Why You Should Save for Unexpected Surprises


Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Varo. The opinions and text are all mine.

This Labradoodle named Skipper is one of my clients as a pet sitter. Photos: Melissa Smith/Petful

One of the worst feelings in the world is when you’re sitting helplessly in front of a veterinarian, knowing that your pet needs an expensive procedure, medication or round of tests — but that your household budget just can’t handle the expense.

How do you make that kind of heart-wrenching decision?

I’ve been there as both a pet parent and a pet sitter, and I can tell you that the best way to handle those situations is to be prepared.

A little stash of emergency savings can truly be a lifesaver when it comes to unexpected medical bills for your pet, and we want to share advice on this topic and how Varo — a mobile-only banking app that offers high-yield savings — can help you get prepared with an emergency pet fund.

Pet Insurance? It’s Not Enough.

When my dog became ill, she had a rare condition that cost thousands of dollars to treat.

By the time Gypsy passed over the rainbow bridge, I had almost $10,000 in veterinarian bills to pay off, and it took me years to do it. If only I had had a plan in place — a great deal of long-term financial stress could have been avoided.

As pets age, they inevitably need more medical care. Sure, pet insurance is a great tool, but it doesn’t always cover all the bases. Some pets have preexisting conditions or are already elderly when you try to sign up and may not get the kind of coverage you need.

That’s why it’s so important to have an emergency pet fund created for your pet. Varo can help with that.

Varo Is a 100% Fee-Free Bank

One of the great things about Varo is that — unlike most other banks — Varo is fee-free.

  • No monthly fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No fees at more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs

Think about all the fees you paid to your bank last year and how great it would have been to have that money in your pocket. Varo promises it “won’t make money off of customers’ mistakes” —and that’s a refreshing change from the big banks.

With Varo, your money is FDIC-insured to at least $250,000. You could even take the fee money you would have paid to another bank and toss that in your emergency pet fund.

When you use Varo, you can get paid up to 2 days earlier with Early Direct Deposit. That’s more money to pay bills, earn interest and save for that “What If?” fund.

Varo also offers fee-free, high-yield savings accounts that don’t require a minimum balance and automatic tools to help you deposit money into your savings without thinking about it.

Varo app

Varo pays one of the highest annual percentage yields (APY) of any other bank in the country. That takes the pressure off of you to remember to transfer or deposit money into your emergency pet fund every week or pay period.

Note that Varo does not support joint or business accounts at this time. The Varo app is available for both iOS and Android, making it convenient for all smartphone users.

Emergency Pet Fund: Your “What If” Savings Account

Bringing home a new pet is a joyful occasion, but many of us (myself included) don’t plan ahead for those “what ifs.”

A client of mine just lost her pet. In the last year of this dog’s life, he had been placed on multiple medications, received therapeutic massage, and had more vet visits and tests than I could count.

The client probably had spent close to $5,000 on the dog’s care, just in the last year alone.

Wisely, she had set up an emergency pet fund. This meant she was able to focus solely on her dog’s health and do what was best for him with no worry that it would wreck her household finances.

Confienza, a Whippet mix, is another one of my pet sitting clients.

Final Thoughts on Starting an Emergency Pet Fund

Even if your pet is young, having an emergency pet fund is critical.

Some pets have undiagnosed medical conditions that manifest after puppyhood; others get loose and are struck by cars or tangle with local wildlife and need immediate, life-saving veterinary care.

When you have an emergency pet fund, you never have to make that incredibly difficult decision about your pet’s life based solely on household funds.

Opening an account with Varo will help you save and ensure that when your pet needs you, you can be there for them 100%. Our pets are worth it.

Start your emergency pet fund with a Varo savings account at www.varomoney.com.

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