often six months).  You can also use your personal credit card, but be sure that you have enough left to your credit limit at all times to cover a veterinary emergency.

Getting the Money $$$:
If you're reading this, you probably need more creative ways to get money than being told to save x amount weekly from your job!  Use this to either create or supplement your vet fund.  I would encourage other posters to add their ideas to this as well!

One of the quickest ways to save money, is of course to cut expenses!  What are you doing that is not necessary/could be cut down?  Some ideas include: cutting cable/satellite and getting Netflix, pack work lunches, cut back on eating out, turn electronics off when you leave, use energy star appliances (and CFL lights),  turn the heat/ac down when you are not home, cancel memberships you don't use (such as gyms), use the library, search out free/community entertainment events, use coupons, shop around for groceries/use discount stores, buy (gently) used clothing from consignment or thrift stores, use rebates, shop at stores that provide rewards for your credit card or internet sites like Ebates and Upromise, etc.

Money Making Ideas:
Coin Jar- I save my change in a jar and cash it in when it is full.  It adds up quickly and I don't miss the money.  Coinstar is great for this, though you will be charged unless you get a gift certificate.  Otherwise, go to the dollar store and buy the change rolling tubes.

Recycle-  If you live in a state where you pay deposits, take your deposits and ask others for theirs as well!  Also, many people are unaware that you can make a fair amount of money by bringing metals to scrap yards.  You probably have old appliances or other metal things in your basement that you can scrap for more than they are worth to sell: http://recraigslist.com/2013/10/how-to-make-money-selling-scrap-metal/

Babysitting- Specify an age range and ask around or post ads.  Many families even need help with easy things, such as bringing children to appointments, lessons, etc.  There are also websites that provide boards for finding work.

Pet-sitting- make an ad on Craigslist, grocery stores, free circulars, etc.  There are also websites that help you find people in need.

Dog Walking- make an ad on Craigslist, grocery stores, free circulars, etc.  As a bonus, this is good exercise.

Yard Sale- most people have a lot of junk!  It adds up when you sell a lot of stuff cheap.

Craigslist Sale- this works better for more expensive items than you would sell at a yard sale.

Tutoring- this is great for college or high school students who are very good at a particular topic.  I was able to make a lot of money editing students papers for grammar, substance, and style.

Lessons- Do you have a talent that others like to learn, such as horseback riding, musical instruments, etc?  Do it on the side at an hourly wage.

Artistic Pursuits-  Do you sew?  You can make hammocks and sell them here or on Etsy.  Do you draw?  Do pet portraits.  Do you quilt or knit?  There is a niche market for many handmade items if you are good at it.

Snow Shoveling-  If you live in a cooler climate, there is a good chance for you to make some money.  Life gave you snow and you turn it into money!  If you have a snowblower, this is even better.

Lawn Mowing-  Self explanatory.  You probably have neighbors like me who would rather pay you than do it themselves.

Rent- If you have an extra bedroom, it may be helpful to rent it out to someone looking for a temporary place to stay.  Charge them a portion of your rent/mortgage and a portion of your bills (account for the fact that they will up your electricity and other costs).

Rent Your Car Out-  There are various sites that let you rent your out by the hour-look into them (I don't feel comfortable endorsing any of them).

Donate Plasma-  You can make a small amount of money and also help someone in need!  There are strict requirements though so check it out.

Participate in Clinical Trials-  Often local colleges have opportunities.

Offline ratpax

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 11:40:02 AM »
Great thread!

A few years ago, I got hit with sort of a perfect-financial-crisis-storm. Without going into many details, I was facing cancer, my own surgery, some car repairs, had recently lost most of my household furnishing to a flood, and then had two huge dog vet bills right in a row, one of which was catastrophic (she lived, thank goodness).

Quickly, my dedicated vet fund, about which I'd been feeling so smug and cushy, was just...wiped out.

I ended up selling what I could, taking a second job, bartering for some stuff with friends, and way cutting back expenses, even though I like to think I live in a fairly thrifty manner anyway.

A couple other things I did that I didn't see mentioned in your excellent list is I switched to making my own laundry detergent (many "recipes" online) and it is greener, works, better, and much more cost-effective.

I also switched out services with friends, and bartered for some things, as mentioned above.  Some areas have more of a "barter culture" than others, but it can be a great way to help out both parties involved.

Also, you can get meds for your pets filled at several human pharmacies--always check to see if it's cheaper to have your vet dispense, or get a prescription and get it filled elsewhere. Some scrips, of course, can only be filled thru the vet, but it's worth checking.

If it's growing season, and you're able, grow some of your own food.  Even if you don't have land, patio containers can provide nice crops of tomatoes, berries, peppers, etc.  Produce is expensive, this is well worth it, and it tastes better, too.

^^^Just a few more ideas.
Rat girls:  Ahmi, Ara, & Juniper

Rat boys:  Kibosh & Kerfuffle

Mouse girls:  Pinta & Silverella

Offline erbusbee

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 01:46:59 PM »
This is a really great topic, thank you for posting it.

True story:  the summer before I started grad school, I sold my 1980s toys on Ebay.  I made enough money selling My Little Pony vintage toys to buy my first real horse. 
(yes, I also had to make enough money from that point forward to pay for board/vet/farrier, but it's still a cool story darnit)

Offline Kitsch Slapped

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 01:59:50 PM »
That IS a cool story erbusbee!   :yelcutelaugh:

This is a well written thread with lots of great ideas. Thank you Stacy for taking the time to write this helpful post.  :bow:
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Offline ratpax

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 02:28:39 PM »
This is a really great topic, thank you for posting it.

