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Rent This, Buy That

Save money by renting these items

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To rent or to buy? Doesn't seem like a very complicated question, does it? Going to Vermont for the weekend? Rent skis. You got a new job? Buy a suit. The permanence of the purchase is the real and underlying variable. You will only need those skis for a few days, but that suit will be around for a long time.

Surprisingly, though, there are times when that calculus might fail you. As Andrea Brown of Kiplinger and the folks at Mainstreet.com both point out you can find unexpected savings when you rent items that you would usually buy. Here are three very common – and oh so surprising goods – that it pays to rent:

Wedding Dresses. Sure, you’ll remember your wedding forever. But barring a night where you and your girlfriends need to don such apparel to boost your moods (see: Friends, season 4, episode 20, The One With All The Wedding Dresses) you’ll likely never wear it again. Renting a wedding dress is a much more affordable alternative and can save you hundreds of dollars.

Power Tools. Now we're not suggesting that you shouldn't keep a hammer or screwdriver around for routine maintenance. If you're not a contractor or a big time do-it-yourselfer, though, then there's no need to own power tools like nail guns or chainsaws. Home Depot offers reasonable daily rentals; so when it's time to break out the heavy artillery, you can get what you need, only for as long as you need it, and at a great price too.

Handbags. To be honest, this one is a no-brainer. With the ever-changing seasons, fashion trends, and different events you might be attending, it's almost impossible to find a bag to suit all your style needs. Sure, you can still have your every day bag, but for special occasions like weddings, or movie premiers (you never know) it pays to rent a handbag. You'll look and feel great knowing that your stylish handbag is full of all that cash you saved by renting it.

Garden Plots. It can be pretty tough to garden in the city, and without a back yard, finding a nice, fertile plot of land to get your hands dirty is expensive, and hard to come by – a lot of hassle for something you really only need for half the year. In cities around the United States, though, communal gardens that offer rentals for plots of land are popping up. Communal gardens give you the opportunity to have a cheap garden for as long or short a period as you choose.

Article was written by Jean Chatzky, personal finance expert, best-selling author, and Editor In Chief at SavvyMoney and provided by SavvyMoney®.