4 Things You Should Rent Rather Than Buy

Budgets Are Sexy argues that people throw their money away on many items they’d normally buy without a thought. Here are four “buys” that you should should highly consider switching to “rents.”

The blog’s suggestions are in bold, with my two cents following each:

*Tools. Do you really need a chainsaw constantly on standby? Unless your last name is Voorhees, probably not.

*Evening gowns/prom dresses. If you can’t wear it to Target it doesn’t belong in your closet.

*Textbooks. You’ll use them for four months, max. And by “use” I mean “leave under your bed all semester then frantically flip through the night before the final.”

*Coffins. Put on the dog and pony show with something classy at the wake if you must, then downgrade when it’s time for the dirt nap.

Blu-rays and DVDs also definitely belong on this list, in the age of on demand, Netflix and web browser streaming.

What stuff do you think is better off rented than bought?

Rent vs. Buy: Tools, Textbooks, Caskets? [Budgets Are Sexy]

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  1. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    What was that site? Rent the Runway? My roomie used that when she had to attend a wedding last year. The dress was fantastic, and then she just sent it right back to them afterwards. A great option if you are small enough to fit designer labels.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I’d never heard of that place! Just went and checked it out…thanks for putting it up here! I need to give it a try.

    • Dondegroovily says:

      Yeah, but only about 0.2% of women fit into designer labels.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        The clothes on that site go up to a size 12. If you’re over a 12, you’re either fairly tall and/or big-boned OR you need to lose some weight. Think of it as a clue.

        I guess I’m in that teeny tiny minority of women who still wear a single-digit size.

        • uberbitter says:

          Telling people that they need to lose weight does not magically change the need for larger dress sizes.

          • DingoAndTheBaby says:

            Though I tend to agree with your sentiment that it’s kind of crass to out-and-out tell people they need to lose weight, just making bigger clothes isn’t going to help any obesity problem America is facing. If we provide outs for people that are unhealthily large (obviously not taking into account the very, very, very small minority of people that are somehow overweight and NOT unhealthy, of course), then there’s never an incentive to get back down to a healthy weight/size. At the risk of using hyperbole, your solution is akin to saying, “What economic crisis? Why don’t we just print more money? That’ll take care of the problem!” Logic FAIL.

            • uberbitter says:

              Wearing a size 12 or smaller dress does not mean you are healthy. There is a mountain of evidence that you can be very healthy at a larger size (or different shape! or muscular!) just as you can be very unhealthy at a “normal” or smaller size.

              • DingoAndTheBaby says:

                This is true, and I should have been more specific in my post. But, I’m already kind of verbose, so I was trying to be poignant and generalize while not generalizing TOO much. But yes, you’re correct. And I suffer from one of those issues, too – I can never get any shirts that fit me across the chest/shoulders that are a suitable length for my torso; I’m relatively muscular, so this makes it a chore to find wide-at-the-top shirts.

            • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

              Yeah, especially those folks with thyroid issues – we need to let them know they need to get in shape or wear a muu-muu.

              Also, as someone who is struggling to lose weight due to a medical issue, I feel so much better and am much more motivated when I feel I look good in something than when I’m forced to wear ugly clothes because I can’t find my size in cute ones. If you look good, you feel good, and feeling good can lead to being healthier.

              • DingoAndTheBaby says:

                The thyroid/legit medical condition was wrapped into the aspect of being large but not necessarily unhealthy. But, that was all in me noggin, and didn’t make it to my fingers as I typed. Why can’t you read my mind, dammit?!?!

                On another note, high-five on making an attempt, successfully I hope, on actively working on your weight issues despite your condition. Keep it up! Coming from a family of larger people – and it’s NOT due to health issues – I applaud your efforts. I have to battle my own genetic disposition to stay slim-ish.

              • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

                I’m incredibly surprised that someone hasn’t come in to make fun of overweight people who say they have a thyroid problem. There are always AT LEAST 1 or 2 of those. Never mind that some of us actually do indeed have a thyroid problem as evidenced by blood work (and losing massive amounts of hair etc…), and that said thyroid disorder coincides with our weight gain. And, that some of us have never consumed things like the Double Down (I don’t even eat fast food unless it’s a small sandwich or Wendy’s chili.) Yes, some of us never have donuts, almost never eat chips, ice-cream or desert,eat very reasonable portions, lots of fresh food, take massive amounts of thyroid meds and are still overweight.

            • Rectilinear Propagation says:

              If we provide outs for people that are unhealthily large…then there’s never an incentive to get back down to a healthy weight/size.

              Oh yes, because the only reason anyone should ever want to lose weight is physical appearance. G-d forbid anyone lose weight for health reasons. “Oh gee, I’m very high risk for heart attack and stroke due to my weight but since there’s clothing in my size I guess I won’t try to lose weight!”

              Perhaps you should try to use some logic yourself before accusing other people of failing at it.

              • DingoAndTheBaby says:

                I didn’t say that clothing choices was the ONLY reason people should want to slim down. I commented that just making bigger clothing provides an incentive to avoid taking active measures to assume/maintain a healthier weight. But, really, if you’ve seen any of the posts on here about food items (KFC DoubleDown, Cheerwine donuts, etc) people are “creating”, you’d be hard pressed to assume any large number of currently-obese people were concerned about health issues. The point’s almost moot.

          • manus manum lavat says:

            Seriously. What are larger ladies supposed to wear while they’re losing weight? Towels?

            • Rectilinear Propagation says:

              See, people who say things like that are actually fat fetishists and really do want overweight people to walk around naked.

              So remember: Next time someone complains that there shouldn’t even be clothing in plus sizes it’s because they are perverts who want fat people to be naked in public.

            • hoi-polloi says:

              Well, people who are larger than a certain size should obviously be too ashamed of themselves to leave the house. As a result, clothing really isn’t necessary. Heavy people should be shunned, so dressing for company isn’t an issue. If, despite all societal pressures to the contrary, anyone with some extra pounds decides to leave the house, a burlap sack is the best alternative. Feel free to accessorize with rope or twine.

              /s

        • jhaygood86 says:

          My girlfriend is a size 16 — and she’s not a big girl either. Most people would consider her fairly normal sized.

          • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

            I agree – I wear a size 12/14 depending on the brand and I know I need to lose some weight, but I’m not unhealthy. I run almost every day and I’m working up to being able to run 10k!

            I dislike self-righteous toothpicks who think that everyone else is somehow wrong because they have curves :(

            • brinks says:

              Props for the discipline it takes to run every day. I’m a size 6 but I can’t run for long without getting winded and my blood pressure is in the borderline range.

              You’ll outlive me.

          • Dallas_shopper says:

            At my height (5’6″), a 16 is obese. Sorry. I don’t know anyone of a healthy weight for their height and frame size who wears a 16. My “biggest” normal weight friend is 5’10″, weighs 145, and wears a 12.

            There is a big difference between “average” and “healthy”. When 2/3 of American adults are overweight or obese, their average size is going to be pretty large. That doesn’t mean that they’re healthy.

