Lately, I’ve been tight on money. Like, really tight.
A few reasons why:
1. Silicon Valley is just so goddamn expensive to live in. Quick reference here.
2. All the money I earn gets put into my startup — Rabbut.
3. My last trip to Southeast Asia practically drained my wallet.
(more on this coming later!)
Because of this, I’ve been cooking more at home and going to Whole Foods to work (free wifi!). Saving money here. Saving money there. But nevertheless, I still get strong cravings to buy something that’d fill that void of everyday life.
Usually it’d be in the form of a milk tea or splurging at Walmart (can’t help if they have some irresistible deals!), but then I’d stop. And give it another thought.
Do I really need this? Or is there something else I could better spend my money on?
That’s when I really start to appreciate the dollar and seeing what it could possibly give me that’d be worth its price. To me, those are things that help us solve a daily problem, so we can focus on building our skills, hitting our goals, and living the life we want.
After all, isn’t that what we work our butts off for?
Without a question, yes.
That said, here’re 10 things I’ve used that I believe will simplify your life, save you time, and make you happier in the long run (as it did for me).
I just joined Amazon’s Associates Affiliate Program, which gives me a small commission if you click on the links from this post and purchase an item. The prices are exactly the same on Amazon, so you won’t pay more by clicking on these referral links. Just thought you should know. 🙂
1. Portable Charger
Ever had a time when your phone just died? On a road trip? On a 12-hour flight? In the middle of talking with your sweetie? I sure did, and boy was that annoying. Now I bring this portable charger with me everywhere — in my car, at the coffeeshop, on my hikes. That way, I won’t have to worry about my phone dying when it hits 1-20% battery life.
- Works for iPhones, iPads, Androids, Samsung, HTC, Nexus, any device that uses a USB cable
- Extremely light and small (about the size of a deck of cards)
- Provides almost three-and-a-half iPhone 6s charges or three Galaxy S6 charges
2. Bag Heat Sealer (Food Saver)
I remember those times when I’d open a large bag of chips and get upset at myself for wasting them. Simply because they turned stale after a week. Well, with this kitchen tool, it keeps your food fresh for longer. That means less trips to the grocery store, less money spent. More money saved.
Perfect for the serious cook or the grocery splurger.
- Works for food bags, cosmetics, storage bags
- Can stick to the refrigerator, with its magnetic base
- 100% money back guarantee
- No batteries needed
3. Thermos Stainless Steel Water Bottle
It’s hard keeping track of how much you drink in a day — especially if you’re like me and don’t feel thirsty even when your body is obviously dehydrated. That’s why I bought this thermos stainless steel water bottle. So I can train my brain to drink more water at work, at home, on the plane, in the car, anywhere!
What I like most about this particular bottle is the way it feels in my hands. It’s very smooth, soft, and velvety.
- Keeps your coffee, tea, water, or whatever you put hot for 8 hours, cold for 24 hours
- Sleek, stylish look (perfect for the fashionable individual)
- Vacuum-sealed, spill proof
- Unbelievably easy to clean
- Lifetime guarantee
4. Memory Foam Pillow
I honestly think one of the best gifts you can give someone (or yourself) is a high-quality pillow. Because think about it, we spend a third of our day sleeping. And good sleep usually means 1) better work performance, 2) a sharper memory, 3) stronger immunity against colds/flus/viruses and 4) a nicer body. And I’m sure whoever you give this pillow to will sincerely thank you for this thoughtful gift.
- Extremely comfortable, conforms to you while sleeping
- Easy to clean, just remove the cover and wash/dry it
- Great for people with neck or back pain
- 30-day money back guarantee
5. Bottle & Jar Opener
I swear by this bottle/jar opener as a cook, because it has saved my hands countless times from getting severely deformed. It just takes one little twist and *BAM* your bottle/jar is open!
So forget the rubber gloves or wet towels. This is a kitchen gadget you’ll appreciate.
- Fits most sized jars, including soda bottle caps, small pickle jars, medium mayo, family size peanut butter jars
- Super durable, will last a long time
- Great for people with arthritis or have tired or weak hands
- Lifetime warranty guaranteed
6. Easy Touch Umbrella
One pet peeve of mine are weak umbrellas — ones that flip inside out from a gust or breaks after a year. I gave this one a try on my Southeast Asia trip (and by the way, winds and rain are HEAVY there), and let’s just say this is now my favorite umbrella. I just love how I press one button and *BOOM* it automatically opens/closes. Definitely saves me the hassle from straining my muscles whenever I need to close it.
- Designed with premium quality metal to withstand powerful gusts and heavy rain
- Automatically opens and closes with the push of a button
- Very lightweight, great for travelers
- Dries quickly, roughly 30 mins
- Lifetime replacement guarantee (if anything goes wrong with the umbrella, you get a replacement, no return required)
7. Car Mount Holder for Smartphones
It can get pretty annoying when you need to constantly look at the GPS on your phone or dial someone’s number while driving. So I’m glad someone invented this neat, little phone mount. Because now you can always see your phone without fumbling through your car.
Talk about safer driving. 😉
- Holds most smartphones in place, including Samsung S7, Apple iPhone 7, HTC 10, LG G5, OnePlus 3T, Google Pixel (even with the case on)
- Easy to set up
- Thin and lightweight
- 30 day money back guarantee, 1 year replacement warranty
8. Longer USB cable (6 ft)
It’s extremely convenient to have a longer USB cable. You have extra space to make a call while charging your phone. You can use your phone on the bed after hooking the cable to the far corner of your hotel room. It just makes your life easier.
- Higher durability than the original Apple cord
- 6 feet long, allows you to connect further with your iPhone, iPod, iPad
- Compatible with iPhone 7/7 Plus 6s Plus / 6 Plus / 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air / Air 2 / Pro, iPad mini / mini 2 / mini 3 / mini 4, iPad (4th generation), iPod nano (7th generation) and iPod touch (5th generation)
- 18 month warranty, great customer service
9. Bluetooth FM transmitter + USB Charger
As an avid music listener, I need music to drive. Otherwise, it’ll be a rather crummy ride. When I got this bad boy hooked up, I already fell in love because the sound quality was just unbelievable to my ears. Not to mention, I can play any song I want (from my Spotify playlist) instead of listening to the same old usual on the radio.
- Automatically syncs and pairs your phone to your car with Bluetooth
- High quality sound for music and calls, has built-in microphone with Echo cancellation and Noise Suppression technology
- Hands-free calling
- Allows you to charge your phone or any USB devices
I’m a huge, HUGE, fan of Spotify. And I just love how diverse their music selection is (they got the EDM remixes, Kpop, songs from every country). One thing I noticed about Spotify though is that they’re always finding new ways to help you find songs you might like, based on your playlists and listening history. Plus, I could always listen to my Spotify playlist in the car with my bluetooth FM transmitter. Offline as well.
- Listen to music whenever, wherever you want
- Ad free, unlimited skips, shuffle play, you can listen offline and can play any track you like
- Huge music catalog, over 20 million songs
- Works on almost every platform
Price: $9.99/mo, $4.99/mo for students
🖐🏻 One last thing!
If you want to save more money on Amazon purchases, get the Honey plugin. It automatically applies discounts when you checkout and tells you whether that’s the best deal for that item. So far, it has saved me a few bucks.
Ain’t that pretty sweet? 😉