Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life

What can I pur­chase with $100 that will be the best thing I can buy to make my life bet­ter?

I’ve de­cided to bud­get some reg­u­lar money to im­prov­ing my life each month. I’d like to start with low hang­ing fruit for ob­vi­ous rea­sons—but when I sat down to think of im­prove­ments, I found my­self think­ing of the same old things I’d already been plan­ning to do any­way… and I’d like out of that rut.

Con­straints/​more info:

  1. be con­crete. I know—“spend money on ex­pe­riences” is a good idea—but what ex­pe­riences are the best op­tion to pur­chase *first*

  2. “bet­ter” is de­liber­ately left vague—choose how you would define it, so that I’m not con­strained just by ways of “be­ing bet­ter” that I’d have thought of my­self.

  3. please as­sume that I have all my ba­sic needs met (eg food, cloth­ing, shelter) and that I have bud­geted sep­a­rately for things like in­vest­ing for my fi­nan­cial fu­ture and for char­ity.

  4. apart from the above, as­sume noth­ing—Espe­cially don’t try and tai­lor solu­tions to any­thing you might know and/​or guess about me speci­fi­cally, be­cause I think this would be a use­ful re­source for oth­ers who might have just be­gun.

  5. don’t con­strain your­self to ex­actly $100 - I could buy 2-3 things for that, or I could save up over a cou­ple of months and buy some­thing more ex­pen­sive… I picked $100 be­cause it’s a round num­ber and easy to imag­ine.

  6. it’s ok to add “dumb” things—they can help spur great ideas, or just get rid of an elephant in the room.

  7. try think­ing of your top-ten be­fore read­ing any com­ments, in or­der not to bias your ini­tial think­ing. Then come back and add ten more once you’ve been in­spired by what ev­ery­one else came up with.


This is a ques­tion I re­cently posed to my lo­cal Less Wrong group and we came up with a few good ideas, so I thought I’d share the dis­cus­sion with the wider com­mu­nity and see what we can come up with. I’ll add the list we came up with later on in the com­ments...

It’d be great to have a repos­i­tory of low-hang­ing fruit for things that can be solved with (rel­a­tively af­ford­able) amounts of money. I’d per­son­ally like to go through the list—look at can­di­dates that sound like they’d be re­ally use­ful to me and then make a pri­ori­tised list of what to work on first.