            Oh, and curvy does not equal fat, just as you can’t play down being fat by calling yourself “curvy”. I’m a size 4 and I’m curvy; yes, I have curves. I’m not built like a 10 year-old boy.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              I’m 5’5, a 16 and am in the BMI overweight category. That doesn’t take into account my 40 F bra size, but hey, I’ll give them that I am indeed overweight.

              Obesity has nothing to to with what size you wear. It has to do with BMI, and even that is debatable. Have you seen the BMI project??

              http://kateharding.net/bmi-illustrated/

            • dadelus says:

              I still REALLY wonder how they come up with those statistics. Considering the only number that gets thrown around is BMI and everyone knows that’s crap. If the “Obesity Epidemic” that we keep hearing about is based on BMI I don’t buy it.

              At 6′ tall and 210lbs my BMI of 28.5 is considered to be nearly obese, but I go to the gym more days then I don’t and according to all the important numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat%, etc…) I’m in good shape.

        • EdnaLegume says:

          wow.

        • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

          Cue “shut up skinny b***h comments in 3…2…1…

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Yeah. There was some talk last year of putting out larger sizes, but I’m not sure if they’ve done that yet or not.

      • JingleTTU says:

        I am a member of RTR and they have plus sizes all the way up 12! I think more than .2% of women can fit into that ;)

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          12 is not plus size, thanks.

          • JingleTTU says:

            Ok, larger sizes up to 12. It still does not negate that quite a few women can fit into those sizes.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              12 isn’t even a larger size. My hip bones stick out at a size 12.

              I hate women who try to make other women feel fat or inadequate by making comments like this.

              • brinks says:

                It depends on how tall you are anyway. I’m 5’5. If I was a size 12, I’d be overweight. One of the commenters mentioned she’s almost 6 feet tall. She’d be thin size 12.

                Body mass index and the “ideal” weight for your height that I see posted at my gym doesn’t take a lot into consideration. However, a size 12 is a larger size when sizes start in the single digits. If you’re not tall, you might not be healthy at that size. Having a larger waist correlates with a higher risk of diabetes. And having a tiny waist could mean you’re anorexic. Neither is true in every case, so we all need to settle down a bit.

          • Rectilinear Propagation says:

            Neither are any of the sizes leading up to size 12.

            I’m thinking that’s either a typo on JingleTTU’s part or they’re referring to vanity or “right sizes” for plus size clothing.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          Oh good Lord. I’m nearly six feet tall and at my thinnest I couldn’t fit into a size 12. I always have to go to a 14 or 16, depending on the manufacturer. Then it’s too big and gaps all around the waist. I don’t think I could rent a dress because it would have to be altered.

          I always think of plus as anything over 18 or 20.

        • nodaybuttoday says:

          “plus sizes up to 12″? What? Plus sizes start typically at 16+

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          12 isn’t a plus size. 14 and up are plus sizes. And, people wonder why anorexia and bulimia are so prevalent in our culture.

  2. Dallas_shopper says:

    I rent most power tools or heavy equipment because I use them so infrequently that it’s not worth buying my own. The only power tool I own is a cordless drill. If I need any other, I rent or borrow it.

    I used to rent carpet shampooers until I bought my own upright steam cleaner to clean my own carpets. Heaven…until it broke and Bissell won’t fix it. It didn’t even “pay for itself.” So now I rent carpet shampooers again.

    • satoru says:

      Generally any consumer grade machine that has to use pressurized water is absolute crap. Pressure washer, carpet cleaners, etc. They use the crappiest pumps they can find which break if you so much as look at them with a damp towel.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        It wasn’t the pump that broke; it’s some little piece of plastic that the machine can’t roll freely around the carpet without. And Bissell won’t stand behind their product enough to make it right. I owned it for maybe 18 months before it broke. What a waste of money that was.

      • ChemicalFyre says:

        If its that little plastic kickstand that just keeps the friendly end level with the carpet, I’d just attach one of those carpet slider things you normally put underneath table legs, etc. to reduce friction.

        Might work, no?

    • kc2idf says:

      Tools of the trade sometimes make sense to rent, also.

      I run a sound engineering and DJ service. While it makes sense to own a good, basic, small-scale PA system, large or outdoor venues need more than small-scale and basic. It is a lot less expensive to rent such a rig for the occasional gig than to buy it, unless you are going to do a lot of large or outdoor gigs.

      The last such gig I did, we rented speakers, amps, mixer and equalizer for under $200, and, when combined with the existing gear, added up to a 16-input, 3000W stereo PA system.

      Most of the gigs I do, though, would be swamped by such a system, so it makes no sense to own it. The shop that does own it can make enough money off of it in rentals to have it pay for itself pretty quickly.

    • e065702 says:

      I have a no lend policy when it comes to ANY of my tools as should any tool owner.
      You never know if or when you are going to get it back. Also, the kind of people that borrow tools tend to not take very good care of them (please don’t argue with me about this, it will only show that you have never lent any tools; I have.)
      If their cause is worthy I will bring the tool over and do the work myself and then take the tool with me.
      Also, tool owners have no obligation to support freeloaders.

    • e065702 says:

      I have a no lend policy when it comes to ANY of my tools as should any tool owner.
      You never know if or when you are going to get it back. Also, the kind of people that borrow tools tend to not take very good care of them (please don’t argue with me about this, it will only show that you have never lent any tools; I have.)
      If their cause is worthy I will bring the tool over and do the work myself and then take the tool with me.
      Also, tool owners have no obligation to support freeloaders.

  3. nova3930 says:

    Living in hurricane country, yes in fact I do need a good chainsaw on standby all the time. I keep an Stihl MS 362 in good running order on hand for just that reason.

    • Firethorn says:

      I have to agree. In my case I own the chainsaw mostly because I got it on special – for the cost of 2 days rental, basically.

      I’ve got over ’2 weeks’ of use on it thus far, so I’m ahead of the game.

      The same with a lot of my power tools – might as well buy it if you’re going to be using it for more than a couple days.

      Remember – for uncommonly used gasoline powered equipment, fuel stabilizer is a must, works great. I add a double dose to all my gas cans and don’t have to worry.

      • FrankReality says:

        I have my own chain saw too – I use mine 2 times a year for heavy pruning and a variable number of times per year to cut up storm damage. This year it’s gotten quite a workout because we’re taking out several large dead trees. You know you really need your own chain saw when you need three or four chains and to need your own sharpening jig.

    • trentblase says:

      Same here, except I live in Zombie country.

  4. temporaryscars says:

    Condoms.

  5. pantheonoutcast says:

    Mail-Order Brides.

  6. kryptonianjorel says:

    NEVER RENT TEXTBOOKS. Awful advice, consumerist. Here’s why:

    Textbook cost New: $100
    Textbook cost Used: $75
    Textbook Rental Cost: $50
    Minimum Buyback Cost:$50

    Those are the rates at my school, so if I buy used and sell the book back, it cost me $25 the whole semester, whereas the book rental costs $50. Even better, if you can buy the book on ebay or amazon for less than the used bookstore cost, and sell it on ebay/amazon/friend for around the purchase cost, you’ll nearly break even.