True story:  the summer before I started grad school, I sold my 1980s toys on Ebay.  I made enough money selling My Little Pony vintage toys to buy my first real horse. 
(yes, I also had to make enough money from that point forward to pay for board/vet/farrier, but it's still a cool story darnit)

That is totally a cool story!
Rat girls:  Ahmi, Ara, & Juniper

Rat boys:  Kibosh & Kerfuffle

Mouse girls:  Pinta & Silverella

Offline Stacy M

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 03:49:39 PM »
Wow Ratpax, that sucks, but you know, I would wager most of us are one major disaster from serious financial issues.  I can be happy about my savings all I want, but if I had a major illness, or my apartment burned down, or some other disaster happened, it would eat that up really quickly.  I'm glad you were able to manage, and thank you for sharing more tips!

I wish I had toys from my childhood, though I'm not sure if any of them are worth money yet..

Offline ratpax

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 04:01:01 PM »
Wow Ratpax, that sucks, but you know, I would wager most of us are one major disaster from serious financial issues.  I can be happy about my savings all I want, but if I had a major illness, or my apartment burned down, or some other disaster happened, it would eat that up really quickly.  I'm glad you were able to manage, and thank you for sharing more tips!

I wish I had toys from my childhood, though I'm not sure if any of them are worth money yet..

Thanks--I truly wasn't trying to throw my own pity party--there was actually more bad stuff that year but it begins to sound like a bad country song, at some point  :wink5:

I had help, too, and will be forever grateful, and try to pay it forward every single chance I get.  Having my dog girl still here with me is worth more than words could ever express.

Some other things I looked into, when scrounging to meet all my vet expenses, besides the CareCredit, which you already linked:

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html?credit=web

http://www.giveforward.com/p/help-with-vet-bills?utm_source=google&utm_medium=gawppc&utm_campaign=_b_help_with_vet_bills&gclid=CjwKEAjwheqgBRD5vOfR45az5AESJABy4m8-wWnGmymCXCplUx9xS0Ho-wFdvmixeeIAkVIOfZ_wJhoCgcnw_wcB

http://www.paws.org/cats-and-dogs/other-services/help-with-veterinary-bills/

I'm not endorsing any specific organization, just giving more research options to anyone in need.

There are also breed-specific organizations, and species-specific groups, who may be able to provide some assistance.

And, nothing helps so much as already having a great relationship and being a firmly established client with a good veterinarian.  Folks with whom you've already earned trust are much more likely to work with you in times of crisis.
Rat girls:  Ahmi, Ara, & Juniper

Rat boys:  Kibosh & Kerfuffle

Mouse girls:  Pinta & Silverella

Offline Marshall

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 02:14:16 AM »
Something else to throw out there although I haven't used the service myself, is VPI Insurance now covers exotics. Because I haven't tried it myself I don't know how reliable it is or how much they reimburse you, but it might be something worth doing.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 02:20:29 AM by Marshall »

Offline Beth Povish

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2015, 05:07:49 AM »
I know this thread is old, but is very informative for newbies like me.

 I would also add to the idea of babysitting, perhaps do emergency child care...babysitters get sick or emergencies happen. A friend of mine ran a daycare just for emergencies....she made enough money to support herself and her four children. But she did live in a big city.  And here in this little town in Pa, I need to be certified to do child care but it is easy enough to do.

I am creative, and love to do new stuff all the time. I have an etsy shop, set up , but not running yet. Perhaps, if you are crafty, see about setting up a table at churches, small town festivals, for crafters. Make items that are specific to each breed (cat, rat, dog, etc).

If you find that you enjoy doing this, then go on vistaprint.com. They have, I believe, 500 business cards for 10.95. Not a bad deal.

Right now, I bought a little waffle making like iron that makes dog treats, in dog bone shape. I have reciepes that are glutton free, nut free, no preservatives etc. So I will try that in a month or so (I just moved on the first, so things are very hectic).

Ok, enough babbling, you all have a great day !

Beth+Nicki(SD)+Oreo+Cream
"Don't let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."  (not sure who said it, got it from a movie)

Offline Stacy M

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2015, 12:47:55 AM »
I intended for other people to share ideas too  :thumbsup2:

Offline Ratattonie

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2015, 04:21:15 PM »
Great post. I'm new to this site and these are great ways to save up funds. What I'm personally willing to do (suggested by a friend) is: hang my clothes in basement rather than use my dryer, lower temp in house (but not too low for your pets), buy food in bulk, build up a pantry (in my basement), stock up on good deals, cook in bulk and freeze, avoid name brands (for yourself), check out the store brands, use coupons, recheck your auto and home ins. rates and see if you can get a better deal etc, shut off any appliances not needed. I realize these are all home issue related, but the more you can save here the more you can save up for your pets funds. :D

Offline Stacy M

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Re: How To Get Money For Veterinary Care
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2015, 12:49:21 PM »
Great post. I'm new to this site and these are great ways to save up funds. What I'm personally willing to do (suggested by a friend) is: hang my clothes in basement rather than use my dryer, lower temp in house (but not too low for your pets), buy food in bulk, build up a pantry (in my basement), stock up on good deals, cook in bulk and freeze, avoid name brands (for yourself), check out the store brands, use coupons, recheck your auto and home ins. rates and see if you can get a better deal etc, shut off any appliances not needed. I realize these are all home issue related, but the more you can save here the more you can save up for your pets funds. :D
All money saving tips are appreciated  :thumbsup2: