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5 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buy (And 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent)

5 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buy (And 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent)

​​I ​know​…ownership is 9/10ths of the law. It’s really nice to know something belongs to you. But does it always make sense? Financially? Not really. In fact, there are many things that you should rent instead of buy. Including some things you didn’t even know you could rent. Obviously there are also things you should buy, so let’s talk about all of it. Let’s start with what you should be renting…

1. Your Home

Rent your house

    Buying a home is part of the “American Dream”. And there is nothing wrong with doing it…sometimes, but many times it doesn’t make sense. You’ve heard that renting is like throwing your money away. You may have heard that your home should be your biggest asset. Fortunately for you, neither one of those things are true. Sure, it’s great to buy your own home. It’s your home. You can feel proud to be a home owner and you can do whatever you will to the house, but wait until the time is right. The are plenty of times when renting makes the most sense. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it’s never a good idea. Here are a few times you should consider renting instead of buying:

    1. If you plan to move soon. This is a no-brainer, but it must be said. You aren’t wasting your money by renting, if you’re planning to move soon. It makes sense to rent for now. You can always buy later when you get where you’re going. Renting will be much less stressful for a temporary situation.
    2. If your market is inflated. A little inflation never hurt anybody, but some housing markets are insane. If your living in an area with extremely inflated housing prices, you can expect that bubble to pop eventually and you may be stuck with a mortgage twice the size of your house’s actual value.
    3. If you’re saving to buy a home. Don’t rush into a bad loan because you don’t have enough money for a down-payment. Just because you can find a “no money down” loan, doesn’t mean you should take it. The interest will eat you alive. It’s better to save for a while and make a large down-payment.
    4. If you don’t want to worry. Too often, we get caught up thinking that these decisions are only about the math and we forget that money is an emotional thing. If you don’t want to worry about maintenance or taking care of your own home, it’s perfectly fine to rent. Do what works for you.

    I didn’t cover every single scenario that could possibly exist, but I did cover the most common ones. Just know that renting is an option. You’re not throwing your money away and you can always buy later.

    2. Your Boat

    Rent your boat

      A boat is a sinkhole for maintenance and repair costs. It almost always makes more sense to rent a boat, especially if you’re only using it a few times per year. Paying the docking fees, maintenance costs and repairs will be enough to make you consider renting a boat when you need it. If you do use it more than a few times throughout the year, consider getting together with a few families and co-owning a boat. This is common practice for private jets and yachts, but it’s worth considering for smaller purchases as well, like a pontoon boat or a speed boat. Everyone will benefit from sharing the cost of owning a boat and it will actually get used on more than a few 3 day weekends throughout the year. Exception: If you’re a fisherman (professional or “up-and-coming”), you may want to consider buying a boat. Small fishing boats are affordable and the maintenance costs are reasonable. You could consider this the exception to the rule, but if you aren’t fishing all the time, it could still be better to rent.

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      3. Your Tools

      Rent your tools

        Obviously, if you’re a mechanic or a craftsman, buy tools. For the rest of us, it might make sense to rent them. There is no need to buy a tool for one project if you know you’re never going to use it again, no matter how cool you feel when you show it to your friends. Tools can be a sinkhole for your money, especially if you shop for tools, like you shop for groceries. Before any new tool purchase, you should ask yourself if you really need to buy it or if it would be better to rent it. Renting tools also gives you the option to insure them and not take on the responsibility of worrying about what happens if you forget that you super amazing laser-sight skill saw isn’t supposed to cut through steel. Home Depot and Lowe’s are just a couple of the places that offer tool rental.

        4. Your Entertainment

        Rent your entertainment

          Movies and video games are cheap to rent, but expensive to buy. How often do we buy a movie, only to watch it once? How often do we buy a $60 video game, only to beat it a week later and basically stop playing it? If you plan to watch the movie or play the game all the time, buy it. Otherwise, just rent it. If you must buy movies or video games, check out some Black Friday deals at electronics stores. Just wait for the crowds and the crazies to get their TVs and iPads, then leisurely stroll into the store, several hours later, and take advantage of the cheap movies and games that often get overlooked. But that’s only if you must buy. With places like Game Fly, NetFlix and RedBox, you really should be renting.

          5. Your Sports

          Rent your sports

            From water skis and snowboards to tennis rackets and scuba gear. If you’re not using it all the time, consider renting. I know, your arsenal of sporting gear from every recreational activity ever invented may look cool, but it’s wasting your money. And while it will save you some money, it also won’t clutter your garage and your storage room. Generally when you’re close to the sunny lake or the snowy slopes, you can find a place to rent some gear; however, shop around, because the places right next to all the recreation are usually the most expensive. Just driving a few miles outside of the area could easily save you half (or more) on the price of your sports equipment. Just always be sure to read the policy on “return condition” and what happens if something breaks.