    And what school did you guys go to, because I actively read all of my textbooks throughout the week during semesters.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      Where do you go to school? Those are great rates. Bear in mind that your experience may not reflect those of students at many (most) other schools.

      But, yeah, for you it seems to make sense to buy.

    • satoru says:

      The renting of textbooks only works in some places. If you have Eco101 with a few thousand students, you might be able to do it. Try doing it with engineering textbooks which generally have a limited run, the school only buys as many as needed for the class that year (or in my case LESS than the number of students and 1/3 of us got shafted with no textbook for a month), or if you’re really special you get the textbook written by the professor and he’s charging $1 A PAGE for the god damn thing (literally $120 for a 120 page textbook). The resale value for these textbooks is next to zero for us as well.

      Though I admit I still have a few textbooks left I use as reference when I forget some basic principle from an age gone by.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Chegg.com – if they don’t have it, they’ll buy a copy off Amazon and send it to you!

    • Jeff_Number_3 says:

      Wow. You’re pretty lucky then. When I was in College maybe 50%-75% of the books would be bought back by the bookstores at the end of a semester/year due to editions changing, and even then they’d only go for 10-15 dollars each.

      After spending 150$ on textbooks for one class and the bookstore only offering a 30$ buyback on the set, I gave them to a friend as wedding present who was taking the same class the following year.

      Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound that great; but in the grand scheme of things I think it was a better gift then a random piece of kitchen equipment.

    • common_sense84 says:

      That’s pretty funny that you think you get 50% for your books. Maybe on a brand new book. But that is it. Most books have a very low buyback price.

      The mistake the consumerist made was telling you to rent a book when you can just buy it on amazon for half price or less.

      Then at the end of the semester you can sell the book online for the same price you bought it for. Media mail is dirt cheap you can mail the book out in a padded envelope for like 3 bucks.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      It also depends on your major. As an English / Psych major after freshman year, I stopped buying textbooks altogether. They were supremely expensive, heavy, and most of my professors never once referred to them. On the off chance I needed to study from one, I either borrowed it from a friend in the same course, or bribed people with pizza in order to form a study group.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Nearly all of my psychology professors taught exclusively from the textbooks required for class because they had personally chosen those textbooks. Each prof was given the latitude to structure cirriculum in whatever way he or she chose, so required reading was really important. My history professors, on the other hand, they mostly taught from smaller textbooks on specific topics, then filled in the cirriculum with knowledge from the larger textbooks. They didn’t require you to buy the textbooks with the basics, so the cost of buying the textbooks was significantly lowered because all you had to do was buy the $10 paperback that specificly pertained to that one period you were studying at the time.

        • dragonfire81 says:

          A couple of my professors stuck to the textbooks for their courses too, though I’d assume that’s b each case they had actually written part of said textbooks.

    • Bativac says:

      No way. At my school it was more like:
      Textbook cost New: $100
      Textbook cost Used: $75 – unless you went to half.com and found it for $20 or $30, but then it was last year’s copy.
      Textbook Rental Cost: N/A – we didn’t have this option, not locally anyway. We could use the library copies on reserve, if they had ‘em, but there was like a 2 hour max.
      Minimum Buyback Cost: $5 – if they bought it back. I never got more than $15 for a textbook buyback.

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        Yeah I’ve never even heard of renting text books. The closest thing I could think of was that for a really expensive book for a class that only met once a week and we BARELY used the book a bunch of us bought it together and then sold it and split the proceeds at the end.

    • hikari07 says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. I have bought my books online whenever possible and I at least get the majority of my money back that I spent on it. Often the rental prices are only about $10 or $20 cheaper too. Plus I may find out that I really liked the book and want to keep it. If you’ve rented it? SOL

    • opticnrv says:

      I agree that renting textbooks is impractical. The time involved in obtaining the book usually means the class is already underway with homework assignments due before you recieve the book. If timed right and some comparison leg work, it’s possible to realize returns similar to what the original comment suggests. You have to determine the best bookstore for the particular book you’re purchasing and also the best one to resell it to. Also the price fluctuates according to the time of year.
      However, I can see how if you never intend to crack a book open until right before the final, renting would be the way to go. It probably means you’re also too lazy to comparison shop for the best deal when buying and selling your books. Good luck to you when you get out in the real world. If you don’t do it for yourself, it won’t get done. Best to learn that while you’re still in college.

    • sadolakced says:

      I agree.

      Renting textbooks is never a good idea, unless you know a new edition is coming out.

      I’ve made money buying and selling textbooks on Amazon. Sure, if you wait until the day before classes and go to the university bookstore, you’ll lose money, if you plan ahead and buy off amazon, I’ve seldom lost more than 20 dollars per book/ semester. Much cheaper than renting.

      I’ve even had a textbook double in price (engineering textbook, relatively rare. Bought mid semester, sold at the beginning of the next semester. )

      Basically, don’t turn your textbooks into easy cash at the end of the semester. The bookstore will give you a pittance. Sell on Amazon and make up quite a bit of the cost.

    • ktetch says:

      I usually hit up the Goodwills around Athens, Ga (home of UGA) Quite a lot of textbooks there. Ok, often they’re an edition or two back, but in most subjects that doesn’t affect the content. There’s going to be an article in the British Medical Journal about ebooks, and medical textbooks (and p2p) in the next few days, so i’ve been keeping an eye out.
      Oh, and my wife works for a company that paginates and does pre-press on textbooks.

    • ArizonaGeek says:

      I am in night school trying to get my bachelors degree, and I just bought a history book on Amazon used for $3.87, since I am a prime member I got free 2 day shipping (it would have been $3.99 shipping for book rate) so I scored. I went into class and two people talked about not getting theirs on time and the topic of how much the book cost. Well, the people that paid full price felt like suckers when I told them my price.

    • dolemite says:

      You are getting some kind of awesome return then. At my school, it went like this:

      Textbook new: $70
      Buyback at the end of the year: $25

      However, every other book, it went like:
      Textbook new: $70
      Buyback at the end of the year: “Sorry honey, new edition just came out. We aren’t buying that.”

    • mcmunchkin says:

      I mostly buy my text books. I’ve found half of them as softcover international editions. These books are exactly the same as the American versions. My $200 organic chemistry textbook cost me $70.

      I resell most of my books online again. The only things I’ve purchased at my university store are scantron sheets.

    • NewsMuncher says:

      The cost of my textbooks are rolled into the tuition. No buying, but also no saving.
      And yes, I read my textbooks. Always have. Sometimes cover to cover, if they are interesting enough, like Science or History. Helps to keep the grades high and get good references later from the teacher.

