What you need to know about renting appliances

Rental Realities

by Grace Long


In my community in Central PA, I know a lot of people who are renting appliances. I have to admit I've thought about renting appliances; mostly when I was first starting out at my apartment. But, once I did the math, I realized that I would save a lot of money by just waiting until I could afford products outright. I also was astounded that some of my friends were gullible enough to fall into the rental trap. They're paying thousands of dollars for items they could have gotten for less than $100 if they would have had the patience to wait. Below is an article that I submitted to a newsletter aimed at low- to moderate-income individuals and families in my community.

Are you renting appliances? If you are, you are wasting your money. Do you know the saying "If you ask how much an item is, you can't afford it"? This is the reason fancy restaurants don't put prices next to their items. Well, on rental websites, the only price I could find was for a 52" SONY HDTV. So, for the other items on the website, it is my guess that the rental agency follows in the footsteps of fancy restaurants. They don't list their prices because they know that we as consumers will study the items and find the best deal for our money. I will use the only price I was able to find to show you how you could save $2,500!

Rental Agency Price

  • $39.99 per week for 104 weeks or $4,158.96
  • 2 years until you will own the TV
  • possibility of fees

Department Store Price

  • $1,799.88
  • own TV immediately

Sony Website

  • $1,549.99
  • own TV immediately

If you purchase the 52" SONY TV from SONY, you can save $2,608.97.

Let's say you don't have $1,549.99 to spare at the moment. Right now you can't afford to purchase that TV. However, if you save the $39.99 each week that you would have spent renting the television, you will only have to save for 10 months. Wouldn't you be willing to wait 10 months to save $2,608.97?

If you can't live without a television, purchase one at a yard sale or thrift store to use until you are able to afford a better one. Not only will it help you to save money, but also it can show you that you don't need a 52" HDTV to enjoy a half-hour show.


Grace Long is a 22-year-old recent college graduate. Through her position at a non-profit agency, her eyes have been opened to the world of saving!

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