Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you own more things or rent more things?

Have you noticed that a lot of people tend to be renting things these days?

Is this a trend only popular within the US or is this more common than that?

We’re going to look at the idea of renting vs buying, and why this seems to be a very popular trend right now.

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A Popular View On This Trend

Today we are going to summarize an article from the NY Times by Sapna Maheshwari.

This is a very interesting article and it applies to so many situations these days.

This article discusses how many people, especially Millenials, use subscription services rather than owning things, including houses.

It talks about how in the past, it was the dream to own things, but now it is almost in style to rent things.

This seems to be a current trend among this younger generation, and it’s different than the way it to be.

It used to be that people didn’t buy things because they couldn’t afford it, but now it has become somewhat trendy.

So it may not necessarily be a necessity rather than a cool and hip thing to do–very different than the reason people used to shop in this way.

This is a very interesting trend that is well worth looking into.

A Cool and Efficient New Trend

The article talks about how people do the subscriptions because they can get nice things without the commitment of owning them.

For example, Rent the Runway lets people borrow fancy accessories and clothes, without ever having to commit to actually buying them.

There are also other nice clothing companies that have subscription services.

People can also rent furniture, which is apparently a way for people who move a lot to try out really nice things without having to buy them.

Other people even rent appliances, like the Vitamix- this can be a great compromise because it can be pretty expensive to buy.

People are also choosing not to purchase houses and instead rent them.

This way you’re not tied down as much as you would with owning everything.

Times Are Changing

What  does this say about American culture as a society and what do you think will happen in the future?

This says a lot about the desire to save money in this current generation.

It also says a lot about the lack of commitment that many of us may wish to make when it comes to bigger items.

The article talks about how people used to not to rent things like clothes because people did’t like to wear things owned by other people.

Nowadays many people get items from thrift shops, and it may actually be more in style than purchasing fancy things.

This may be a part of the current generation, but it does seem to be catching on as an overall trend.

Phrases In This Area

There are a couple of phrases that may apply to this sort of scenario that you could use when you connect with native speakers.

You might hear these used when it comes to the idea of renting rather than buying.

  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: This means that though somebody else may not want it, to somebody else it’s highly desirable. It may be something that you don’t want to throw out if you look at it differently.
  • Commitment-phobia: This refers to somebody who is afraid of commitment. This may apply to them purchasing something, but also to just commitment in general.


This idea of renting rather than purchasing to own is perhaps an unusual one but is increasing among the Millennial generation, according to the article.

Though this is very common among this current generation, it may take some getting used to for older people.

Some say that this is the wave of the future, but it will be interesting to watch.

If you are trying to save money and you don’t want to commit, then this may be a great way to go.

Look at this in the US versus your home country and see if this is a trend common back home as well. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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