    • probablykate says:

      No way the price that the school bookstore pays you to resell your books is pitiful if you get anything at all. I recently went back to school for my MBA and at first I hunted around for the best price online, bought the book, and then resold it on Amazon when the class was done. The problem with that is that it was pretty time consuming and time-sensitive–you had to spend a while hunting for the right price to buy, then worry about a new edition coming out (which happens a LOT and renders your textbook virtually worthless) and you had to worry about having the time to run out to the post office soon after someone buys the book on Amazon.

      I also reviewed Amazon’s policy and found that if I didn’t send the package return receipt, then the person I sent it to could basically just claim they never got it, and I would be out the book and the money. So I started spending more to send the book return receipt, which you can’t do with media mail.

      Then I went on Chegg and found I could rent the book for about the same loss I was making reselling the books, and with hugely less hassle, time, and worry. My university is on a quarter system so my term is only 10 weeks long.

      So long story short, I rent.

    • midwestkel says:

      Maybe back in the day but with technology of today they have websites like chegg.com, campusbookrentals.com and bookrenter.com; it’s a hell of a lot cheaper renting.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Agree – Chegg.com has been a lifesaver, and the price difference is amazing. $110 for a book that’s pretty much not returnable because of the electronic content that the class isn’t using anyway. But once you open it… or $35 from Chegg for only what I need.

        Easy decision.

    • tonberryqueen says:

      I tended to get as many books as possible from the public library. I just kept renewing the books online if I needed them for a little longer. If I needed it past the end of the second renewal, keeping it for a few days paying the fine tended to be cheaper than buying.

      The school library also had copies of text books for all of the classes that you could use there. So if it was a class where I just had to do a few specific readings on my own time, but never needed the book in class itself, I just went this route.

      • jessjj347 says:

        Yeah I forgot to mention the fine bit!
        Paying fines and keeping the book an extra week is still cheaper than renting/buying :)

    • jessjj347 says:

      My advise is to check out the book from a library and renew once.
      Not in your school’s library? Interlibrary loan! They even ship it to your school….awesome.

      Unless you actually want to keep the book/ mark it up with notes. Then buy because you might want to refer to it later (depends on your field).

    • dru_zod says:

      At the university I went to, everyone rented the majority of their textbooks because book rental fees were included in the tuition. And the tuition was in the same range as the other schools in the area, so you really saved quite a bit of money by not having to buy books. At the beginning of each semester, you took your class list to the bookstore’s rental area, they found all your books and checked them off on a card (which they kept on file). At the end of the semester you brought them back, they checked the books against the card to make sure you returned everything, and that was that. The only books that had to be purchased were supplemental texts and workbooks. I suppose you could buy new copies of the rental textbooks if you wanted to, but I don’t know anyone who did.

    • NickelMD says:

      Never rent textbooks…. and never buy them either.

      Option 1: Borrow one from someone in class. Spend an hour or two with it scanning the pages to a digital format.

      Option 2: Download it from your favorite P2P network.

      Option 2 obviously works better with very popular books, but option 1 works great for any book (even the kinkos packets your professor may want you to buy) and its also less harsh on the environment. Extra points if you upload the scanned copy you create for yourself.

      And to those whining that you’re stealing: if textbooks were reasonably priced, not used as money pots for tenured professors, and didn’t have ‘new editions’ every year meaning tons of waste and struggling students being denied any buyback, then I would feel a twinge of guilt. As it stands, fuck ‘em.

  7. tedyc03 says:

    I agree with tools, and agree in principle with formal clothing/textbooks, but coffins?! Seriously?!

    Obviously you don’t need much to be buried in, but hell, I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel renting a coffin for a loved one.

    • awer25 says:

      “…but hell, I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel renting a coffin for a loved one.”

      Then they’ve already won. ;)

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Why? They’re dead. You’re going to shove their body in the ground until it rots away to dust, anyway. Does it really matter that the shiny box in which their corpse is temporarily residing happens to be a rental?

    • MrsLopsided says:

      If you knew what went to your loved one in the back room then a rented coffin would be the least of your concerns. Everything is about display.

    • lim says:

      Then talk to your loved ones about their wishes. Hopefully your loved ones will prefer not adding the burden of debt to the burden of loss. Yes, you will remember the funeral etc, but the memories made when they were alive will hopefully be more important.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      Hell, I told my wife to get a refrigerator box from Best Buy to toss into the crematory, then have a big wake with the money she saved…

    • EdnaLegume says:

      afraid they might get germs?

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      I’m going with an eco-burial. No embalming, no chemicals, just wrap me in cloth and bury me in the ground. It’s hard to find eco-cemeteries right now, but they will get more common.

      Who wants to look at a dead body, anyway?

    • nbs2 says:

      The missus agreed to cremate me, but refuses to put me on a raft and send my burning body out to sea. That makes me a little sad.

      My issue is going to be my parents, who I’m not sure if I should cremate here and spread in India or just cremate in India. I’m just not sure how the body transport process works.

    • kelbear says:

      If you’re comfortable enough with it, perhaps you could just ask the relative how they’d like their body treated? It’s not easy, and it can be circumvented by sudden death, but it would probably be a useful conversation to have.

      Some of their top concerns about dying is what will happen to those they leave behind. I know I wouldn’t want my family financially compromised by an expensive funeral. My personal belief is that as soon as someone dies, there’s no part of them inside the meat and bones they leave behind. I would prefer my spouse to use the cheapest possible disposal. However, my family would still need to grieve properly, and I understand that.

      Thus, in the event of my death, she understands that she is able to spend what she needs to for her grief, but she has no obligations on spending since I would prefer that she just save the money for herself and our children. Without a conversation on this subject, she would have to struggle with the question of how much to spend, while at the same time struggling to deal with my death.

    • Bohemian says:

      Or just be cremated. One of my dad’s final requests was to be cremated. He liked the good things in life but saw no point in wasting money either. Not doing embalming, a viewing and the casket save about $10g. They had a wake and then funeral at the church.

    • econobiker says:

      Rental coffins / caskets do exist. These are configured for easy loading and removal of the deceased ie the foot end is a hinged door which allows the deceased to be slid in and out via a bed like apparatus. I believe that these are mostly used for pre-cremation wakes and viewings.

      • kross10c says:

        right, the coffin has a cardboard box in it with cloth that hides the cardboard box part making it appear as a normal expensive casket. typically after a memorial service the box is sent to a crematorium. the box resembles a large shoe box lid and all.

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    It’s a lot easier to rent a car than to keep one around permanently if you don’t drive but once in a while. Renting textbooks is really a solution IF you don’t need your textbook all the time. Some of us actually study in college!

    Instead of renting a prom dress, I would say the better tactic is to find a dress that doesn’t scream “prom” and be able to get more than one use out of it. If you absolutely need a long dress, buy one that isn’t so prom like (i.e. avoid satin) and then chop off the fabric at the knee to make a cocktail dress afterward. And renting doesn’t mean you get to try it on. Even with a measurement chart, you’re still looking at the risk of getting a dress that doesn’t really fit as well as you thought it would. At that rate, you’d have to rent the same dress in several sizes to gauge the one that fit the best.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Are there any places that rent formal dresses like tuxedo shops? The ability to try it on before you rent would eliminate those issues.

