Why Renting Items Is A Waste Of Money

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?

7 Responses to Why Renting Items Is A Waste Of Money

  1. Hi!

    Whilst I agree with the general idea of your post, I have to say it isn’t the best idea for everyone. I had a friend who rented everything in her home – furniture, appliances etc. She pays a really cheap rental price for it but you would definitely be right if you said with the accumulated money she could buy everything brand new and in much better quality and condition but that’s not why she chose to rent.

    She chose to rent because she doesn’t like owning things. Not a house and not bulky furnishings because it makes it easier for her to pack up and leave when she wants to. She’s a nomad who doesn’t like to be tied down. So for her, the arrangement makes perfect sense.

    Maybe not best value for money sense but it serves her purpose.

    Not everyone wants to ‘own’ things. To have something ‘to show’ for their investment. This makes her happy and affords her freedom to pack up and leave anytime she wants without worrying about all her ‘stuff’.

    She made an investment in her freedom and though she may have nothing to show for it later on – I think she’s made the right decision for her.


  2. I think it makes sense to rent tools sometimes. You know, for when you only need something once. Of course it’s better to borrow it from a neighbor or friend, but sometimes they don’t have what you need for a particular project. Now if you are going to be using the item a lot, it makes more sense to buy it.

    As far as furniture goes, we always made do with hand-me-downs until we could afford to buy. Renting a computer doesn’t make sense to me at all. Either use the free ones at the library, etc. or use a friend’s computer for a bit. Unfortunately saving up for something doesn’t come easy to many people.

    Distinguishing between a need and a want is a skill we all need to keep working on!

  3. I only rent my apartment! Renting everything else seems silly unless it is something you are only going to use once or a few times — tools, steam cleaner, etc. We just go without furniture for now, all you really NEED is a mattress to sleep on 🙂

  4. We don’t have this in my country and I really don’t see the need. I mean, if I need a TV, I can buy the dang thing. Same with the car. You either get them used (way cheaper) or save and get them new. With just a simple math people would understand this is a huge waste of money, but, if people did bother to do the math, there would be way less bankruptcies and people who can barely pay off debt

  5. I agree. When we moved into our place we saved up in advance so that we could buy what we needed. If we didn’t have it, we saved until we could afford it. Luckily friends looked out for us and we ended up getting our dining room set free and our bookcase. i don’t knock anyone who has to, but I definitely urge people to exhaust all options before going the renting route. Unless it’s tools or a Zip Car for New Yorkers.

  6. I haven’t rented anything yet, like what you said there, it makes us live beyond our means and I like it more if I will be getting what I want and being the sole owner of it.