5 Things You Should Rent, 5 To Never Rent

Many people succumb to the appeal of renting which allows consumers to make smaller monthly payments instead of paying a large lump sum. Sometimes renting makes sense but other times it’s a money trap. To help you decide when to rent, MSN Money has put together a list of things you should and should never rent. The list, inside…

You should rent:

5. Pickup trucks
Unless you frequently need to haul stuff, you might be better off renting a pickup for the occasional load and driving a car with good gas mileage on a daily basis.

4. Vacation homes
Owning 2 homes is often more than twice the cost of owning one. People often underestimate the cost of insuring and maintaining a mostly unused home.

3. Anything you use once a year or less
Floor buffers, power washers and expensive power tools can be cost effective if renting. Another idea is to go in 50/50 with a neighbor on infrequently used equipment.

2. DVDs
Unless you repeatedly watch the same movies over and over, it makes more sense to rent. If you haven’t heard about Netflix by now, it’s time to check them out.

1. The next car you plan to buy

If the rental agency offers the particular car, it is a good way to get a feel for a potential new car without the pressure of the salesman.

You should never rent:

5. Wheel Rims

Being a player can be expensive especially since the least expensive rims cost $1000 and up. Rent-A-Center will rent you VCT Grissini wheels for $62 dollars a week for 12 months. However, at this rate you end up paying twice as much as they are actually worth.

4. Furniture
Renting furniture can quickly put you in the red. You can easily spend 100% more than the furniture is actually worth if you rent-to-own. You are much better off by checking out Craig’s List or a thrift store.

3. Computers
Unless you are running a small business, renting computers is usually a bad idea. For example Rent-A-Center offers a Dell system for $39.99 a week for 62 weeks totaling $2,479 while the cash price is about $1,100.

2. Televisions
At Rent-A-Center, a 50 inch Toshiba rents for $34.99 a week for 116 weeks totaling $4,000 while the cash price is only $1,200

1. Your Paycheck

Payday lenders loan you cash for a fee. For example, you may be charged $45 to cash a $300 dollar check. This works out to an effective APR of over 400%. If you fail to pay back the loan, even more fees are added leaving you buried.

As a rule of thumb, rent-to-own stores rarely ever make financial sense. These stores profit on people who don’t have enough money at the moment but feel they cannot live without certain luxury items. Even carrying a credit card balance for a few months on purchased items is ideal compared to rent-to-own. However, as we see in the list, sometimes renting does make sense, but you can rest assured you will never see such items in a rent-to-own store.

5 things you should never rent [MSN Money]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. spoco says:

    I read the original article yesterday – I believe the wheel rims are $62 per week. $62 a month for 12 months is a good deal if they cost $1000.

  2. battra92 says:

    Hmm, I remember seeing this article yesterday and thought I found it here. Hmm, guess not.

    I agree with the pickup truck angle. How many men do you see on the road with their pickup because they think it earns them respect. I mean, if you want it and are willing to pay for it, well no complaining.

    DVDs I buy. I’ve been toying with Netflix for those shows I may only watch once but I’m really an anime fan and when I first checked out NF years ago they just didn’t have all the shows. Granted, I stopped buying DVDs when my backlog of unwatched hit triple digits.

  3. 1. The next car you plan to buy
    If the rental agency offers the particular car, it is a good way to get a feel for a potential new car without the pressure of the salesman.

    Only problem is that rental fleets are typically inversely related to cars that people actually want. There are a handful of exceptions, but by and large they suck, and you might end up attributing something to the car that is really a result of weak maintenance and heavy abuse.

  4. Montaigne says:

    Anyone stupid enough to even buy rims deserves to be ripped off.

  5. humphrmi says:

    Another thing I learned never to rent: water coolers. If you like those coolers that hold 5 gallon bottles of water, the water service companies will rent them to you for a couple of bucks a month, but a brand new one is only about $100 and they last forever.

  6. Jay Slatkin says:

    @spoco: Thanks, you’re right. Will fix.

  7. mergatroy6 says:

    @battra92: You did read it here yesterday. It was posted at noon on thursday. [consumerist.com]

  8. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Montaigne:

    I had no idea you could even do that.

  9. Greeper says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t include Storage in the “never rent” category. It is rarely cost efficient to pay to store anything. When I helped my brother get his financial life in order, the first thing I did was make him throw evewrything in storage out. He whined and moaned, and now admits that he doesn’t miss anything. Plus, chances are that if you can’t afford to own the spce to store something, whatecer you are storing isn’t worth storing anyway (you shoudl see the couch my breother had in storae…he could have bought three of them for the cost of storing it a year).