    • Etoiles says:

      It is worth having an evening gown for many women, but that’s a formal gown, not, “a poofy pink dated number.” I bought a dress for a formal banquet my sophomore year of college that I ended up, unexpectedly, wearing something like 8 times in 10 years. (More mileage than I ever expected to get from an evening dress.)

      I’m big on reusability. That’s why for my wedding I told the girls, “Wear something blue.” It’s the favorite color of two of them as well so I figured they’d be good. ;)

      • sponica says:

        I always bought evening gowns. I bought a black evening gown for a high school semi-formal (I think). What woman doesn’t need a long black dress? Wore that to a couple college dances and a wedding or two.

        The best reuse I ever got was my high school sr prom gown to a friend’s wedding reception!

        I need to donate the gowns I don’t fit in to one of those charities that gives prom dresses to those who can’t afford them.

    • hikari07 says:

      I’m pretty sure the rental stores online that I have an account on (Rent the Runway for example) let you take out two sizes in the dress. Can’t remember if that’s a free option or not, but I know it’s there.

    • Donathius says:

      Most textbook rental places rent you the book for the whole semester. We went that route with my wife’s books her last year of college. Saved a ton of money. We spent maybe 20% of what we would’ve spent at the bookstore. We got the books at the beginning of the semester – as part of the rental process where we got them we put in when the semester ends and they give you 30 days past that to return the books. If you keep the original shipping box you don’t even have to find a box, just print a (free) return label from the website.

    • parv says:

      “Instead of renting a prom dress, I would say the better tactic is to find a dress that doesn’t scream “prom” and be able to get more than one use out of it.” — pecan 3.14…

      On the same lines, I have the idea of looking for tuxedo that will go from an occasional anime convention to a rare black tie event. Big Island is not big or rich enough to have a shop to offer a tux though. In any case, darn thing would cost horribly too much for the intended usage.

    • Jsail4fun says:

      It always blows my mind that women don’t rent dresses. A woman will pay thousands of dollars for a wedding gown to wear for a few hours and never wear it again. A man will rent a tuxedo for about the same price as buying one and a tuxedo could be worn many times for just about your whole life.

  9. jimmyhl says:

    Doors and windows. Pets. Toothbrush. Motor oil.

  10. SkokieGuy says:

    The linked article doesn’t provide a source to rent a casket. I have a hard time believing that health and sanitation codes allow reusing and item that was used to store a dead body.

    A stainless steel embalming table can be sanitized, but a padded fabric casket interior – blech.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      A friend of mine has a son who worked at a funeral home. It’s not that unusual for someone to rent a casket.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I believe this is the case. They have a very fancy coffin for the viewing/services that can be reused repeatedly. If the body is going to be cremated (or buried in the ground) anyways, it’s dumb to spend money on an expensive coffin, only to have it rot away or be burned.

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      It’s my understanding that the padded liner is replaced & the rental payment covers the cost of that liner.
      Only the wood or steel coffin is reused.

    • akieran says:

      Exactly what illness are you worried about catching, once you’re in a casket??

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I guess you don’t realize that the problem would be for the people who aren’t in the casket.

    • scoosdad says:

      {with tongue firmly planted in cheek}

      What difference does it make to the dead guy whether or not there are any germs in the coffin left over from the previous user? It’s not like they can get sick or any more dead….

    • PDQ says:

      I used to be in the corrugated industry and can tell you this is real. The mortuary would rent you the casket. The body goes in a corrugated casket (with liner if there will be a viewing – no need if it’s a cremation and no viewing). The rental casket is just for show.

      The corrugated box is heavy duty, double wall and leak resistant. Using the right materials you can hold a LOT of weight in corrugated. And if the family doesn’t have $$, why not use the corrugated box w/rental casket option? It’s not like anyone’s ever going to see it again after the service – so why spend the money?

      http://www.waterloointernational.com/products/cremation/products.html

    • econobiker says:

      I echo everyone else’s comments about the liner being used. Rental caskets typically have the foot end as a door which the corrugated cremation interior can be slid in and out of. The cloth surround that hides the corrugated can be changed out for each funeral and the deceased lays on cloth that would be cremated or buried with him/her.

  11. ElleAnn says:

    We’re debating on whether to rent tables for our upcoming yard sale. I thought about buying a few folding tables, but they take up so much storage space. It would probably take only 5-6 yard sale days over the course of several years for it to be cheaper to buy tables… but again- SPACE.

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      Rent em. You will be glad you did.

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      Or even better….Buy the tables and then sell them at the sale!

    • Etoiles says:

      Do you have neighbors you can borrow from? We used a whole block’s worth of card tables once for a yard sale when I was a kid.

      Otherwise, yeah — rent. Not that pricey.

      • ElleAnn says:

        We would borrow from neighbors… but we’re planning our sale on our neighborhood associations’s yard sale day.

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Tools: Tool rentals for medium-priced tool are often nearly the cost of a new one. I’d pay the little bit extra and buy it. For the major job-site tools, renting is fine.

    Coffins: I agree, but it seems so uncaring. Personally I’m going for cremation anyway.

  13. PixDawg says:

    Chainsaw? Written by a city dweller who has never lived anywhere else, that is for sure. If you live on acreage with trees, renting is way more expensive and a hassle. Clearly these decisions depend on a lot of things.

  14. Harmodios says:

    “If you can’t wear it to Target it doesn’t belong in your closet.”

    I always wear a tux after six, What do you think I am, a hobo?

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      You can wear a dinner jacket and white tie in Target and not get too many looks. Now if you went to Wal-Mart, you might panic the natives.

  15. NarcolepticGirl says:

    hotels
    hookers
    homes
    washer & dryer if you are weak and move frequently like I do.
    bowling shoes
    canoes

  16. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    How about HOUSING?

    The whole “buying a house for equity” argument never held water and is now totally out the window. It’s also harder to be mobile in our current difficult economy if you have to move to get work. Buying makes sense only in a few cases any more. The NY Times has that great “Buy/Rent” calculator. And even that doesn’t take into account all the costs for maintaining and keeping up the place.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/business/buy-rent-calculator.html

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not quite true. It DID hold water for a long time. But for now, at least, your home is not much of an investment income situation.

    • morehalcyondays says:

      It depends where you live. I live in Texas, and my property has continued to increase in value over the past several years.

    • Chmeeee says:

      Even if you don’t do it for investment, it’s nice knowing that eventually it will be paid off, leaving you not having to pay rent. I don’t want to be paying rent or a mortgage when I’m retired.

      • Randell says:

        You mean after your house is paid for you no longer have home owners insurance, property taxes, maintenance, etc?

        • Chmeeee says:

          Home owners insurance and property tax run me about half of what a crappy apartment costs around here, and I have a house that I like with a big deck, 3 car garage, and a nice (well, it was before it stopped raining) lawn. Even adding maintenance, it’s not even close. Plus I don’t have to deal with PITA landlords, noisy neighbors, etc.

