Rent vs. Buy: When Renting Makes More Financial Sense
“I know…ownership is 9/10ths of the law.” We’ve all heard this phrase, but what does it really mean? Ownership represents a sense of security and pride – something that’s yours, something that you can take care of and show off to family and friends. However, in many cases when it comes to large purchases, ownership is not always the best financial decision. Renting can be a more financially savvy way to achieve your needs without incurring long-term debt or ongoing maintenance costs.
Here are some items and scenarios where renting makes more financial sense than owning:
1. Your Home
The American Dream used to be owning a home, but more and more people are realizing that renting can bring financial benefits over buying. If you plan to move soon, live in an area with inflated housing prices, are saving to buy a home, or simply don’t want the stress of taking care of a home, then renting could be the best financial decision for you. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that renting is throwing your money away; it’s an option that you can always change if your circumstances change.
2. Your Boat
Boats can be a huge money-sink with maintenance and repair costs, docking fees, and limited usage times in the year. If you’re only using a boat a few times throughout the year, renting can be a better option to avoid these costs. Consider co-owning a boat with friends or families to split the cost of use and maintenance.
3. Your Tools
Buying tools can be tempting, but it’s not an efficient use of your money if you only use them once or twice a year. Renting tools from hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s can ensure that you have the necessary tools without the hassle of owning them long term.
4. Your Entertainment
Movies and video games are cheap to rent but expensive to buy. Unless you plan on using them frequently, renting can save you money and storage space. Consider signing up for services like Game Fly, Netflix, or RedBox to get the most value from your entertainment.
5. Your Sports
Sports equipment like snowboards, water skis, tennis rackets, or scuba gear can be expensive to purchase and maintain, especially if you only indulge in sports occasionally. Renting can save you money and storage space, and is also an excellent way to try out new sports, as you get to see if you enjoy them without buying expensive gear.
Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent
In addition to common items, there are unusual items and services that you might not realize are available for rent.
Instead of paying for an expensive dress that you’re only going to wear once, websites like Rent the Runway and Lending Luxury offer affordable options for renting a dress for special occasions.
Renting textbooks from websites such as Book Renter or Chegg can save you a lot of money compared to buying new textbooks every semester. They may even offer free shipping, too.
3. Camera Lenses
Renting a camera lens can be a great way to try out an expensive piece of equipment without committing to a long-term purchase. Lens Rentals and Borrow Lenses are among the leading providers of camera lenses for rent.
4. Parking Spaces
If you’re in a busy city and need a parking spot, the website Just Park allows you to search for available parking spaces for rent. Conversely, if you have a parking space that’s not being used, you could consider putting it up for rent to bring in extra money.
While it may seem bizarre, many funeral homes now offer the option to rent a casket. The body is placed in a simple wooden box before being put into a fancy, expensive casket for the funeral. After the funeral, the body is buried in the simple wooden box. This option can save a lot of money compared to buying an expensive casket.
If you’d like a furry friend but don’t want to commit to a long-term adoption, websites like Borrow My Doggy offer the option to rent a dog when you need some canine companionship. While it may be a strange concept, it could be a great way to test out the responsibilities of owning a pet.
In conclusion, although ownership can be a source of pride and security, it’s not always the best financial decision. Consider the benefits of renting versus buying for each item or service you’re considering, and then make the decision that’s best for you. Remember, you can always switch from renting to owning or vice versa if your circumstances change.