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Financial Planning Advice from My Cat

Got a cat in the house? You don't need a human financial planner, your cat knows what to do.

 |  Nov 8th 2013  |   2 Contributions


A good financial planner is worth their weight in gold. But did you know that financial planners have nothing on cats? That's right. Cats have very specific ideas about how we should handle our finances, and many of these ideas make perfect sense -- to your cat. In the voice of a feline financial planner, here's financial planning 101 from the perspective of your cat!

Keep a cash cushion of 6 months' income in liquid reserves, and make sure there's enough for cat food

Hey, having cash in the bank makes sense. You want money in the bank in case of an unanticipated emergency, right? You want to be able to pay the bills, and have life continue smoothly forward -- as much as possible.

And, since you have me in the picture (your cat, remember?), you better make sure that you have six months' expenses in the bank, PLUS cash to cover a six months' supply of cat food. Now I know if you were feeding me high quality cat food (and why AREN'T you feeding me good cat food, by the way?) that six months' cash to cover cat food could be equivalent to your other expenses. But hey, I'm your cat and you can't argue with the value-added that I provide to your home! Better yet: simply store six months of food on the premises. Then it's easy, it's there, and it's done. But 12 months' expenses (with half of that for cat food) -- really, is that so hard?? Be smart! Put the money away.

Never outlive your retirement money ... but if you do, make sure there's enough for the cat

If you're smart enough to be saving for retirement (You ARE smart, aren't you? You adopted me.), then Bravo and Paws Up! You're ahead of the game. But you don't want to outlive your retirement money. There are plenty of calculators on the InterWebs to help you figure out how much to stash away so that your money lives longer than you do. But, again: what if I live longer than you do? Unlikely, I know, but a possibility. So make sure that your retirement funds include lots of adequate provisions for me! Yes, I know that it's a potentially sad subject, but believe me, your transition over the Rainbow Bridge (Did you know humans went there too? Yes they do!) will be much smoother if you don't have the karma of an angry cat following you into the afterlife. So heads up -- be smart and plan ahead! Trust me, you don't want me in your dreams when you leave the world for the Blue Yonder.

Do not, I repeat, do not take a balloon mortgage

First of all, I'll puncture and destroy the balloon with my sharpest claws. But seriously, why would you put yourself at such a risk? Nothing worse than losing your home, especially if I lose it with you. There are enough cats on the street. Don't add one more. Don't take a mortgage if you can't pay it, and avoid the balloon ones. I hope your human leaders are phasing these out. Avoid this stuff and stay smart -- like a cat.

 

This is hardly a six month supply of food -- more like one month -- but the cats still want at it now.

Diversify, and lessen your investment risk as you get older, but fold in enough risk for the cat

Typical human finance planning says that you should lessen your risk as you get older. Gradually move your investments to less risky holdings. This makes sense UNLESS you have a cat! After all, your cash needs to work for us. Don't stick all your cash in some piddling money market or savings account. The cat's share of that cash needs to work hard for us. After all, if you're retired, WE still need money for our vet bills, food, and toys! And what about cat sitters, cat holiday gifts like cat furniture and cute notions? Yes, you may be retired, but we NEVER retire. So set a little of that money aside and keep it in risky investments. Live on the edge -- your cat will thank you!

Norton guards my purse, but doesn't realize that there's only $16 in it - hardly enough for a bag of good cat food!

Keep the cash where we can get it

Ahhhh, you say, but cats can't handle cash. They don't have opposable thumbs. Oh yeah? Wait and see how inventive we can be! What if you travel for two weeks and forget to call the pet sitter? What if the pet sitter (your itinerant neighbor) forgets to drop by? WE still need to eat. WE still need care. Don't worry about the way the money finds its way into the right hands...we'll make it work. Nothing can stop a cat with a vision. Nothing!

What do YOUR cats teach you about money? Share your financial insights in comments!

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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of a short story collection about people and place. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

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