        • wackydan says:

          Which are generally far cheaper than rent. Home owners is more than renters insurance, but you should carry both eh? Upkeep? Upkeep isn’t a significant cost.. sure, the HVAC may be several thousand dollars to replace, but that does indeed add value back into the home in case you have to sell.

          I’d rather pay a mortgage then pay rent into a black hole for zero return.

    • gabrewer says:

      My favorite “soapbox” issue — and I am a homeowner. If most people really did the math, taking into account everything a home costs them — interest payments, property taxes, insurance, new roofs, termite treatments, etc. — they would realize this so called equity is one of the biggest money losers you can “invest” in. At best most people might get a refund, and only a partial refund, of everything the money pit has cost them when they sell.

      • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

        Not to mention the cost of actually selling the house. That is always a shocker.

      • wackydan says:

        If you buy smartly… and buy well within your means, you come out way ahead of renting by buying a house. This may depend greatly on the market you live in, but for the vast majority of people, owning has a better net benefit over time. I would cringe to think about renting my entire life, considering that my mortgage is the same as rent and I get 2x-3x the space.

        • brinks says:

          It’s the opposite where I am. If it was the same price or less, of course I’d do it.

          I pay $735 in rent for a 2 bedroom townhouse with a basement and small fenced-in yard. Purchasing the same thing would be at least $200 more, unless I wanted to move deep into suburbia.

          Cringe.

    • Skankingmike says:

      A home is you buy is a home you make into your own little place.

      Renting from shit ass landlords is not a fun experience.

      Recent home owner with a fixer upper.

      I’ll sink my money into something that at least I can enjoy and I learn stuff from it.

      Renting makes you lazy and dependent.

    • wackydan says:

      Bull. You’d rather rent for 30 years and have nothing? Granted there are pros and cons to both.

      We bought a fix it upper in 04… For $30k under market value. We now have 80k in equity and at this rate will have it paid off in under 20 years… Our mortgage payment which includes the escrow for the property tax is cheaper or at least on par with rent in this area… for a two bedroom. The house is a 3 bedroom, with a large two stall garage. Sorry… but bought properly, a house is a great investment in future security…. I’ll sleep easy at night knowing that when I’m retired and the house is paid for, that while others spend their retirement income on rent, I’ll only be liable for some upkeep and taxes…. Far less than renting.

      • Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

        Perhaps buying was good advice 30 years ago, when the expectation wasn’t that you’d have 10+ different jobs over the course of your career. Today, home ownership might work out great for you, or it might be an economic ball-and-chain that keeps you from moving to where the jobs are.

        There are real and major downsides to being committed to a home for 30 years, downsides which can’t be dismissed with a mere one-word epithet.

        • wackydan says:

          Meh.. Then why are people still getting married? :P

        • OutPastPluto says:

          Moving is a costly thing in general. It really is tremendously inefficient. With what you might spend moving, you might be better off just staying where you started. Chasing the next job or a small raise may not make a lot of sense once you break everything out. It’s just like the big question of whether you buy the place you live in.

          It may make sense or not. You need to dispense with all of your assumptions and actually do the math and see if it makes sense.

      • FrankReality says:

        What you did still works if you have a relatively stable career with reasonable job security and are in a relatively stable real estate market and are in for the long term. It also helps a lot if you can do much of the work yourself.

        About 20 years ago, we purchased an old farm house and buildlings for around $65K and self-financed the remodeling and updating of the mechanical/electrical systems. We demolished 5 of the 8 outbuildings due to their poor condition and having no need for them, rebuilt the machine shed and repaired the granary into a shop, added a new porch and addition and a two car garage. In 2003 it was appraised by two separate appraisers for $275K.

        We’re now working on the last room in the house to be remodeled and are in the process of demolishing the barn which was beyond repair.

        My brother bought distressed properties, lived in them while he renovated them, then rented them out with the rents covering the mortgages and a bit for income. At his peak he had 16 houses, but he married a total financial idiot who forced him to sell them all when the housing market tanked in the early 80′s. Had he kept them, he could have been a millionaire.

    • brinks says:

      My fiance and I were thinking about buying but decided to rent instead. We could afford the payments, but wanted to wait until we were a little better off because we were thinking about unexpected maintenance costs. If something big went wrong or broke and it wasn’t something that homeowner’s insurance would cover, we’d be screwed/

      That was the right decision, as I soon lost my job and haven’t been able to find anything that pays me as well. In 8 months when the lease is up, we can pack up and go somewhere cheaper without any hassle. And the landlord has paid all the unexpected maintenance costs, including the BIG one from the plumber for the blocked drain in the basement and the cost to replace a broken water heater.

  17. hmburgers says:

    Rent a textbook? I’ve never heard of that… what I heard of is buying used and trading/selling it back… so yea, not renting, but basically the same.

    Coffins… seriously? This is the nastiest most pretentious thing—UNLESS you’re being cremated—but otherwise just show them off in the box that they’ll spend the rest of your life in… if anyone raises an eyebrow just say the person was Jewish, there’s some sort of a decree that your way out of the earth should be humble and fast–which means no embalming and the cheapest pine box out there, they don’t even want to use nails unless necessary… talk about reinforcing a stereotype.

    • drizzt380 says:

      Because Aunt May is going to believe me when I saw Grandpa was jewish?

    • meltingcube says:

      “just show them off in the box that they’ll spend the rest of your life in”

      Life is defined as “the experience of being alive”, thus unless they are being buried alive, they aren’t spending the rest of their life in a coffin. Your thinking of the after life.

  18. dreamfish says:

    I’ve often wondered about the idea of a neighbourhood or even something like eight or nine houses clubbing together to buy a lot of power tools, DIY stuff, etc. to share amongst themselves.

    Each house volunteers to be the ‘base station’ for some of it and you just wander up and borrow it (for a maximum period of time) and return it when done. Hopefully because you know each other and feel more responsible for the items, you’ll look after them and not abuse the system.

    I don’t know about the practicalities but it feels like a nice idea to bring a community together :)

    • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

      Yeah, but you can almost guarantee that ALL the tools will somehow end up in that ONE PERSON’S garage who NEVER RETURNS ANYTHING.

      /rant

      • dreamfish says:

        If you fail to return one thing after the set period of time, you’re not allowed to borrow anything else. If you still don’t return it, you’re kicked out of the group.

    • mac-phisto says:

      i have a relative outside of portland, me. his whole neighborhood is like this (informally of course). it’s great, in that you have access to whatever you need – chainsaws, kubotas, trailers, trucks to tow them – even stuff like mixers, food processors, trundle beds. if it’s not being used, anyone can borrow it.

      the downside? having to “chase the goose” around the neighborhood to find out where your lobster pot ended up so you can cook dinner.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      It sounds good in theory, but you’d better have one hell of a collective and discuss how to handle worn out/damaged equipment up front. There are logistical problems, as well. What do you do if you need the chain saw and Fred is on vacation? A shared tool shed might work, but then you have issues with security.