  10. AndyRogers says:

    I disagree with the pickup. I don’t have a “hauling” job but I think, at least until gas gets to be >5.00 the convenience is well worth it. Sometimes a trip to COSTCO turns into more than a few things and not having to worry about how your’re going to get your new pallet of rice cakes home is nice. I get 25 mph on the highway (about 95% of my driving) in my Ram 1500 (HEMI) so the gas mileage isn’t too hateful. Stuff like tires and routine (but not often) maintenance is definitely pricier though. Plus we have my wife’s smaller car for the weekend/around town stuff.

  11. captadam says:

    @Ash78: The would explain the Chevy Cobalt I rented in Austin last month. The whole time, I thought, “What is the reason for this car to exist? There is none.”

  12. jscott73 says:

    Yes I read the original article someplace yesterday too, thought it was here as well.

    Anyways, it also talked about homes, your primary residence, and of course there are times when it makes absolutely perfect since to rent a house, even in the long run.

    I have owned homes in the past but I rent now, one of my favorite calculators to figure out the best option is [www.dinkytown.net]

    Take it for what it’s worth, it makes a lot of assumptions but it gives you a pretty good idea about your particular situation. Mine right now, best case owning will pay for itself in 17.1 years, average case it never pays for itself.

    It is a lot cheaper right now to rent the house then to rent the money to buy the house and rent the land from the state, in my neighborhood at least.

  13. ssaoi says:

    I agree with the truck unless you have a small business. hard to beat 100% depreciation in the first year. That’s lots of money back in April.

  14. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @AndyRogers: At 25mph, I bet you’re saving a lot of gas. But is that really as fast as your pickup can go? ;)

  15. slim150 says:

    so the morale of the story is don’t go to rent-a-center

  16. l951b951 says:

    You can rent rims?

  17. AndyRogers says:

    @speedwell: Definitely not, but in the DC area cruising the beltway at 60 miles per hour is about as fast as you can/want to go. And right now, I’m all about the fuel economy features of the HEMI vs. the housepower!

  18. AndyRogers says:

    @speedwell: Sorry – 25 mpGALLON! WHOOPS.

  19. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @battra92: I’d have to disgree with never buy DVDs. They’re a social thing for me. “Hey, have you ever seen Fight Club?” “No…” “OMG you have to see it.” works out better in plans with friends than “Hey, haev you ever seen Fight Club?” “No…” “OMG you have to… erm, add it to your Netflix queue… and, like, watch it alone because I won’t know when you get it.”

  20. snoop-blog says:

    I pay $35/mo for a storage unit because I live in a apartment, and have no where else to put seasonal items. My wife and I are the only ones occupying a 2 bedroom apt, and we’ve already ran out of space.

  21. snoop-blog says:

    @Applekid: It works the exact opposite for me. Since I’m married, I’m far more likely to hear you tell me about a good movie and put it in my queue for me and her to watch, than to go over to anyone’s house to watch it.

  22. Tmoney02 says:

    @AndyRogers:

    You must buy a huge amount of stuff from Costco or always take your kids. My GF and I stock up from their once a month or two and have no problem fitting everything in her chevy malibu maxx (the hatchback version). We could buy enough for four if we had too. So it can be done with a much smaller car, you will just have to leave the kids home, (we fold our backseats down)but that will also make your grocery bill smaller ;).

  23. jscott73 says:

    @snoop-blog: My wife and I went from a 3bd/2ba house with a 2 car-garage and 1 child into a 2bd/2ba apt with a tiny patio while we were having our second kid.

    We refused to pay to store “stuff” so we had two big garage sales before we moved and craigslisted anything else that didn’t fit once we moved.

    That was two years ago, I don’t even remember what we sold apart from some big pieces of furniture and I definitely haven’t missed any of it.

  24. @jscott73: Good assessment to look at. There is a huge amount of geographical diversity in the buy vs rent decision. I’ve talked to acquaintances in California who tell me it would cost them about 3x as much to mortgage a home similar to what they’re renting. Meanwhile here in (relatively) stabile Alabama, you can still get more for your money in a purchase vs. a rental situation (even including allowance for maintenance and repair, it’s about break-even).

    I think a lot of it has to do with whether the landlords have deep pockets–obviously someone who buys a rental property outright can rent it for as little as they’d like, while many small landlords have to cover a note payment and have a pretty thin margin.