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            Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent

            OK, I admit, you may have actually know about some of these, but if you knew about all of them, you should really find a hobby. Here are 10 things you may want to consider renting that you probably didn’t know you could…

            1. Dresses

            With sites like Rent the Runway and Lending Luxury, it’s easy and affordable to rent a dress instead of buying it. In those times when you’re only going to wear it once, why let it take up the closet space?

            2. Textbooks

            Go to Book Renter or Chegg to find cheap textbooks for rent. Book Renter even offers free shipping. Renting text books makes sense most of the time, since you’re likely never going to open the book again after your class is over.

            3. Camera Lenses

            Lens Rentals and Borrow Lenses allow you to rent camera lenses. It’s great for one-time needs. You can also use them to try out an expensive lens before you fork over the money.

            4. Parking Spaces

            Just Park lets you search for parking spaces in crowded cities and rent them straight from the site. If you have extra space in a busy city, you may want to consider putting your parking space up for rent.

            5. Caskets

            Yes, you can rent a casket. Funeral homes now provide many options to save people money…this is one of them. How does it work? The body is placed in a simple wooden box, then placed inside a fancy, expensive casket for the funeral. Once the funeral is over, the body is buried in the simple wooden box. Weird? Or convenient? You decide.

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            6. Dogs

            Usually, this is just weird. However, there are time when it makes sense. Borrow My Doggy allows you to rent a dog when you need a companion. If you really need a companion, you may just want to buy a dog, but you do have the option to rent if the need arises. You pay an annual subscription fee to be able to search the list of available dogs and schedule your “Welcome Woof”.

            7. Wives

            This is borderline sexist and technically, you’re not actually “renting a wife”. Rent-A-Wife is a maid service that claims to let you “rent a wife”, but it’s really just a hired hand…that happens to only be women. Yeah, I’m not sure why that’s OK either.

            8. Friends

            This may sound sad at first, but it’s actually a neat idea. Rent a Friend lets you rent someone to attend an event with you, introduce you to new people or just to hangout. It’s different, but now there is a little part of you that wishes you came up with the idea. (It may be a really tiny part of you)

            9. Jeans

            One trend that’s becoming especially popular in Europe, according to The Wall Street Journal, is jean rental. Right now, you can rent jeans on a 12-month lease. You simply put down 20 euros as a deposit and then pay 5 euros a month until your lease is up. Then you can either buy them for an additional 20 euros, exchange them for another pair or simply return them.

            10. Christmas Trees

            If you want a real tree for Christmas, but you don’t want to mess with driving to the farm, chopping it down and loading it on top of your freshly washed SUV, you can just rent one. The Living Christmas Company will let you rent one of their trees and they will deliver it right to your home. The tree remains potted, so you’re required to water and care for it. As long as the tree is still green and healthy when they pick it up, you get your deposit back.

            Things You Should Buy

            Now to steer away from renting wives and caskets. Here’s some less weird stuff. If you see the words “rent-to-own”, you should run away. Don’t do it. Renting to own is a great way to pay at least triple the normal price. Here are 3 things that people often get sucked into renting to own:

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            1. Furniture

            Never rent-to-own furniture. You pay “new” prices, except you keep paying…every month. It’s better to finance new furniture (though that’s not the best idea either) than buying from a rent-to-own store. It’s best to buy slightly used. Let someone else take the massive depreciation that happens in the first few months of owning new furniture.

            2. Washer/Dryer

            Don’t do it. You’re better off shopping in the classifieds or on Craig’s List for a nice used set, rather than paying 10 times the price to rent one. If you must have a brand new set, it’s usually better to just go buy them, but not from a rent-to-own store.

            3. Electronics

            Don’t rent-to-own, just own. Shop around to find the best deals, but renting to own is not the way. On top of the high prices, what happens when that TV or stereo stops working? They aren’t going to pay for it, you are. There are too many great places to buy electronics to settle for renting to own. There are things you should rent and things you should buy, but most importantly, do your research. Figure out which one makes more sense for you and your situation. If you are thinking about buying something, first ask yourself if it could and should be rented.

            Featured photo credit: AngiAesthetic via flickr.com

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            Kalen Bruce

            Military, Writer

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            Last Updated on April 19, 2021

            40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

            40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5

            Ever had those moments where you really wanted to eat something delicious and healthy but didn’t have the financials means to do so? Whether you’re a student or parent, this compilation of 40 great, healthy, and inexpensive recipes will make every night special and help you get fit! No more meals where you have to force the food down! It’s time to make that budget your best friend and turn it into great recipes. Enjoy!

