One of the hardest things in the world is being able to afford life's necessities. We all work and make money (or have parents that do), but having money and being able to afford what you need are two different things.
I'm not just talking about the latest gadgets, either.
Not having a fancy knife set or the newest Apple Watch won't destroy your life.
I'm talking about the things so vital to our survival that they should be cheap, but are actually near impossible to afford.
Redditors know this to be true and are ready to share what some of those vital things are.
It all started when Redditor vashisthaa asked:
"What should be cheap and affordable but is not?"
Money Doesn't Account For Taste
"Caviar. It tastes awful, and comes in mass quantities, and costs $50 for a small tin. Idk why."
"I don't understand how something whose patent was given away for dirt can become so expensive."
"45 years ago, my sister went into diabetic coma, nearly died. My parents, of meager means, were able to get her insulin for free. What's going on now is unacceptable."
"Anything mental health related, really."
"My psychiatrist reluctantly prescribed me meds with the intention I seek therapy. I keep telling him I’m too poor and “maybe this summer”. But I’ll never be able to afford 200$ a session to talk to someone."
A Monthly Expense
"Tampons, pads, birth control. Any product that is needed for women that is considered a ‘Luxury’ in todays standards"
"As someone with a uterus I agree."
"They should be free. Bleeding is involuntary. Plenty of Dr's offices and clinics give out free condoms. They should do the same with period products."
What Came First?
"Seriously, what exactly happened in the last two years? Did the hens unionize?"
We Need More Apples A Day
"I would assume, for Americans, health care."
"Health care...f*cking 'Murica"
Secondary Health Care
"Including eyes and teeth, for those out there who (like me) aren't American."
"Yeah, a visit to the ER doesn't cost me a cent and my meds are very affordable, but the optometrist and the dentist still cost me a lot, even if they're partially covered by insurance and the parts that aren't covered can be deducted from my income tax. I shouldn't have to reconfigure my whole budget every time I have a cavity or need a new pair of glasses."
"As a fellow new yorker"
"Montrealer chiming in. Hear-hear! Yeah, our rents are far more affordable, but then our salaries are proportionally lower, so if you're unwilling to have roommates or are unlucky in love, good luck to ya!"
"My older sister is currently renting an apartment in a somewhat cheap neighborhood and she works as a waitress. She says that the rent is very expensive even though they are 3 roommates."
"(I don't pay the rent since I am a school student and I live with my family)"
"Baby formula. It’s required in order to feed an infant if breastfeeding isn’t an option (and yes, there are absolutely many valid reasons why it might not be possible to breastfeed. Lack of milk supply, baby has an intolerance to it, mother is taking certain medications, mother’s mental health prevents it, adoption, and that’s just what comes to mind off the top of my head). You literally cannot feed an infant anything other than milk until at least 6 months, and it’s not always an option to rely entirely on donated breastmilk. I’m sure in many locations, donated milk isn’t even a thing!"
"For children old enough for solid food, it’s possible to choose budget-friendly options just like for adults’ food, but there’s no alternative for little infants. Milk (breast or formula) is the only option, and the companies know that so they know they can charge a premium and still sell their product. This leads to families trying to stretch their supply of formula in unhealthy ways like watering it down (babies can’t regulate their electrolytes well, it can be very harmful) or adding fillers like rice (doesn’t have the required nutrition, again babies that young can’t adapt to macro/micronutrient imbalances the same way older children can)"
Insult To Injury
"I agree! It should be very expensive to get a marriage license and very cheap to get a divorce decree."
Sounds About Right
"Electricity. When you provide something in such quantities as to turn it into an everyday commodity, you don't get to charge double fees to sustain everyday life."
"Like increasing rent because you live on a higher floor."
