Things that make your life better for under $50

Morning y’all!

Hope you had a good weekend!

Came across this poll on things that genuinely make your life better, and an hour later I had a list of all kinds of recommendations noted in case I ever need them one day, haha…

And all from like-minded people too! (ie mindful/productivity nuts)

twitter poll 50 dollarsFigured I’d double up on the energy here and pass ’em along to you too in case you’re currently on the hunt for something :)

The books and app recommendations were my favorites…

Here was the more generic answers first, followed by a list of the more specific products which I appreciated the most since it directs you right to “the best” to avoid paralysis by analysis, haha…

Most popular answers:

  • Books
  • Apps
  • Bibles (lots of these!)
  • Underwear
  • Gym memberships
  • Condoms (hah!)
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Water bottles
  • Journals and pens (also super popular)
  • Work out equipment
  • Yoga mats
  • Domain names (guilty!)
  • Dumb phones (surprising to see?)
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Toilet paper (jokers)
  • Phone batteries
  • Eyeglasses
  • Slippers
  • And then coffee… (my answer too)

And then here were the more *specific* recommendations that I was most interested in:

  • Lamy Fountain Pen
  • Pomodoro clock
  • AeroPress Coffee Maker
  • TEMPUR-Pedic Sleep Mask
  • Thin black hangars from IKEA
  • Moleskine unruled A5 notebook and a Uni Pin 0.3mm fineliner
  • Flex bar by TheraBand — “worked miracles for my elbow tendinitis” – @nbabbitz
  • Kohler Flipside shower head — “I give [it] as a housewarming gift I believe in it so much.” – @jmacias
  • The Five Minute Journal — “I write in it every day. In over one year, the journal dramatically improved my happiness when I focus on mindfulness as I write.” – @BooValu23
  • Flonase — “Using it for one week 5+ years ago somehow cured my lifelong battle with debilitating allergies. Use it every once in a while for maintenance now but symptoms now pale in comparison to before. Nectar of the gods.” – @jonhearty
  • VARIERA Vacuum hose holder, silver-colour SR 17 — “Found it while looking for a shelf and screamed out loud in excitement. It was the thing I NEEDED and never knew til I saw it. As soon as I saw it, I knew: the daily hand-to-hand combat with my damn vacuum has ended thanks to this. And it did 😁” – @Naomi_Freeman
  • The journal — “Planner, journal, goals, notes, quotes, etc all in one great format. I’ve gifted this many times because of the profound impact it’s made on my life.” – @deepATL
  • — “Since 2004 I no longer: 1) cause extra waste through single use items + packaging 2) put bleached products in my body 3) spend money on #menstruation Serious piece of design, good for me, the world, my bank balance. Men + women should know about them.” – @_riut
  • The Happiness Planner — “Started with the 100 day planner and have used a full one I think 4 years in a row since, it really changed my life.” @happinessplannr
  • F3Omaha/F3Nation — “Free fitness for all men, peer-lead, SUPER fun & challenging, made me a better person, husband, dad, & new friendships/brothers.” – @mursedrew
  • Promixx 2.0 Electric Shaker Bottle — “Saves time, hassle, and cuts out that feeling of “I don’t feel like doing this.” I wish I was getting paid for the plug, because I truly believe in the product.” – @SlauterMatt
  • TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller (26-inch)
  • LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine
  • Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow
  • Mellion Back Shoulder Neck Massager with Heat Deep Tissue Kneading

List of great books people love:

List of great apps people love:

  • — We use our patented AI music engine and scientific research to create music to help you improve the activities you already do in 15 minutes or less.
  • Todoist — Life can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. Todoist lets you keep track of everything in one place, so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.
  • Waking Up — Join Sam Harris – neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author – on a meditation course for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Waking up is for everyone who understands that meditation should transform one’s view of the world.
  • WeCroak — The WeCroak app is inspired by a Bhutanese folk saying: to be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily. Each day, we’ll send you five invitations to stop and think about death. Our invitations come at random times and at any moment, just like death.
  • FocusMe — The most powerful App and Website Blocker for Windows, Mac & Android.
  • Scribd — Enjoy an unlimited* number of books, audiobooks, magazines, and more.
  • Headspace — A personal meditation guide, right in your pocket
  • Qustodio — The Internet’s best free parental control app. Designed to supervise, manage and protect your child’s device use on the go!
  • Duet Display — Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable.


