There are a lot of items we need to buy in life that will be permanent fixtures in our homes. We need a bed to sleep in and a stove to cook dinner on. We need a regular supply of clothing and food because these are essentials. They aren’t things you use for a special occasion and then forget about for months or years.
Sometimes we don’t need something for more than a single instance in our lives. Buying these items would be a poor decision for our wallets. That means there should be a lot of thought before you make a purchase: Is there an alternative way to get this item, perhaps for a short-term amount of time? Will it save money to rent or borrow instead of buying?
We’ll answer several of these questions with examples. Can I insure my car for one month only?
Is there an easier way to watch all the movies and shows I love? You may not encounter these problems very often, but it’s good to have a basis of knowledge for how to handle purchases on short-term items.
Temporary Car Insurance
Many people may need to rent a car or borrow someone else’s for a short period of time. Others may be using a car that is no longer driven very often and is no longer covered by an insurance policy. Whether you own the vehicle or not, it still needs an auto insurance policy to protect you in case of an accident. How do you get short-term car insurance?
Most policies are signed up for on a yearly basis. Shorter-term policies may go down to six months, but what if you don’t need the vehicle for more than a single month? There aren’t going to be a lot of options for car insurance in this time range.
Your best bet would be to buy a six-month policy and get rid of it when you are done with the car you are temporarily driving. This may seem like a waste of money to only use one month out of a several-month agreement. It still saves you a tremendous amount of money compared to buying an insurance policy if you will own the car for years.
You can make yourself look more attractive to insurance agencies by having a history of paying off all of your insurance bills on time. This shows the insurer that you are good for the money and won’t skip out on the payment just because it’s a short-term agreement. Make sure your credit score is pristine to further prove you’re responsible.
You could also look into rental insurance if you do not own the vehicle that needs coverage. GEICO rental insurance is designed to give you a quick policy that will cover whatever period the vehicle is being rented.
More people watch TV and movies from home than ever before. The pandemic saw an increase in the amount of free time folks had to spend at home during quarantine periods and layoffs. People used to rent physical copies of movies and TV shows they only planned on watching once, but the solution has turned digital.
Buying a DVD or Blu-ray is somewhat outdated, but people who want the pleasure of owning their entertainment in a physical form may still go this route. Buying discs is not necessary for the casual viewer, though. Streaming Netflix and other services from their chosen device is the most convenient and financially responsible way to watch TV shows and movies.
Most of these streaming services are only $10-$15 a month, and you get hundreds of options to choose from. If you tried to replicate this with a physical purchase or rental, you’d have DVD cases stacked up to your ceiling and hundreds of wasted dollars out of your pocket.
Choose the service that has the most TV shows and movies you are interested in. Over-subscribing to all the services will start to see you wasting the same amount of money you would from renting or buying physical copies. Choose wisely and have fun relaxing on your couch with the latest blockbuster.
Tuxedos and Special-Occasion Clothing
Hearing that you need to attend a wedding or a graduation can be daunting if you don’t have a lot of nice clothing in your closet. You frantically wonder what you can scrounge up that will look nice, only to realize you don’t have the answer at home.
You shouldn’t buy tons of fancy clothes at your local tailor, though. Consider renting a suit or tuxedo that fits the occasion, and save even more money by shopping with a friend. There are usually buy-one-get-one events at tailors and tuxedo shops.
If you take turns where one person gets the free suit one time and the other person gets the free suit the next, everything turns out fair.
If you think you will need the article of clothing for more than one event, getting a custom-made tuxedo or suit will be the best route. Make sure it is versatile and can be worn to various events.
Clothing is a very personal thing, so talk to your tailor about how to personalize the material, sizing, and color to your liking, even if it’s for short-term wear.
Renting a Water Vacuum
Water damage strikes when you least expect it. A leak underneath the ground may rise to the surface and ruin your carpet. While waiting for the professionals to arrive and assess the damage, you might want to get as much water up as possible.
People might freak out over the price of buying a water vacuum, and they definitely should. This is an item that will only be used once, and you would be out hundreds of dollars for a one-time need. This is where your local hardware store comes in handy.
Places like Home Depot will allow you to rent a water vacuum for several days for a much better price. You can use the vacuum in your home and return it after a short while. This way, damage has been averted to your home and your wallet.
No matter your situation, it is always smart to think about how you can save money on things you only need once or twice. Renting, subscriptions, and similar methods of commerce are the best options for short-term needs.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help people make better financial decisions, especially on auto insurance.
Featured Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash