I had read that rent-to-own centers will be allowed to charge up to 500% mark up. Amazing. And tragic. The consumers of the rent-to-own centers are in a financial bind to begin with, and they are made to pay so much more then those consumers who are in a position to purchase items outright or at least on (good) credit. My father just purchased a new dryer (seems the 40 year old one finally gave out) for about $500. That same dryer will cost a rent-to-own consumer $2500. Unfortunately this applies to not only necessary and helpful appliances but also to entertainment items such as big screen tvs. This is the type of purchase that defines your values as well as your financial position. I’m not going to pick on tvs but I will state the obvious: Determine what you need versus what you want. If you need something and do not have the financial resources to purchase it, what other options do you have? Can you borrow someone else’s item? Can you trade something else you own for it?
Our decisions regarding spending impact the whole of our lives and subsequently are the topic of many a marital argument. Think long and hard about how you spend your money lest you risk squandering it. Set money aside in an appliance or entertainment account from which you can draw instead of turning to expensive financing options. It’s your money, you get to decide what to do with it.