7 Items to Rent Rather Than Buy

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When you have a temporary job to do, it sometimes makes more sense to rent an item rather than to buy it outright. When we put up our fence, we needed a saw to finish the job. However, we knew that we wouldn’t use the saw much beyond that one project, so we decided to rent it from someone else. Sometimes, you are better off renting, since you can get items for less. The side benefit is that you won’t be cluttering your home with items you won’t use again. Here are seven items you might be better off renting, rather than buying.

1. Certain Tools

While it’s certainly handy to have a hammer and screwdriver readily available, it doesn’t make sense to buy a lot of different types of tools just because they are for sale at the local shop. It’s possible to rent chainsaws, and other types of saws, as well as other tools when you need them. Home improvement stores like the Home Depot are well known for offering tool rentals, and they can be rented for a reasonable price too.

2. Furniture

When my in-laws came to visit us, we knew that their sleep requirements meant a bed. However, we weren’t in a position to buy a guest bed at the time. We decided to see if we could rent a bed. Turns out that the local rent to own place had a great deal. We could rent a never-been-slept-on bed for two weeks, for much, much less than buying a new bed. It was great because not only did we not need to buy the furniture, we also got to test drive a mattress that we ended up liking very much. It’s also possible to rent couches, tables, and even TVs if you are hosting an event.

3. Truck

If you have to move, even if it’s only across town, it can be worth it to rent a truck. You don’t need to buy a truck for hauling, either. You know that you can go to U-Haul or a similar truck rental company and get what you need, but there are also other places to rent trucks. Home Depot features pickup truck rentals – perfect for making a haul to the dump or moving something big. Indeed, the truck rental for moving furniture might actually cost less than a furniture store delivery fee.

4. Minivans

Families love minivans because they are extremely convenient on road trips. I have many friends who own one, and everyone who has one generally thinks they made a good decision to get the seven-passenger car. However, I believe they are throwing money away because those cars aren’t cheap, and they use more gas than smaller vehicles. If it’s road trips they want, then why don’t they just rent one whenever they need a bigger car? Yes, the rental prices can seem pretty expensive, but since most people only go on road trips a couple of times a year, it’s probably cheaper to drive a small car around town and rent the minivan on the rare occasion that they need one.

5. Textbooks

I’ve wasted so much of my parent’s money on textbooks. I bought brand new textbooks for every one of my Engineering classes during my four years of undergrad studies, but I practically never read any. Yes, you heard me right - I graduated from college and haven’t used any of the textbooks I bought. I did okay though. In fact, I went on to complete a Master’s degree at the same school, so it’s not like I just gave up. Still, I don’t really know how much money I wasted but it must’ve been in the thousands.

My cousin, meanwhile, does use her textbooks like almost everyone else who go to college. She rents instead of buys the textbooks each semester though. She said that while it may be worth it to buy textbooks in the area of study she plans to pursue, it didn’t seem to make sense to buy textbooks for generals.

Textbooks are costly, and you only use them once. Instead, look for ways to rent textbooks. Chegg.com and CampusBookRentals.com are two websites that offer you the option to rent. Amazon.com also lets you rent textbooks and return them.

6. Bikes

Rather than buy an expensive bike that you only use once or twice a year (and that takes up space in the garage and requires maintenance), you can rent bikes. This is a great way to enjoy occasional biking, without having to buy the bike. You can find bike shops all over the country that offer rentals. Many countries also offer bike rentals. You can rent them at one station and ride them to another to return them. It’s a great way to get around in a new city, and it usually doesn’t cost much.

If you want to save money on things you don’t need very often, you might be surprised at how effective renting can be.

The other benefit of renting is that you won’t have to worry about maintenance. Lubing the chain, cleaning the bike, checking the brakes, and replacing brake pads are just some of the things you need to do if you own the bike. With renting, it’s pretty worry-free.

7. Books

Isn’t borrowing a book from the library just like renting a book, only that you don’t even need to pay? We go to the library all the time and found that not only do we save a lot of money, we also save so much space around the house. Many of my friends buy books for their kids and complain that they are so expensive and that they don’t have room in the house to store all those books anymore. Why torture yourself by refusing to go to the library?

Bottom Line

We all default to buying what we need first, but why not make it a habit to see if renting makes sense first? If we start doing that, we will save money and feel free from less clutter around the house.

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