10 Amazing Items That Improved My Life Under $1008 min read

Published by Zach on

Ten items have drastically improved my life under $100. These items are game-changers. I will never go without these items for the rest of my life or try not to because of the amazing impact they have had on me.

These items make my life easier, happier, and better. Let’s get into it.

Also, everything is on Amazon, everything.*Items here are affiliate links, which means if you click and up purchasing an item, I will receive a small portion of the money generated from that item. I do, however, use these items all the time. I only know they are on amazon because of the number of times I’ve sent links to friends because I do adore these things.

1. Extra Monitor

My favorite one: Sceptre 20.”

Cost: $104

Evidence shows extra monitors improve performance.

The monitor doesn’t need to be crazy expensive, either. The monitor I bought, I think, was $89? I just needed a second screen. I still do my primary video editing from my high-resolution main screen. Unfortunately, the monitor I have is no longer sold on Amazon at that price. The one I linked is still relatively cheap and accomplishes precisely that purpose.

An additional monitor would be of the first things I buy from this list. Having a second monitor allows you to do so many things more easily. For example, writing this post, I can have my research and amazon links on the other monitor and the main body of this post.

I also use it when I am doing my flashcards to look up other information and pay 100% attention in a zoom lecture.

2. Rice Cooker

My favorite one: Aroma housewares 8-cup

Cost: $29.92

This. Is. Huge. Not the rice cooker, that’s actually pretty small, but this purchase? Huge. The rice cooker might be my number one favorite thing. I know I just said that about the monitor, but this might win out. I love rice. However, I would always get the measuring or the ratio incorrect. A rice cooker made all of that easy. No more burnt rice. Just lots of rice, always.

I was converted about four years ago by my roommate, and I will never go back. Rice cooker, forever.

3. Kettle

My favorite one: Cuisinart CPK-17

Cost: $86.40

Boiling water seems simple, and it usually is, but don’t you want it to be easy too? I used to use the whole gooseneck kettle and get really fancy with my coffee, but it rusted, was a pain in the ass, and wasn’t easy. I prefer spending a little more on the variable temperature one for my various teas and coffee.

I’ve been using a kettle to boil water for my coffee, and it’s been fantastic. Plus, if you want to keep the snobbery, you can set the temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit on the kettle I linked. There, snobbery saved.

One other thing I use it for is, frequently, I am in a rush and want to make some pasta and want to make it NOW. Fill the kettle up, turn it on, fill the pasta pot halfway up, cover it and turn the temperature to high. Right as the water in the pot begins to boil, my kettle usually is just finishing boiling, then I add the boiled water from the kettle in, and I’ve halved the time it takes to boil water for pasta! Bam!

Also, spend the extra 50 bucks on the kettle I linked instead of a $30 kettle. I’ve been through about four of those 30$ kettles, and this $80 has lasted me four years now. You will use the variable temperatures more than you think.

4. Kindle

My favorite one: Kindle Paperwhite

Cost: $89.99

The Kindle holds 1000s of books on something lighter than 99% of all books, syncs to the cloud, is waterproof, and is smaller than 99% of all books. The Kindle is a game-changer. I, occasionally, like the feel of an actual book and like to gift them, but when I travel or when I am not at home, I always bring my Kindle.

I love books. The Kindle, in my opinion, is one of the best things invented by modern technology to access books. Books are amazing things that can change the way you think and change your life. Books helped me get started on the internet and do pretty much everything I do here.

A bonus is that these newer Kindles are waterproof. Reading in the pool or the ocean is especially lovely. I still haven’t perfected floating on my back while reading, but no book is safe once I do. Also, the books on the Kindle are usually cheaper than the paperback books and what I like to do is do the “trial” version of books on the Kindle before I entirely buy it. Usually, this gives you one or two chapters of the book, so you don’t buy it if you don’t like it. This one feature has easily saved me hundreds of dollars.

If you want to check out my favorite books, go here.

5. Portable Chargers

My favorite one: Anker Portable Charger, USB-C Power Bank 20000mAh

Cost: $67.00

The runner up iPhone charger($49.99) Anker PowerCore

This charger is great. I carry this in my backpack always, I only need it maybe one or two times a month, but when I have it, it’s amazing. I also use this when I am traveling, and the airplane plug-in doesn’t work. It can charge everything.

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • Sony Camera
  • Headphones
  • Airpods

It charges quickly and easily takes me through two days of power for ALL of the above.

If you don’t already have a portable charger, get one, and you can’t go wrong with the one I linked.

6. Chef’s Knife

My favorite one: Global 8″ Chef’s Knife

Cost: $99.95

It breaks the cost rule! Sorry! I bought it many years ago when it was under $100. It’s definitely worth the extra $10 past the limit.

I was recommended this knife by a chef friend about eight years ago. I’ve had the same one every since. I even bought a crappy $19 knife from Amazon if any of my friends want to “help” me cook. They get to use that knife. No one touches my Global knife.

As a side note, make sure to sharpen this at least once every two years and sharpen it professionally. You will need to personally sharpen this at least once a month.

7. House Shoes

My favorite one: LL Bean Wicked Good Moccasins

Cost: $79.00

The mocassins are my best-given gift, always—everyone I give a pair to loves them and (claims) to wear them. I have two pairs myself. Whenever it’s cold, I throw these on. Whenever I just want to walk around and not put on regular shoes, I throw these on. Please don’t wear them outside your house, though, or the style gods shall frown upon you.

8. Lavalier Microphone

My favorite one: Lavalier Lapel Microphone

Cost: $39.39

This microphone has been great for me. I can record videos, pretty much anywhere, with excellent audio quality. Plus, it lets me do cooler shots for my a-roll. For my running 30 days video, for example, I tucked this same microphone under my shirt, and I could get a big wide shot that was mic’d well.

9. Nice Notebook and Pens

My Favorite Notebook: Dingbats D5008GY

Cost: $19.95

My Favorite Pens: PILOT Precise V5

Cost: $20.42

Ok, I guess this is two items, but being able to write things down is great. It’s something about having it in front of you. It makes it more solid, more real. Also, if it is crucial, I like to have it in front of me written, that way it doesn’t get lost in the minutiae of my computer.

I’ve tried the whole fountain pen thing, and it was nice for about two days, but then I created a huge mess and couldn’t refill my pens.

These notebooks are solid. I’ve been experimenting with the “dot journal” recently, but I usually would just go with the regular ruled notebook to be safe. You can’t go wrong there.

I use my notebooks for:

  • Daily Journaling
  • Daily Gratitude Journaling
  • Priority Planning
  • Daily Planning
  • Video Planning
  • Quick notes

I would get one of these notebooks and one pack of pens and just leave the notebook near you. Try and journal once a day in this notebook or just use it to jot down the occasional note, you’ll like it, or Amazon promises your money back!

10. Quality Socks

My favorite ones: Darn Tough

Cost: $25.95

$26 for ONE PAIR of socks, that’s silly. Or is it? I want to read the top review off of Amazon for this pair of socks:

Truly, though, these are a great pair of socks. I would like, soon, to make my entire sock wardrobe just Darn tough socks.

But that’s it! Ten items that really have done wonders for my happiness and ease of life over the past decade or so.

What’s your favorite item under $100?


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