ExecutiveChronicles | Buying vs renting electronics: which is better for your budget? | Electronics have become an important part of our lives. Everything from smartphones and laptops to intelligent fridges and microwaves has adapted to our stressful schedules, helping us take some time to relax while the food is cooking or the clothes are washed. But since the prices of almost everything have boomed due to inflation, you might have to give up on certain products and electronics to save money. Which takes us to the question: which is better for a low budget, buying or renting? Let’s find out in the following paragraphs.
Buying electronics is a better idea when you decide to stay somewhere long-term or if you own a place you intend to rent somewhere in the future. But you need to pay the costs upfront for a new product; a financial pressure people can’t always afford. As everything becomes too expensive, people turn to buying second-hand devices, which, besides being unsafe, are not even performant. And given that the product’s value decreases over time, you might want to purchase something more expensive to use for a longer time.
Another solution that’s somewhat between buying and renting is a payment plan, meaning that you can make smaller payments over time to pay off a larger total of money. It’s a contract between two parties where they know much money will be paid when it needs to be done, and what happens if one of the parties breaches their agreements.
For example, if you want to get a TV on a payment plan, you can shop your favorite brands with the latest tech and features. You only need to apply at the store you want to shop from, and once it’s approved, you can start choosing any type of TV, from Philips, LG, Samsung, and Sony. This is a safe way to spend your money and still get your desired high-end product.
On the other hand, renting seems more beneficial when it comes to short-term costs. It’s also a better choice for people who move a lot, but there are also other advantages:
- It’s less costly. No matter what electronics we’re talking about, renting something out for a week or a month will be more cost-efficient;
- It allows you to experiment. If you are indecisive about choosing between two or more products, you have the chance to rent them and find out which one suits your needs;
- It provides flexibility. While buying a product means you have to stick with it for a while, renting something allows you to give it back when it’s irrelevant to your lifestyle.
- You can choose qualitative products. The market offers limited high-quality products that people can afford while renting is completely doable for anyone;
Another benefit is that if you have a company and need some electronics fast, you can rent them for your business event, whether it’s one TV or more. This way, you can cut costs using the best products and latest-technology devices.
There are also downsides to renting. First of all, you’re more responsible for the product’s condition, as you will need to pay any malfunctions you’ve made or the entire price of the electronic, which is a huge responsibility.
At the same time, renting for more than a few months can be counterproductive, as you may pay the product’s total price and spend more money than if you bought the device. If you have the cash for the product, it would be best to purchase it, but since renting adds tax deduction issues and interest rates, you might want to consider the period of renting.
Buying vs renting for businesses
When it comes to businesses, things are a little different, as there are more resources for better equipment, but when it comes to cutting costs, some have to rent electronics to perform their tasks still. Here are the pros and cons of buying vs renting:
- Buying can get you the latest version of the equipment needed, which means an increase in productivity, a full warranty, ongoing support for any technical issues and tax deductibility. On the other hand, if you are short on cash, you need to look into financing the equipment, which will cost you more in the long run.
- Renting helps you out financially speaking, as you can negotiate the price. You can get the most up-to-date devices and purchase the product after your business is more financially stable. And yet, you can pay more than the value of the device if you rent it for more than six months, and as you may deduct only a portion of the renting price on your taxes, your business may lose money that you could use to buy the product on its original price.
How to look into valuable devices
Nowadays, it seems like more electronics are made to last short periods of time. People are encouraged to change their laptops, for example, more often, as each new model has better features and more improvements than the previous one. But if you don’t want to fall into this trap and use electronics as much as possible, you must look into their qualities and choose the best one. You need to consider the following factors:
- The cost. Not all expensive devices are suitable, but a small price can mean that the product has been made with fewer qualitative materials. A price in-between is sometimes the best choice.
- The features. Products don’t really offer life-changing features, but you still need to search for devices that allow you to get the most out of their efficiency.
- Durability. The materials from which the product was made contribute to its life expectancy. Plastic and other substitutes may not last the same as steel or other high-end materials.
- People’s reviews. The benefit of online buying is seeing what other people think about their purchases. Positive reviews can help you look into products similar to that one, or at least you’ll know what to look for in your next electronic device.
Whether you’ll be buying or renting, it’s best not to take the decision impulsively and consider your finances, the space where you’ll place your new product, and what you plan to do with it in the future.