Updated: May 18, 2023

Rent This, Buy That! A Guide To Renting vs. Owning

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There seems to be an ongoing debate; should you rent, or should you buy? For some strange reason, this debate mainly circulates around homeownership. Many people feel a sense of accomplishment (understandable) when it comes to owning something, but attached to this accomplishment is a greater sense of responsibility.

Therefore, renting could be a good option because it is often more eco-friendly, economical, and efficient, as well as a great option for people who do not want to commit to an expensive item. Renting can apply to more things than just your home, so this article investigates some things you should consider renting instead of buying.

 Here is a list of some of the lesser-known items you can rent:


Hand Bags: If you are a fashionista who needs the perfect purse to match your shoes, then you should consider renting instead of owning. I have tons of friends who love to be up-to-date on all the fashion trends, but these often do not last past a season. There are plenty of membership sites that rent out thousands of items for as long as you please.

Jewelry: Many people don’t know this, but jewelry stores rent out pieces as well. This is great for special occasions like weddings and other black-tie events.

Formal Wear: Women love the opportunity to buy a swanky new dress for special occasions, but how many times have you purchased an expensive dress only to wear it never? Tuxedo rentals are common, so why not take a page out of the dude-book and rent a dress next time you want to look your absolute best?


Not that you can actually rent a hobby (that doesn’t even make any sense), but you can rent the items you will need before deciding whether you want to pick a hobby up. This is a great route to go when you are pursuing something new.

Tools: If you are thinking of doing some home improvement, you should look into renting the tools needed for the project. This way, once the project is finished you can return them instead of having them clutter up your closet or garage.

Camping Gear: Camping is one of those activities that is a lot of fun, but hard to plan if you don’t go that often. If you have taken up a sudden interest with camping, or want to do something different with your vacation days, look into renting camping gear. When looking for a place to rent check online, or visit local stores often located near campsites.

Bike Rental: A bike is a healthy and efficient way to get around, especially if you live in a city. The only problem with owning a bike is the amount of space it takes up, again, especially if you live in a city.

There is a new trend of Bike Sharing and Community Bike programming, both offer membership to individuals. Members can present a card and use the bike to get around, and then return the bike to any of the self-operated hubs.

Sports and Fitness Equipment: If you are thinking of joining a gym or getting back in shape, renting is a great route to take. Just like skis and snowboards, you can rent hockey, surfing and other athletic gear. You can even rent workout equipment.

Odd Balls

Renting doesn’t just apply to practical equipment; it can also apply to more bizarre needs.

Dogs: Although there are companies that do indeed, “rent out” dogs, I will include fostering in this category. As someone who has always dreamt of having a dog, but wasn’t quite confident on the timing, fostering presented the perfect opportunity to find out if I was ready. If you are considering getting a dog, I highly suggest a “trial run” first.

Garden: Community gardens have been a popular option for a while now. Those interested can rent a plot of land for gardening near their homes and satisfy their green thumb.

Caskets: This one is probably the strangest of them all, but it makes financial sense. If you can get over the creepy-factor, renting a casket can save you thousands. With the average casket running from $7,000 to $10,000, you can rent a nice one for the funeral service and go for an affordable alternative for the burial.

Renting Takeaways

Renting isn’t for everyone, especially if you have a tendency to lose or break items. Almost all the things featured on this list offers renters insurance, which is a good option to look into if you are clumsy, renting something delicate, or renting for a prolonged period of time.

Also, renting is good option primarily for items or tools you don’t plan on using every day. If you are planning on using an item repeatedly, and you have the money, buying is a good decision to save in the long run.

Another good tip is looking into membership fees on items you plan on renting sporadically but often throughout the years.