            1. Fish Tacos in Crunchy Shells ($3.56 per serving)

            Is there a better way to end the day than a Fish Taco dinner filled with protein and nutrients and is easy on the wallet? This recipe calls for a boys’ or girls’ night in front of a good movie or game.

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              2. Mini-Meatball Noodle Soup ($3.43 per serving)

              We’ve heard of the delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipes, but imagine having that same meatball goodness in a soup? It’s like Christmas in a bowl. Healthy, warm, and only $3.43 per serving.

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                3. Spaghetti and (Vegan) Meatballs ($2.13 per serving)

                Now it’s time to look at the traditional spaghetti and meatballs recipe, but with a little twist: vegan meatballs. This way, you can enjoy the Italian tradition without adding on the extra calories. I’m sold!

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                  4. Kabocha Squash and Lentils ($3.12 per serving)

                  Absolutely delicious way to end the day with a Kabocha Squash and lentils dinner. The beauty of this recipe is that you can actually make many other things from the mixture, from dips to full-on meals. All under $5 per serving.

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                    5. Baked Coconut Lentils ($0.91 per serving)

                    Coconuts are always a good idea, but it doesn’t have to be eaten only for dessert or breakfast. With this great recipe, you can now eat a lunch or dinner filled proteins and a coconut twist. Yum!

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                      6. Easy Marinated Roasted Chicken ($3.40 per serving)

                      We love chicken and at less than $5 per serving, we are in heaven with this recipe. Add some vegetables and rice on the side and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

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                        7. Organic Greens and Goat Cheese Gratin ($2.36 per serving)

                        This is absolutely divine. You get in your healthy greens and your fat macros with this great recipe. Takes only a few minutes to make and it’s easy on the wallet. Bon Appetite!

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                          8. Beef Pot Roast ($3.22 per serving)

                          One word: perfect. This meal will warm your insides and fill you up with the high protein content.

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                            9. Fajita-Style Quesadillas ($0.43 per serving)

                            If you want to eat Mexican tonight but want to stay in your budget, this Quesadilla recipe is your best friend. It’s tasty and filled with healthy ingredients for less than a dollar per serving.

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                              10. Fish Tostadas with Chili Lime Cream ($2.82 per serving)

                              Another great lunch idea for the busy days ahead. Prep this in the morning or the night before and you’ve got yourself a healthy and cheap lunch meal!

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                                11. Beef and Black Bean Chili ($1.36 per serving)

                                Might not look like much, but this amazing chili is actually extremely healthy for you. The protein from the beef and the carbs from the black beans will fill you up in no time, and keep you full for a long period of time. Delicious and warm, just right for the winter!

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                                  12. Crispy Fish and Peppers ($2.18 per serving)

                                  Amazing recipe for anyone looking to change up their meals while keeping their macros in check and not going overboard on spending. Satisfies your crunch tooth (see what I did there?) and gives you all the protein you need to stay full and lean.

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                                    13. Vegetarian Gumbo ($1.50 per serving)

                                    You have the perfect macro mix here with the carbs, fats, and proteins. At less than $5 per serving, you’ve got yourself a meal that will last for the whole week!

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                                      14. Mexican White Bean Soup ($0.99 per serving)

                                      With the cold weather creeping in, it’s not a surprise that soups are coming back in style. This great Mexican White Bean Soup dish will keep you warm for winter without making a hole in your pocket.

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                                        15. Black Beans with Mango & Cilantro ($0.38 per serving)

                                        Mangoes make every dish a little bit sweeter, which is why we absolutely love this recipe. A normal rice and bean dish might be a little meh, but add the sugary taste of mangoes and you’ve got yourself a party!

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                                        Black-Bean-Cilantro-Mango

                                          16. Bean Burritos ($0.71 per serving)

                                          If you’re having people over tonight and don’t want to spend too much time or money on food, this dish is a great option! You can even cut up the burritos into pieces and make finger foods while everyone’s watching the game or gossiping.

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                                            17. Five-Spice Beef Kabobs ($2.43 per serving)

                                            The spices in this recipes add a delicious twist to the beef kabobs, which is definitely worth trying!

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                                              18. Cornmeal Crusted Pork ($1.92 per serving)

                                              If you like the fried crunch but want to opt for a healthier alternative, cornmeal is your man. This healthy recipe will satisfy all your fried desires without making you pop open your pant’s button.

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                                                19. Chicken, Tomato & Cucumber Dinner Salad ($2.57 per serving)

                                                Easy to do, extremely healthy, and super delicious. A must-try!

