Living a frugal lifestyle, but also ensuring that your children get the benefits of a well-rounded life, can be a difficult balance. You want to expose your children to as many different opportunities as possible, but when you spend so much of your time scouring the internet for coupon codes, it can seem like a fruitless pursuit. If you want to teach your children responsibility, there are plenty of life lessons that you can do for free.
Having a pet is one of those things. But, a lot of pets can be very expensive. Or at least, cost a lot upfront. This in mind, what are the cheapest pets you can have at home that will help your children learn that all-important lesson of responsibility?
In one respect, rabbits can be expensive, but there are numerous ways to cut corners with this. Remember, you still need to provide rabbits with substantial sustenance, and this can be done with cheap rabbit food, which doesn’t comprise of much; a handful of leaves, vegetables, as well as rabbit pellets. A rabbit hutch can be expensive, but you can always build one yourself, or if they are small enough, you can get an indoor rabbit cage instead. Having a rabbit gives your children the opportunity to look after an animal, without necessarily taking them for walks, but also one of the great lessons of having a rabbit is that children need to learn when to leave them alone. Rabbits like to be sociable, but only to an extent.
Arguably, the first and best starting point. Goldfish don’t require much in the way of maintenance, and can live for a long time, more than 20 years. Goldfish is also a great way to add a bit of life, beauty, and color to the room. If you have children, remembering to feed them is pretty much the pinnacle of their duties. The great thing about having fish is that they aren’t as stupid as as they would have you believe. The vision of goldfish is very sharp, which allows them to distinguish between people. This means that the fish can eventually, and then, will very likely swim over to ask you for food. This is a great way to get children to interact with animals, but without the overwhelming sense of duties associated with dogs and cats.
Ant farms have a bad rap because they can seem a bit on the dull side. But as far as expenses are concerned, they are the cheapest of all pets. Not just because you need to purchase a cheap ant farm, but a lot of modern habitats use a clear gel which doubles up as food. Ants are very interesting because you have the opportunity to see them tunnel and develop, as well as learn. As a first pet, if you have small children, and everybody in the household is busy, this is a great choice. Ant farms made from dirt or sand only require a little bit of watering and feeding. Low-maintenance and low-cost!
If you want a pet the minimal fuss, and you want your children to become accustomed to a pet, a reptile is very cheap, but is also a very interesting pet. They are nocturnal, and so, you may have to get a heat pad and an incandescent light bulb, but this is all dependent on the temperatures in your home. You need to adapt to their needs somewhat. They can be very shy, but they are incredibly sweet. As far as getting your children to bond with animals are concerned, this could be a better choice than a dog. We don’t require walking, but they do need space to fly. In addition to this, while a gecko can cost up to $70, as well as a terrarium after $200, after that, it’s the food, which can be up to $7 depending on the size of the gecko.
Despite the name, hermit crabs love company. If you’re looking for an animal to watch, rather than interact with, all you need to do is provide them with a playmate, and they will do the rest. The one expense, apart from their environment, is their shell. If they have outgrown a shell, you need to purchase a larger one. Ultimately, as far as assistance is concerned, they need water. This helps them to bathe, drink, and replenish their shell. And as they’re so small, food costs are minimal.
Fantastic for young children, but not necessarily toddlers. Guinea pigs like to get out of the cage, and go on little adventures. They are lovely and furry, and make cute noises to express their feelings. And all they need for a proper habitat is bedding, hay, as well as food. But the food doesn’t have to be specialized, they could just be leftover vegetables that won’t get eaten by the children! While they are very cuddly, if toddlers get their hands on them, they are known to retaliate. That being said, they are, alongside a hamster, a great way to introduce children to the art of looking after a pet. As well as this, their lifespan does mean that there is a likelihood of your children being exposed to grief for the first time. Bear this in mind when looking for a pet of this ilk.
While rats have had unfair press, they can be very cuddly if you give them the care and attention we need. Instead of rodents like hamsters, rats are as low maintenance as those. You can either purchase an aquarium or a cage, as well as bedding, toys, and food. The great thing about a rat is that they are minimal fuss, as that is all they need. Giving your children the opportunity to get involved with a cuddly pet helps them to stave off any fears of animals. This means that you can introduce rats to the household when your children are relatively young. But be sure that you supervise them.
A pet is a great way to teach your children responsibility in life, but naturally, they can be quite an expense, so choose carefully.