How to save money by renting vs. buying
Owning your own gear is often a money-saver, especially for items that you use all the time. For other items there are some advantages of renting instead of buying. If you need something just once or for a short period, or if it's large and hard to store, consider renting vs. buying. Here are six benefits of renting:
1. Tools. Some home and garden tools are only needed for very specific projects once a year or less. Consider renting carpet steamers, lawn aerators, power washers, or a sander when you refinish wooden floors. When you rent vs. buy, you also get a chance to try out a new model of a tool you're thinking of purchasing. Check Homedepotrents.com or Sunbeltrentals.com to see what tools are available.
2. Sporting equipment. If you or your kids are trying out a new sport and you're not sure you'll stick with it, the advantages of renting are many. It allows you to decide that snowboarding isn't for you. It also gives you time to compare equipment and decide what you want in a tennis racket or golf clubs. If you enjoy some activities only occasionally, like camping or skiing, then consider renting at a store like Rei.com or Sportsauthority.com so you can avoid having to find storage space for a tent or lug your skis to the lodge.
3. Party and event supplies. Rent party supplies when you don't have enough, don't want to store it, or want something specific for a particular event. Items that are often better to rent vs. buy range from a sound system, tent, linen tablecloths and chafing dishes for a swell affair to an overhead projector and screen for the big game.
4. Books, games and DVDs. It makes sense to own when it's your child's favorite movie that you pop in the DVD player every day. But many of us only read a book, watch a movie or play a video game once, and these contribute to clutter. Borrow from the library, or rent movies and games.
Savings Tip #16
Whenever you finish paying for one of your goals, redistribute the money you were saving for it to other goals on your list so you can reach them even faster.
5. Costumes and fancy dress. Maybe we've all dreamed of living like James Bond, slipping into a tuxedo for our monthly charity gala. However, most of us lead a less glamorous lifestyle that sees our dress clothes buried in the closet. Men often decide that renting vs. buying tuxedos for formal events is a better idea (try Menswearhouse.com or Tuxedojunction.com), but women can also rent gowns or even wedding dresses. And it may be more fun to rent a new Halloween costume each year than wear the same one every year.
6. Vacation home. A one-week rental of a vacation home means you don't have to worry about paying the mortgage, taxes, maintenance and insurance on a property you use infrequently. Plus, renting vs. buying gives you the freedom to try out different vacation spots every year, rather than feeling tied down to a vacation home that you own. Visit Homeaway.com or search online to find rental homes where you want to visit.
It makes sense to own the things we use every day, but for other items the benefits of renting outweigh the costs. It's often the most affordable way to get exactly what you want, when you want it.
What's next? 6 ways to save on your food bill