(Guest post by Go Banking Rates)
We often convince ourselves that purchasing an expensive item will be worth it in the long run – it’ll pay for itself and save money with use over time. Then, several years down the road, you’re filling out a Craigslist ad, hoping someone will take it off your hands for a deplorable pittance compared to the original price you paid.
Sometimes, though a purchase would fulfill that overwhelming desire for new stuff and instant gratification, renting is the sound financial choice. The following are a few items you can save hundreds on by renting or borrowing instead of buying outright, as well as circumstances that warrant shelling out for your own.
That 12 inch Heavy-Duty Compound Miter saw would probably look awesome sitting on your workbench, but how many times are you actually going to build a deck? Judging by the way things are going, probably just once.
At several hundred dollars a pop, you’re most likely better-off renting one for a few hours from a place like Home Depot.
When buying is worth it: If you truly use a variety of tools on a regular basis, it’s worth it to have your own set. Anyone with a passion for carpentry, home improvement or cars should have a tool chest with their name on it.
Rent Evening Gowns and Prom Dresses
Every girl knows, you can’t be seen in the same outfit twice! Your daughter’s prom or any similar event requires evening wear that will likely thereafter be sent to the back of the closet for eternity. Instead of dropping several hundred dollars for an overabundance of chiffon and sequins, borrow a designer gown at 90 to 95 percent off the retail price.
When buying is worth it: If you’re the sentimental type and plan to hang little Suzy’s prom dress next to her wedding gown some day, you might as well just buy it. Also, if your profession requires your attendance at many high-profile or black tie events, a few key pieces that you can accessorize differently are a sound investment.
Most reference materials your professors require you to buy will serve as a cumbersome paperweight at best when the semester is over.
Many college students save money on books by purchasing them used or from discount online retailers like Amazon rather than the university book store. Even so, the thriftier option for starving students comes in the form of online textbook rental companies. Chegg.com is currently the number one source of textbooks for rent. They offer free shipping both ways, and better yet, plant a tree for every book borrowed.
When buying is worth it: There are a lot of great reference books in existence and some are worth holding onto for life. Anything relating to your field of study that will serve as an important source of information you will repeatedly turn to later in your career (like the physician’s bible, Gray’s Anatomy) should be an expenditure.
Rent a Casket
OK, this one may seem excessively creepy at first, but consider funeral costs today.
The average price of a casket alone is $2,000 and can run upwards of $10,000 for a really nice one. Rather than spending that kind of money, rent a casket for the service at a few hundred bucks and later transfer the departed into something more economical for burial. They’re not going to know the difference, anyway.
When buying is worth it: If you just can’t bring yourself to honor a loved one in a casket that’s been “broken in,” go ahead and splurge on a new one.
This guest post was written by Go Banking Rates, bringing you informative personal finance content and helpful tools, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide. Follow them on Twitter at @GoBankingRates and on Facebook at /GoBRates.
(Photo by wohnai)