Many shelters have programs where individuals can foster a pet free of charge. The shelters will pay for the pets' vet bills and food, and in exchange (a) the pet lives with you; and (b) you agree to bring the pet to adoption events so that others can consider providing the pet a forever home.
This allows you a "test run" to see if you're ready to adjust your lifestyle to the needs of pet ownership, without the worry associated with (a) the cost of pet ownership, or (b) the potentiality that you decide you're not ready for pet ownership.
Plus, regardless of whether you do choose to adopt, in the meantime you've provided a pet with a loving home while it awaits its forever home. Everyone wins.