SOME ITEMS ARE BETTER OFF RENTED – and do less damage to your pocketbook

Posted by DB Wilson on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 2:48pm.

Sometimes, renting is better than buying, especially if you’re only going to use something once in a while, according to Yahoo! Finance.


For those of us in the U.S. operating on a budget, here are a few examples of when renting is the smarter way to go:

Designer Dresses


If you must get dressed up to the nines but don’t want to spend outrageous money on a dress you’ll only wear once, then rent a designer gown at a fraction of what it would cost to buy, Yahoo! Finance advises.


Wear Today Gone Tomorrow rents out dresses and accessories by top designers, often for 90 percent off the retail price and a $10 cleaning fee. Rent the Runway also offers dresses by more than 100 designers plus accessories such as jewelry and shawls. Both companies send the dress of your choice by mail, and Rent the Runway throws in a second size for free just in case the first one doesn't fit, Yahoo! Finance reports.


Tools


Tools are handy to have around, but occasionally you need a bigger power tool that’s just too expensive to justify buying for one or two jobs. Places like The Home Depot rent out a variety of tools as well as carpet cleaners to mop up the mess, if necessary, for special projects.


Handbags


It makes more sense to borrow a bag than to buy one if you have a special event, such as a wedding, that may call for a specific color or style to match a dress, but you don't want to spend a bundle on something you may not wear again. The right handbag may help you impress at a job interview or you may just want one for the season. There’s a service for that: Bag Borrow or Steal rents out handbags by hot designers on a weekly, monthly or seasonal basis. Another service is Handbag Envy, which rents bags  by popular designers for the week or month, according to Yahoo! Finance.


Caskets


If you’re not burying your loved one’s body, then you’re not obligated to buy a casket, the average price of which ranges between $2,000 and $3,000, according to Yahoo! Finance. Many funeral homes offer casket rentals for just the funeral services, which can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.


Textbooks


Borrow textbooks for college from services such as CampusBookRentals.com, which rents new and gently used textbooks for a good amount less than the cost of buying the book new and, in many cases, used, Yahoo! Finance reports. Other sites that offer book rentals include Half.com and Chegg.com.


Camping Gear


While some people spend more time in the mountains – especially during the summer – than they do in their homes, others only go camping a couple of times, if that, a year. For those who can only go camping once or twice a year, it's probably best to rent your equipment. Businesses such as REI rent a variety of camping essentials, including tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, paddling gear and camping stoves, Yahoo! Finance reports.


Trucks


Unless you have a job or hobbies that require ongoing use of a truck, the better alternative might be renting a truck versus buying one. The Home Depot lets you rent a pickup truck for $19 for the first 75 minutes, or $69 for a day, which is available at most of its retail locations. All you'll need is a driver's license, a valid vehicle insurance card and a major credit card, according to Yahoo! Finance.


Bikes


If you’re not a bicycling enthusiast like so many Boulder-area residents, or you are unable to transport your bike every time you travel, renting would work for you. You can rent bikes at low rates from services such as RentaBikeNow.com, which partners with more than 250 bike shops around the country to help people find a bike near their current location.


Furniture


For those special events you host in your home and require additional seating and tables, or if you’re living somewhere temporarily or are selling and want to stage your home with fresh pieces, renting might make the most sense. Businesses such as Cort provide a host of stylish choices, including sofas, accent chairs, dining tables and rugs, as well as complete sets for your living room, bedroom and dining room. You may want to check out local furniture rental business, also.

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