Free For All
"Fruits. God allows these to grow without human interference mostly. They should be everywhere like hand sanitizer. Take some if you are hungry .. just not the entire Container"
A Girl's Best Friend
"Diamonds. They are one of the most common stones in precious gemstones, and yet -- thanks to De Beers Corporation marketing them for the last century and gaining a monopoly world wide on their mining, they are super high priced. Fake diamonds can be made for 50-100 dollars per carrot that other than a specific frequency of light passing through them slightly differently are unrecognizably different in every way (they literally are diamonds just made faster). Given that and a lot of non-diamond look a-likes you would think it would be less valuable, but nope... they're still crazy expensive for no reason other than monopoly. Ruby's and Emeralds (even more so) are actual rare stones unlike diamonds (common)."
Living. Just Livin
"living (your life)"
"No kidding. Brought here against my will and then have to work my a** off to just keep my head a little above the water."
"I only stick around out of pure f*cking spite."
"If living was cheap, everybody would do it."
The sad thing is, this is all true.
Do you have anything you'd like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
We all need a helping hand or a little boost every once in a while, and fortunately, we can buy ourselves some game-changers for pretty affordable prices.
But we might still be surprised at just how much money we can save on something that will make our lives better.
Redditor Floozerz pointed this out when they asked:
"What life-changing purchase can you make with less than $100?"
"An electric toothbrush, it's a game changer. I'm actually excited to brush my teeth now."
"Also, the waterpik. Add that with the Sonicare and it feels like you came back from the dentist every time!"
"A new showerhead, especially if you rent. It’s so easy to upgrade a basic, low-quality shower into a decent or even luxurious daily experience."
A Pillow Made of What?
"A good pillow. I went buckwheat, and I'll never go back."
"They stay gloriously cool, and bonus points for winning every pillow fight ever for the rest of eternity. Those things have some mass to them."
Prepared on the Go
"A portable air compressor for your car that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Never visit the gas station again to put air, digital display, stops when it’s at the desired PSI."
"A battery jump box. You'll never need to find a stranger to jump a dead battery with. Just turn it on, connect cables, and start the car."
"Traction pads for when you’re stuck in winter snow or ice. Put it under the wheels, slowly drive over it to gain traction, get out, and place the pads back in the trunk."
"Silicone wiper blades. You’ll never need to buy another pair ever again. I recommend PIAA Si-Tech, NOT their Super Silicone line."
"A dash-cam. Concrete proof that an accident was not your fault, worth its weight in gold."
A Good Air Compressor
"I just got an air compressor. No more hand pumps to fill the kids' bike tires or sports balls, and I can fill my tire pressure at home. Can’t believe I didn’t buy one sooner."
"An air fryer. The amount of time saved by not waiting for the oven to preheat, the energy efficiency, the speed of cooking."
Appliances for Pets
"An automated pet feeder. It takes a two-times-per-day chore down to once every few weeks refilling the whole thing."
"Plus, I always know he’s been fed the right amount, same time every day, even if I’m running late somewhere or I feel like sleeping in."
Did We Mention Kitchen Appliances?
"My rice cooker changed my diet and lifestyle when I had one. Usually, the best ones are around $100, but for basic stuff, you don't need anything special."
An Irreplaceable Pan
"A nice frying pan with nonstick coating and a heat-safe handle… and a nice pot with a heat-safe handle and pouring cutout so you don’t spill liquids all over the place."
More Meals, Less Waste
"A food saver! Nothing is freezer burned in my freezer. I have recouped the cost 5x over at this point."
A Home Orchard
"Plant a couple of apple trees... You'll get years of entertainment caring for them and watching them grow. The first apple you eat off of them will amaze you."
"I ended up planting 15 trees: 10 bought and 5 grafted myself. I bought some apple rootstock and then went on Facebook and joined a scion wood exchange group. The scion wood is around $3 a piece, and the rootstock was $6 a piece."
"I now have Sommerset Red Streak, Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, Empire, Wolf River, Golden Delicious, Belle de Boskoop, Golden Russet, Pink Pearl, Pendragon (x2), Dolgo crab, Kingston Black, and two random crab trees I'm going to graft next year."
