$100 or less for happiness

June 8, 2011 · 21 comments

Today’s short post was inspired by a Reddit article I saw last night. A Reddit user asked the general public “What items, for less than $100, can you buy that will greatly increase your quality of life?” I liked the question a lot and came up with my own list….

1. A great pair of sandals. I put my first pair of Rainbows 9 years ago and have never looked back. Totally worth the $60ish bucks.

2. Foam topper. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can find some screaming deals on memory foam mattress toppers. Girl Ninja and I took advantage of one such Costco bargain and have never slept better. Even the worst mattresses feel like heaven when a three inch memory foam pad is on top.

3. A good stapler. Before my Germany trip, this would have never made the list. But while I was there for six weeks, I only had access to a super crappy stapler. It could literally only punch through three pieces of paper at most. I threw the freakin’ thing away and had to resort to paperclips. PAPERCLIPS! Who uses those anymore?!

4. Nice pens. Yeah, I’m sticking with the office supply theme. I’m a G2 Pilot kind of guy. It has the perfect amount of bleed and gel. It rolls across the paper ever so gently and improves the readibility of my chicken scratch a million fold. Nice pens for the win.

5. Curved shower curtain bar. I totally stole this one from the reddit post, but it couldn’t be more true. Nothing is grosser than having the wet shower curtain lining graze against my body as I try and clean the dirt between my toes. I’m not suppose to feel dirtier by showering, but a standard shower bar makes me feel just that.

Alright, enough about me, it’s time for you to answer the question: What items, for less than $100, can you buy that will greatly increase your quality of life?

 

1 Tiffany

Interesting post!

A bike. Definitely. Great for weekend rides with friends, running errands around town.

A good pair of running/tennis shoes.

A great pair of sunglasses.

A couple of good cookbooks. I love to sit and read cookbooks in my downtime. Yes, I read them and make notes.

A great blender. My new KitchenAid has been rocking my world and making cooking so much easier!

Nice pillows. I’m a sucker for a big, fluffly down pillow. Totally makes my night :)

Some seeds and garden tools. Growing your own veggies can really increase the quality of your food!!

2 LLF

good pair of running shoes. I know these can get to be more than $100+. But you can always find last years model for less. I have found a couple of good pairs for less than $100. Just have to make sure you get fitted for the right pair for your gait. How do these improve my life? Better health, but only if you run or walk on a regular basis. Mental clearity. More energy to do the things I need to do. A pair of running shoes lasts about 300 miles, that 2 miles a day, 3 times a week, 50 weeks.

BTW on #3, who uses PAPER anymore? ; )

3 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com

You clean between your toes? I just assume all the soapy runoff from the rest of my body is cleaning my feet.

The only things I can think of aren’t items but services. Like if I had a maid once a month, or a virtual assistant to do busy work for me, those would be phenomenal (and probably less than $100 a month).

4 LLF

@Kevin You can get either of those services for less than $100 a month. In fact, depending on the size of you place, you may be able to get the maid to come 2x a month for that. As for a VA, got to http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/ for some resources.

5 Denise

That is a really good question! I think some of mine are:

– Wireless printer – I used to borrow my roommate’s, or my partner would print our stuff at the office (we don’t need to print much), but having one in the home has been much better. Also, in a small apartment, a wireless printer can go wherever you have room and an outlet, instead of needing to go on/around the desk.

– Hanging shoe organizers – Again, about the saving space. We have a lot of shoes (multiple runners, sandals, dress, and boots each), mostly because I refuse to ever throw old ones away and now because either of us are (still) frequent shoppers.

– Slow cooker – On days when we know we won’t have much time to cook dinner, we can set up the slow cooker. Saves time and money (because then we won’t eat out), and still get a good dinner.

6 asgreen

My new apartment has a curved shower curtain rod and I completely love it!

7 No Debt MBA

I bought a rain jacket on clearance for less than $100 a while ago and that thing has been amazing! I can walk around in the rain, wind and snow while staying dry, warm and cozy. Worth every penny and I’m pretty stingy about mine.

8 Ryan

I just discovered Reddit a month ago and now all my free time is gone. ;(

This probably doesn’t count, but my iPhone is amazing. Of course, it’s like $50 every single month.

Besides that, I would say my Timex running watch, running shoes, and my contact lenses.