  25. Greeper says:

    yeah, maybe there are some benefits (for some) to storage, but usually i see it as a sign of too much stuff…i too went from a 2400 sq ft house to a 1000 sq foot house, and got rid of a ton of stuff, and still take care to purge regularly and buy less. im not judging — just think storage fees are an easy way to cut out costs, and seem to me to be money spent that can be avoided

  26. Tmoney02 says:

    @snoop-blog:

    As someone who has been fighting “the bulge” of just having stuff, let me tell you, you don’t need half the stuff you have if you cant fit it into a two bedroom apt when sharing the first bedroom. Hell get rid of the seasonal stuff. Do you really need to decorate for Halloween? and on top of that pay storage for decorations? Couldn’t you just go to the dollar store around Halloween and buy some cheep stuff if you are really big about decorating?

  27. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I have actually found it’s a much better deal to rent women once or twice a week than to actually own one. They don’t nag, they don’t tell me to turn down the TV, and they will always put out. Plus you can rent a variety of shapes, colors, and levels of freakiness. When you own one, there’s no variety.

  28. Bladefist says:

    My stereotype of the week: If you’re renting rims, you’re not reading consumerist. Probably because you cant read.

  29. jscott73 says:

    @Ash78: Agreed, I know what you are talking about. I live in California, about a mile from the beach in San Diego, and it would be at least 3x my rent to buy something now.

    I would be fine buying a house someplace cheaper buy my daughter starts school this year and my wife insists we stay in our current school distict since, according to her, it is the best around.

    Well in California you pay for education one way or another, either by buying/renting in an expensive area or paying for private eduacation in a cheaper area.

  30. jscott73 says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: ROFLMAO…perhaps I should have heeded your advice oh so many years ago :)

  31. homerjay says:

    Out of all the ‘things’ in the world that they say not to rent, how the hell did RIMS get in there??

    It seems a little out of place to me. Then again, this entire thing is a “Don’t rent from Rent-A-Center” fest. Odds are that if you’re renting your furniture or TV from rent-a-center it is HIGHLY unlikely that you’re reading MSN Money.

  32. snoop-blog says:

    @jscott73: @Tmoney02: yeah recently I’ve been seriously contemplating selling or giving away everything in there. About the only thing I need to store is the tree and ornaments.

  33. snoop-blog says:

    @homerjay: In the south, there are shit tons of shops dedicated to rim rentals. It’s a lot bigger in warmer areas as the roads are usually in much better condition for rims.

  34. spinachdip says:

    The “should rent” list is helpful, but the “never rent” list seems like just a wordy way of saying “rent-to-own is a scam”.

  35. battra92 says:

    @Applekid: My issue is I so rarely get to watch TV that DVDs are my sole TV entertainment 90% of the time. I’d ditch the cable I pay for but I’m outvoted.

    Owning DVDs used to be all about having the most or the nice packaging especially on Anime DVDs with their limited edition covers and what not.

    Certain DVDs I will always buy (MST3K for example) but I’ve cut way back on things I might want to see or I wait for uber discounts and get them for like $3 on eBay. Just as cheap as renting that way.

  36. MeOhMy says:

    LOL…I can’t believe you can even rent rimz!

    If you own a vacation home and it’s “mostly unused” you are probably an idiot.

  37. battra92 says:

    By the way, Rent-A-Center and the like are really an unethical business. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing them out of business even if it meant via the legal system although I usually abhor government dealing with businesses.

    It also says something about my hometown when we have three different Rent-To-Own businesses.

    I mean really, just go to tag sales or go on Craig’s List.

  38. joellevand says:

    Why would anyone rent rims?

  39. jetmore says:

    So no to renting rims, but grillz are still OK, right?

  40. Rachacha says:

    @captadam: @homerjay:
    One good reason to rent rims is for the Chevy Cobalt you are renting…it just makes financial sense. Go to Enterprise, rent a Chevy Cobalt with those nasty steel rims, and then pull into the nearest Rent-a-Center and have them put on some nice chrome spinners. You have instantly transformed your $20/day POS rental into a car that will turn heads and get everyone to give you a “thumb’s up” for a fraction of the cost of a more stylish vehicle.

    That gives me an idea…maybe the rental car companies can offer chrome rims as an upgrade

    Car rental: Thank you for renting with us Mr. Smith. Are you interested in our insurance program, fuel refilling option, GPS Upgrade, Satellite Radio Upgrade or the Chrome rims upgrade?

