The concept of renting something versus owning is so heretical to some, especially those of my parents’ generation, that it’s frequently labeled as “throwing money away.” The freedom of using an item anytime you wish, for “free,” is very compelling. Even if it’s far from free.

When you properly tally what that item costs – in both lifestyle and financial terms – it’s rare that owning an item beats renting it. Even cars are notorious money pits whose costs, when fully tallied (depreciation, maintenance, gas, insurance, etc), would consistently lose to car shares, transit or even taxis. But alas, we are not rational creatures…

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As a minimalist, I have no desire to own something unless I absolutely have to. Certainly items that I don’t want to be responsible for the maintenance on, or items I think I’ll use only sporadically, are prime candidates for mere access, versus ownership.