I probably missed some others as the responses continued to flow in (now at over 500!), but hopefully this saves you some time if you were just as curious as I was when I first saw the tweet :)

I don’t normally go looking to spend money, but I’m always open to good recommendations from people in the community! So if you’ve got anything you’re obsessed over, would love to hear it!

What’s something that genuinely makes YOUR life better for under $50?

And before you say it, yes – I agree, Budgets Are Sexy *is* pretty awesome, thanks ;)

robert downey jr kisses

*Another big shout to James Clear who continues to captivate me!
**Most products and book links above go to Amazon and are affiliate links

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  1. Kate May 13, 2019 at 5:57 AM

    A sensor light that plugs into the shaver socket in the bathroom so when I pop in during the night I don’t get blinded by the bright overhead light that also turn on the bathroom fan. £15.49 (USD 21.16!) on Amazon.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 6:38 AM

      Amazing what a difference small little things can make :)

      Saw your email the other day about Korea, btw, but every time I try responding it bounces back :( I don’t think your work likes emails with “sexy” in it, haha… But to answer your question – we missed each other by only 2 years!

      1. Kate May 14, 2019 at 5:01 AM

        Gosh! What prudes my IT team are!

  2. Slackerjo May 13, 2019 at 6:28 AM

    Overdrive/Libby library app.

    Of course since I am a bit obsessed with shelves, I can probably make 6+ shelves for $50. Shelves make life easier.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 6:39 AM

      Yeah they do, haha…

  3. Bryan May 13, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    RDJ…Yess!!! The $5.00 I spent for a ticket to Endgame!

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 9:56 AM

      man, people are obsessed with that movie! I’ve never really been a comic movie guy, but will prob end up seeing just to see what the fuss is about :)

      1. Bryan May 13, 2019 at 8:28 PM

        Haha! Yes, I’ve always loved comics and Marvel as a kid so I could watch it ten times like I did Infinity War. However, I also watched all 22 Marvel films before that led up to it. Just sprinkle in some more Robert Downey Jr and Iron Man stuff in your posts and watch the views go off the charts :-)

        1. J. Money May 14, 2019 at 1:39 PM

          I bet, haha…

  4. Rho | Their Money Goals May 13, 2019 at 7:51 AM

    WeCroak sounds kinda morbid lol. Please let us know if you try that one and if you feel happier after doing so.

    I have the Hoopla and Libby apps through our local library, and they’re amazing. They’ve got great selections of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, etc., and they’re super convenient because I have access to everything on my phone. Plus they save me money!

    1. Slacker Jo May 13, 2019 at 9:20 AM

      There are a few hidden gem movies on Hoopla for sure.

    2. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 9:53 AM

      I don’t need to try the app – my brain already reminds me about death every 5 mins haha… which I actually love! :)

  5. Christine May 13, 2019 at 8:45 AM

    All I can think about first thing in the morning is “yes, coffee…”

    But I know there are many little things that have made my life easier or more enjoyable.

    An obscure app I have pointed people to is iCBT—in other words “cognitive behavior therapy.” It’s not that new, but it’s helpful. I haven’t been to therapy in many years now, but my issue has always been in negative thought patterns and I did find the concepts of CBT helpful. However, therapists will give you a worksheet to use, which is really cumbersome. And yes, you could just do these exercises in a notebook, but IMO, having an app walk you through it is so much nicer. I turn to it if during the course of my day, I find myself stuck in a particularly dense patch of negative thinking. It’s most helpful for people who already have had some intro to CBT.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 10:02 AM

      Oh cool! Never heard of that before but love how fast you can access it when needed… Headed to google it now, thanks :)

  6. Joe May 13, 2019 at 9:44 AM

    The allergy spray is awesome. I’m out so I need to order some.
    I just got these screens for the doors for about $20 each. You stick them around the doorway with velcro tape. It’s great. Now we can leave the door open and the bugs don’t get in.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 10:07 AM

      That does sound great!

  7. Jessy May 13, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    My subscription to the Headspace app for meditation and sleep, and the book The Millionaire Next Door, which illustrates that for those of us not born to wealth, the path to getting rich is living below our means.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 4:39 PM

      Damn good book, I agree.

