While there is a certain lure in the concept of ownership, it’s important to recognize that buying something isn’t always the best choice. The battle of rent vs. buy isn’t restricted to the housing market, either; consumers of all types need to think before they buy and weigh whether renting would make better sense.
There are some items that are perfect candidates for renting—and doing so can save you money over time, allowing to you to use your resources more efficiently.
When you should rent vs. when you should buy
Before you spend money buying an item, look at the situation to determine whether or not it might be a good idea to rent it instead. First of all, you need to honestly evaluate how often you will use the item. If you will only use it once or twice, it doesn’t make sense to buy it.
Another consideration is whether or not you can afford the item. You might expect to use it more in the future, but if you can’t afford the big payment to buy up front, it might make sense to rent for a little while as you save up the money.
Consider, too, what you will do with the purchase when you are done with it. Is it something that is likely to sit, disregarded, in the attic or basement? Is the item ultimately going to lead to more clutter in your home? If you have no clear idea of regular use in the future, and you have no idea what to do with it when you are done, it might be a good idea to rent the item instead of buying it.
Items that lend themselves well to renting
While some items are obviously better as rentals, there are others that might surprise you. Here are a few examples:
You might be surprised at how much sense it makes to rent vs. buy. Check the monthly cost of renting and compare it to the average you will pay to buy something new. In many cases, the savings can really add up.
Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the co-author of Community 101: How to Grow an Online Community, and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.
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