Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why Own When You Can Rent?

Does one need to own something to enjoy it?  For the folks at Mesh, the answer would be no.  Take the concept of lending libraries and expand it to cars, homes, canoes, fundraising, and the list goes on.  Sadly it appears that no Madison companies are listed at this point in time.  So, it is not something I can immediately try out.  However, I will keep it in mind for future travels.  Bikes for example -- enter "bike" into the search engine along with the city and you may find bike rentals by the day, hour, etc.



My husband and I are huge fans for renting when needed as opposed to owning all the time.  We canoe, but rent one instead of own one.  We love northern Wisconsin, but will never buy a cabin or condo.  And when my husband was a bike commuter he'd rent a car for the rare days he needed one.

A daily price of a rental may scare some people, but make sure you compare it with the cost of ownership.  With ownership comes:

  • a purchase price -- what else could you do with that money?  Pay down debt, save for retirement?
  • storage -- space costs money, and cost per square foot is a very useful way to look at how much you are paying for a canoe you'll buy, use 3 weeks out of the year, and store the other 49.
  • insurance -- cars, bikes, second homes...some form of ownership is usually required if not simply wise.
  • taxes -- cars in some states are subject to an annual tax.  Why pay that when you can rent it when needed.
  • flexibility.  We own a Honda.  It is great most of the time, but if we ever want to move something large it does not fit our needs.  If we rented as needed we could shift what we drove.  
Mesh -- intriguing or an internet fad?  Please share your thoughts and experiences with other readers.

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