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    Borrow or Buy?

    Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 9:29 PM | Frugal Living, Housing, Saving, Simplification, Spending

    Why do we buy? Do we buy because we need to use or do we buy because we want to have?

    This simple question not always has a simple answer.

    Are you spending extra time and money purchasing things you could be borrowing instead? Here are a few things to consider before you hit the store next time.

    Benefits of Borrowing:

    Test Drive Products for Free
    Would you dream of buying a car without a test drive? I know I wouldn’t. A major benefit of borrowing is that you get to try before you buy. And if you do end up needing to purchase this item (perhaps rarer than you may think), you will be informed with hands on experiences on what features you like or don’t like.

    Spend less
    By borrowing you save the money you would have spent buying that “item”. If you only use an item once a year why have it in your life? Instead, spend your cash on something you frequently use or enjoy. Or sock it away in your favorite mutual fund.

    Live With Less
    By having less you can maintain and enjoy what you do have more. What’s the use of having everything you might need if it takes you 30 minutes to locate it? You may even spend less on housing by having less. You’ll saving time finding (shopping, researching etc) and maintaining excess stuff as well. Less stuff means less storage.

    Already have too much? Shed it and fatten your replacement fund.

    Build Stronger Relationships
    When you borrow you are asking someone else for help in some form. People generally like to help (especially if it involves none of their time or money). I find when I borrow things from friends I end up seeing them more. As an added benefit, I usually get to talking about what I need the item for. You have a chance
    to hear ideas or suggestions that may save you time or money when you start your project. And sometimes your friends may even want to help you, which of course will make your project go twice as fast.

    Spend More on What You Do Buy
    If you only buy what you use frequently and absolutely need, you can guiltlessly spend the extra bucks on it. Chances are you have tested and borrowed this item before so you know exactly what you need. For example, would you rather have every cheap tool possible or real nice tools that you use frequently?

    Share if Possible
    If you are asking to borrow your friend’s power washer every other week perhaps this item may be worth purchasing. But what if your friend lives next door? Why does every home need a lawn mower when two friendly neighbors could split the cost and share? Evaluate your usage and make sure there are no simple and easy ways to borrow. Tell yourself after you borrow x amount of times you will look into buying. We bought a canoe with a family member and it works great to share it. Half the cost, half the storage, half the maintenance and the same enjoyment.

    And when you do really need to buy something use your replacement fund.

    Talking Point: What types of items have you borrowed instead of purchasing?

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