This is the time of year when kids are headed back to school and back to music opportunities like Band and Orchestra. I am ALL FOR diversifying interests and supporting my kids trying new things, so agreed my daughter could play the cello this year.
The Money Smart Tip I learned when my stepson played and that continues to be true 6 years later with my daughter is:
It is WAY cheaper to buy an instrument than rent one.
I went to the information session and looked at the places where you can rent an instrument. A cello is $42 per month to rent. Then I went on Amazon and found a whole kit for right around $200.
Buy versus Rent
Let’s do the math, shall we?
Assuming my daughter only participates in Orchestra for one year (worst case $ scenario), we will need a cello for 8 months.
8 months x $42 per month = $336
I bought it for $143 and will likely sell it for $75 or better on Craigslist or through the school.
$143 – $75 = $68 total investment
Total savings per year = $336 – $68 = $268.
No, this is not a high end heirloom cello. This isn’t an instrument to keep in the family and pass down generation to generation. I’m sure it will not have the full bodied sound that you could get from a more expensive instrument.
But this is an 11 year old kid and her first year playing. What are the odds it will sound like anything better than nails on a chalkboard for the first year anyway?
IF she decides she wants to stick with it and the quality of sound becomes important we can always upgrade at that point.
But for now? I’m taking my $143 cello home to my very excited daughter and will be very excited along with her that it didn’t cost me $300+!