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Big-ticket items you might be better off renting

rent or buy

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It may be tempting to plunk down money on a boat or a BMW. But does it always make sense?

It all depends on how—and how much—you plan to use them. In some cases, you may be better off renting, or sharing, big-ticket items.

Jeff Rose, certified financial planner and author of "Soldier of Finance," recommends clients run the numbers before making a commitment.

"Figure out, 'Okay, how much am I actually paying per use of this? And does it really work out in my favor?'" says Rose. If not, renting or sharing them with others may make better financial sense.

The good news? Those options are now readily available—and increasingly popular—for everything from smart phones to second homes. We break it down.

Lucy Maher, special to CNBC.com

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