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How To Live On $0 A Day: Finding A Best Friend You Can Afford

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Whether you're a President or a pauper, everyone needs a best friend. Someone you can trust with your deepest darkest secrets. Someone who won't sell you out for money or status. Someone who is always excited to see you. Someone who loves you unconditionally. In most cases, that eliminates humans.

Pets are known to relieve stress, prolong lives and are often considered the best antidepressant out there. In other words, you've never needed a pet more than you do now.

If you're a pauper (and most of us are), a a traditional dog or cat is out of the question. A fancy pedigree animal goes for thousands of dollars and that's not including accessories like a lei, Gucci collar, leash, raincoat and booties. Even if you get your pet from the shelter, there's a fee, shots, licenses and neutering to shell out for, not to mention feeding, grooming and vets.

The solution? A pet rat. The concept may skeeve you out a bit, but for a person suffering from economic stress, there's no better pet.

Think about it:

Rats are free. You probably already have one or two around the house.

They're very good at fending for themselves so you don't have to worry about feeding or walking them.

If you don't scream or try to kill them, they're very friendly and like to cuddle.

You don't have to buy any fancy carrying cases for a rat, since they fit into any purse, briefcase or evening clutch.

They don't bark, chase cars or claw the furniture.

If you crave the prestige of having a pet with lineage and breeding similar to European royalty, tell everyone your rat is descended from a Kennedy compound rat. It's probably true (those Kennedy rats breed like Kennedys).

But here's the clincher: rats do something few cats, dogs or humans can --contribute to the family income. Sure, a Portuguese Water Dog can retrieve sticks, bones and balls, but have you ever seen one fetch something useful? Watch a rat hard at work below and consider the earning potential!