  19. Lucky225 says:

    A house, you’re never going to pay a mortgage off anyways so why go into debt when you can just rent, leaving you free to bounce to any other place you may want to move to.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      yeah, plus (usually) everything is included – appliances, maintenance, lawncare, pest control, snow removal. No insurance/taxes… etc

    • Firethorn says:

      In some areas/places it’s cheaper per month to buy than to rent, even when you include maintenance and such.

    • majortom1981 says:

      IT turned out to be $100 to $200 a month for me to buy my condo then keep renting my appt and mgot me an extra room plus an indoor pool and golf course.

    • dolemite says:

      Well the benefit is (if you are smart and buy what you can afford), when you decide to move from your house, you stand to make back a few thousand in equity. When you rent…your landlord makes all your equity.

    • sponica says:

      yet I know so many people who have paid off mortgages…

    • chaesar says:

      you can’t bounce around if you are locked into an annual lease, of which the price can change every time you renew the lease, whereas mortgage payments can be a fixed cost for the life of the loan

      and home equity is something you can borrow against if you are in a tight spot, try borrowing money from your landlord and see how well that goes

  20. lihtox says:

    Pick-up trucks/large vehicles fall into this category sometimes: some people buy a larger vehicle than they need “just in case” they need to transport a lot of people or haul some stuff, which they won’t.

    • TuxedoCartman says:

      I’ve never gotten that. I talked with a guy once who had a Nissan Armada, and said he NEEDED it because his family (of four) still took road-trips twice a year. I thought, “Okay. So you HAD to purchase a $40,000 SUV that gets 12 MPG in the city, rather than purchasing something like a $14,000 Mazda 5 hatchback and renting something larger for those road trips? Enterprise and Hertz do rent those things, ya know? Good god, what you save in fuel ($3500 yearly for the SUV vs. $1400 for the hatchback) would more than pay for the rental for two weeks; it’d probably pay for the whole vacation, hotels and all!”

      • wackydan says:

        I hear you… Logic fails people at times.

        Neighbor has a small/mid sized SUV. Plenty large for the two of them and their son…. Here is the funny part. They don’t take their dog anywhere with them because they don’t want hair all over the inside of it. Also, they like to borrow my truck every time they have to take something to the dump… as they don’t want to bother putting their back row of seats down or get the back end of their SUV dirty in any way. I’ve already thought of ways into forcing them to not borrow my truck… Something that starts with “No”.

        I like them a lot, but they are the stereotypical SUV owners.

    • Jay K. says:

      I was going to post this very thing. Living in Texas, I know people that buy trucks just so they can use them the handful of times per year that they need to haul or tow something. Payments on those things are huge… not to mention higher fuel costs. Paying all of those costs 100% of the time, when you only really need to use a truck 5% of the time seems rather dumb to me. I drive a car, and on the occasion that I need to use a truck to haul something, I rent one. You can rent a full size pickup from UHaul for around $20/day… some Home Depots have trucks that you can rent by the hour to get your stuff home from the store if it won’t fit in your vehicle. Even if I need a truck one weekend a month, that’s only $500 or so…. or about one monthly payment on a new truck.

      • veritybrown says:

        You can buy a cheap old pickup for $500, especially if the main thing you use it for is hauling garbage, yard waste, gravel, etc. And you don’t have to worry about what Uhaul or Home Depot is going to charge you for damaging their truck.

        Buying a shiny new truck to haul things is just dumb.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      …actually. The last pickup truck I bought was the cheapest vehicle I could buy with the amount of head room and leg room and such. A truck isn’t necessarily going to be expensive. The whole recent SUV craze has just made this the case.

      Detroit was living large for awhile selling grossly overpriced trucks.

  21. abberz3589 says:

    Renting textbooks is highway robbery. I’d much rather buy them and sell them back when I’m done with them (and because I’m a nerd I like to keep most of them). I’ve made a profit off of some of them if I buy them used and keep them in good condition.

  22. drizzt380 says:

    Voorhees? Chainsaw?

    I am flabbergasted by the lack of correct horror movie continuity in this article!! Voorhess uses a machete…or a sleeping bag….or, if your into remakes, a crossbow.

    • jayman419 says:

      Yeah, but Thomas Brown Hewitt is probably too obscure.

      I’d have gone with Ash Williams since he was a consumer advocate about a thousand years before it was cool.

  23. mac-phisto says:

    i’ve always felt like tools are worth the investment. i’ve rented specific tools before (i really have no regular need for a sandblaster), but many of these tools are often expensive to rent. there are alternatives here:
    -buy a bottom or mid-line tool & sell it as “practically new” for 25-30% off (or give it to family/friend as a gift)
    -buy used
    -ask your neighbor. just make sure you treat it with respect, return the item in a timely manner & accessorize it with something like a cold 12-pack of beer or a nice bottle of wine. also, make sure you replace any consumables (like gas).

  24. energynotsaved says:

    Buy text books on line is usually cheaper. However, be quick and sell back to the bookstore. Often you can get back what you paid and have a next cost for the term. (Don’t delay. Sometimes they start buying back before they discover that the book won’t be used next term.)

  25. wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

    A friend of mine was on a book scholarship through college, so he got to “buy” brand-new books every year then resell them for the highest buy-back price. Bitch.

  26. jeff_the_snake says:

    autozone will let you rent almost any tool they sell. basically you buy one that’s been set aside for this purpose and then get a full refund when you bring it back. i guess they got tired of people doing this with their normal stock. it’s pretty nice to be able to borrow a serpentine belt tensioner bar or whatever because you know you’ll only ever need it 2 or 3 times at most.

  27. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I rented textbooks once. It was not a good idea. Cheaper than buying new, yeah. But it would have been even cheaper to buy new or used and then resell to other students.

  28. hoi-polloi says:

    Some tools or equipment should obviously be rented. How often are you going to need an orbital sander? That said, the rental cost on tools will soon add up to the purchase price. I can’t tell you how much use I’ve got out of my compound miter saw, circular saw, cordless and corded drills, etc. My wife and I bought an old home with the intention of doing a lot of projects ourselves, so staggered purchases make good sense for us. Rent big equipment or something you’re sure you’ll only need once. If you’ll need something only occasionally, see if you can borrow (but take excellent care and return promptly.)

  29. Tim says:

    Uhh. I don’t agree with a lot of these ones. Basically, if you’re not going to recoup your investment in a reasonable amount of time, rent it instead of buying it.

    Tools: yeah, if you need a tile cutter for a one-time bathroom remodeling, rent it. If you need a screwdriver, you should probably buy it. Once again, it depends on the tool and its use.

    Dresses: again, depending on how often you’ll use it. If you’ll need it on a fairly regular basis, buy it.

    Textbooks: I’ve saved a lot of my college textbooks and ended up using them again. But for the most part, yeah, probably rent if it’s available.

    Coffins: hm. Never had someone close to me die, so I don’t know about this.

