24 Worthwhile Splurges That People Say They Can't Imagine Living Without

Recently, u/dajabroniz asked people on Reddit to share the purchase under $500 that made the biggest difference in their lives. People responded with so many interesting and useful ideas, and some were things I'd never even thought about before. Here's what they had to say:

1."A robot vacuum. I used to sweep daily, but now it’s only if I’m deep cleaning behind furniture that it can’t get to. It’s life-changing and it’s saved me so much time."

A family relaxes together in a living room while a robotic vacuum cleaner operates on the floor
Anastasia Dobrusina / Getty Images

2."I got a WaterPik. My teeth and gums feel so much cleaner."


3."Glass bowl set with lids. We can eat out of them, store food, pack our work lunches/meal prep, use as mixing bowls, bake, and they’re so much easier to clean than plastic Tupperware."


4."Honestly? My cat. The adoption fee was like $200-$300 and I love this cat more than I ever thought was possible to love an animal. My little buddy."

Woman holding a cat at an animal shelter
Camille Tokerud / Getty Images

5."A Kindle! I love to read, but books are so expensive in the US, and my local library doesn’t have enough copies of popular books. With my Kindle, I got access to an extensive ebook catalog. I’ve also heard these last a few years without needing to be replaced!"


6."Portable car jump starter ($45). Since buying it, both my partner and my cars have failed to start in the last week and it’s been a lifesaver (thanks bad weather!)."


7."$500 worth of salsa classes and socials. Life changing in terms of breaking out of the same social circles, getting exercise, learning something hella fun (and hard), and having a skill that I can bring when I travel to other countries."

Couples in a dance studio practicing salsa
Mediaproduction / Getty Images

8."A $60 electric blanket. Ever since I had surgery last year, I’m cold all the time, especially my feet. It seriously changed my life and everyday comfort."


9."A kayak! Exercise and relaxation. I’m a lake kayaker. Sometimes I row for miles and get a great workout. Sometimes I tie a cooler and lunch and music on and float a day away. Often I combine the two and hit an island for a walk and lunch. It’s perfect for me and has made three seasons of my year every bit more enjoyable and healthy."


10."I bought nice bedding and made some adjustments to my bedroom that has greatly improved the quality of our sleep. It's like night and day."

Two people embracing while sleeping in bed
Luminola / Getty Images

11."Air Fryer."


"Wow. Exactly. Use it nearly every day. Second best: Instant Pot."


12."Reverse osmosis water filter with a tap at the sink."


"We just bought one a month ago, and it is life-changing. My bitchy ass Calathea plant is no longer a diva. I never have to think about my husband running to the store to refill 8-10 1-gallon jugs of distilled water for the humidifiers, and it tastes perfect. I drink way more water now because I don’t have to stress about 'what’s in this tap water?!' (Our town has lead remediation ongoing, so buying this was important for us and our kids.)


13."A Litter-Robot. No more scooping shit every day. Now I just transport shit trays every week."

Cat exiting a modern litter box as another cat watches

14."I feel very stupid saying it but quality undergarments like underwear, socks, and bras. Although people don’t see it, it has made me feel so much comfort to be in my own body knowing that everything fits properly and will actually last."


"Same! A couple of years ago, I threw out my existing budget-style, mismatched undergarments. I bought new bras with all matching undies. Wearing something well made that fits comfortably and is a cute set just makes me happy in the most unexpected way.

I plan to do this from now on when needed (damn ever-changing female body)!"


15."An electric scooter to help my work commute in the nicer seasons. It saves me so much money."


16."Bread maker for around $200. The bread I make at home is cheaper, tastier, and more filling than the stuff at the store. It has definitely paid for itself."

A freshly baked loaf of bread inside a bread-making machine
Lingqi Xie / Getty Images

17."A $40 Ninja mini food chopper. I am not only terrible at chopping herbs and veggies, but I also hate it. But I do love to cook and it’s oodles more economical than eating out. My husband bought me the Ninja fairly recently and it was a life changer! Normally I dislike food processors because they have a zillion parts, but this one has just four. I can chop a pile of veggies and herbs in seconds, and it goes through the dishwasher just fine. I love the thing."


18."Hoka sneakers. I did not want to spend $180 on a pair of sneakers, but within two weeks not only did my feet feel better, but my back and knee pains were much better."


19."Bought a used sewing machine after a local seamstress charged me $60 to patch a dime-sized hole in my pants. Spent $100 on the machine and another $30-40 on basic sewing tools. After a couple of YouTube videos, I’m feeling pretty confident in my everyday sewing skills!"

Man sewing on a machine surrounded by tailoring tools
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

20."I got a heated mattress pad. I feel like a QUEEN every time I hit that preheat button and set her on a sleep timer for the evening. Best $99 I’ve ever spent."


21."A Tile for my keys and wallet. Now as long as I can find my phone, my wallet, or my keys, I can find all three. Super dumb bit I used to lose one of them all the time. Now. Never.


22."I know AirPods are a luxury, but my pros were $200ish during a sale, and I use them for hours every single day. They work really well and have good sound quality for small earbuds."

Woman using airpods in a video conference call with multiple colleagues
Morsa Images / Getty Images

23."An ergonomic mouse. I noticed after a year in the workforce I was already getting carpel tunnel in my mid-twenties. Changed mice and boom, gone."


24."We just bought a recirculating pump for our water heater for about $200 from Home Depot. Used to take minutes to get hot water. Now it's nearly instantaneous."


What's something you've purchased that you can't imagine living without? Let's talk about it in the comments!