"I also planted a peach tree, two cherry trees, four hazelnut trees, and two heartnut trees."
"A gym membership. Never underestimate the benefit of working out and doing cardio."
"For those who do their make up on a regular basis: a led lighted mirror is a real game changer."
A Good Shave
"A good shave soap, splash, balm, and brush. It makes shaving enjoyable."
"And don't forget a nice razor."
An Improved Mindset
"Audible. Improve your mind/mindset and watch your life improve."
Though none of these items were all that expensive on their own, their long-term positive impact on each of these Redditors made the already affordable purchase all the more practical.
People Share The Most Life-Changing Items They've Ever Gotten For Under $100
Money isn't everything. That is one of my favorite Cyndi Lauper songs. And it epitomizes so much.
Yes, money does make the world go round and it is a vital and necessary part of life, but you don't need to hoard tons of it like Scrooge McDuck to make a few essential purchases that will make life a little more fulfilling.
Sometimes the most simple item can change everything. You never know when a late night infomercial is selling you the goods.
Redditoru/MiracleRianwanted to hear about some of the best treasures out there, that are affordable, by asking:
What life changing item can you buy for under 100$?
A cellphone. That is the item that changed it all for me. And in the beginning, I didn't want one. I fought to have one. I thought they were so useless. Ha! I got ny first for $35. Of course, the bill is a different story.
Tushy LoveToilet Paper Dancing GIF by The CooligansGiphy
"Soft close toilet seat."
My wife bought one for the powder room downstairs. Guess who slams the toilet seat upstairs like a moron?"
"A good quality electric toothbrush."
"Philips Sonicare is the best. I'm a dentistry student and we recommend those always. They can be used as a regular toothbrush so patients easily adapt. A lot of our patients don't get cavities anymore since they use those, highly recommended. For interdental cleaning get Jordan toothpicks. Don't floss, toothpicks are way better."
Keep it Fresh
"I have a few BlueAir purifiers, the 411 and the 121 models- they covered the biggest sq ft for the smallest $ and the replacement filters were the cheapest while also filtering PM2.5 for smoke. Recommended by Consumer report iirc. In addition to the fire season benefits, makes a huge difference for my (v. slight) cat allergies year-round. Before I got these, I taped furnace filters to a box fan and that worked well on smoky days."
"A nice hoodie that comforts me when I'm lonely."
"Love a nice hoodie. Trouble is they take a while to wear in until they are comfortable. For that reason I always buy them second hand."
WrappersThink About It Reaction GIF by IdentityGiphy
"100%. Remember it takes many screws to make a crib but only 1 to fill it. So wrap that thing!!"
Now there is a lot of truth id you ask me. My shopping list just grew. Of course a few seemed obvious... a soft toilet seat and condoms? Duh.
Pik for LifeTeeth Tooth GIF by OllieTorresGiphy
"A Waterpik. Got one when I had braces, and am never going back to pre-waterpik life."
"Flossing is such a pain, I've gone an ordered one from the Penis Rocket people. Thanks stranger."
"Towel warmer. Step out of the shower and be wrapped in pure warmth. Especially nice in the winter."
"I have the previous model. Looks like it got a little bit more of expensive. So worth it though. Makes me feel like a millionaire. Zadro TWB Towel Warmer, X-Large, Gray. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V9K6WV3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_24XKRKY2KW61HHPYFX52?psc=1"
"Or you can go for real luxury and also get a towel warmer warmer. Keeps your towel warmer warm. It's just nice to have a warmer towel warmer. Warm towel warmers warm towels better. Besides that, there's the simple satisfaction of having a nice warm towel from a warm towel warmer."
The Most Unexplained Events In History | George Takei’s Oh MyyyHistory is littered with unsolved mysteries. Whether those answers are buried somewhere or lost forever, it doesn't stop people from wondering or hypothesizi...
