People love to own stuff. Maybe we like the idea of spending up big and being able to call things our ‘very own’. Or perhaps we just think it’s what we’re supposed to do as adults.
Yet while owning a heap of things can be nice, is it really the best option financially? And what about the impact on the environment or your wellbeing?
Psychology Today reports there’s a direct link between too many possessions (think clutter) and poor mental health. And according to One Green Planet, there are definitely certain items that aren’t necessarily things we need forever. Some might be a better deal to rent rather than buy.
“Most importantly, it’s also better for the environment to rent instead of buy whenever possible, as re-using items reduces the need for more products to be made,” says Jonathon Engel, of One Green Planet.
So how do you know when to rent over buying? Here are 7 top items you should never own (with the odd exception of course).
1/ YOUR HOME
The property market in Australia is still through the roof and it just doesn’t make sense financially for most people to buy their home. While you may have an asset many years down the track that you can sell, it costs a lot to get to that stage when you factor in saving for a deposit, purchase costs, high mortgage interest repayments, maintenance costs and all the other homeowner expenses like insurance and electricity.
“I think too many people (especially younger people) get caught up in what is ‘normal’ and buy homes young when they don’t even know what they want to do in life,” says anonymous financial blogger, Aussie Firebug.
“If rent money is dead money than so is interest repayments, which are much higher than rental yields for the majority of Australians,” he/she adds.
Unless you’re a professional tradesperson, how often are you going to use that chainsaw or welder? Renting tools and specialist equipment only when you need it is much cheaper and won’t take up space in your garage either.
3/ ELECTRONICS & ENTERTAINMENT
Items like televisions, computers, and phones go out of date very quickly these days, and yet they’re expensive to buy. It’s a much better idea to rent items to see if you like them and upgrade your rental each time there’s a new model. Hiring your entertainment is also way cheaper when you consider you might finish a video game a week after buying it, or not like the movie you got.
4/ BOATS & SPORTING EQUIPMENT
Boats are known money pits. They have a hefty price tag and are even more costly to maintain. And unless you own a business on the water, how often will you really use it? The same goes for camping gear and sporting equipment.
Sure, taking up a new sport or hobby is exciting, but just because you recently got your scuba diving license doesn’t mean you should go out and buy the whole kit and kaboodle. Interests can fade fast and the amount of time you’re able to dedicate to a hobby can also drop too.
5/ FORMAL WEAR & JEWELLERY
Designer dresses, formal suits, and expensive jewellery might look great for that wedding or fancy function but will often end up being worn only once. Rent your bling and glitzy outfits instead and still look a million bucks – without the cost.
IT DOESN’T STOP HERE
This is just the tip of the iceberg of course – there are so many other items that make sense financially, logistically or environmentally to rent as well. So next time you need an item, stop and think first about whether you really need to purchase it. Renting could be just the solution you’re looking for instead.
Nathan Knox is a passionate freelance writer based in Sydney. He is a university student and has a major in Economics. Nathan loves to travel. He goes to places when he is free. Aside from travelling, he is also passionate about animals. If you want to reach out to Nathan, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.