    Mr. Smith: I’ think I’ll pass on everything except the rims

    Car rental: OK, car rental $25/day, Wheel rental $70/day, Spinner wheel bearing usage surcharge $3.95/day, Wheel installation cost $9.95/wheel, Wheel removal cost $9.95/day, Wheel Damage waiver $12.95/day, custom tire wear and tear fee $0.05/mile, and because you are a valued sucker err CUSTOMER, we will upgrade you to the spinner wheels with LED Lights for no additional fee.

    Mr. Smith: Thank you…This Cobalt will be much better than the Ferrari I could have rented for half the cost.

  41. Illiterati says:

    I’ve always had a tough time finding a rental place that has pickups available at all. Cobalts and Escorts, yes; the occasional minivan, sure; pickups? Nope. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

  42. RokMartian says:

    I disagree with the truck too. Having a small pickup is a great 2nd vehicle, especially if you buy one used. Also, I have received a decent enough discount on car insurance with a truck, as a “utility” vehicle.

    Plus, did you know that in the state of GA, you don’t have to wear a seat belt if you are in a truck. Not useful to me, but it does thin the herd out a little :)

  43. Norcross says:

    There is a rim rental place on my drive to work. Hilarious, esp. since many time they are put on cars that aren’t even worth that amount.

    As for the Rent A Center (or Aarons, or whatever else), it’s a sham, but everyone, even the people going there, know it. They probably don’t have a credit card, can’t get financing, and don’t know that they don’t *need* that crap.

    The truck, I disagree. It really depends on what you use it for. If it’s a penis substitute, then yes, get rid of it. I own a truck and can’t imagine going to a car again. My wife has a car, but we haul too much crap usually to always have the car. Also, I’m the guy that my friends call to help move. Moving = gas money.

  44. WhirlyBird says:

    Payday lenders loan you cash for a fee. For example, you may be charged $45 to cash a $300 dollar check. This works out to an effective APR of over 400%. If you fail to pay back the loan, even more fees are added leaving you buried.

    FUD BS, pure and simple. Payday loans are NOT the same as check cashing. I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and there are huge billboards all over town, touting “check cashing for 1%”. That’s $3. There’s no “loan” when you cash a friggin’ check. I know that people with lots of money hate payday lenders, but there’s no need to deliberately confuse the two services, except to try and scare people needlessly. I’m surprised that Consumerist didn’t catch this egregious mistake in their normally rigourous editorial process. And I’m not being facetious – you guys normally do an outstanding job of sorting out the BS from the truth. But this statement is just flat wrong.

  45. spoco says:

    In the South – it is not uncommon to see the following things (in order of most common)

    $500 car with $2000 rims
    $40000 car with $2000 rims in front of a $5000 trailer
    People driving $40000 BMWs and paying for food with food stamps.

    Its sickening to those of us who have made the decision to work for a living.

  46. humphrmi says:

    @WhirlyBird: I don’t think it was intended as FUD, I think that the article meant to say “you may be charged $45 to borrow $300″. The context of the rest of the paragraph is about PDL, not check cashing.

    I’m surprised that Consumerist didn’t catch this egregious mistake in their normally rigourous editorial process.

    I don’t think Jay is an editor for MSN Money. They wrote the article, not Consumerist. Consumerist just brought it to our attention.

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    I like the idea of renting a car to evaluate before buying.
    Damned shame one can’t do that with your (potential) significant other.

  48. AnnC says:

    @Illiterati: Try U-Haul for small pickups. For full size trucks, try construction rental like United Rental.

  49. Trai_Dep says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: same minds! Misogynists unite!!

  50. @Applekid:

    I’d have to disgree with never buy DVDs. They’re a social thing for me. “Hey, have you ever seen Fight Club?” “No…” “OMG you have to see it.” works out better in plans with friends than “Hey, haev you ever seen Fight Club?” “No…” “OMG you have to… erm, add it to your Netflix queue… and, like, watch it alone because I won’t know when you get it.”

    I’m with you. The value of owning a good movie is important to me – I like to have them available for instant watching, plus it’s kind of a hobby to collect them.

    Currently I’m buying only HD DVD or Blu-ray movies, and I’m slowly replacing some old DVDs with the High-Def versions whenever sales show up.

    I sell my old stuff at SecondSpin.com to recoup a decent percentage of what I paid in the first place.

  51. ilovemom says:

    Did you ever wonder why Rent-A-Center and the check cashing places are always in the crappiest part of town? If you did, you probably figured out that both of these places use a business plan that depends on people living beyond their means. Thanks, marketing guys.

