Why It Makes More Financial Sense to Rent These 10 Things Instead of Buying Them

Shoppers often eschew buying expensive items they may likely use only once and instead enjoy the flexibility of renting them for several days. Professional camera and home improvement equipment tend to be popular for rentals and can help consumers save money.

Skimping on a few dollars does not have to be a challenging task and benefits consumers who are already saddled with credit card or student loans pay off their debt even faster or increase allocations for their retirement portfolio.

Here are ten items to rent and help curb your spending. The money accumulated can be used to fund a future vacation, a save for down payment or increase your monthly contributions for an IRA or HSA account.

1. Landscaping equipment
1. Landscaping equipment

Big ticket items that are often used once for a home improvement project are often better rented than purchased, said Bruce McClary, spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization.

Landscaping equipment and concrete mixers for driveway repairs are a couple of examples. "If you plan to use them only once or twice, renting may be the most cost effective plan," he said.

2. Photography, drone or audio equipment
2. Photography, drone or audio equipment

Hobbies such as photography can be short-lived, and since the equipment is extremely expensive, renting is likely your best bet. Leasing equipment also allows you to test out the latest technology without shelling out thousands of dollars. Rent a lens first and then decide if it suits your needs.

Lumoid, a San Francisco-based company, rents out cameras and lenses along with drones, wearables and audio gear from headphones to portable WiFi speakers. Some lenses rent for as low as $6 a day and bodies of the cameras for $8 a day. If you decide you want to purchase the item later on, the company allocates 20% of your rental subtotal toward your purchase. You can also check out another company called lensrentals.com.

"Rent things you need temporarily and things that lose their value quickly," said Julian Kurland, a co-founder of BillFixers, a Nashville-based company that negotiates monthly bills for consumers. "Own things that keep their value over time."

You only pay for the time you spend using an item, so renting is often a better choice. Large items also require maintenance and sufficient storage space.

3. Primary home
3. Primary home

A larger number of Millennials and even retirees are opting to skip out on homeownership, enjoying the freedom of additional disposable income. More retirees have chosen to rent because it gives them more money to use for their expenses, said Robert Johnson, president of the American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Some of these renters choose to invest the difference in the stock market since they often come out ahead, he said.

In many cities, renting is now cheaper, according to a 2016 report conducted by Trulia, a San Francisco-based real estate website.

4. Textbooks
4. Textbooks

Renting your textbooks can prove to be a good choice since the resale value can be extremely low. Many companies offer this service, such as Chegg, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

5. Christmas tree
5. Christmas tree

Many consumers own smaller vehicles or rely on public transportation or ride sharing options, so getting one to your home in order to have an authentic Christmas tree smell can be inconvenient. A better environmental option is to rent a potted fir, spruce, cedar or redwood from Rent a Living Christmas Tree in various California cities starting from $39, plus shipping costs. After 30 days, the company will even pick up the trees in January where they will eventually be planted once they are too large.

6. Margarita machines or wine glasses
6. Margarita machines or wine glasses

Living in the city or even a small house means that renting wine glasses, china or margarita machines is your best bet to avoid caring for and storing those items.

This helps people who only entertain a handful of times a year, but want the right china, wine glasses or chairs to set the appropriate, festive atmosphere. Party planning or event companies offer a large variety of items for your next celebration. Margarita machines are often a good option so the hosts of the party can mix and mingle instead of being tied down near a blender all evening.

7. Crowds
7. Crowds

As Instagram and Snapchat become a ubiquitous part of many people's social lives, more and more individuals are seeking their 15 minutes of fame. A buzz generated by paparazzi following you intently or shopping like a celebrity with your own security detail can be easily achieved by renting a crowd from Crowds on Demand.

8. Wedding Cakes
8. Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes are often forgotten by guests who are too busy catching up or dancing to eat cake. Other brides or grooms simply want one to include in their memories of their celebration.

Since weddings are already costly, renting one from CakeRental.com can be a viable option. The company's cakes are covered in real fondant and gum paste, which are the same ingredients used on real ones. The inside of the cake is made out of foam, but the bottom tier in the back of the cake allows them to put real cake, allowing the newlyweds to cut it for their photo opps.

9. Boats
9. Boats

If you are thinking about "plunking down $40,000 on a new boat, you might want to join a boat club or rent one a few times to see what kind of boat you and your family would enjoy," said Ron McCoy, a portfolio manager with Covestor, the online investing company, and founder of Freedom Capital Advisors in Winter Garden, Fla.

This can be a good choice if you have just started hanging out at the marina and are unsure if this newfound hobby is worthwhile.

"Renting might be a little more expensive in the short-term, but might save you some headache down the road," he said. "You could think of renting like a really long test drive that allows you to weigh the pros and cons before you make a big decision."

10. Vacation home
10. Vacation home

Even if you are a fan of the mountains or lake and spend every summer or spring holiday there, renting might be a better option, especially for retirees seeking a change of pace, said McCoy. Until you really live in that area for an extended period of time, a place you enjoy for vacations may not be a place you want to own a second home. The property taxes, amount of traffic or availability to shopping or medical facilities could all play factors in your decision.

"You might rent an apartment or house in an area if you are new in town before you decide to buy," he said. "You might think you like living at the beach but maybe after a summer you decide it's just too hot. Renting would save you a lot of money in that case since you wouldn't have to pay all the closing costs and real estate fees."

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