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                                                  20. Lentil Soup with Beef and Red Pepper ($1.90 per serving)

                                                  I can’t believe how cheap this meal is, especially for all the nutrients it contains. You can make a big pot on Sunday night and divide it into small portions to last you a whole week.

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                                                    21. Smoky Mushroom Stroganoff ($1.90 per serving)

                                                    Craving pasta but not sure what to top it off with? How about smoky mushrooms with a twist?

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                                                      22. White Bean Tuna Salad ($1.36 per serving)

                                                      You can add this White Bean Tuna Salad in your sandwich or just eat it as-is for a quick lunch on a busy day.

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                                                        23. Sausage Eggwiches ($0.80 per serving)

                                                        Who says you have to eat fast food to get an eggwich? This delicious recipe will give you an amazingly healthy eggwich for less than a dollar per portion. Can you say Breakfast?

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                                                        Sausage-Eggwiches

                                                          24. Baja-Cali Black Bean Salad ($1.17 per serving)

                                                          Great snack to add to a movie-night with friends. You don’t have to use chemically-processed salsas anymore, you can now use this homemade salad for your chip dips.

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                                                            25. Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce ($2.24 per serving)

                                                            Italians always knew how to make carbs look good! This delicious Gnocchi recipe will give your lunch a whole new meaning. Easy to make and only $2.24 per serving.

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                                                              26. Vegetable Lasagna ($1.73 per serving)

                                                              If you were looking for a healthy lasagna, you’ve just found it. At under $5 per serving, you can fill yourself up right away without putting on the extra calories.

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                                                                27. Fajita-Ranch Chicken Wraps ($2.05 per serving)

                                                                Don’t know what to make for lunch this week? How about delicious chicken wraps with a healthy ranch? This recipe will make all your lunches, even the quick ones, healthy and colorful.

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                                                                  28. Quinoa with Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                  A dish that has quinoa and brussel sprouts can’t be unhealthy, it just can’t, which is why this dish is one to keep in the books. Easy to make, healthy, and will keep you full for a long period of time.

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                                                                    29. Butternut Squash Chili ($1.04 per serving)

                                                                    You don’t need meat to make chili now that you have this recipe! It’s 100% healthy, filling, and smells absolutely delicious.

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                                                                      30. Fast Shrimp Bisque ($2.03 per serving)

                                                                      Seafood doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to do it right, and this fast shrimp bisque is a great recipe to try if you’re in the mood for some seafood!

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                                                                        31. Chicken-Noodle Casserole ($0.98 per serving)

                                                                        Looks divine doesn’t it? This super easy to make dish will satisfy all your taste buds without burning a hole in your wallet or adding a few extra numbers on the scale.

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                                                                          32. Burrito Cups ($1.18 per serving)

                                                                          Entertaining someone tonight and don’t know what to make as appetizers? These burrito cups are a great alternative to chips or other greasy finger foods. All you need to enjoy it is a spoon and a cup.

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                                                                            33. Lemon-Dill Shrimp & Pasta ($2.45 per serving)

                                                                            Another impressive shrimp recipe under $5 per serving. The lemon-dill twist adds a great taste to the dish.

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                                                                              34. Potato Frittata ($0.87 per serving)

                                                                              If you want to eat potatoes for breakfast but still want it to be healthy, this is the recipe for you. At under a dollar per serving, this potato frittata will make you see potatoes in a whole new light.

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                                                                                35. Grilled Pork and Pineapple ($2.67 per serving)

                                                                                Meat and fruits? Oh, yes. The juiciness of the pork mixed with the liquid sugar in the pineapple will make you wish you knew about it sooner.

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                                                                                  36. Greek Honey-Lemon Pork Chops ($2.15 per serving)

                                                                                  Another splendid recipe mixing sweet and salty for a healthy meal. Easy to make and absolutely mouthwatering.

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                                                                                    37. Jamaican Pork Stir-Fry ($2 per serving)

                                                                                    You can add this healthy stir-fry to any dish as a side or amply enjoy it as-is for lunch or dinner. You can even make a wrap sandwich out of it if you’re in a rush to eat.

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                                                                                      38. Herbed Salmon ($2.49 per serving)

                                                                                      Salmon contains a healthy dose of fats that will boost your metabolism, lower inflammation, and make you happier. At under $5 per serving, need I say more?

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                                                                                        39. Five-Spice Pork Kabobs ($1.96 per serving)

                                                                                        Exquisite recipe under $5 per serving that will most definitely awe everyone at your dinner party.

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                                                                                          40. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Mango-Black Bean Salsa ($1.24 per serving)

                                                                                          You don’t have to eat sweet potatoes alone anymore with this flavorful recipe.

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                                                                                            Featured photo credit: Featured Photo Credit: 5 Dollar Dinners via 5dollardinners.com

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