Save Money By Renting, Not Buying, These 15 Things

It hurts to waste money. Many items, like your furniture and washer/dryer, warrant a purchase. Some things, however, will save you money and time if you rent them. These are all the items you should rent, not buy — some of them are quite shocking!

1. A casket

Casket on the way to a burial
A casket on the way to a burial | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $2,000-$10,000
  • Cost to rent: less than $1,000

Yes, we’re serious. “A casket often is the single most expensive item you’ll buy if you plan a ‘traditional’ full-service funeral,” explains the FTC. Although they vary in cost and style, casket choices add stress during an already difficult time. Since the main purpose of a casket is to move the body before burial, a simple box works just fine.

Next: Some of these activities are more expensive than others.

2. Sporting equipment

shoes clubs equipment
Golf equipment can get really expensive. | Thomas Northcut/Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $50-$3,000
  • Cost to rent: $20-$200

Whether you’re snowboarding or scuba diving, a new sport is pricey! Buying gear before you’re fully committed can be a mistake. If you’re flying to the ski slopes, you’ll have to pay to check all that equipment. If you’re new to mountain biking and get injured, you’ve got some useless wheels. Opt for renting from a retail store.

Next: Conserve your energy and the planet.

3. Solar panels

Solar panel installation
Contractors install solar panels. | David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $15,000-$40,000
  • Cost to rent: $50-$250

If you care about the environment and your money, then you can lease your solar panels. This is a great route if you can’t afford to finance and install the panels outright. With a rental, you’re not responsible for maintenance or repairs. You won’t find yourself with outdated technology, explains Energy Sage. By renting, you can still save 10%-30% of your electricity costs, depending on your state’s incentives.

When you lease solar panels, you have two options. You can pay a monthly fee and keep all the generated power. Or, you can sign the power over to the rental company using a power purchase agreement. Then you can buy your needed power at a cheaper cost than your local utility company.

Next: First-time buyers have decreased nearly 20% since 2005.

4. A boat

Marina yacht club boat
Boats anchored at a marina | Ahmed Melik Yagmur/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $35,000 on average
  • Cost to rent: $150-$500/day

A boat evokes images of soaring over pristine waters. However, the reality of watercraft ownership involves more than most expect. In addition to the actual boat purchase, you must account for maintenance, repairs, storage costs, and docking fees. Then, there’s gas, safety equipment, and licensing. , As Better Boat explains, “If you own your boat for ten years, you can expect to pay a grand total of around $295,000 for that decade of boat ownership.”

Odds are you won’t be out on the water as much as you think. It nearly always makes sense to rent.

Next: Your vacation demands this.

5. A camera

A photographer checks the image of a lion
Photographing a lion | David Caudery/Digital Camera magazine via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $500-$10,000
  • Cost to rent: $100-$150

If you’re going on an African safari or trekking through ancient Israel, you’ll want to document every unforgettable moment. However, a decent camera could be the priciest part of the trip after flights and hotels. Rent a camera and lens instead. Companies like BorrowLenses and Lens Rentals will lease you a high-quality camera so you can capture it all.

Next: Put your ego aside and rent these.

6. Power tools

Chainsaw in forest
A chainsaw | Bodo Schackow/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $100-$900
  • Cost to rent: $25-$150

The average homeowner doesn’t need specialty tools 99% of the time. When you do need that auger or chainsaw, it makes more sense to rent it from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Purchasing that miter saw only makes sense if you’re a contractor.

Next: You’ll look sharp when you rent, not buy.

7. Formalwear

Formal boutonniere on suit
Boutonniere on a suit | ihorga/Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $150-$500
  • Cost to rent: $50+

Attending a gala or wedding requires a gown or suit, shoes, and accessories. Rather than breaking the bank to get designer formalwear, you can rent from sites like Rent the Runway and The Black Tux. They have everything from cocktail dresses and nice suits to evening gowns and tuxedos.