  52. MeOhMy says:

    OH I also wanted to mention that if you can often get a better selection of rental options if you rent from a dealership. The dealership near me will pretty much rent you anything in their lineup except expensive halo cars. It may cost a little more, but if it saves you from buying a car you end up hating, it’s a win.

  53. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Proof that the Louisiana edumacational system doesn’t teach math: 18 months ago, wheel rental places were popping up every other week in north Baton Rouge. No insurance available and a $1000.00 deposit.

    If you’ve ever seen how cheaply most wheels over 18″ are constructed and how bad the streets are in virtually every corner of Louisiana, you’d know what a sucker’s bet this is.

  54. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @spoco: People driving $40000 BMWs and paying for food with food stamps.

    You must mean south California. In the southeast United States, people just steal their food.

  55. Bladefist says:

    @spoco: Why work when you have people in congress fighting for your ability to stay home and collect unemployment/welfare

  56. MameDennis says:

    I haven’t seen it for a few months, but for a while there was a minivan in my neighborhood with spinning rims. The possibility that they may have been *rented* rims makes my brain hurt.

  57. spoco says:

    @Bladefist:

    exactly. don’t get me started.

  58. Bladefist says:

    @spoco: But i want to get you started. I got paid today. I just saw huge % of my money go out the door to programs, I’ll never use, and worse, I don’t support. Lets get rev’d up!

  59. @Greeper: “I’m surprised they didn’t include Storage in the “never rent” category.”

    Probably because lots of people use storage for good reasons and it is a “definitely rent” in those cases. For example, my husband and I made a complicated series of four moves in a row while he was leaving a job in one state, I was finishing law school in a second, we were taking two bar exams in a third, and moving to the new job location else where in state #3. We pitched everything in storage progressively as we moved out (and were able to stay in a smaller place for the first part), and then lived out of suitcases and crashed with family for a few months. SOOOOO much easier and cheaper than renting somewhere for a few months and trying to fit all our furniture in a tiny place.

    You might also be renting storage because you’re working out-of-state for the summer, or a college student going elsewhere for a semester or summer, or working overseas for two years and renting out your house while you’re gone … there are plenty of excellent reasons to rent storage, so it’s not a “never rent.”

  60. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @Bladefist: Another insight from the “poor people are just lazy” Republican.

  61. spoco says:

    @Bladefist:
    My thought is that anyone who is able-bodied and takes a handout from the government has some serious issues. There are enough jobs out there for everyone and then some.

  62. Bladefist says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: No. Like spoco just said, able bodied. You missing legs? you missing legit mental facilities to provide for your family? I have no beef from you.

    You full physical and mental abilities, and you live in my middle class neighborhood, on welfare, then we’z has a problem.

    Poor people aren’t lazy. Actually, a lot of the people who have ‘poor’ jobs work a lot harder then most of us. People who use the system, those are the people I don’t like supporting. Maybe you don’t know any who do. I know of some.

    You’re just another pity-me democrat. You know, if they got out and worked, their quality life would be better, they would have more pride. I’m all about empowering the people. If you don’t need welfare, you’re running amuck on our economy, you’re causing the need for higher taxes on the working, that includes the working poor. ah u got me started. Forget it. Go pity everyone.

  63. snoop-blog says:

    @MameDennis: I’ve seen a decked-out brand new Dodge Caravan with rims. It was black with all kinds of chrome. That thing was f-ing badass! When I have kids, that will totally be my wheels.

    IN THE SOUTH:

    boiled peanut/Indian river fruit- 1,000,000 shops

    Florida T-shirts(when not even in that state) 5 for $10 100,000 shops

    Waffle house/krystal 10,000 shops

  64. jscott73 says:

    @Bladefist: I agree with you in principle but in reality the system makes it hard for those that needed help for awhile to get off the help, they get addicted and there is no easy path to recovery if you will.

    I am all about providing a safety net for those that need temporary help but we also need to provide some sort of gradual re-entry program for them as well, not just taking everything away as soon as they get a minimum wage paying job, that encourages them to stay in the safety net longer then they need.

    Safety net good, dependence on the system bad.

  65. homerjay says:

    The south is a weird weird place….

  66. spoco says:

    And equally as bad as those who take advantage of the system are private businesses like Rent-a-Centers and payday lenders that prey on the poor.

