Does it Make Sense to Rent Appliances or Furniture?

You’ve heard of companies out there like Rent-A-Center haven’t you? They allow consumers to rent appliances, furniture, and electronics.  Generally, I think a person should be able to afford an item and buy it outright if they want something.  But I think there are a few instances where renting can make sense.

Here are a few cases where it could be beneficial to rent furniture, appliances, or electronics:

Attending School

If you have to go out of town to attend school, be it for an undergraduate degree or an advanced degree, you’re going to find yourself in a location that may not be permanent.  Say you’re going for your Master’s in a new town.  You rent a place that you need to furnish but you don’t want to commit to the expense of furniture or appliances that you aren’t sure you will need or want once your program is done (or even in between semesters).  I think the option to rent can be real help in this case.

Work in Another Location

Sometimes you are required to move to a new city as part of your job.  For some this could be permanent but for others it may only be a short-term move.  Maybe a manager is required to be in town for a year to get a new location up and running.  Or maybe you only plan to work in a city for a year or so for the experience and then move.  Buying brand new furniture and appliances may not make sense.  Again, renting is a nice option.

Planning to Move Soon

Imagine you have a nice apartment but you are planning to buy a house soon because the current place is cramped.  But you desperately need a new couch.  Do you buy a new one?  Your couch may not work well in your future house.  What if your TV goes?  Should you buy a new one knowing you will have to have it moved?  Renting can be a nice short-term solution until you are settled into a new place.

We bought our couch years ago and you know what?  It really doesn’t work well in our living room!  If we had needed a new couch in the past year, before we bought our home, we definitely would have considered renting since we wouldn’t want to make the expense of a new couch with the chance we might not like it in the new place.  And physically moving it would be a consideration as well.

So you see, I think there are some real circumstances where, if you aren’t sure about where you will be living short-term, renting furniture, appliances, and electronics can make sense.

Rent-A-Center Room Remake Sweepstakes

The folks at Rent-A-Center want you to know about a Facebook contest they are hosting – a Room Remake Sweepstakes!

A winner will get a room makeover with new, brand-name items.

To enter, visit the Rent-A-Center Facebook page, “Like” them, and click on their Enter Now button (check the Facebook page for official rules).

In addition, Rent-A-Center is offering up a $50 Visa gift card to one lucky reader of Free From Broke!

To enter for the $50 Visa gift card, leave a comment on this article telling me what you would upgrade with the $50 gift card.

Now some quick legaleze: Only one comment per person/email.  Contest will end November 14th,2010 at midnight EST.  Make sure you leave a valid email so I can contact you to have the gift card sent out.  The gift card will be mailed by the PR Firm offering the gift card up.   I hold no responsibility for the mailing.  Only valid comments will be entered (I reserve the right to eliminate comments I feel are spam).  If I don’t hear back from the winner after 48 hours I may pick another winner. Winners will be chosen randomly using  Contest only open to residents of the US.

Make sure to enter both contests and pass along the information to your friends!

Disclosure: Two gift cards are being offered up by Rent-A-Center in consideration for this article (one personal and one to give away) though all opinions in this piece are my own.

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Published or updated March 28, 2013.


  1. Steph Kandray says:

    I would put that $50 gift card into use towards some new curtains!

  2. Chris Gagner @ SmartPF says:

    Well, this was a refreshing look at Rent-a-Centers. I’ve always despised those places with a passion and told people that there’s no good reason to go into the place except for renting a TV for Super Bowl weekend that you intend to return right after. Nice post. It allowed me to look at this from another perspective.

  3. I’d buy a nice bookshelf for our guest bedroom since having overflowing stacks of books in the office is probably tacky… 🙂

  4. I really need some better lighting in the house, so I would put that towards a few lamps for the darkest room!

  5. Really nice article! I definitely wouldn’t have considered renting furniture for ANY reason, but you’ve made very good points. I would use the $50 towards some new shelving – I’m in need of more storage.

  6. I’d paint over the pen marks in the hallway that are mysteriously 4-year-old-arm-height from the ground and right outside my 4-year-old’s room.

  7. Wow, I have a million things to do in my house. plus I’m fixing up my father-in-law’s house so it can go in the market (he passed away earlier in the year).

    I’d probably spend it on some insulation materials so I can keep the cold air out better this winter. That way I can hopefully cut my heating bill a bit too!

  8. Sorry, but I still think furniture rental stores are a scourge akin to cash advance / payday loan pimps. While the reasons listed here are an argument for the validity of renting furniture; most people who use these stores are enslaved to the very usurious rates that they charge. Furniture rental stores prey on the financially illiterate and poverty-stricken. While those who use them aren’t forced to by any means, they shouldn’t be praised as some sort of problem solver for those in the minority that can use them responsibly. Like state lotteries, they vicitimize the poor but attempt to portray themselves as beneficial. I’m not buying it.

  9. hello! $50 would allow me to finish funding my plantation shutters we are going to have installed in the large windows above our bed. Woohoo!

  10. I would use that $50 to upgrade our curtains in the living room. We’re planning on putting up some heavier ones that block out the heat and cold a bit better.

  11. I would spend it on upgrading my dh’s “man cave”. He would probably want to get Harley-Davidson related items.

  12. Caity Pevey says:

    I would use the gift card to buy a new tv stand…or shelves…its a toss up LOL 🙂 We have a new tv (well we bought it last year LOL) but its on top of our old entertainment center thats about to fall apart. Would be nice to win!! 🙂

  13. I would put it towards upgrading my bedroom – it’s really in need of some help at the moment!!!
    (thanks for having this for us!)

  14. I would use it to go towards a soundbar or surround sound for my living room…nice tv but it doesn’t seem to distribute sound like I would like 🙂 Upgrade my gaming and movie watching!!

  15. I would put the gift card towards some new pillows my dang cats are tearing mine up lol, and maybe a new blanket 😀

  16. I would use it to upgrade my bedroom!!! So nice of you to do this! Good luck everyone!

  17. Gotta be our basement. We practically live down here. 🙂

  18. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman says:

    My kitchen floor needs some new tiles.I would put it toward that! That would make the kitchen look so much nicer.

  19. I would redo my home office and get it organized

  20. Definitely the couch, we have a pretty crappy one and we’ll only live here for another 7 months, so spending a bunch on it doesn’t seem like a wise choice. But with free money? How could I not?

  21. cris richman says:

    I would like to upgrade our coffee table.Our table is glass and wicker,very old and falling apart.

  22. Furniture from IKEA is so cheap, and if it’s in decent condition you can often sell it for near the buying price. I guess I could see the point for renting furniture though if you aren’t staying in an area for very long or if you just want to try out different looks to get an idea.

What Do You Think?