Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of ads on television for renting computers, televisions and furniture. At first, renting these items might sound like a good idea – you get an item you need without needing the full amount to purchase the item. But, there are many downfalls to renting these things. Here are 3 reasons why renting items is a waste of money.

Wants, Not Needs

The first reason is that all of the items you can rent are wants, not needs. They sound like a need – a sofa, a television – but they aren’t. You don’t need either of these things to survive. You would be better off going on Craigslist for a sofa.
I was dubious of finding a sofa on Craigslist but was pleasantly surprised. There were many sofas that weren’t in great condition, but there were plenty that were in great condition, for a great price. I found a great sofa and ottoman for under $300. I have a friend that basically furnished his house from various Craigslist ads for under $1,000. The only word of caution is to verify that the seller doesn’t have any pets if you have any pet allergies.

Rental Price is More Than Purchase Price

The second reason is that the rental price is more than the purchase price. Yes, you cannot buy a new computer for $30, which is the weekly rental cost. But if you rent that computer for 10 weeks, you have paid for a brand new PC and you have nothing to show for it once you return the PC.

I was shocked to hear how much the weekly rental prices are for many of the items. In most cases, after a few months, you could have your own item instead of the rental had you just saved your money. Do yourself a favor and instead of renting the item, save the weekly rental cost and save that money. In a few short months you will have enough money to buy the item outright and will have learned a valuable lesson.

Encourages You To Live Beyond Your Means

When you rent items, you are doing so because you cannot afford to buy the item in question. This is just another way of saying you are trying to live beyond your means. When you start to rent one thing, you are going to be tempted to start renting other things. The next thing you know, most of your paycheck is going towards the weekly rentals and you won’t have anything left over. You will be living paycheck to paycheck and have nothing to show for it.

Final Thoughts

Renting items is a bad idea 99.9% of the time. It encourages you to live beyond your means and costs more in the long run than if you had just saved up the money instead. But what is most scary is that it breeds instant gratification. If you want to be successful with your money, you need to learn how to delay gratification.

Having to save up for an item makes you appreciate it more. You don’t have to have everything this instant. Learn to delay your wants. Many times you will find that putting off your wants will lead to you not buying them because you were in the moment. Since you’ve had the chance to think things over, you will realize that you don’t have to have the item.

Readers, do you or have you rented anything?