"Noise cancelling headphones. They don't even need to be particularly good ones, but it makes listening to music more enjoyable in my opinion. And sometimes you just need to block out the world for a bit."
"Especially if you have a noisy commute on the subway or bus. It definitely helps your ears so you don't need to turn up the volume as much."
Bring the Heat
"Bidet attachment for the toilet."
"It seems intense at first but I've had one for a couple years ago and don't really think I need heated water. It's a little cold in the winter but it's never been so cold that I couldn't tolerate it for a minute or so to get clean."
"Heated ones either have to heat the water locally or wait while the hot water comes through the pipes. The latter won't work for me because my shower takes 3-5 minutes to heat up. You get used to the cold water and it's really not that bad to begin with. Totally worth it."
Hold me Down
"Weighted blanket. It's very comforting if you are distressed. I have panic attacks and it helps. Even if I'm just feeling anxious it is a great help. They can be expensive but 100 would be going pretty big on a weighted blanket. Be sure your medium to small pets don't get trapped in there."
Used LoveSeason 6 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"A stuffed animal to sooth loneliness, going the used rout will get you an amazing one."
"When my wife passed away about 7 months ago my daughter went to build a bear and made me a bear with a recording of her voice singing "stop in the name of love." I have snuggled with this bear every night for the last almost 8 months now. This bear has gotten me through some rough nights so far and idk what I would do without it."
Ways to Slumber
"Sleep mask and ear plugs."
"Maybe this is just me, but earplugs make it so I can hear my own breathing and heartbeat. I feel like I'm going insane every time I've tried it."
"Try a weighted sleep mask- game changer."
For the Feet
"A good pair of comfortable shoes. Save yourself from debilitating foot, knee, and even back pain."
"If only I could find some that actually fit. Last Saturday I spend 6 hours going through every single shoe store that's near my home and trying on every pair of shoes I saw that was even remotely to my taste. End of the story is I still walk around in my old shoes that have holes in them."
Pump ItWorking Out Lifting Weights GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
"Gym membership, at least in my country."
"Got one of those, didn't change my life! Looking back, maybe I should have also used it!"
A Clip Away
"A good nail clipper can make grooming so much easier."
"I will add that the best nail clippers aren't nail clippers at all, but rather high quality wire cutters! I was ordering jeweler's supplies several years ago and added some lap jointed flush cutters to my cart. I saw a woman in the reviews claiming she used hers as nail cutters which I thought was silly. I was curious, so I tried when they arrived and I have never gone back to nail clippers! The flush cutters give excellent control, squeeze effortlessly, and cut through nail like butter."
For the Lambo
"I bought my Dashcam for 80 bucks and it save me money and time dealing with "he said she said bullsh*t" over whose fault it is. There was clip just went viral where a girl rear ended a lambo then it came out that the lambo driver was trying to gaslight her after he hit her. Imagine if either one of those expensive cars had a 100 dollar dash cam problem solved."
"Magnesium, something that made my life so much better in many ways some are faster recovery (working out), deeper sleep, calmer mind, helps lower inflammation (we all need that), lowers cramps, and so much more, check with your doc though it may interact with other meds."
"You may not think so, but using it to buy a few plants can be amazing. There have been studies done on how caring for plants releases endorphins and is really good for mental health. I think this is why there was a surge in plant ownership/popularity during quarantine; even best-case scenario we were all a bit lonely and stressed. Plants help to alleviate that."
Know your tools...
"Mechanic tool set. Got my first one, Husky 230 piece set, two years ago. On sale at the Home Depot for about $99 plus tax. Picked up the Hart 215 piece kit at Walmart for $98 plus tax, as a back up. It is a good kit to start working on cars, in my case, I leave it in my truck. I have a few side hustles to supplement my income, the struggle is too real."
I can personally attest to a weighted blanket, towel warmers stuffed animals. They should all start a life "must have" list. The essentials don't always have to break the bank.