Law Life

8 Things to Borrow and Not Buy
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Summary: Having a healthy mentality of borrowing rather than buying these eight things will help maintain your budget and keep your finances in check in the long run.

The older you get, the more stuff you tend to accumulate. The sad part is that a lot of the things you have hiding out in your garage or the back of your closet are things that you’ve probably only used once. If you’re just starting out in “adulthood” and don’t have certain items that you may or may not only use once, or you’re trying to cut down on the clutter in your home, here is a list of things that you should consider borrowing from family and friends rather than buying. Remember, you can always see how much you actually need something and then decide to buy it later!


Extension ladders. If you have a large home and do a lot of your own maintenance and roof work, then sure, you probably need an extension ladder. However, if you’re doing a one-time project, like painting very high ceilings or cleaning out your gutters once a year, borrow one from a neighbor before spending the money and the storage space.

Specialized tools. Similar to the ladder, there are a lot of specialized tools that are essential to a certain project, but not something you’ll ever need again. An example of this would be a chainsaw to cut down a tree or large tree limbs. Another would be a paint sprayer to paint the outside of your home.

Camping gear. Before you decide you’re going to become an avid camper, try it out a bit first. Camping gear can be incredibly expensive because all those little things add up, plus you can go overboard on getting things you don’t need or may not use on a trip. You also might find that you end up camping once a year rather than once a month like you imagined.

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Sports equipment. Let’s say you move to Colorado and decide you want to become a skier. That’s great, but don’t shell out $600 bucks for a pair of skis and even more for boots, a helmet, ski pants, etc. Rent this equipment or borrow from a friend and try out the sport you’re interested in first, and then decide if you’ll do it often enough to make purchasing the gear cost effective.

Luggage. If you’re not someone who often travels, buying luggage can add a lot of cost to a big trip and isn’t worth the money. Ask your friends and family to borrow their luggage and save yourself from spending the money and having to store the luggage somewhere in your home after you’ve made the purchase.

Formal wear. Not only are black-tie weddings or galas not a common occurrence for most people, but with social media these days you don’t want to have photos of you throughout the years wearing the same dress over and over again. If you’re going to an out-of-the-ordinary event, consider renting a tux or borrowing a gown from a friend rather than spending a lot of money on something you won’t wear again.

Books. When you buy a book at the store (or through an app) for $12, it doesn’t seem like much. However, if you or your kids love to read, each one of those books can start to add up really quickly. First, take advantage of your local library, both in print and ebook collections. Also, think about doing a book exchange with friends. Go through each other’s shelves and pick out books you’d like to read and do the same for them.

Baby gear and clothes. If you’ve ever had a baby, you know just how expensive all of their gear and clothes can be. The most frustrating part is that with all the money you spend, they only wear the clothes for a short period and often only use the gear for a short period when it’s developmentally appropriate. Band together with other parents and share clothes and gear between you as you have kids over several years.


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