Tip #3 – Renting Versus Buying

Two of the largest costs for your homestead are equipment or the time spent doing by hand what could be done exponentially faster by machine. It feels good to hand dig that 100 foot trench but 15-20 hours later, you could have spent $200 to rent machinery that would have given you back much of your precious time.

The decision to rent or buy is a very personal one.  It all depends on where someone’s excess lies.  If it is in the resource of money, then buying is often a very good approach. If all you really have to spare is time though, then its possible your time is still better suited for something else and a small rental fee may be manageable.

Recently I was trying to decide about purchasing a rear tine tiller.  The basic starting price was $500 and that was for small and basic.  The one’s that would be more durable, longer lasting and better performing are all closer to $1000.  I only need to use the machine about a day a year, or a few days every few years.  It would take me  so many years to earn back the cost of purchasing.  After ten years I may have spent the same renting but each year I am using relatively new equipment rather than aging.  In this scenario it sure makes sense to rent.

On the flip-side I need a lawn mower every week and the mower can last years, so at about the same rental rate it wouldn’t make sense to rent.  In general, the things you use weekly or even monthly will not make sense to rent.  But equipment needed annually or only project based may very well be better to rent.

No one likes paying a fee for borrowing something, but often it just makes sense.  It would be ignorant to refuse to at least run the numbers and see if it makes sense.

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