    My mistake – I am in management at a convention center. Aaron’s Rent to Own had their annual convention here last year and their big pet peeve was being called Rent to Own. Their new term is “Lease Ownership” and I have noticed that it is now popping up on their trucks.

  67. spoco says:

    @homerjay:
    if I placed you in my middle class neighborhood in my middle class suburb, you wouldn’t know that you were in the South. 15 miles each way are like two different countries. 15 miles south and you are in the run down city where you see the $500 cars with the $2000 rims. 15 miles north is the rural area where you see the welfare fraud at its finest.

  68. enm4r says:

    @Greeper: I understand the junk argument for storage, it’s probably not cost effective. But what about something like a motorcycle, or a jetski, etc if you live in a major city. Things that can easily be stored in small self storage for $30 a month or whatever. To say it’s not cost effective to store anything is a bit of a stretch.

  69. jscott73 says:

    @Bladefist: I also assume you are against corporate welfare for able bodied corporations, like the oil industry, farm industry, and any other company doing well but still receiving subsidies (corporate handouts) and huge tax breaks.

  70. dragonfire81 says:

    I learned my lesson on the furniture thing, after several months of renting, I simply bought some cheap stuff outright. Best damn decision I ever made, unfortunately I’m still trying to pay off some of the debt from the bad decision that preceeded it.

  71. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Whether you rent storage in a storage facility, as a larger apartment than you would otherwise rent, or as a larger house (with its larger mortgage) than you would otherwise buy, it’s still renting storage. Even if you build a shed on your property, you still have to figure the cost of it over its lifetime, including depreciation, as a cost of storage. I don’t see the big beef about storage really.

  72. strathmeyer says:

    @battra92: “I agree with the pickup truck angle.”

    Not to mention how many people will ask to borrow it. (Having owned one is also why I now rent one instead of asking my friend.) On the other hand, it is a good way to meet people.

    If you plan ahead, renting a pick-up shouldn’t cost more than $50 a day. Whenever I need to move something big, I go to U Haul (for a big moving truck) and they quote me a price, and I just walk out laughing my ass off. Heck, would you rather pay $800 to move 300 miles or $100 and take two trips in a pick up truck?

  73. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @jscott73: Just remember the great maxim that should be stamped on the foreheads of all who work in welfare: You get what you pay for. If you reward shiftlessness and stupidity with money, then it simply encourages people to act shiftless and to do stupid things.

    I’m not against charity. I’m against handouts. I’d be for a welfare system structured something like this: Say, for example, the truly needy (sick, children, and so forth) were assured coverage of a decent level of basic necessities. Anyone able to work (including senior citizens able to hold a job) would have to have a written plan for getting self-sufficient within, say, six months to a year. The plan could include milestones for getting a job, housing, transportation, and so forth. The caseworkers should work with them and with other community agencies to identify other ways the client can stay on target. Falling behind the plan without a good reason, or failure to follow up on progress with the caseworker, might be grounds for termination of benefits.

  74. Kurtz says:

    Renting rims is expensive, but you can offset the cost by getting your car wrapped in advertising. I kid you not – if you’re down in Gulfport, Mississippi, you’re bound to spot one of the three Candy Cars: the red Skittles Cadillac, the orange Reese’s Cadillac, and the brown Twix Buick. They all have dark tinted windows and large chrome wheels, and they’re driven by fine young gents in baggy clothes with the shiniest grills you ever seen!

  75. palookapalooza says:

    @Kurtz: Oh, that’s just scary. But, it does make good financial sense, if you can stomach riding around in a rolling billboard. I wonder if the sponsors chip in on gas, too…

  76. Ariel.Sanders says:

    @Homer: No, We’re just so so much prettier in the South and you know it.

  77. Bladefist says:

    @jscott73: sure am!

    Really welfare is hard to debate about. Lots of emotions involved, lots of different scenarios. Tons of scenarios makes making better laws impossible.

    In the end, I just think people on welfare, be it temporary or perm, cannot have a better lifestyle then people who work. And you know it happens. There are miners out there living worse lifestyles then people on full welfare. That’s wrong.

  78. battra92 says:

    @Ariel.Sanders: No, We’re just so so much prettier in the South and you know it.

    I’d agree with that. Southern Belles have that cute accent that Massachusetts gals just lack.

  79. katworthy says:

    camera lens: If I like it, I’ll buy it, but renting it for a weekend for $20 is a great deal

  80. RoboSheep says:

    Crazy idea here, instead of renting movies, go to your library, you’re already paying for it and the more you use it the more funding they’ll be able to get to expand their selection for you.

