A friend once told me that she was planning to buy a snow blower.
It was my first thought,”Why? “
She lived in a fairly temperate area that, in some years, had no snow at all, let alone enough to require mechanical intervention. She had three healthy teens at home, and shovels are much cheaper.
Lots of purchases that seem like great ideas at the time end up in an expensive mess. You may have seen a friend who has a garage or storage unit cluttered with things they don’t use but can’t seem to get rid of. (If you have one of these on your own, see “Do You Have Too Much? 10 Ways to Lower Your Self Storage Cost.”)
Here are examples of tools and equipment that you should rent as needed, rather than just buy them to offset the cost later.
1. Recreational vehicle
Unless you love camping, buying an RV is probably a bad idea.
In “Seven Big Purchases You Should Never Make,” we point out several reasons not to buy:
- Can be expensive to buy. Low-cost vehicles cost less than $6000, but they are very basic. Larger vehicles can be valued at half a million dollars or more.
- They cost a lot later too. Gas, maintenance and insurance – he adds. And if you’re towing a trailer, factor the family car wear into your calculations.
- It can be difficult to store. Parking your RV on a public street or even in your driveway can be against the rules of where you live. If so, you will have to rent a place to keep all year, every year. One analysis shows monthly RV storage rates ranging from $40 to $500 per month.
Until you’re sure you’ll be traveling enough to make it valuable, keep renting. You can get your RV from a rental dealer or individual owner through peer-to-peer services like RV Share Renter.
2. Specialized tools
Some DIYers feel they can Start Enough tools.
But seriously: Are you dealing with enough projects to justify buying some type of specialized equipment, like a concrete saw, floor scraper, carpet drying fan, texture sprayer, stem grinder, or hydraulic torque wrench?
These and many other construction, demolition, and repair tools can be rented — or perhaps borrowed from your local library.
We burn wood most winter evenings. But we don’t have a log splitter. It’s expensive and we won’t use it often. Instead, we rent one every few years for a daily rate of around $100.
Calculate and save.
3. Blu-ray and DVD discs
These days, you can only pay a few bucks for Blu-ray discs or DVDs for older or more obscure flicks.
But for new releases, you’ll end up spending $20 to $30 apiece, and more for an entire season of a TV show.
Hey, all collectors: Count the DVDs on your shelves, find out what you’ve spent so far and ask yourself how many times you’ve already a witness With them.
Stop buying! Try some of these options instead:
- Public library. Many libraries have extensive Blu-ray and DVD collections, free to borrow.
- redbox. Perhaps one inexpensive review of the latest superhero flick will help you realize you don’t need to see them again. (Pro tip: search online for “Redbox code” to save money on rentals.)
- broadcasting services. Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services have plenty to watch, including movies.
- Free Resources. You may be able to watch movies without paying at all. See “15 Free Streaming Services to Watch at Home” for details. You’re welcome.
4. Pickup truck
There seems to be something about owning a truck.
How else to explain why sane people who don’t need the ability to drag would drop a ton of dough on these things?
Insurance website The Zebra reports that sedans are about $9,000 cheaper, on average. It costs more to secure a pickup, too.
If you have a big project in mind — home improvement, for example, or moving your family — rent a truck for the day to move lumber or move furniture to the new location.
Speaking of moving, here’s another reason you don’t want to own a pickup truck: People you know who need to move around town or buy IKEA furniture will call and ask, “Hey, do you still own that truck?”
If you’re a farmer or contractor who moves things regularly, owning a pickup truck may make sense. But if you’re a suburban who loves country music, stick with a fuel-efficient car that’s cheaper to buy and insure.
5. Electric washing machine
An electric washer is very useful when you want to repaint a house or clean a weathered deck.
But how often do you do any of these things?
Consumer Reports states that it is cost-effective to purchase an electric washer if you typically use it three or more times a year. But it’s more likely that you’ll wash your deck or house every few years, if that’s a lot.
Oh, and get ready for this: Once you know you have a washing machine, friends and neighbors will ask to borrow it. It would be very frustrating to frequently loan your power washer and die while preparing your home for repainting.
True, you can buy a low-cost electric washing machine for less than $100. But, when you buy cheap you often Get Cheap, so read reviews before you drop even a little.
6. The boat
An old joke goes that “boat” is an acronym for “Break Out Another Thousand”.
The owner of the boat should keep an eye on the weather when performing hull maintenance, engine repair and weather. (Hurricane season is very tight.) All this costs money. a lot of money.
So what’s a wannabe bird to do? Rent your time on the water. As we note in “4 Ways to Boat Without Buying a Boat,” you can take advantage of peer-to-peer boat sharing, timeshares, boat clubs, and charters.
Always do your research and ask lots of questions. The rules (and fees) vary. You will need to know things like:
- Who pays for the gas?
- Who fixes breakdowns?
- What type of license/training is required?
- Does the rental cost include insurance?
7. Sports equipment
After an unusually warm summer here in Anchorage, my niece’s friend went to a local lake on a $400 paddleboard. Lots of fun! You absolutely must get one!
No doubt it was fun. But my niece is a single mother of two. She won’t drop four Benjamins on the equipment she’s going to do Could Use a day or two in the summer, assuming it’s warm enough.
If the heat wave trend continues may be Set aside $15 for a paddleboard rental to see if this is really the type of sport you play. If not? Think about the money you didn’t waste.
Try it out before you buy it. The same is true for skis, snowboards, water skis, kayaks, canoes, mountain bikes and And therefore many Other types of sports equipment.
You’ll thank us later, when the rental proves that your lower back isn’t cut for snowboarding, or your credit isn’t good enough to use a paddleboard.
8. Musical instruments
So, have your kid sign up for the school band or private music lessons: what a great opportunity! You should run out and buy the best quality Cello or Sosavone out there. right?
not even close Right, says The Washington Post. Suppose your son quickly decides that he hates practice? Or is the viola a blunder and what you really want is a flute?
do not buy Which A tool until you are sure that the child will stick.
Alternatively, rent from a music store, or ask if your school has a musical instrument rental program. It may take a few tries to find the right instrument for young musicians.
Speaking of fitness, here’s another reason to at least wait to buy: growing kids. In the end, the violin that Junior plays must be replaced at the age of five. (Unless, of course, he’s bored and quits.)
So rent, don’t buy it.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our Stories.