Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's what to consider before bringing home an animal companion. Hosted by Frances Cook.
We're in the thick of puppy and kitten season, when cute little furry faces appear in pet shop windows, beckoning for you to take them home and enjoy their cuteness all day.
Add that we're also in the season for presents, and some people get the idea that a pet could make the perfect present, whether for themselves or others.
But as any pet owner will tell you, there are unexpected costs that come with a pet.
There's the food of course, but also vaccinations, vet bills when they've found an inventive way to hurt themselves, a cattery or kennel if you want a holiday, or things they can destroy in a moment of furry madness.
As kittens, my cats once took a liking to a particular corner of the wall, and chewed through the plaster and GIB all the way back to the stud.
Why? Who knows. If you figure out the cat mindset, please let me know.
It helps to know what you're in for before you bring your new friend home.
I talked to SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen and Southern Cross Pet Insurance GM Anthony McPhail, for the latest Cooking the Books podcast.
We talked about the day-to-day costs, things people tend not to expect, and how to prepare for those costs.
For the interview, listen to the podcast.