  81. jscott73 says:

    @RoboSheep: Whoa, keep your crazy ideas to yourself :) This is a rent vs buy debate, not a rent vs buy vs borrow debate, that is just craaazy.

  82. Mr. Gunn says:

    The what you should rent is useful advice, but the second part is just kinda dumb. The whole business model of rent-a center is to rip you off, so you can replace the whole list with “anything at a rent-to-own store”.

    Seriously, they’re down there with check cashing places in terms of scamminess.

  83. stinerman says:

    @WhirlyBird:

    Granted, but it’s still hilariously expensive considering any bank, credit union, or thrift institution will cash your check for $0 if you have an account there.

  84. etho says:

    I know a guy with a Nissan Titan (a supertruck, so to speak) which he bought because he was doing a lot of landscaping work. But the trucks cab is so gigantic that the truck bed is smushed down, the end result being that his wifes minivan, with the seats taken out, has considerably more cargo space than his truck, so that is what they use to haul things. He still drives the truck everywhere, presumably because 13 MPG is awesome for him, but he just never uses it for, like, truck stuff. He’s an idiot. With compensation issues.

  85. Gann says:
  86. homerjay says:

    @Ariel.Sanders: Well…. you’re tanner. :)

  87. joellevand says:

    Just to jump into the welfare debate:

    I work in an urban area, one of the worst cities in the country (formerly the worst for violent crime) due to poverty; in the 60s and 70s, factories pulled out of the city and crime went up, so the middle class ran and things just spiraled downward.

    Yet, in my job working with such people, I’ll tell you what I see.

    I see people missing arms, people with broken backs, people with mental retardation and autism, and other people who would qualify for welfare bust their arses at jobs. I see people who come from foreign countries illegally work crappy jobs that are almost abusive, not because they can’t get handouts (trust me, they could easily get false documents around here) but because they want to work. There are people that come to me and they are thousands of dollars behind in child support, but they’ll pay $10 or $5, whatever they can scrape up in change, to pay the bills.

    I work with a paranoid schizophrenic whose disorder is prominent even with her various medications. She’s also diabetic and severely overweight. She has trouble walking. Until a few years ago when things got worse, she didn’t miss one day of work in 27 years. Now she works a 4 day work week and is getting ready to retire on a tidy middle class pension.

    I also see welfare cases. Often, not always, not even most of the time, but often, their disability is drug use. Or their disability is a criminal record. Or their disability is chronic pregnancy. Unlike people missing limbs or severely disabled, a lot of people simply do not want to work. Maybe they’re disheartened because they come from poverty and had a rough time of it in school, but they’re able bodied and they don’t want to work. The government started giving them money for their first child or because they had a temporary injury (broken wrist is one example) on the job and got a taste of that sweet welfare cash.

    There are also a lot of people on SSD/welfare because of very debilitating illnesses. MS and severe Lymes that went untreated until it was too late are too big ones around here. I see people who can’t make child support payments because they’re dying of AIDS and get SSD/welfare money. People paralyzed in accidents. Etc. But these people are the ones who want to work, who are depressed because they can’t work. These are the people I’d gladly give money to.

    But that should be my choice, where my money goes and who to give it to, because I hate to see the professional baby farms get the cash. God only knows they get enough from state and federal funds as well as the baby daddies. Hell, one was industrious enough to keep residencies in two states and file for each child support case in a different county so that she’d get the maximum of all her benefits. Probably lives rather well with what children she has that CPS hasn’t taken away from her.

  88. Posthaus says:

    The only thing I really disagree with are DVD’s, and that’s largely because my tastes are specific, and I tend to only buy ones that are either uncommon or rare, and stuff I will treasure and watch repeatedly- not just any ole flick.

    It gets worst when it comes to HD; on top of that,[and I know I sound like an ass/snob] I’ll only buy it in bluray if it’s a movie that’s cinematography warrants the step up.

  89. rmz says:

    When I had just graduated from college and moved cross-country, renting furniture for a few months was the only feasible option, so I would not call it “never rent.” For about $80 a month, I was able to fully furnish my apartment (including full bed set, living room, dining tabless, etc). If I had outright bought all that stuff as soon as I arrived in town, I would have had to drop $500-800 at the minimum.

    After a few months I did return the rented furniture and bought some cheap stuff, but I didn’t have that kind of cash to drop all at once on furnishing my first place like that. And, having just graduated from college, I only had $500 in total credit lines available to me. :)

  90. pegr says:

    Hookers… Rent or buy? Discuss…

  91. jchennav says:

    If it floats, flies, or f***s, you should rent as opposed to buy.