  8. jp May 13, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    One of these light switch timers:

    (Intermatic ST01 7 Day Programmable In Wall Digital Timer Switch for Lights and Appliances, Astronomic, Self Adjusting, Heavy Duty)

    The lights are on if i get home late, and turn off early morning (or whenever you set it). It auto adjusts to sunrise/sunset, so it doesn’t pop on/off at exactly the same time, ala Home Alone. It’s just wonderful!

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 2:48 PM

      Sounds wonderful!

      Is it relatively easy to install? From the pics looks like there’s a looooot of wires that could not be your friend if you don’t know what you’re doing :)

      1. jp May 15, 2019 at 9:59 AM

        Super easy to install. 3 wires, and they are color coded – match like to like.

  9. mollyjade May 13, 2019 at 11:08 AM

    Pens get a lot of love, but I have a favorite mechanical pencil for all the editors, teachers, and math people. Kuru toga pencils always stay sharp, so you can write teeny tiny comments and have them be readable. And (assuming you don’t lose pencils frequently), they’re not that expensive at about $10/each.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 4:34 PM

      Thanks or the rec! I think the last mechanical pencil I used was probably a Bic or something, haha… I’m sure technology has changed quite a bit since then! :)

  10. Laurie@ThreeYear May 13, 2019 at 11:50 AM

    I heartily second that Lamy Fountain pen. It makes writing by hand such a lovely experience. I got myself a converter and can now suck up ink from my Waterman bottle of ink, so I don’t have to buy the plastic replacements. Love my pen.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 4:35 PM

      Tell me you hand write lots of letters to people?! :)

    2. Kate May 14, 2019 at 5:07 AM

      Me too! I got mine engraved for free on Amazon (the UK one) when I bought it. I’ve since gotten married, and chose to add on an extra name, and I love that my pen was from my cool single gal days!

  11. Nita May 13, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    I bought two e-books on written by two people I know (one book each, not together). €9 total (about $12).
    At least I gave my money to friends :) and seriously, I had a very good time reading these, especially the second one.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 4:36 PM

      Always a better experience when you’re helping someone in the process – good job :)

  12. Laura May 13, 2019 at 12:44 PM

    1. A good travel mug. Leakproff so I can make coffee in the morning and then put it in my bag to take to work. It has paid for it’s self many times over and because I know it wouldn’t leak I used it almost every day.

    2. Rechargable bike lights. I bought mine at MEC a Canadian sporting store. They last for about a week, recharge in a couple hours using a USB. They mean I can ride my bike earlier and later in the season when it gets dark before I leave work.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 4:37 PM

      Nice!! And can charge them while at work too if they happen to go out during the first commute! :)

  13. Adam May 13, 2019 at 1:57 PM

    A Hydro Flask pint glass, picked up last January on sale for $18.71 shipped. It doesn’t sweat in the summer, it keeps my water or beer or highballs ice cold and my tea or cocoa or coffee piping hot, and it’s the perfect companion (along with my dog and my front porch) on a nice day in the ‘hood.,mint,a,92,o,52

    Also, the RunDouble C25K app. Teeny investment but huge help with getting and staying in a running groove.

    1. J. Money May 13, 2019 at 4:38 PM

      Thx for the tip!

  14. Chris May 14, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    This is not a joke – a wooden back scratcher I got years ago for 89 Cents!

    1. J. Money May 14, 2019 at 1:41 PM


  15. Elora May 14, 2019 at 8:30 AM

    Got a bidet for about $30 and my partner installed it. The environmental nerd in me has wanted one for a while, but now that I have one I feel that it satisfies my bougie, indulgent side pretty well too :)

    1. J. Money May 14, 2019 at 1:42 PM


      What’s the brand/model in case anyone here *ahem* is interested in trying it out?

        1. J. Money May 15, 2019 at 12:28 PM

          I actually saw that one in the reponses from James’ tweet! Thought about including it in the roundup, but then must have forgotten in the end… Too funny.

    1. J. Money May 14, 2019 at 1:43 PM

      And that’s worth a lot right there!

  16. Stephanie May 14, 2019 at 7:07 PM

    I’m going to say my office chair. $5 at a garage sale and it’s the best office chair in the house. My husband keeps offering to trade with me, and it’s not happening!

    The other good thing would by my stainless steel water bottle. It makes it so much easier to drink water through the day. It’s insulated so it doesn’t make a mess from water condensation and stays cool all day.

    1. J. Money May 15, 2019 at 12:30 PM

      Smart move with that office chair. Better be comfy for how long we sit in them!