9 Robert @ The College Investor

I love nice pens!

10 Kristin

I am, shall we say, not the most organized or together person, so the < $100 things that improve my quality of life the most are ones that keep me from losing things and help keep me organized.

My moleskine notebook I couldn't live without – just finishing my first one that I've had just over two years. It's my to-do list, calendar, address book, journal, etc. And I love writing in it with a cross fountain pen – it makes everything feel important. I have a J-Crew flip wallet (~$25) that has four outside slots, so I can immediately know if an important card is missing (a big problem for me in college! You don't want to leave your student ID in the wrong pair of pants). And one more thing is this huge "Remove before flight" red keychain, about $5. It makes it super-easy to find my keys immediately in a jumbled purse or know that I've definitely not locked them in the car or left them in the house.

Because when you lose something, get locked out, forget an important appointment, or need to go back to the store because you forgot something… all that can ruin your day.

11 Joe C Skrizel

here is my list
Nice jeans that fit well are on there and worth their weight in gold
dry cleaning dress shirts, $3.50 vs the 20 mins i spend ironing is priceless to me
a nice dinner out
gym membership – reduces stress, increases lean muscle mass, reduce body fat, look good, no question
zebra M-402 mechanical pencils – all metal and super awesome

12 Molly

We saw this on reddit last night too. I said a library card & my partner said a makerspace/hackerspace membership. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackerspace)

Both are good options to expanding your world without spending a lot of $$.

13 Matt

Sunglasses! I hate buying cheap sunglasses because they never last, and usually break within 2-3 months. A nice pair of sunglasses will greatly increase your quality of life and protect you from the sun.

14 Rina

I love paperclips.

I also have a somewhat creepy obsession with pens.

Husband vetoed the curved shower bar but I am SO IN AGREEMENT with you on it.

This was kind of a useless comment, wasn’t it? ;)

15 First Gen American

A really good winter coat. One that fits well, is the right length and keeps me warm and dry. Bonus points if it’s actually stylish too. Now that you’re back in WA maybe you’ll have to start thinking of these things again.

I’m craving a good desk chair, but that’ll be more than $100.

16 Mo D.

I would loooove to have a cleaning service come in at least every other week and get the condo spic and span; since it’s only the 2 of us and 2 cats, the place does normally look tidy, but I’m talking deep-down-move-the-furniture-and-appliances-kinda-cleaning.

A really comfy pair of running shoes for the gym saves my knees a lot of pain.

We bought a Cuisinart coffee maker that was on sale last Christmas; Hubby said it followed him home… it’s awesome! The only unfortunate part is it makes my kitchen look quite shabby!

17 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

iPod shuffle if you are into fitness.

Or an electric toothbrush!

Or a really good reading lamp in your bedroom.

18 Colleen

The very first thing we did when we bought our house was install a curved shower rod! It is AWESOME!

Also I have a water pillow which eases all neck pain and headaches. SO worth it.

Comfortable work shoes that can handle being on your feet for 8 hours.

A good non-stick frying pan.

Some Friends DVDs. I watch them over and over and anytime I’m in a bad mood I’m instantly cheered up!

19 South County Girl

The curved shower curtain is the best invention since sliced bread hand down… I also loved my old rainbows too.

Other things I love…

$1.00 paperbacks from “friends of the library” stores.
flowers… Its good to have something that’s living besides yourself at your home.
Good running shoes!

20 C.M.C.

A bicycle, especially since I’m going car-less soon.

This is kind of a cheat, because only the initial adoption fee was less than $100, and over his lifetime, it will be a lot more, (but never more than $100 per month) but my adopted cat. He has GREATLY improved my quality of life and I like to think I’ve improved his, but who really knows.

Rain Boots for those wet morning and evening commutes.

A crock pot. Seriously… I’m cooking dinner in it right now :).

A hammock. I have one that cost me less than $100 and nothing makes me happier on a sunny weekend day than laying in it and swaying back and forth while I look at the sky.

A digital camera (i’d have to find one on sale, but I think I could do it). All those memories!!

C.M.C @ twentytwomonths.blogspot.com

21 Wesley Wise

I’d definitely go for pens, a coffeemaker (yes, I haven’t gotten around to buying one for myself), a decent raincoat, and a lamp.

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