Simple Savings Sunday – Rent Instead Of Buy

Simple Savings Sunday

Welcome back to Simple Savings Sunday.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.  I know that my weekend has flown by as they usually do.  I just don’t understand how two days can move so quickly.  You can take any two days during the work week and they crawl by, but when you take two days over the weekend, they fly.  I mean, it is still the same exact amount of hours, but come on!  To make matters worse, I am fighting the dreaded man cold!  If you haven’t heard of it, then check out this video, it is funny.  Ok, enough about me, back to Simple Savings Sunday. I have a simple tip this week and I hope it will save you some cash.  Let’s talk about renting instead of buying.

Rent Instead of Buy

Let me first say that I am not talking about cars or houses here.  Getting into the specifics over those purchases would take way more than one simple post and I just don’t feel like tackling that right now.  What I am talking about is the concept of smaller purchases.  Let me give you a few examples where I have used this.

As most of my readers know, I am an avid DIY car guy. I love working on vehicles and even have a second car just to play with.  It’s a Jeep Wrangler.  Because of my passion, I have a lot of tools in my garage.  It is nice to have so many tools, but it also costs a pretty penny.  When I was rebuilding my last Jeep, it required a lot of work.  So much work that I was at the car parts store every day.  They knew me by name and we would chat for some time. Although it was nice to have the personal service, it was coming at a cost.

My Buying Mistake

Every time I needed to get something done, I would buy the tool necessary to complete the job.  Sometimes this meant buying a specialized tool that cost a good amount.  The problem was that the car parts store and most of them also rent out tools.  Since I was a frequent buyer, I could rent out the tool for much less than the price to buy.  The issue is that I never did.  I also tried to justify buying to tool because I could use it again in the future.  Well, that hasn’t happened yet.  Some of my specialized tools were only used for that rebuilt and can’t even be used on my newer Jeep.  That was a waste of money. I should have rented instead of bought those tools.

Another quick example is that we need to pressure wash our home and driveway before we put it up for sale.  I was going to hire someone, but then they started coming out and pricing it.  I think they are charging way too much and I am not cool with that.  Naturally, I started shopping around for a pressure washer.  Unfortunately, they come at a cost as well.  A good pressure washer is at least $300.  I have looked around craigslist and they still are around $200 to $250.

I also took time to read reviews and found that most people just don’t use them often.  So you are paying a high price for each use if you buy.  I mean, I haven’t used a pressure washer yet in the 7 years we have lived here, so what made me think that I would magically start using one after I bought it?

Then I found a few companies that would rent out pressure washers.  Some charged way too much, more than what you can buy them for.  Then I found a few companies that would only charge me $40 per day.  I only need it for two days to get all of the work done, so I would only be out of pocket $80!  On top of that, I don’t have to worry about it breaking down later because it is not mine.

Lesson of today’s story is to step back and do a cost analysis of renting versus buying.  There are many times when you can rent something for much cheaper than buying and then you don’t have to deal with it.  Buying is not always the answer and can just help you accumulate junk that you will need to get rid of later.  I am not saying that you can’t buy something and it will be better than renting, but just made sure you do the proper comparisons.

Have you ever saved by renting instead of buying?  Any downfalls to my methodology?

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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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14 comments
Laurie says January 26

We do this too, when it’s a product or tool we know we won’t use often. Besides the money savings on the purchase, you don’t have to pay for maintenance or repair – win-win!

Reply
Lauren says January 26

Renting a power washer does sound like the best option. This got me thinking about the people that do own equipment like power washers and probably rarely ever use them- perhaps they could rent them out as a side hustle…

Reply
    Grayson Bell says January 27

    I agree, but it could be a nice side hustle if you wanted to rent yours out. That has got me thinking Lauren!

    Reply
Kay says January 26

I think it makes good sense to rent out items that you would rarely use, like the power washer. Another idea would be to borrow one or offer to split the cost of the item between a neighbor or good friend. This way you both have the item available for a fraction of the cost.

Reply
    Grayson Bell says January 27

    I was trying to borrow one, but don’t know anyone that has one. We are moving soon, so splitting the cost with a neighbor wouldn’t work.

    Reply
Shannon @ Financially Blonde says January 26

I was just talking about this with my husband this week. He wants to try to make me a desk, but he was missing some tools that the project required. Since he is a man, he wanted to buy the tools, since I am financially fit, I asked him to prove the value of the new tools (i.e. how many other projects would we use them for, etc.). In the end, we rented from Home Depot. 🙂

Reply
    Grayson Bell says January 27

    Glad he went with renting at Home Depot. I made too many purchases and those tools just sit around in my garage. You live and learn!

    Reply
Derek@LifeAndMyFinances says January 26

I was glad to link to your site! Thanks for the awesome articles that you provide!

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Jon says January 26

We currently rent instead of buy, and it’s a really good decision for us. The biggest thing is that we aren’t sure where we want to be long-term (we are thinking of eventually moving), so buying is not a very practical decision. Even if we were sticking put, we’d be trying to save up for a full 20% down payment, which seems to be a lot more rare these days. Thanks for the great post!

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    Grayson Bell says January 27

    Sounds like a good decision on your part. If you are not sure where you want to be, then renting is the obvious choice.

    Reply
Wes says March 11

This is a very good point Grayson. Power washers, although very useful don’t come cheap. Just like you said, if you don’t need it often why buy it? However, for those who frequently use power washers, buying a good one is a good investment, too.

Reply
    Grayson Bell says March 11

    You are right, they don’t come cheap. I was weighing the pros and cons, but found that I wouldn’t use it much, so I decided to rent. I ended up paying about a third of the price for a pressure washer.

    Reply
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