  92. wilsobun says:

    I’m not sure why I’m posting about welfare in a rent/buy post but there is a perfectly good reason for permanent welfare as they have found out in Europe: not enough jobs. If you mechanize industry and increase productivity there simply isn’t anything to do for everyone. One solution is realize that Utopia is now and reduce the work day to a couple of hours, and allow people to live their lives outside of work; the other is to train fewer people to work more hours, and create a permanent underclass. You can try cutting off welfare, but the underclass have to exist somehow. They will start stealing your stuff unless you put them in prison (expensive) or kill them (line them up to save money).

  93. geoffhazel says:

    What would have been on this list a few (10) years ago?

    Telephone

    But who rents their phone any more? I think there’s probably still some people out there who just pay the monthly bill and never look at it.

    Gas furnace.

    We had a “lease” on an in-room gas heater from the gas company, and as it turned out, it had already been full depreciated it had been there so long. I found out that we could ‘buy’ it for $2.00 and save the $10.00/month lease fee. Of course, if it broke we’d be on the hook for it, but it was a rental house. However, the gas bill came to the renter, so I wasn’t about to keep paying the lease.

  94. AdamJacobMuller says:

    The next car you plan to buy
    I actually did this, it wasn’t a cheap thing to do but on a vacation out to las vegas I rented the car I had my eye on through hertz’s prestige collection. That one-day rental cost just about 50% as my current monthly lease payments. But overall was totally a worthwile thing to do. I don’t think I would ever buy/lease a car without being able to take the car on a nice long salesmen-free drive.

  95. LUV2CattleCall says:

    I remember seeing one of those wheel rental cash advance place commercials in Virginia and thinking it was an SNL skit or something. Seriously..if you’re financially strapped, DON’T BLOW MONEY ON STUPID SHIT. I guess Whoopie Goldberg disagrees with me though…since wheels are an important part of the culture of the “deep south.”

    @jchennav:

    Not sure about flying… when I got my pilot’s license, we ended up buying a used Skyhawk….3 months and 120+ hours later, we sold it for roughly the same. Even once you factor in maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc…the cost per hour came out to about half as much as the rental rate!

  96. bifyu says:

    @captadam:
    The Cobalt, at least, seemed better than the Ford Fusion, which was the other car in its rental class. The Fusion was the only compact model available when we rented from Hertz at PDX recently.

  97. AcidReign says:

        Wheels are strange, in the South. Sure, you see those spinning silver rims, and gigantic 30-inch tires on the 1973 Chevy Impala low-rider, but there are just as many folks driving old beaters around with mis-matched hubcaps, or no wheel cover at all. I noticed a new Cadillac at the grocery store yesterday, and the wheel-cover was nearly non-existent. You could see the brake and pads from the outside! Crazy.

  98. Euglenas says:

    I think my parents would disagree disagree with the vacation home one. My parents bought a beach house for cheap when I was younger, and now it accounts for about 2/3 of their total wealth. They rent it out over the summer so it’s basically paid for itself.

  99. Xanderificus says:

    Seriously, how small must your penis be if you need to rent (or have, for that matter) rims?

    Shiny compensation.

  100. barty says:

    @Tmoney02: Ditto. My wife and I make our every month and a half Costco runs easily with a Mazda3 hatchback. I don’t make many impulse buys for large TVs, patio furniture (we don’t have a patio anyway!), etc., so its a non-issue anyway. *IF* I do need to haul something large, I politely ask my father in law if I can borrow his truck and/or trailer that I can pull behind our Wrangler (which hasn’t seen much use in the past two months with gas as high as it has been) for the occasional hauling trip.

    Most of the trucks that people claim they “have” to have are so shiny that I doubt they’ve seen more than picking up some small loads of lumber or have made an occasional run to the county landfill. If you’re REALLY using a truck for stuff around the house on a regular basis, it’ll show it. My dad’s trucks, even those purchased new, only maintained that new look for maybe two years, before the dirt accumulated in the bed, scratches appeared on the tailgate and bedrails and a permanent accumulation of dirt appeared in the wheel wells. Somehow, he’s always managed to get by with smaller trucks too…like F-100/150s and Rangers. Yet you get these guys buying F-250s to pull a 20 ft camper (saw that plenty of times last week at the Grand Canyon) and make the occasional run to Lowes. I just don’t get it.