Knowing when to rent

September 11, 2013

Personal finance bloggers are conditioned to buy and own. And have zero debt. We have an aversion to renting, regardless of what we’re renting, that gets us in trouble. I really don’t mean to sound preachy here as I am one of those PF bloggers who prefers to buy things instead of renting them. And we all know how that turned out.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about renting vs buying a  house as we’ve beat that horse dead already, but rather I’m talking about renting things that are single to multiple use. Here are some of the things that I would rather rent than buy.

Tools: I’d like to think that I’m very handy, but let’s be honest. I own the basic tool set that everyone should own, but anything larger is always rented. How often am I going to reno on my house? Yes, you guessed it!  There is no need to have a tile saw, or a carpet vacuum in my garage at all times. I can just as easily borrow them from a friend or rent them out. The cost of renting  is normally a fraction of what I would spend, and I most likely won’t need the tools again for a long time.

Sidenote: If there was a way to rent out the tools after I bought- then I might consider  buying them, but the reality is the most people borrow from friends, and asking your friends for money is a jerk like move.

Dresses: Now hear me out before you get all upset about this. Have you ever been invited to a black-tie gala where you knew that EVERYONE there would be wearing designer clothes? (I know that I sound pretentious when I say that, but go with me, ok?) That happens to me once a quarter, and as a result I should be able to justify  buying a designer dress that I wear every time, BUT I can’t since it’s normally the same people at these events. As a result I do the next best thing. I rent clothing from stores like RentFrockRepeat. Yes, the cost per wear “rent” is high, but the cost of committing to a $1000 dresses is higher. The great thing about stores like that are the you get an entire closet to shop through, and have stylists to help you find what you makes you look great. You also don’t have to worry about whether your high-end dress still fits you after you put on 10 pounds.


Renting clothes, renting designer dresses, renting designer clothes, personal finance blog

Cars: Yes, I know that I pay an astronomical amount of money to my car insurance company, and yes, I also know that I paid my car off in full, but I’m the exception since I drive 100-200km every time I get in the car. What I don’t understand is people who live around the corner from work and in the middle of the city. What need do they have to buy a car when they can just as easily rent one when they need it. There is a really cool feature in the UK called Weekly Cover, which is basically temporary car insurance. It’s perfect for those of times when you need to borrow/rent a car for a short period of time. This not only saves you from having to sign a 1 year term, but you also technically have insurance under your own name.


Is there anything that you rent than buy?

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  • Michelle September 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I’m always looking at those designer clothing rental sites. I just wish I had something fancy to attend!

    • Marissa September 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Weddings are a perfect time to rend stuff, too!

  • moneystepper September 11, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I agree. We should always do a cost analysis on any significant purchase to determine if renting will be cheaper. It always depends on how often you’ll use the product in the long-term.

    I’ve never seen a clothes rental (outside of wedding outfits) before. On, you can hire some pretty nice looking dresses from £20. Not bad. It especially seems like a good idea for maternity dresses if you have an event that you want to “dress posh” for during pregnancy!

    • Marissa September 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      That’s a great idea!

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans September 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Never really had an occasion where I had to rent a designer dress, but I’m always looking for one! I’ve heard Rent the Runway is pretty good.

    • Marissa September 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Yeah they are. They are very similar to Rent Frock Repeat.

  • MakintheBacon September 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I think the last time I actually rented anything was when Blockbuster was still around and that was for dvds. My sister and I often swap dresses for weddings because we’re both the same size.

    If I was to rent anything, it might be sporting good equipment, such as a canoe or kayak,which I know you can do at Mountain Equipment Co-op. I would never actually go out and buy either of those things.

    • Marissa September 16, 2013 at 12:20 am

      That’s interesting! Camera equipment might be something else to rent too.

  • Sierra September 16, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Marissa, you have done really appreciated work.. I agreed with your viewpoints and renting is better when buying. You have considered awesome factors which are personally motivated to save money for longer period. Thanks for sharing this informative read.

    • Marissa September 16, 2013 at 4:07 am

      You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by!