  30. Donathius says:

    We went the rental route for my wife’s textbooks for her last two semesters of college. The first semester the books from the bookstore would’ve been $450 (and that’s the used price). I found chegg.com through a textbook search service and we rented all of her books through them for $90 and we had them in 3 days. If we had bought them from the bookstore we MAY have gotten $60 back from buyback, but that’s still a net savings of $300. We’re never buying textbooks again.

  31. SerenityDan says:

    Textbook = bad idea. They put out new editions with slight changes every year to try and combat reselling. If you have anything other then the latest edition all your annotations will be wrong.

  32. Elvisisdead says:

    Vacation homes. See logic surrounding real estate not always being the best investment.

    Movies, with the exception of kid’s movies. I rarely watch a movie more than twice. However, Cinderella is burned into the back of my eyeballs from having a preschool aged girl. Even with the limited amount of TV time she gets, she always goes back to Cinderella. I figure I’m at

  33. adam395 says:

    Tools definitely shouldn’t be rented unless it’s a very specialized item, such as an augur. Having a chainsaw or snowblower on hand after a storm is a huge help. We have an old farm, and after a storm, a lot of trees tend to fall down. If you live in the suburbs where there isn’t a whole lot of green…maybe rent tools for those few times you need them. But for the rural dweller, having tools on standby is a great option.

  34. Buckus says:

    1. Pickup trucks if you only use it to haul goods from Home Depot twice a year.
    2. Vans if you only use it to haul guests at Christmas time.

  35. pinecone99 says:

    Never understood some people’s obsession with buying movies. I think they just enjoy saying “I love that movie so much I OWN it”.

  36. Anaxamenes says:

    I disagree on the text books. I’ve kept some of my textbooks from college because they are just darn good reading! And they make my books shelves look smart.

  37. backinpgh says:

    When I was in college we would often split the cost of a textbook with a classmate or roommate and just share it, then sell it at the end of the year and split the money. It was also useful to post your books for sale on your own campus to the next year’s students of the same classes.

  38. Sudonum says:

    I have a friend who says “If it flys, floats, or fucks, you’re better off renting”

  39. cmdr.sass says:

    As a homeowner in New England, a chainsaw was a smart buy. it’s a good investment if you have frequent wind or ice storms, land to clear, or wood to prep for the stove.

  40. Joe_Bloe says:

    Light airplanes. A 2010 Cessna 172SP NAVIII (with Garmin G1000) sells new for about $300,000. A lightly used 2006 Cessna 172SP sells for about $180,000.

    That’s depreciation of $30,000/yr. Figure in annual inspection of 3K, Insurance of 1K, tie-down fees of 1K, and you’re looking at $35,000/yr annual sunk costs, before you fly one hour. Not even considering the cost of money.

    Renting one costs about $155/hr. You’d have to fly 225 hours a year for renting to cost more than that.

  41. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    You’ll use them for four months, max.

    That depends a lot on the kind of book your professor actually makes you get. If it’s a good reference and it’s directly related to your major it may be one you want to keep. For example, a good book (not necessarily a textbook) on a programming language you’re going to be using again.

    That’s the other thing, I’m not sure how well this rental thing works if the book isn’t considered a textbook.

  42. Outrun1986 says:

    What about video games, most people play them, and trade them in when they are done with them. Its a huge ripoff, seems it would just be cheaper to rent them. A lot of people don’t play games for more than a week, some do so its probably worth it to buy the good ones you plan on playing for a long time. However there are a lot of times when you buy a game and find out it only takes 5-6 hours to beat the whole thing, this is where renting comes in.

    If you have kids renting is a must for video games, nothing like spending $30-50 on a game only to have your kid throw it down in disgust or tell the parents that they don’t like the game after just 5 min of playing.

    • Jsail4fun says:

      I would like to see “rent to own” video games. Rent it for $8 and if you like it keep it and have the $8 go towards the purchase price, don’t like it and return.

      Blockbuster used to have this system but they have changed the policy so that it’s useless. The purchase prices are unreasonably high and they no longer apply the rental fee to the purchase.

  43. Geekybiker says:

    I’ve never felt like tools were a bad investment. Given, I’d rather rent a shop for large bench type power tools, but hand ones….

  44. Wrathernaut says:

    Personal watercraft.
    No need to own a trailer, vehicle that can tow (aka a gas guzzler), store them anywhere, maintain them.
    Unless you live on the lake, you’ll pay more in gas towing them out there than taking your 30mpg sedan there and renting.

  45. HighontheHill says:

    I heat and make hot water with wood and for this I own five chainsaws, I do however rent a cement mixer, jackhammer, sewer snake, or over-seeder from time to time. I NEVER lend out tools, people simply do not treat borrowed tools the same way I treat my own tools. Period. I want to be cremated and my ashes flushed down the toilet so no casket for me thanks, rental or not. I purchased my textbooks used on Amazon when possible and sold all of my texts after each semester, in some cases making money on them.

  46. Jsail4fun says:

    Boats.

    I used to own a sailboat and the cost of ownership for even a small boat is incredible. Maintenance is extremely expensive and a constant chore, and marina fees can be hundreds of dollars a month. Unless you plan to live aboard your boat I don’t know any of my extremely enthustastic boater friends that sail every weekend, or even once a month. As a renter the boat is ready to go when I get there and I just walk away when I get back. No maintenance, set up, take down, or even cleaning or transporting gasoline. Plus I have an option of taking a larger or smaller boat, or maybe even a kayak or Jet ski.

  47. kromelizard says:

    Textbook rental costs more than buying and selling when done with. There’s literally no other reason to offer rental.

  48. savdavid says:

    Well, if I want to watch a show anytime I want, it pays to buy the DVD. Many times the title(s) are not offered for streaming, or removed from their lineup or the DVDs go out of print. Ever heard of collecting?

  49. stuny says:

    In-ground swimming pools.

  50. drburk says:

    I rent my Consumer Report Magazine’s out.

  51. 4Real says:

    In Philly we have Philly Car Share or Zip Car you rent the cars for a few hours or over night its pretty cheap and free gas and insurance.

  52. giax says:

    For some of those, second hand rocks too.

    I bought most books in high school second hand – much much cheaper (and most I even sold after). Usually there are very little differences if the book was printed in year X or X-1.

    For evening and wedding wear, check shopgoodwill and your local Goodwill and Salvation Army etc second hand places. If you can make some changes to the clothes yourself, even better choice. When I’ll need either, I rather pick something from one of the charity stores (when I find something awesome), and after I don’t need or like it any more, I can always return it back there.
    You may have to search for a bit longer time in advance, but you’ll probably spend much less than when renting a gown.

  53. gparlett says:

    There was a whole episode of Six Feet Under about how you can’t legally re-use a casket. Once a dead body is in there it needs to be buried or destroyed.

  54. OutPastPluto says:

    …actually, I would tend to disagree on the Blurays and DVDs. Depending on the content, you might want to own it permanently. It may be dirt cheap to begin with. It could be something somewhat obscure and difficult to rent. It could also be something worth it’s asking price if you are sure you’re going to watch it again (ever).

    Netflix is great for sampling stuff and seeing if it’s worthwhile.