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Today HerFI and HisFI reflect back on the best purchases they ever made. We managed to recall 10 purchases that were completely worth it and would buy it again if we had to. While we are not proponents of consumerism and Your Money or Your Life has changed our lives for the better- we have made a few purchases we do not regret. These items have made our lives better and brought value, even saving us time.
1. Espresso Machine
God. I know the privilege and coffee snobbery is oozing out of this one, but it is truly one of the best purchases we ever made. So much so we wrote an entire post on it. Or I should say HisFI did since he had to justify selling the Nespresso and buying a new machine. We do not buy coffee out- period and we just use this beauty to make perfect hand-crafted latte’s in the morning and sometimes afternoon. There is a coffee savings calculator included in the post!
2. Philips Natural Wake Up Alarm Clock
We wake up early- before the sun actually rises. Mostly due to HerFI as a teacher. Before this Philips light clock the alarm would scream loudly and be placed on snooze several times. We literally had to drag ourselves out of bed and by the time we were starting out commute – maybe feel a little bit awake. This clock has been instrumental in changing our morning routines. We slowly wake up to a simulated sunrise and the sounds of birds chirping as our alarms. It makes a difference when you have to wake up in the dark 7 months of the year.
3. Deebot Vacuum
Our Roomba sadly fell apart and had its last run not too long ago. Don’t even get us started on it, it stopped working after only a year and a half and at $400 too. With our very long haired dog it is a needed member of the family and we seriously mourned our loss. Especially when we had to pull out our big vacuum everyday. A cheaper alternative was needed.
The Deebot N79 was found. A robot vacuum for less than half the price of the Roomba and better reviews. For some reason it doesn’t get stuck as often and completes its run cycle 95% of the time. Where as it seemed our previous bot would get stuck much more often. This has lead to more time cleaning and more dirt and hair picked up. It has served us well so far and the amount of time spent cleaning up after the animals is greatly reduced.
4. House Plants
I know this seems frivolous- and lets face it – it is, but so it the vacuum that cleans for us. But like I said at the top, these are the items that have brought some value to our lives and given us our time back. The house plants clean the air and provided beauty. What more could you ask for? Plus our carnivorous pitcher plant loves to eat the stink bugs in the summer. Yum.
5. Moment Lenses
As a photographer, and someone who takes half of their pictures on their phone. I was ecstatic to get my Moment lenses that have high quality Nikon glass and create interesting photographs. I can now travel light and create my own souvenirs with the photographs I take. I even have a blog all about just that at Phone Photography Pro.
6. Podcast Microphone and Accesories
It was time to invest and this was a great one. HisFI does not have to spend hours editing our podcast and trying desperately to limit the white noise. Originally we were just using the Blue Yeti and putting it on the table. The problem? Our shuffling in the chairs inadvertently resulted in our knees bumping the table leaving some not so wanted sound effects. To eliminate it and reduce other unwanted noises we invested in the Blue Radius II shock mount and a Rode PSA1 Boom Arm. The result? Clear non disturbed sounds of our voices and only our voices. Time saved and a serious upgrade for our listeners.
I know that you do not have to buy books. The library is a great resource and so are audio books. However, I (HerFI) am one of those people that must have the book in my hand. Not a great audio book listener. So I have purchased a few books over the years that have changed my life. Here are 5 books by women that changed my life.
8. The VitaMix
There are actually two kitchen appliances that have changed out cooking. The VitaMix– which we bought refurbished online and the Instant Pot– which was given to us as a gift. Both are worthwhile investments in health. The Instant Pot is everything – we use it to cook rice, simmer curry sauces and meat or pressure cook fresh beets in just a matter of minutes. The VitaMix allows us to make our weekend warrior healthy waffles, banana bread, smoothies and soup in a matter of minutes.
9. Amazon Fire TV
Cutting the chord was one of the best decisions we ever made. We have talked about it multiple times. You can can hear it from 5 Things We Stopped Buying this Month to Save Money or Podcast 12: Changing Daily Habits for More Time and Money. We were looking for a a streaming device to replace the cable box with and quickly settled on the Amazon Fire TV. We recommend the Fire TV over the Stick, as it is much faster to use and offers 4K for those with the TV’s to match. It offered all of the streaming services we wanted like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. The biggest draw was the ability to sideload android apps onto the Fire stick giving us even more options. We have been using it for over a year now and we still thinking it’s the perfect streaming device for us. We would also recommend getting the sideclick remote with it so you only need 1 remote. Pro tip: Turn on CEC control on your TV (if it has it) to be able to power on your tv with your Fire remote.
10. HisFI’s Bicycle
Last summer HisFI started commuting to work by bike. It was a $200 10 year old beater bike that wasn’t the smoothest ride. The parts were starting to wear out and maintenance was becoming a headache. In Fall HisFI decided to upgrade to a much nicer $800 bike. The bike shop it was purchased from offers lifetime 2x a year free tuneups. After dealing with the maintenance issues of the last bike, this seemed like a no-brainer. Biking to work made commuting fun again and simply brought a smile to HisFI’s face when he walked through those work doors. It saves time by getting a workout in roughly the same time as it takes to drive to work.
The Listicle Reason
While this post is a bit of a listical, it was created from a recent reaction to our FI/FIRE community sphere. Plus, we do love good list- it can be helpful for ideas or light reading on a Friday night. More than that though- I had been some seeing some judgement from individuals regarding purchases.
Obviously not all of these items are going to make sense for you or your family, however they make sense for us. They align with our values and needs. It has also helped us reflect on our Worst Purchases we have even made (may be a follow up post).
We think that in this community it is important to keep an open mind to this and not cast scorn for a more expensive bike purchase when you can pick one up at a garage sale for less. The fact is there will always be something out there for less. Or in most cases, if it is not food, water or shelter we could do without.
Scarcity mindset is not one that we would like to adhere to. We are living our lives – being alive. We are making conscious choices about where our money is going. We are evaluating how much “life energy” as Vicki Robin states that we are putting into our purchase. We think this attitude is one that should be more widely promoted, rather than one of “the cheapest way possible is the only way possible.”. Then again, we do not believe in a black and white world and instead one that lives on a spectrum.