Next: Rent these wheels so you don’t regret it.

8. An RV

Airstream Safari travel trailer RV
An Airstream Safari travel trailer | Robert Alexander/Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $32,000+
  • Cost to rent: $1-$200

It’s tempting to live the “van life.” However, buying an RV or camper van doesn’t make sense unless you’re a camping fanatic. Companies like Cruise America and RVShare have more than enough options for your next road trip. Or you can help a rental company relocate an RV for only $1 per day. As Thrifty Nomads explains, if a vehicle needs to be moved to a desirable location, you can drive it there and get a cheap trip.

Next: This is just icing on the cake.

9. A wedding cake

wedding cake
A white two-tiered wedding cake | Jason Ray Photography/Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $350-$2,000
  • Cost to rent: $100+

First, you need to buy a cake. Then, many venues charge a ridiculous cutting fee. Believe it or not, many couples cut costs by opting for a fake cake. FunCakes Rental offers cake rentals with real frosting. They even have an edible section so you can do a traditional cake cutting. Then, couples send the cake back for cutting and swap it for slices of sheet cake.

Next: Have a campfire; don’t set your wallet on fire.

10. Camping equipment

Camping equipment
Cooking and camping | igorbondarenko/Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $200-$1,500
  • Cost to rent: $69+/night

Spending time in the great outdoors is memorable and pricey. A basic setup requires a tent, sleeping bag, and pack. Then add a flashlight, firewood, sleeping pad, lantern, cooking supplies, and chairs. Instead, a company like Outdoors Geek or Gear to Go Outfitters can ship you a kit with all you need.

Next: Farm-fresh eggs are worth the rental.

11. Farm animals

Chainsaw in forest
A chainsaw lies in a forest | Bodo Schackow/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $600+
  • Cost to rent: $500 for a six-month rental

Owning chickens has become more popular. If you’re on the fence (or coop) about it, you can do a chicken rental. Rent the Chicken will provide you with hens, a coop, food, and supplies. If you enjoy it, you can adopt the chickens; if it’s not for you, they’ll pick up everything at the end of the rental period. Considering goats, too? Try Rent a Goat!

Next: Take a hard look at your savings before buying this.

12. A home

Estate agent hands keys to couple.
Real estate agent hands keys to couple. | Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $200,000 on average
  • Cost to rent: $1,400/month on average

“Buy a house — don’t throw your money away!” You’ve likely heard this notion before. However, there are many occasions when purchasing a home may not be the right move for you. Is the market inflated? Do you plan to relocate? Are the loan conditions right? Do you have the resources for maintenance and repairs? With the right circumstances, renting can give you more time and money.

Next: An unusual storage option

13. Your neighbor’s garage

Garage storage
Woman in her garage | Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $40-$200/month
  • Cost to rent: $15-$50/month

Storage units are expensive and difficult to access. What if you could stop by the neighbor’s house to grab your stuff? Companies like StoreWithMe help people rent their open sheds, garages, attics, and basements. It’s cheaper than a storage facility and can give you better accessibility.

Next: If you live in a big city, this rental is for you.

14. Garden space

Show gardens for 'Urban Gardening' are planned all over Bavaria from 2019 onwards
A man tends to his urban garden. | Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Cost to rent: $0-$20/month

Finding space for a garden can be difficult, especially in urban environments. Now you can rent a plot of land and reap the benefits. Not only will you get fresh fruits and veggies but you’ll improve the community and meet your neighbors.

Next: The best way to wear bling

15. Jewelry

Designer jewelry off the runway
Designer jewelry off the runway | Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
  • Cost to buy: $1,000+
  • Cost to rent: $75+

Formal events require classy accessories that complement your gown or suit. Rather than splurging on a diamond necklace or high-end watch, you can rent them from sites like Adorn, Haute Vault, and Flont. For example, you can rent a Vandervelden Scalloped Diamond Infinity Necklace for $210. It normally costs $15,900.